Highland Motors

Discussion in 'Moto Bellissima: All Other Dualsports' started by 805gregg, Apr 12, 2006.

  1. 805gregg

    805gregg Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,606
    Location:
    Ojai, Ca
    Good John, let us know how it works out.
    #21
  2. SQD8R

    SQD8R Eat squids and be merry

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    7,401
    Location:
    The Village: 75°53'34"W, 45°17'42"N
    John,

    Congrats. Please post up when you have some further insight into the ownership of such an exclusive machine. I think a lot of people are interested but lacking in real owner feedback. Thanks.

    Dale
    #22
  3. Tim

    Tim Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2002
    Oddometer:
    2,364
    Location:
    Guernsey, Channel Islands, UK
    Good on you John, I look forward to hearing of your adventures :lurk
    #23
  4. Tim

    Tim Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2002
    Oddometer:
    2,364
    Location:
    Guernsey, Channel Islands, UK
    Hey, John, it's been a month now, so how's it going? :lurk
    #24
  5. John in Leeds

    John in Leeds Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    378
    After a frustrating delay caused by the Registration Authority wanting to check the bike (the certificate of compliance was not enough) I picked the bike up from Rock and Road in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:place>Bolton</st1:place>.
    <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    Start up involved several prods of the button but it soon dropped into an irregular tickover characteristic of some track bikes. The exhaust must be legal (it’s got a certificate) but I’m not so sure. It does have a quite a characteristic note. Leaving a minute to warm up as I got on helmet and gloves, then out into traffic with a little throttle to leave the irregular tickover behind. Choosing to take the non motorway route through Rochdale and Halifax to give the best conditions for running in first impressions on this dry sunny day were how the front end came up with even gentle throttle away from traffic halts especially after nosing to the front of a queue at traffic lights, cure sit further forwards with arms bent (remember to move bars and controls when I get home). Poor fuelling off idle seems to be getting better or am I getting used to it.
    <o:p></o:p>
    Over the <st1:place>Pennines</st1:place> from Littleborough the chance to pick up some speed, how easy this is even with gentle running in throttle, its plenty quick enough until I get these Pirelli Scorpions scrubbed in 19 inch front with 150 by 17 on the rear. Handling seems excellent with very compliant and controlled suspension, brakes a little softer than I’m used to but powerful enough with a little more effort. You never really can make a firm judgement in these areas until you get the opportunity to push it hard. Six short miles of motorway near <st1:place>Leeds</st1:place> (couldn’t resist) allowed a burst of 5000 rpm (max for running in period) that showed a nice easy 90 on the clock. This gave a great feeling of pleasure as a major requirement was that the bike would comfortably cruise at 90 and this it did really well, the motor being smooth and relaxed with unexpectedly little wind blast although there is no screen protection to speak of. Stability was really good, no front end lift under that long front mud guard the front end feeling well planted and with what looks like loads more speed up to the red line of 9000.
    <o:p></o:p>
    Home to have the first good look away from the shop. Onto the side stand while I remove gloves, helmet and jacket. Fiddling with the steering lock the bike cams off the side stand and falls on me flower pots flying, it falls onto the folded up stand and the tyres leave the floor. I hang onto the bars Oh F*&^%&& ! but easily lifted it back up again, another major requirement ticked off, easy to pick up and no damage, Great! The stand will need some adjustment to give more cam over for security, must watch that. :eek1






    <o:p></o:p>
    Looking round the bike it really starts to come home to me how well this thing is made, solid, practical with no superfluous plastic or embellishments, no toolkit however only a ‘c’ spanner for the Ohlins shock, must carefully plan this over the next few days. So move the handlebars (Magura) forward and adjust the controls, easy, must do something about the rubber mounted mirrors they wobble about too much to clearly identify following vehicles although with these bars of course the view is good. Here comes the rain so away (easily moved around 164 kilos dry) in the garage for the night. Two bikes in the garage now, spoilt bugger! :D

    <o:p></o:p>
    Following afternoon, the rain has gone and the roads mostly dry although some ominous clouds are scudding overhead. Off to <st1:place>Harrogate</st1:place> on my favourite back roads, I can really check it out now without going over 90. Fill up the 22 litre tank for the first time and away. This feels really good, the bends pushed a little more as we progress, the brakes pull off the speed easily and the really big bumps are dealt with as never experienced before, far less need to concentrate, the faster we go the better it feels, can’t wait for this thing to be run in. Another 4000 rpm to go at but I expect that as there is so much grunt at the bottom end there is little chance of a major helping of power in that region, time will tell. Back home after the 30 miles of familiar roads, full of euphoria, :clap even running in this bike does it all, will the Rosso Corsa have go?
    <o:p></o:p>
    Pull off the cover, the Guzzi looks gorgeous, thumb the button, instantly into life with that wonderful ‘basso profundo’ of the titanium cans. Off on the A61 north, sweeping on at an easy ‘goodbye licence’ she’s just like comfy shoes, no she’s a keeper, should not have worried. Just a very different ‘biking experience.
    <o:p></o:p>
    The problem with a new bike is you want to justify your purchase and judgement, and subconsciously I may be no different, so allow my indulgence and as time goes on and I get some mileage on both on and off road, we may get to something more like the truth of the matter.
    <o:p></o:p>
    More to come, if you want it.
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>

