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Old 06-28-2006, 02:13 PM   #41
Gritboy
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Default Re: It Ain't The Tool: Revisited

Added a forkbrace from http://www.murphskits.com/vstrom.htm, a better windscreen and most importantly replaced the mediocre Bridgestone Trailwings with some Pirelli Scorpion Syncs. All the changes -- especially the latter -- changed the whole feel of the bike on the street, yet still it performs on minor dirt just fine.
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Old 06-28-2006, 02:27 PM   #42
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Default Re: It Ain't The Tool: Revisited

Sportbikes are definitely forgiving on some riding errors, but it depends on what surface and where you ride 'em. Sportbike engines, suspensions and brakes are awesome, but I used to ride my ZX9R everywhere, but on backroads, or even streets like San Francisco, when you hit bumps/potholes -- especially at speed -- you'll find that DP bikes (even more street-centric one like a V-Strom) with long travel, relaxed ergos, and more neutral weight distribution often are more forgiving and perform better on the imperfect terrain. Basically it just comes down to the right tool for the right job. but There are reasons DRZ's, Multistradas, V-Stroms, KLRs, GS', Ulysses' and other DP-style and even general naked bikes consistently win accolades for rideability, despite sportbikes working better ON THE TRACK or on good roads.
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Old 06-28-2006, 03:48 PM   #43
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Default Re: DAMN YOU SUZUKI....

Well, then. Get a full-sized one!
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Old 06-29-2006, 04:05 AM   #44
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Default Re: DAMN YOU SUZUKI....

I don't like the thou: Worse gas mileage, and you lose a fair bit of agility due to greater rotational inertia on the crank.



Part of the wonder of the 650 is how easy it is to chuck around.

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Old 06-29-2006, 05:18 AM   #45
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Default Re: It Ain't The Tool: Revisited

i am really, really glad to see articles of this type, written for rational road riders.



try to imagine, if you will, ford selling a NASCAR replica, complete with webbing in the windshield and a door that is welded shut. how many consumers are willing to climb into the car through the windshield to sample the power and handling of such an awesome machine?



motorcycle manufacturers have, in recent years, foisted superbike replicas on an unknowing, unqualified public, selling large, two-wheeled bottle rockets sized to perfectly fit the arses of the average american. light the fuse, tuck in, and hang on, bubba ... next stop is kaiser permanente, emergency department.



these bikes are EXCELLENT for track day, but they are about as useful for riding on public streets as racing slicks in seattle. it is tragic that inexperienced young riders are falling prey to these bikes, torpedoing camrys with them from portland to peoria.



make no mistake ... these bikes are all about posing. no less so than harleys. only a small percentage of riders can tap the potential of a sport 600 on public streets, much less a liter-bike.



what is the point?



i am encouraged by this story, and i invite you to take the next logical step in the evolution of your fine pub. start reporting on bike features that make bikes more liveable and practical in the real world.



i'm talking about things like centerstand and valvetrain access. do you have to disassemble a ton of tupperware to get at the drain plug? is the pipe mounted so high that throw-over nylon saddlebags are impossible? does the seat become a suppository in 30 minutes? these are all things that real-world riders care about.



example: i will never buy a chain-driven bike without a centerstand.



so ... thanks again for this article. and consider expanding the real-world rationale to all your bike tests.



- a loyal reader
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Old 06-29-2006, 08:14 AM   #46
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Default Re: It Ain't The Tool: Revisited

A question on the issue of front end feel for both the staff and any Strommers out there: I've seen some reference to raising the forks in the triple clamps on both Stroms to improve turn in. Does that help with front end feel? Did the MO test team try that?



I enjoyed the article, particularly because I am going to ride the Centopassi next month on a DL650. I'll have the bike for 2 weeks, and it will be interesting to compare it to my R1150R and Speed 4.
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Old 06-29-2006, 11:55 AM   #47
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Default Oh, crap

Damnit. It looks like Gabe and I have the same helmet. Does anyone want to buy a Large HJC AC-12 in the El Diablo color scheme?



(Just kidding, I like my helmet and I'm keeping it.)

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Old 06-29-2006, 02:38 PM   #48
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Default Re: It Ain't The Tool: Revisited

A couple of years ago, after doing a long-distance tour on a 600 sportbike, my son took advantange of the fickleness of the average American m/c consumer here in the inter-mountain west.



He went down to the local Honda dealer and bought a brand-new 919 for about the same price you list for your test 599 -- nobody else in town wanted to LOOK at the bike. He added a center stand, National Cycle lexan F-16 sport touring windscreen and soft luggage and proceeded to wear out set after set of Michelin Pilot Road tires, touring, canyon strafing and daily commuting.



About the only problem he's experienced is an inability to wipe the silly grin off his face whenever he's riding it . . .
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Old 06-29-2006, 04:33 PM   #49
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Default Re: It Ain't The Tool: Revisited

I suspect you could hammer down the 599's $7300 cost alot. However, I wish Honda had injected the bike. I live in a cold climate, and my GS500 requires a long warmup period. Injection would be a big step up for me.
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Old 06-29-2006, 04:34 PM   #50
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Default Re: It Ain't The Tool: Revisited

ABS on the new V-Strom makes a good value into a great value. However, it is an ugly bike.
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