Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
Want to check some performance stuff...
I haven't owned a new, small bike like this in a long time. And my motorcycle history has been going to bigger and bigger motorcycles till I stepped into the Vstrom last week.
I'd like to check some things that I've noticed and ask you if it's a characteristic of the Wee strom, or if it's just cause it's a "new" bike, and also whether it's something everyone gets used to or maybe looks to methods to change/make easier. For all I know, some of these things may just be what happens when you go from a 900 pound bike to a 500 pound bike (like number 1)
1) Front brakes seem really ... um . . . grabby? I mean, it seems like when I squeeze them at a faster speed slowing down, they slow down gradually until some point where they just GRAB the disc and the bike dives forward a bit. I can easily transfer to just rear brake when I'm almost stopped, but I'm thinking this is just cause it's brand new brakes maybe? Doesn't make me tip or anything, it's just kinda....different.
2) Starting in first/slow speed turns seems touchy. I was able to feather and manipulate my FJR scarily well (got smacked in the helmet a few times by the wifey for scraping pegs while making u-turns). But this bike seems like it's more hit or miss. As in, when making a u-turn, something about the dip of the tires and everything just seems...shaky. I start out fine, but then it seems to want to 'fall' over more than I expect it too, so naturally I try to give it a little more gas, but then it seems like an on/off switch with the gas and it's not as smooth as I like. Could the "fall in" be part of the tires being brand new? And the gas something I'll just get used to in due course? Or is it cause it's more topheavy than my last bike and I have to reorient to the weight that makes it "fall in". Maybe I'm expecting it to lean more than is necessary for a u-turn because I used to lean the Victory Vision (not very top heavy) that much for a u-turn and I need to rethink angle of lean.
3) Love the pickup on this bike. Did some twisting of the wrist today to test acceleration speed (nothing crazy, just on an on-ramp seeing how fast I could get to 75), and then i slowed down to 60 in 6th gear and tested the passing power if I didn't downshift. I'm pleased.
4) Got to "offroad" a little today. As in the place I visited closed a gate sooner than I thought, and it was downhill (my stubby legs can't backup), so I crossed the grassy median to get to the other lanes to find another gate. When offroading mildly (well packed road/grass), is it necessary/preferential to let some air out of the tires? Assuming the dirt road or grass will be a long path traveled.
Overall, liking everything about this bike. I've been following the "16T sprocket" threads not so much for speedometer, or gas mileage, or anything of the like, but more to "tame" that uturn and gentle it a bit. I really prefer lowend torquey bikes and smooth bikes (I don't like twitchy throttles) and I'm thinking extending that first gear will allow for very smooth takeoffs and slow speed drills. I don't accelerate very fast, and if anything prefer passing power, keeping up with cars on the road to accelerating off the line when I consider bikes.
Right now, the slow speed stuff is number one on my mind. Made a uturn at a gas station (filled up with the pump on the left, made a uturn to the left around that pump keeping it on the left), but something just wasn't right. It started out fine, but then got a sense of "falling", and when I tried to feather the gas to smoothly pick up speed, it picked up speed quicker than I would have liked and jerked me slightly (which I do NOT like while tipped over in a uturn).
I know this is a lot of info, and I'm sure I could have cut it down, but it's been a LOOOOONG day for me, and when I'm tired, I have a hard time editing on the fly. Look forward to any responses about this stuff. Especially the throttle response. It's actually a little "too" responsive for me right now, but then again, I did manage to get used to a very responsive mazdaspeed3 transmission coming from a ford ranger transmission. Maybe I just need more time/practice, and maybe a taller first gear would be better for my purposes. Not sure yet.