30 June 2013

photo shoot and ride review

Just finished up a photo shoot with my buddy Pat. I guess you could consider him a semi-pro photographer. Took a total of 113 pics, of which I've seen 3. Can't wait to see the rest of them, Pat enjoy the Rolling Rock!

That brings me to the ride review.

I never got a good opportunity to take the bike through its paces when I got it. It had broken spokes, oil leaks, and a bad tune. I took it around the block 3-4 times to check for any mechanical surprises, and then started work on it, so I really don't have anything else comparable to compare the current ride to. What I know now is kinda surprising to me though. I think I like this bike better than my cafe BMW R90/6. Don't get me wrong, for long trips and 100mph+ highway blasts, the BMW is my go to bike, but lately that hasn't been happening as often as I'd like. Instead I'm left with low mileage, varying speed jaunts to and from work which this bike is perfect for.

It's incredibly light, well handling, and shifts eons better than my BMW despite its relatively long throw between gears. It redlines higher than the BMW, but the top speed, despite all the weight I took off of it, is still in the 65-70mph range, and from what I'm told, it's really not good for the bike to stay up there too much - a direct contrast to the BMW which can stay 90-100 at near redline for hundreds of miles to no ill effect. I bought a Dunstall replica muffler for this bike, similar to the ones I have on my BMW and was looking forward to the performance gains and sounds realized on the BMW. I found neither performance gains, or that great of a sound, in fact it made the bike run super lean. I ran the bike with header pipes for a little bit, and while the sound was great, the low-mid range performance suffered. I ended up just cleaning up and putting back the stock muffler, this is the best solution at this moment - go figure. I didn't realize how far I had to tune the carb to run on header pipe only until I warmed up the bike with the stock set up and then had to wind down my idle speed another 3.5krpms to get a good idle!

While the short trips on my R90 were a chore, never really finding the appropriate gear for the traffic, and constantly longing for the highway, this is an absolute pleasure. It really is the perfect complement to my garage. My wife continues to remind me that I bought this bike to work on with my daughter (going on 3). She's right, this is my daughter's bike, and I fully intend to title it over to her when she comes of riding age, but this bike is gonna need service every 500-1000 miles. she's going to be wrenching on this thing faster than you can say righty tighty, lefty loosey (another win for the BMW).

Anyway, here's some pros and cons

* very light and handles like a dream
* the M50 seat with additional springs makes you feel like you're riding on air
* loves short trips and low speeds
* shifts very cleanly, despite a longer than anticipated throw between gear selections
* high redline
* has kickstart... really wish my BMW had one that wouldn't self destruct if I retrofit it (see Snowbum for the reasons)

* rubber mounted bars are a little strange, I may still work around that
* doesn't like long trips and generator fails at extended high speed runs (so I'm told)
* low wattage generator system
* compact size makes it very difficult to mount effective mirrors. Still haven't figured that out yet and am running without them
* kickstart only. though on a bike of this displacement that's not really a con. You decide

This bike is taking over commuting duties for the time being. We'll see if I still love it after the first break down or once the novelty of the new bike wears off, hopefully not for a long time. At the time being, I'm absolutely enamored, except for one thing. The lack of a project has left a void inside me that'll need to be filled soon. Maybe I'll finally get that Triumph project Chris keeps harassing me about... Time will tell.

Until the next time

1 comment:

  1. Hey Kraut, to compensate for a low output genny you could switch your incandescent tail/brake bulb(s) to an LED which draws considerable less amperage. believe it or not one or two bulbs makes just enough difference. Leds are brighter too. The led's can be purchased at PEP Boys for 20 bux per pair. Get the red ones because they are actually brighter through the red lens than the whites. (white Leds do not have a red waveform in their frequency profile.)