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Old 05-17-2008, 06:06 AM   #511
wpbarlow OP
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Consider this the symbolic "taking of names"; considering the 950SM kicked thier asses in the Motorcyclist comparo


Two observations:

1) it's the first time I can remember that an out of production bike was included in a comparo; never mind winning it

2) considering the roots of the genre and all the effort that they went through to do the test, you would have thought they would have included some dirt road riding. I'm not talking about off-roading, jeep-type two track, or anything particularly gnarly- just the kind of legal dirt roads that are so much fun (for a lot of reasons) to ride. There was also little mention made of riding the kind of mostly unmaintained craterd back roads that do things lke follow the contours of the land and rivers in a most undulating and oh so fun to ride way. I mean, that kind of riding is what made me choose the 950SM in the first place; and would suspect that it should be a prominent aspect of the mission portfolio for all these bikes.


Or am I wrong?
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Old 05-17-2008, 07:47 AM   #512
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wpbarlow
... considering the roots of the genre and all the effort that they went through to do the test, you would have thought they would have included some dirt road riding. I'm not talking about off-roading, jeep-type two track, or anything particularly gnarly- just the kind of legal dirt roads that are so much fun (for a lot of reasons) to ride. There was also little mention made of riding the kind of mostly unmaintained craterd back roads that do things lke follow the contours of the land and rivers in a most undulating and oh so fun to ride way. I mean, that kind of riding is what made me choose the 950SM in the first place; and would suspect that it should be a prominent aspect of the mission portfolio for all these bikes.


Or am I wrong?
You're assessment is spot on Walter. However, it would be too much too ask of some journos to do a comprehensive test including the type riding you mentioned. After all, they've been getting away with their half assed writeups for years, so why quit now? Sometimes I wonder if they put more than 400 miles on a bike during a so-called "full test". As fas as riding the super sized sumos on dirty/broken roads, the KTM would've left the others even further behind as the other two are street oriented pretenders. They're similar to the Suzuki GS500 with GSXR bodywork... not a real sportbike. The KTM is the real deal. Therefore, it won. But you already knew that.
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Old 05-17-2008, 09:59 AM   #513
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Exactly why the only evaluations I trust come from BIKE and TWO WHEELS ONLY. Crap doesn't cut it in Blighty.
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Old 05-17-2008, 05:06 PM   #514
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wpbarlow
... considering the roots of the genre and all the effort that they went through to do the test, you would have thought they would have included some dirt road riding. ....There was also little mention made of riding the kind of mostly unmaintained craterd back roads ...

And railroad yards- can't forget railroad yards. Or construction sites- especially new communities before people move in
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Old 05-17-2008, 09:45 PM   #515
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I actually thought the write-up in the back of the mag about the "long term test SM950" did a better job of describing what the bike is like.

One quote: "What have I loved about my 950? Its skull-battering fun factor, panty-wetting noise, innate traffic eating abilities, supreme cool factor and, of course, the wheelies n skids."

This guy rode the same bike I ride!

But what still surprised me was the reprted less than 7500 miles in 18 months of riding. Can you imagine having one of these for FREE and feeling no accountability for ringing its guts out? Lucky fella.

By the way, he stated it never ever let him down.
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Old 05-18-2008, 09:29 AM   #516
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I have put on 2500kms in this past week on my SM
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Old 05-18-2008, 08:26 PM   #517
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A few tthings I found interesting:

1) The 950SM "won" but none of the evaluators chose it as the bike they would buy. Two chose the Hypermotard and one the Buell.

2) They supposedly included some track time in the test, but made no mention of the experience in the blurb about the 950SM. And why the track instead of a dirt country road? (Although I bet the latter is hard to find in the greater LA area.)

3) In the long-term report in the back on the 950SM, the reviewer lamented that he never got a chance to "fix" the front fork that he wished was a little more controlled. Makes me wonder if he'd prefer a SuperDuke instead.
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Old 05-18-2008, 09:21 PM   #518
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I believe it's because they have been breathing the Los Angeles "Brown Cloud" for far too long, and their brains are fried.

The 950SM Rocks!!
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Old 05-19-2008, 05:58 PM   #519
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curvesurfer
A few tthings I found interesting:

1) The 950SM "won" but none of the evaluators chose it as the bike they would buy. Two chose the Hypermotard and one the Buell.

2) They supposedly included some track time in the test, but made no mention of the experience in the blurb about the 950SM. And why the track instead of a dirt country road? (Although I bet the latter is hard to find in the greater LA area.)

