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Old 07-25-2008, 03:35 PM   #11
tigerowner_ut
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Smile Great Bike

Tested one a couple of weeks ago. I cannot think of a better commuting motorcycle.

I was a bit skeptical going in. I have never liked automatic anything but this bike is a real gem. Imagine always being in the powerband. Hit the gas and the bike takes off, steady throttle and it cruised easily. Stop at a light take your hands off everything, never worry about stalling again. The only time I think shifting is required is on downhills coming into corners. You don't want the engine to disengage while whooping it up down a canyon. Downshift and the revs stay up and the CVT stays engaged. Shifting also helps coming to a stop. Not sure if I ever found a fully manual mode. In all settings I found you can downshift in any mode but up-shifting is only allowed until you reach the point where the auto mode would be and the CVT takes over. In other words you will never bog down your engine again even if you try!

The engine has a good power spread but it is detuned as to not stress the CVT. If you like peaky sport bikes this is not it but if you like a good torquey twin you will be happy with it. I think with another 10 hp it would be perfect.

The ergos are a comfortable UJM standard riding position. Passenger accommodations are comfortable but a bit firm. Stop every 75 miles to stretch and things would be fine. The exhaust is a bit too close to the passenger foot-peg and causes the foot to be slightly out of place compared with other bikes. Passenger legroom is fine, no knees around the ears on this bike.


My rating 1-10
Rider comfort - 8 (have never found a perfect 10)
Passenger comfort 7.5
Engine - 8 (an 850 should have just a bit more bite but then again it is deceptively fast and smooth)
Transmission - 9.8 (the possibility of freewheeling is the only thing keeping it from a 10)
Handling - 9 (both stable at speed yet maneuverable in traffic)
Suspension - 9 (never had a problem)

Overall touring - 8
+ easy cruising allows you to enjoy the ride
- it is no Goldwing in the comfort department
- getting expensive with touring options
+ Tank storage means you may not have to buy much luggage going solo

Overall Commuting - 10
+ Tank Storage means a stop at the store is not out of question
+ Comfortable for commuting distances
+ Stop and go Traffic is no longer a painful operation
+ Freeway ready! (try that Mr. Scooter)
+ Did I say the tranny is awesome! Revolutionary in traffic!
+ Can easily out run scooter gangs!

Overall Hooligan - 5
+ Fun and sporty
- Wheelies probably aren't going to be easy
- Transmission can disengage when letting off throttle slowing down for a corner.

Overall one bike garage - 9
+ Great fun and capable of nearly anything
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Old 07-26-2008, 08:34 AM   #12
vermicious
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I've been hoping my wife would take a shine to this thing. It seems like a great compromise (to me) between low comfort with working a clutch in the hilly terrain of the Bay Area and having a "real" highway capable machine under your butt.
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Old 07-28-2008, 11:53 AM   #13
Kevin_Duke
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supecoop View Post
Interesting bike. I'd like to see a comparison with the Shiver. In fact, I'd like to see an MO review Shiver.

Your wish is our command. Keep it tuned to MO this week.
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Old 07-30-2008, 04:27 AM   #14
TwistedKestrel
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Angry bah

Did MO even read the press release before posting it?

You can't shift a CVT! Either this is a electro-clutched sequential ala the FJRJ1300, or this is actually a CVT and the only time any "shifting" takes place is when you put it into pretend-manual mode and you change between programmed imaginary gear ratios. In automatic mode, there would be *no* shifting.

Ride a snowmobile sometime!
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Old 07-30-2008, 09:50 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by TwistedKestrel View Post
Did MO even read the press release before posting it?

You can't shift a CVT! Either this is a electro-clutched sequential ala the FJRJ1300, or this is actually a CVT and the only time any "shifting" takes place is when you put it into pretend-manual mode and you change between programmed imaginary gear ratios. In automatic mode, there would be *no* shifting.

Ride a snowmobile sometime!
There are no "programmed imaginary gear ratios." There are gear ratios that are held until the next one is selected. So, although there are no gears with teeth like a traditional tranny, a Mana rider can hold or switch gear ratios. Although the transmission is a CVT (continuously variable transmission), it doesn't continuously vary the gear ratios in manual mode. Perhaps, then, you'll next be complaining that we refer to the tranny as a CVT!

With pedantic quests like this, I'll guess you're one of those guys who want to call a motorcycle an enginecycle because an internal combustion engine isn't technically a motor. Stay tuned for our new website: Enginecycle.com!

That said, snowmobiles are fun!
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Old 07-30-2008, 09:54 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supecoop
Interesting bike. I'd like to see a comparison with the Shiver. In fact, I'd like to see an MO review Shiver.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin_Duke View Post
Your wish is our command. Keep it tuned to MO this week.
Change of plans. No Shiver this week. Even better, Yossef is taking us for a ride on the new Aprilia Dorsoduro!
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Old 07-30-2008, 10:33 AM   #17
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Change of plans. No Shiver this week. Even better, Yossef is taking us for a ride on the new Aprilia Dorsoduro!
What? But you PROMISED!!!! (jumps up and down like a pre-pubescent boy)


(that was a Good'N Sachi - I'm gettin' a LOT of mileage out of it! )
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Old 07-30-2008, 10:41 AM   #18
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You do it well, sir!
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Old 07-30-2008, 07:13 PM   #19
TwistedKestrel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin_Duke View Post
There are no "programmed imaginary gear ratios." There are gear ratios that are held until the next one is selected. So, although there are no gears with teeth like a traditional tranny, a Mana rider can hold or switch gear ratios. Although the transmission is a CVT (continuously variable transmission), it doesn't continuously vary the gear ratios in manual mode. Perhaps, then, you'll next be complaining that we refer to the tranny as a CVT!

With pedantic quests like this, I'll guess you're one of those guys who want to call a motorcycle an enginecycle because an internal combustion engine isn't technically a motor. Stay tuned for our new website: Enginecycle.com!

That said, snowmobiles are fun!
You misunderstood my complaint, but still addressed it. As described, it basically functions the same as your average car CVT. Semantics are important, monsieur Editor! (*cough*, um, sir)

Sweet, is Sean writing for the new site?
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Old 07-31-2008, 10:01 AM   #20
Kevin_Duke
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Originally Posted by TwistedKestrel View Post
You misunderstood my complaint, but still addressed it. As described, it basically functions the same as your average car CVT. Semantics are important, monsieur Editor! (*cough*, um, sir)

Sweet, is Sean writing for the new site?
Sad to say, Sean is too busy enjoying the non-motojournalist salary of his PR gig to think about writing editorial again.
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