Author Topic: 1000 Miles update...  (Read 2362 times)

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April 27, 2011, 03:25:23 AM on

Offline gatordoc (OP)

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To be honest it's not quite 1000 yet, but that sounds a lot cooler than 897.4 mile update...

I am past the 500 mile service, at any rate, and have refined my impressions a bit now that I have a few miles on the new tiger.

- 500 miles service was stupid simple, it took me about 2 hours and most of that was digging tools and such out of my storage unit.  Oh, and taking off most of the plastics because I am an idiot and didn't realise there was a throttle play adjuster near the handgrip until AFTER I had most of it off.  No bother, it was good practice for future services.  I will be purchasing the factory manual in the near future, as well as an OBD USB cable to use with TuneECU to check for and clear codes and such.  Hopefully clearing the codes will also remove the “service due” indicator on the dash so I don't have to have the dealer do it for me.

- The suspension has softened substantially during break in and now handles rough broken roadways nicely without too much harshness.  I have yet to adjust the rear pre-load and will probably do that this weekend.  The stock setting is very firm and I am neither a big guy nor carrying lots of stuff every day.

- I am absolutely going to need to get bar risers and/or aftermarket handlebars.  The stock ones have me leaning forward just enough that I put too much weight on my wrists.  It's fine on the highway at 70+ since the wind pushes back enough to take some of the weight, but I try to avoid the highways in Southern California as much as possible.

- The bike is very well balanced and planted due to the low center of gravity.  It handles really well, which other owners can give you a lot more perspective on, but it's also great at a stop and in low speed maneuvering which always made me nervous on the Steamer.   I'm only 5'7” with a 29-30 inseam, so all you short guys can stop worrying over the seat height.  It handles much lower/lighter than it is on paper.

- Headlights are brilliant, literally!  Having gotten used to the ones on my Steamer and my cage, these are amazing, really light up the road ahead well.  No complaints, but I'll probably do some aux lights in the future just because.  One can never have too many lights.  8)

- Gearing and power is brilliant as well; the triple still amazes me with its ability to wind up from 2000 RPM in any gear with authority.  Granted, in higher gears this takes a bit longer, but I could just about get by with 3 ispeeds if I really had to.

Most of my riding has been commuting, so lots of city stop and go as well as up and down hills and crappy roads.  I am averaging around 40 MPG, depending mostly on how rambunctious I get with the throttle.  I've had as low as 34 and as high as 46.  Last tank I got 147 miles on 3.47 gallons, so roughly 42 mpg.  Considering I'm still breaking in and the sort of riding I am doing, I'm pretty happy with this figure.  This is calculated mileage, not as indicated by the computer; I don't bother with it since I can't bring myself to trust the accuracy.  My low fuel idiot light comes on with roughly 1.5 US gallons remaining FWIW, so 200 miles on a tank will almost certainly be doable outside city commuting.

Overall very pleased with the 800, though I do occasionally wonder about the sense in buying it when the Steamer is adequate for my needs.  After much soul searching and debate between my rational, practical side and the emotional side the conclusion I have come to is this: it makes me happy, so it was a good purchase.  Almost everything about the bike is improved, it suites my riding style and intended use better, gets better MPG, I am more comfortable on it, etc...  it's just the sticker shock and my miserly nature that have me second guessing.  That, and the Steamer just has character that the 800 doesn't.

For example: I rode the 800 to work the other day one of the kids asked me about it and mentioned "I've got a naked sports bike too, an FZ8."  Nothing against him or his bike, but I just smiled, said “Cool” and went about my business.  When I ride the Steamer to work even the bike-nuts look at it and ask “WTF is that?”  It's a lot like driving an old pickup.  Sure, the new ones are better at just about everything, but they don't have personality.  The Steamer is pure, unadulterated character and that can't be quantified.

I'll be keeping both until the wife and/or life pressures me into selling the Steamer.  Hopefully that will be a long time off.
Si vis pacem, para bellum.

\'96 Steamer
\'11 800

April 27, 2011, 04:41:25 AMReply #1 on

Offline JetdocX

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Thanks for the review.  Want to buy another Steamer? :lol:
From parts unknown.