    Attached Files:

    #25
  6. sTE610vE

    sTE610vE Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,069
    Location:
    Kansas
    It looks great, more (and bigger) pics please! I have always been curious about these bikes.:lurk
    #26
  7. Tim

    Tim Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2002
    Oddometer:
    2,364
    Location:
    Guernsey, Channel Islands, UK
    Thanks John :clap it looks great, as sTE610vE said, more and bigger pics please! I must say that I like the look of it. Highland have addressed the one thing that I didn't like on the older bikes and that was the side panels, the ones on your bike look like a big improvement.

    I for one will be most interested to hear of how you get on with the bike so please post as much as like as/when you can.
    #27
  8. BikePilot

    BikePilot Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2005
    Oddometer:
    11,251
    Location:
    Tampa
    Sounds great, keep us posted on the new machine. Particularly interested in how you find its servicing and fuel mileage/range.
    #28
  9. 805gregg

    805gregg Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,606
    Location:
    Ojai, Ca
    Another nice bike we can only look at, if they were available in the US I would be in the market for a new bike.
    #29
  10. BikePilot

    BikePilot Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2005
    Oddometer:
    11,251
    Location:
    Tampa
    I thought they were available in the US. I know they were imported for at least a couple years, perhaps they are not currently being imported, but used ones pop up once every so often.
    #30
  11. John in Leeds

    John in Leeds Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    378
    Well Steve and Tim, some more, not sure about the improved looks, I don&#8217;t think this could ever be a beauty but it seems the makers were more concerned with function. Foe BikePilot the only thing to bother with immediately 300 kms is oil change and filter. Rock and Road gave me a filter so it does not have to go back to them for a while as I&#8217;ll do it myself, easy 5 minute job.
    <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    Raining again. Thought I might get the chance for a dry ride but no chance today. Spent some time grinding the slot on the side stand to give a bit more cam over, don&#8217;t want it to fall again for that reason anyway.

    <o:p></o:p>
    Ordered off road tyres for the spare wheels on a recommendation of a mate and a dealer. Barum/Mitus C02 for the back and Bridgestone ED 661 or 663 for the front &#8211; see how these work. Mentioned tyre rim clamps but mixed messages so will leave those for now. Dire warnings of taking this bike seriously off road. Risking some humiliation but the very few times I&#8217;ve been before managed ok with very inferior machinery. I know I&#8217;ll get better with practice.

    <o:p></o:p>
    Another bit of good news the starting has improved to second press of the button, using only the part throttle lever, just a touch till it goes, then onto full warm up. Wonder if it will ever be a first press when cold.

    <o:p></o:p>
    A couple of speed humps (sharp 4inch rubber variety) taken at 40mph felt a little unsettling no big deal but made me think the compression settings may be a little hard. I usually set up my bikes a little softer than most as I like to use the suspension travel but under full control. So forks are easy, wound in all the settings, counted &#8216;em made a note and then back and eased off an additional couple of clicks. Back end requires the side panels off to access the top of the shock for compression so seat off one 14mm nut and panels 4mm allen key less than 5 mins easy. Note different length of bolt,s shorter into plastic (polyethylene?) tank.

    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Some interesting stuff revealed here, it appears that there is only one butterfly showing so whether there is another lurking under the tank I can't tell, could it be just one serving the 2 injectors (very unusual) &#8211; this may explain the off idle roughness. Definately worth further investigation but I'm not ready to take the tank off just yet.

    <o:p></o:p>
    Panels are fairly simple and the front pair extend about 35mm in front of the radiator forming some sort of scoop, don&#8217;t think it does any favours to the looks. Two fans should keep it cool but as yet I haven&#8217;t noticed them coming on.

    I seem to be having trouble with the pics as they don't show up in preview. Any suggestions:confused
    <o:p></o:p>

    Attached Files:

    #31
  12. Gallant

    Gallant Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2005
    Oddometer:
    598
    Location:
    Canada
    Nice bike..... more please:ear
    #32
  13. John in Leeds

    John in Leeds Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    378
    Pic of the engine - developed by Folan in guises from 750 to 1200cc. Weighs an incredible 45kilos, claimed by makers (will one day check on dyno) 85bhp @ 6000rpm and 77ftlbs torque @ 4000rpm. It certainly feels strong wanting to pick up the front at low revs and low throttle (I am running in) but claims are claims.

