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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm not sure if this qualifies as a 'ride report', because it was pretty short (about an hour), but I find it significant for me for a couple reasons. Let me splain...

I bought my weestrom about a week and a half ago. I'm absolutely in love with it, and have put on a few hundred miles in the intervening time. Up until now I've always ridden heavy cruisers (older Suzuki GS rides - my primary was a '78 GS850, and for a while I had a mid-80's 650).

The wee is my first modern 'sport' bike (and i quote that because I know it's technically a dual sport. This ain't no crotch rocket). But as far as torque, setup, gearing, and design, this puppie's a lot zipper than The Beast (my 850).

As a kid, I did tons of trail riding, and some amateur racing. As a grownup, I've raced -cars- through various SCCA levels, but I was never into sport bikes, and certainly not performance riding.

Until last night.

My friend (whom I'll refer to as E) has a nice R1150 beemer he's super fond of. It was a nice cool evening, so we said "Lets ride...". He took the lead, and headed out. I was expecting a 40-50 mile loop in the cool early evening on back roads.

What I didn't expect was to be taking this at what I would qualify as "spincter-tightening speeds"

E led the ride, and afterwards, he told me he was watching carefully to see my pacing, how I was doing, and whether he was pushing too hard. I settled into a good spot about 100' behind him, and stayed there through all turns, stops, changes, and passes. He didn't out accelerate me, and he didn't out maneuver me, but he kept me pushing. Things I learned last night:

* You cannot FAKE body position in turn setup. You can't push the bike over into the turn, remaining slightly upright, and expect to have ANY give room if you misjudge your turn. If you're going to go into a turn at speed, COMMIT to it, lean into it, and hold it. If you need to tighten up the turn, you have space to do so!

* Braking is unintuitive - In normal riding, I use my rear brake with a light hand on my front brake as needed. In heavy riding, I don't think I saw E's brake light flash once, and I found myself doing far more engine braking (except for one unfortunate downhill stop to a stop sign. That's what a back wheel slide feels like!)

* Road conditions make me nervous. Most back roads were rough light gray asphalt. About as grippy as you can get. One stretch was freshly laid black asphalt that still looked vaguely shiny. I was super-cautious on this, and E noticed it and backed off a notch, though it was probably just tar, not oil. But still made me nervous.

Now comes the questions...

Because I'm used to big old 4 cylinder engines, riding the twin V feels 'choppy' and 'slappy'. Particularly when really pushing hard, I feel the slam and what sounds like valve chatter - there's a 'clack' to it that I'd normally associate with a loose cam or valve. The standard SUzuki 'whine' is there no problem, oil levels are fine, but should I worry about that 'clack'?

My throttle linkage is vaguely loose. I have about 1/8th of a turn from 'throttled down all the way' to the stop. It's only a problem when I'm ad a dead stop and I feel the grip loose, but is this a worry point?

I LOVE MY HANDLEBAR EXTENSIONS. I raised my bars up 2.5" with extenders, and the position is dead comfortable (I'm 6'6", 260lbs. Big guy. ALready ordered the pedal lowering brackets :)

About halfway through the ride, E and I stopped just to check in with each other. He turned to me, "you're doing great. That thing is really nimble! You're having no problem keeping up!" - I was so proud of my wee :) And of my riding! I haven't ridden this hard since I was a teenager.

I CAN HAZ MOAR PLZ?
 

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Using the rear brake is like what Woody Hayes used to say about the forward pass: "three things can happen, and two of them are bad."

Do you have a 2012? Not sure about those springs but the earlier models would be grossly undersprung for someone your size.

The old time advice for body position was "Kiss the mirror." This gets your body out where it belongs.

What route did you take? I have an office in Westborough. :dotdotdot:
 

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You have two adjusters on the throttle cable, but even when adjusted correctly, it still feels loose.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Using the rear brake is like what Woody Hayes used to say about the forward pass: "three things can happen, and two of them are bad."

Do you have a 2012? Not sure about those springs but the earlier models would be grossly undersprung for someone your size.
I have a 2004. I cranked up the preload so it would sit as high as possible (at least I think I did that right - looking at the spring I have it set so I can see a lot of metal.

The old time advice for body position was "Kiss the mirror." This gets your body out where it belongs.

What route did you take? I have an office in Westborough. :dotdotdot:
That is excellent advice. Thank you!

The route was (very roughly) South Berlin, backroads up through Bolton and to Harvard, right turn on 111 out to Boxborough (that was the shiny pavement stretch), then wiggling down through Boxborough into Hudson, and back over to Berlin.
 

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I have a 2004. I cranked up the preload so it would sit as high as possible (at least I think I did that right - looking at the spring I have it set so I can see a lot of metal./
Neither spring is anywhere near the rate you need. You'll be shocked at how much better the bike stops when you put new springs in the forks.

Maxing out the rear can help but a new spring is even better. Maybe if I'm around you can try mine and see what it feels like. My bikes are set up for 260 lb rider as I weigh 240 but my suit, helmet and boots add 20 lbs.
 

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Been waiting a long time, and the HyperPro for my 2012 is shipping today.

Looking forward to it, though the new version of the bike does feel lots better than the old did even without any suspension mods.

Forks have Ricors in them, but I need to change the shim stack.

These bikes are so much better when they fit you.
 
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