Author Topic: First ride vs road test three years ago...  (Read 1848 times)

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Offline marcdanz

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First ride vs road test three years ago...
on: February 19, 2018, 04:47:06 AM
So Friday, Biggest Guy calls to wish me Happy Birthday, and then says "Hey, let's just ride to Paso and meet for dinner tomorrow night!" I've got a bunch of free nights, so get some free rooms at the palatial Motel 6 in Paso and reservations for dinner at McPhees...

I've ridden the XR from the McSquish's where it was dropped off and then to the DMV to get it registered...

In 2015, I rode one of the first ones in LA:

"So a few months ago I put my name in at Long Beach and Century BMW for test rides on the 1000XR - the Tiger/Multistrata equivalent.

After work today, I went down and took a ride on one at LB.

They were super nice, did a great job, etc. etc.

I took the bike out for maybe 25 min - they told me I could have 30 or 40, and rode around LB, up to Virginia CC, out past the back of the airport, etc. Some traffic, some clear roads, a roundabout to hoon around.

The bike is very hoonable. It feels 20% smaller than the Tiger (for reference: 2007 Tiger 1050; Hyperpro/Racetech suspension, otherwise stock, about 45,000 miles), and much lighter and more 'centralized'.

Really comfy triangle - one issue - the seat is very bucket/Corbin-like and there isn't a lot of moving-around space on the saddle.

Great bar position, simple switchgear - even with all the doodads. liked it a lot.

Aesthetically, it's really bland. The only two niggles on design would be the exhaust can, which just looks wrong, and the frame for the adjustable windscreen, which looks very agricultural. It's minor, but you look at the damn thing ALL THE TIME. The mirrors are a little small, but well-placed.

So fire it up, and whoo! Revs easily for a bike with 212 miles on it.

Into gear and off we go.

The Tiger has this 'electric-motor' thing from a start. Just let the clutch smoothly in at 2k, add throttle, and the acceleration seems completely linear to throttle response. One of the bike's best features.

The BMW, sort of curved upward - it took of at 2k, but softly and gradually added increasing increments of power as I added throttle and the revs rose.

It would be a little less 'simple' to ride in town. But within three blocks, I had it dialed in.

This bike had a really annoying issue - massive vibes (not Harley massive, but thumper massive) in the right handlebar - not the left, for some reason. Totally harmonic, they flowed and ebbed as revs changed.

Maybe breakin, maybe heavier bar weights?

So power, you ask. HOLY CRAP THIS THING IS FAST. I'd say it's faster than a last-gen Multi, but that could be subjective - it feels smaller too.

Not Tiger-levels of torque, but lots of it and the LOTS OF IT. I managed to do little power wheelies before the electronics managed them out - smoothly, I should add. No abrupt cutoff, just a softening.

And it just kept going. I ran out of nerve at 9500 rpm in third, but was going really fast, and there was a lot more power there. You want power? Come try this bike.

The stopping thing is as close to perfect as I've felt on a bike. Front brake, back brake, both brakes, great feel just up the point the ABS cuts in. Just love them brakes.

Handling was darn good. I rode laps around a traffic circle behind LB Airport dirt track style, shoving the bike down under me and it just was happy and a little bored.

Tight parking lot stuff feels harder than the Tiger, but that could just be confidence.

The smarter-than-us digital suspension felt weird. It may just be that I'm used to stone wheels and tree branches for axles, and that it's an artifact - but it felt 'distant' somehow. How it worked incredibly well - wow!! I tossed in a quick U-turn  over a dip in the road and it just went and kind of ignored the dip. But it didn't _feel_ like it was working well.

I think that's just an artifact of our conditioning about what suspension is supposed to feel like.

So now the $19,300 question - would I buy one? Mmmmm maybe. I expected to be blown away and to leave the dealership ready to pitch TG on why she should let me blow so much on a silly bike.

But I walked out thinking eh? Would I spend $22k to ride away on that? or even $300/mo? I wasn't impassioned by the bike. That seems like a problem.

I'll think about it some more, and we'll see."

So the Tiger went to a new home (Hey, Stevey!) and I was in the market, so I found a bargain XR (like I'm embarassed how cheaply I got it) in Seattle...

What he hell, I can sell it for what I paid for it...

Took it to Paso for the maiden ride yesterday. 33/58 - the usual.


This one has tubular engine guards - but hardly any vibes in the bars.

The motor on one I rode at LBBMW felt very 'smooth' - this one (got it with 13k miles) is...different.

Remember the red-headed, alcoholic, rage-filled girlfriend you had in college? The one who trashed your place when she found the nudes of your ex?

Imagine that she's shut herself in the bathroom because you did someting wrong and she's screaming. You need to open the door, but you're not sure if you're going to get shards of mirror in your skin or have twelve hours of the best makeup sex ever - so good, you'll cry when it's done because you know you'll never match it.

That's kind of what the motor is like. When you start it, you're kind of afraid, but kind of excited as well. It snarls and growls and rumbles - and that's at idle.

The bike just lays over in corners. I used to have to push the Tiger down to get it to turn sharply...this bike just leans. And then leans some more.

The front is very quick - almost too quick. I think it's steeper than the Tiger. It's almost a little squirrely. I hit a paint stripe on 58 and had a moment. I feel like I need to always pay attention to what the front is doing.

The rest of the bike feels like a solid ingot of metal - where the Tiger felt like a collection of components.

The digital suspension just works - but there are instants where it's different enough than the (good) Tiger suspension - where as I'm starting a corner it wobbles or bobbles and I go "Oh, sh#t!" but then it's fine.

No wrist problems, perfect ergos, bags a far (faaaar) better engineered than the Tiger bags.

I can imagine that it's not the ideal Ironbutt bike - the engine is just too 'active' to be relaxing. But I think I'm going to be really, really happy with it ..


Offline Snatch

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Re: First ride vs road test three years ago...
Reply #1 on: February 19, 2018, 06:32:54 AM
wow that was brilliant!   
now shut the f'ck up and ride the thing  :008:


Offline Winger

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Re: First ride vs road test three years ago...
Reply #2 on: February 19, 2018, 02:16:02 PM
Interesting that a bike with 212 miles has the dongle fitted.