3) In the long-term report in the back on the 950SM, the reviewer lamented that he never got a chance to "fix" the front fork that he wished was a little more controlled. Makes me wonder if he'd prefer a SuperDuke instead.
1) The KTM is it's own (very small) niche. The Duc HM is prettier and feels a bit more special. Let's not forget that the buying public has agreed with the editors. You see MANY more HMs than you do 950sms.

2) This lot may be different, but I imagine far more people overall will take their MegaMoto, HM, 950sm, etc. to the track than will take it off road.

3) It's funny. I agree with the statement about the fork. It aint great. Not that I'd prefer a SuperDuke but that I'd rather my front end move around a little less when I'm on it.

All this said, I LOVE my 950sm and often think it is the most perfect bike I've ever owned. I just completely understand how a lot of people don't agree with me.
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Old 05-20-2008, 05:53 AM   #520
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CafeRacer
...2) This lot may be different, but I imagine far more people overall will take their MegaMoto, HM, 950sm, etc. to the track than will take it off road. ...
You're probably right; but doing dirt road riding should have been part of the test. Look at it this way- I remember reading something like only 5% of people who buy sportbikes ever take them to the track- yet every publication spends enough time at the track when they test them that you'd think 95% of the owners do track days. I suspect more than 5% ofbig supermoto riders (well, except for the Hypers ) do at least casual dirt road riding.


Quote:
Originally Posted by CafeRacer
...All this said, I LOVE my 950sm and often think it is the most perfect bike I've ever owned. I just completely understand how a lot of people don't agree with me.

Yes, there is that aspect. I guess we can all do is what this guys often says

wpbarlow screwed with this post 05-20-2008 at 12:43 PM
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Old 05-20-2008, 11:21 AM   #521
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wpbarlow
You're probably right; but doing dirt road riding should have been part of the test. Look at it this way- I remember reading something like only 5% of people who buy sportbikes ever take them to the track- yet every publication spends enough time at the track when they test them that you'd think 95% of the owners do track days. I suspect more than 5% ofbig supermoto riders (well, ecept for the Hypers ) do at least casual dirt road riding.

I've had my SM for a couple of years now and have used it on all sorts of roads, from smooth blacktop to gravelly forest trails. I don't bother washing it anymore because it gets covered in dirt and grit pretty much every run it's on.

When the HM came out I was initially enticed by it's svelte good looks and wondered for a while if I'd made the right decision with the SM.

Then I looked closely at the HM and realised (for me at least) that it's too 'pretty' a bike and I wouldn't feel comfortable subjecting it to the kind of riding and road conditions that I regularly use the SM on.

The SM still looks and feels right when it's covered in bug splat, road dirt, chain grease and dust.

Function is more important than form; it's definitely the right bike for me.
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Old 05-20-2008, 01:17 PM   #522
Milhaus
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I absolutely love my 950SM, especially now that I getting it dialed in. I reduced the damping on the front forks to get them to track better. I am getting my jetting dialed in now with the Head2Wind kit...thanks Ken! And through the jetting process I have figured out that I must perform the Canisterectomy ASAP!! The bike continues to amaze me now with a touch over 3,000 miles on it.

I have a question, however, does anybody get a rattle sound when cruising around at low RPMs? Sounds like a clacking sound, but not the kind of clacking that you get from the starter.
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Old 05-20-2008, 02:07 PM   #523
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Originally Posted by Milhaus
Sounds like a clacking sound, but not the kind of clacking that you get from the starter.
That's your chicken strips.

Naw, seriously..

If you're slighty lugging the engine the chain slaps off the swingarm guides.

Try changing down, that should make a difference.
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Old 05-20-2008, 03:36 PM   #524
Milhaus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jhon
That's your chicken strips.

Naw, seriously..

If you're slighty lugging the engine the chain slaps off the swingarm guides.

Try changing down, that should make a difference.
Okay...cool. I always do drop a gear, but I am trying to find that optimal 'low RPM' place to set the motor when I am just tooling around.
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Old 05-23-2008, 07:53 PM   #525
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Happy Birthday to me

Picked up my 950sm yesterday after owning a BMW GS1200 for 10 months and just not being able to love it. I can understand why they got international bike of the year, but crap suspension noisy engine and not nicely balanced. Every time I took the BM out I'd say to myself "it will be better this time" . Just the ride home from the dealer on the 950 and I'm grinning. Can't wait to put some miles on it!!!!!
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