Monday, August 1, 2011

It's here!



I finally picked up my bike on 7/30. Wow what a ride, I can't wait to tour on it! I have not given a name yet, but she sure is sexy!
First ride.
I finally got my CBR after a two week wait!  
I bought it from a dealer from WV (I live in MD) so I had a long nice ride back (231 miles to be exact).


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Rider profile: 5' 5" 130lbs 29 inseam. Previous riding experience: 00' 883 Sportster
 logged 6500 miles ten years ago. And this year I rode an 07' 883 sportster for 1300 miles before downsizing to my 250.

When I first sat on it I was a little worry that it would be a tad too high because is about half inch too high with my riding boots on, but after awhile, depending on surface I can just flat foot. My first impression was that this bike was so much lighter (200
 pounds lighter) than my old bike, nice. Right from the start I had to travel through some twisties (Clarksburg WV-DC via Road 50). The bike handled it well.

The riding position is not aggresive but I still found myself putting too much weight on my wrists something that can be corrected by adjusting body lean position. The fairing provided excellent coverage up to 55 mph, that's the fastest I have gone so far. I felt some wind on my lower body which was enough to cool off but not so much that it would be annoying. The wind screen deflected the wind off my chest and sent some up to my chin up, but it was not a problem. I wear a scorpion exo 1000 helmet and it's pretty quiet so combined with the stock windscreen, I did not hear too much wind noise or experienced unwanted buffering.

The ride involved riding through the hills of West Virginia up to 3000 feet in elevation with steep decends of 9 % grade! In some areas I had to crawl at 20-15 mph because of sharp turns and gravel on the road. The engine and transmission handled the shifting great, and the brakes were right on. Traction 
felt fine, as I was going the recommended speed for the terrain and did not lean the bike that much. The engine had more than enough power to climb the hills and never really had to downshift too far down to maintain momentun. I did experience some vibration but only when I had the rpm too low for the gearing. The sweet spot appears to hover around 5500rpm, that's where the bike felt really smooth and had power on tap if I needed it. I never exceeded 6500rpm, not only because is new but because of riding style (non-aggresive) I prefer to keep the rpm in the midrange.


On the straight away the bike cruised smooth, and had enough power to accelerate 
whenever I had a cage on my tail and needed to open up some space between us. The suspension offers enough rebound and compression that I seldom felt any discomfort while going through some narly cracks and bumps. It does feel at bit stiff at times depending on how big the bumps are, but currently I have it at factory settings and I'm a lighweight so there was some air time on the saddle but nothing of concern.

The instruments are well laid out and after some miles on the saddle it all becomes intuitive, after 200 miles I begun to feel more comfortable on the bike and the ride really felt more enjoyable.

Pros:

  • the saddle is surprisingly comfortable for looking and feeling so firm
  • MPG!, 6 speeds
  • the liquid cooling kept the temperature in check through some city riding with outside temperature around 100F
  • Nice bright headlight at nite
Cons (based on personal preference)
  • brake and clutch levers feel really soft, but this is a plus for noobs since it would take conscious effort to smash down on them and locking your wheels.
  • Throttle it felt like it would just spin around the bar, but I got used to it and is not really a problem
Finally I really dig the locking gas tank cap (awesome) and fuel gauge. No more guessing when to fuel up. I love this bike and am looking forward to many fun miles. I'd definitely recommended it to anyone who is looking for a fun, nimble, affordable and reliable bike. I understand there are bigger better, etc, bikes but this one seems to do everything reasonably well for my riding style. 

6 comments:

  1. those are nice saddles, where did you get them? nice blog by the way. more miles of fun for you.

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  2. Thanks, those are FirstGear Silverstone, I ordered online from motorcycle superstore. They were recommended by another 250 rider (www.ninja250blog.com). I have not road tested them yet, but that will change soon.

    Fredo

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  3. Looking forward to following your blog. Do you have the ABS model? I'm new to riding and have narrowed my search down to this model with ABS. Keep the posts coming.

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  4. Greetings,

    I have the non-ABS model. I've never ridden an abs bike, so am not sure about the differences in handling. It does sound appealing to have the extra safety feature but the $$ was a bit more than I wanted to spend. I chose to spend that in riding gear. You will really enjoy this bike, it's a riot!

    Fredo

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  5. I really enjoyed your what your wrote on the pros and cons. I just my bike home yesterday and it was so wonderful. Being short, it will be an adjustment on balancing it with one flat foot or tip toe on both. I really the saddle bags you got on it too.

    Looking forward to reading more of your riding adventure.

    Toni

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  6. Thanks Toni. I hope you are enjoying the bike. I'm kind of short myself so I wear waterproof hiking boots with a thick groove sole for traction. I have considered moto specific boots, but they have a smooth sole, which I think is a problem especially when one encounters dirt or gravel. Good luck and have fun on the 250!

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