    Attached Files:

    #33
  14. 805gregg

    805gregg Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,606
    Location:
    Ojai, Ca
    Thanks again John I love the pics of the engine, looks clean.
    #34
  15. John in Leeds

    John in Leeds Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    378
    Just dropped the oil and filter for the first 300km change. 6 bolts (4mm allan key) for plastic bash plate, 13mm socket for magnetic sump plug. Very easy job just take time filling through the clutch cover. Just under 2.5 litres 10-40 synthetic. Filter from assorted Renaults, not very large.

    Attached Files:

    #35
  16. John in Leeds

    John in Leeds Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    378
    Air filter is oil soaked possible K&N type 2 bolts 2 minutes - not changed but pic for info.

    Going a little faster now, the softer settings back and front seem to be working well on back roads, giving high levels of confidence. Also took it into the woods, will take logs and some stones but will not go slow enough for anything technical (not with me anyway), will take the rough but not down to walking pace. Just gobbles it up at the trot. Front sprocket 14 tooth on order to replace the 16 tooth standard. Off road spare wheel has a significantly larger rear sprocket so I hope that plus some set up of the bottom end will help.

    Did the first fuel check around 35 mpg (imperial) but not exact. Sorry if this is a little obsessive (but you did ask for more info) I got out the scales and weighed it with 11 litres of fuel in the tank. Front 172.5lbs (78.4 kilos) rear 198lbs (90 kilos) total 370.5lbs (168.4 kilos). ThaT is a very light bike as a 950 and wet! Has my girl been tweeking the scales?:rofl

    Edit:- scales have just gone in bin, she says they have not worked properly since I used them for the bike. Seems I've got to check again.

    Spare throttle and clutch cables have arrived as has the carrier. Cable to be taped in place when the tank comes off. BTW there is only one throttle butterfly so no balancing problems. More on setting up later.

    Attached Files:

    #36
  17. Tim

    Tim Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2002
    Oddometer:
    2,364
    Location:
    Guernsey, Channel Islands, UK
    Thanks for the updates John, all very interesting - keep 'em coming :clap
    #37
  18. John in Leeds

    John in Leeds Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    378
    A little more before I go to the US (Las Vegas and surround) for a fortnight. Just coming up to 500 miles, took it to 6000 rpm just under 110mph - no effort and wanting to race away too. Looks like it will cruise at a hundred with a screen no bother. Fuel consumption seems to be improved upper 40s and the suspension is really good over the bumps and twisties. Still need to run the engine at 3000 or above if I want fractional throttle making it a little busier in town than I would like. Will be happy at less revs if on closed throttle or under load. One of the skills I'm learning.

    Had some advice from the guy who races one in SM, knock out the cat from the exhaust and use a koni type (I think) air filter to shorten the tract before the throttle butterfly - gives significantly more power. No need at this time there seems to be a sufficiency, good job the brakes are up to scratch. I think if I returned the suspension to a firmer setting the brakes would be better tested but set up more softly you get more dive and sharper anchors would be unsettling.

    Picked up the off road wheels and sprocket today but it looks like Easter before we get to test off road. Hopefully will be run in then too.
    #38
  19. Cupid Stunt

    Cupid Stunt Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2004
    Oddometer:
    705
    Thanks John
    Keep it coming when you can, I too had a serious interest in getting one of these but after being advised against it and being unable to find much in the way of UK support for them I thought better of it and chickened out

    Supermoto Magazine did a back to back against the KTM 950 SM, their opinion was that teh KTM was far superior in everything except weight (handling, power, build quality etc)
    I was a little disapointed as on paper the bike is exactly what I'd been looking for and I'll never buy a KTM (well not as long as everyone else has one :D )

    Do you have any links/details of contacts or support for these ?
    #39
  20. John in Leeds

    John in Leeds Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    378
    sorry unless you can read Swedish you are getting the most I've found here.

    I don't like to make excuses about the Super Moto test and I think even without riding the KTM there may be some areas lacking - however you have to remember that the place supplying the test bike is a very small operation, the complete opposite to KTM. The test bike (still there) has been hammered by all and sundry and was probably not the best comparison. MCN also did a test and broke the Highland (I was told by the dealer) and a brand new one was supplied for replacement. Not a good move. 'Pokenhood' from Nottingham? has a supermoto he has well sorted (for very little money) offered this for a test but they would not take him up on it, saying that as it was modified it was not a fair comparison. Well what do you do, you get a particular bike and make it as you want it. Highland are very low volume and all the work is really done in Sweden. Tests I've read carried out there tend to give a different tale (see the beginning of this thread).

    My bike is not a super moto, it is a compromise that I hope will give me most of the requirements I want. So far so good but I suspect the throttle float isssue will not be remedied until the new twin inlet tract is supplied with a modified fuel tank (space for the throttle bodies). Until then I'll report it as I see it. Try a test ride if you are anywhere near Bolton and then you make you own mind up.

    cheers John
    #40