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Discussion in 'Regional Forums' started by R-dubb, Jun 5, 2002.
At one of the very few red lights:
It's getting late...
And finally some numbers:
- We ended the "official" trip at 9h40 PM after at the Buckeye restaurant in Sausalito. TIt was too late for the Beach Chalet and Jim had to go back to Vallejo after the dinner! At that point my odometer had 490 miles on it and 500.1 :): back home!
- It was a 14 1/2 hours day and about 540 miles for most of the group, up to almost 600 for Jim!
Numbers from my GPS (mesures EVERY stop, even at a red light):
- Total riding time: 10h50
- Stopped time: 3h43
- Moving Average: 44.3 mph
- Total Average: 32.7 mph
And, believe me, these miles where actually MILES
Geez ... where have I heard that before???
How did the V-Strom do? How does it measure up against the GS for handling and braking? I'm sure all those MILES of twisties allowed you to really evaluate this bike.
As far as engine performance ... I can only imagine.
On that note ... when I consider the GS ... although only 85hp ... it's power that is totally useable ... i.e ... the suspension and braking capabilities far exceed engine performance. The opposite of that would be the Kawasaki Triples ... remember them?
Yes the V-Strom has lots of power (I like power) ... but is it all useable? Does the suspension & braking capabilites live up to their end of the deal?
So many questions ... sorry. I know you're a busy man ... if you have a moment ... inquiring minds want to know.
Well, I feel like I'm almost ready now to write a review on the V-Strom but meanwhile I can try to answer some of your questions...
First of all the V-Strom did VERY well! Not only for performance but for general comfort, riding position etc... No matter how much I love the 1150 GS, the V-Strom was really superior on a ride like yesterday. Don't get me wrong: if I must have only one bike I will go for the 1150 rather than the V-Strom because I love riding in the dirt and I will not go there with the V-Strom. I'm talking about DIRT here .
But for incredibly twisty and bumpy paved roads like in the "Bay Area 500" I think the V-Strom is the best bike I ever tried.
They were very good riders in the group but I can say that the V-Strom was much faster. To be absolutely sure I will have to do the test with my riding alter ego (cRAsH are you listening?). The funny thing is this ride has been done mostly while the bike was still in the 2nd phase of the brake-in, meaning under 7,000 RPM (red line: 9,500 RPM). I guess (but I don't have the numbers) that with this limitation, the power was similar as the 1150GS.
ENGINE: it's not a sport-bike engine anymore. It kept most of the power though, but it's more torquy and smooth and so it is very easily usable. I had fun with it, even during the first 600 miles where you have to stay under 5,000 RPM. Soooo it's:
- as usable as the 1150 at low RPM,
- almost as torquy,
- with a larger range of use
- more powerful
In sumary the Suzuki engine is really a blast! I don't know about reliability or longevity but in terms of pleasure, I wish BMW will have something as good one day.
HANDLING: Again I'm a big fan of the 1150 GS' handling: very efficient and fault-tolerant. However I have the feeling that the V-Strom is even better, maybe because it's lighter and that it has also a very good and rigid frame. Whatever the reason is, I could go faster in the curves. It's true though that I've not ride an 1150 for months so it's difficult for me to compare.
BRAKING: Very similar - maybe a better feeling on the V-Strom but less diving on the GS. And of course no ABS on the V-Strom! On dry-pavement that was really not an issue: I blocked sometimes the rear (getting use to it!) but never the front (unlike my Dakar).
In summary: a top for the local roads here! Even during the brake0in period under 5,000 RPM it was faster than my friends' sportbikes on the local roads (not enough travel suspension on the bumps, I guess) and it seems to be faster than the GS itself!
But hey, let's get back to the ride instead: I really thank R-Dubb for his great work and preparation! It was a lot of fun and I wish more people would have show up. We should create more opportunites by making this a "Classic"
Great idea! I'll be ready to go very soon.
Skeert? What does that mean?
:huh I thought about that for a second but I couldn't associate it with cRAsH
I don't remember inviting anyone to compete other than to show-up and hopefully finish.
But, since you seem to be kinda hung-up on this idea, let me just say that in Circle Jerk parlance:
We took turns! :kisser
Now to phrase things a bit differently. You will notice that JL's GPS stats included an excessive amount of "Stopped Time". That was undoubtedly due to a number of factors not the least of which is waiting for slower riders to catch-up. My average moving speed was 43.2 or 1.1 MPH less than JL. That may not sound like a lot, but JL spent much of his time following and taking turns nicely, as most Jerks will do when not in a race! It does amount to a full 13 minutes out of a long day that JL waited for me to catch-up.
Now if we're just talkin' plain old fast here, there is no question that JL "Owns the Road". Yes, the V-strom is lighter and stronger, but it usually comes down to the rider sanely and calmly exploring the limits, reading the road, and coordinating the eyes with the machine. Jean-Luc does much more than ride the bike..
Jim Strider definitely rules the RT. Especially in the tight stuff, that big RT dances like a ballerina. While I'm looking real busy with the brakes, flopping around and making time by pulling slides on the way out, old Jim has got the easy arc down pat. His timing is spot on perfect, just making it all way too easy on the tightest, little twisty roads anywhere to be found. No scrapes, no slides just showing us what the RT can do when put to a very tough test. Jim also gets my vote for endurance. He rode 75 to 100 miles further and maintained full composure all the way to the end.
The dark ride across Fairfax-Bolinas and up Highway One was very hard for me. The attention required to do constant turning combined with bursts of high speed navigation for 14 hours is draining to say the least. By the end of the day my timing was shot. (When reading glasses are required, your night vision also deteriorates.) I compensate for limited visibility by pulling harder on the brakes. I really should try coasting a bit. Anyway, I was lunging through darkness and noticed an oddly abrupt stammering of the engine on the transition through turns. I thought maybe it was my throttle hand being a bit numb. But no, got home and found that my front brake pads had badly overheated, were now glazed and totally sticky, causing the engine to buck like mad off idle. Kinda stupid, but that's what happens after way too many turns and a dose of darkness. I really should get some better lights if I plan to do this night time twisty stuff. JL and Jim were seemingly unphased.
GeeItsCool, Jason somehow signed on to this lunacy after putting only 1500 miles on his not too new GS. I guess it was more than time to break the beast in right. Anyway after abandoning a sometime ridden '80 Yami Sport touring rig, running the GS hard over rough, super tight roads is definitely not a picnic. His determination to stay the program was awesome. No doubt, while we were hanging out under trees, Jason was flogging his way through turns honing his skill like the rest of us. Only thing is, he didn't get a break. At one point, after waiting a good long while, we decided that perhaps Jason had taken a wrong turn. So we pushed off and fifty miles later ended up wasting more time looking for gas (the GS runs dry long before the RT or the V-strom). Got back to Sonoma Mountain Rd., and who's up ahead, but Jason. Damn, he got back on track and managed to sneak out front. Only thing is, by this time, he must have been well baked. We were gone in a flash and Jason headed for the barn. Well done, GeeItsCool.
Thanks guys for making it a really great day. Now, if we can find a day to do 200 miles of dirt and 300 twisties, maybe we'll get the hard-ass thumper crowd to show-up. JL thinks it can't be done...
A have few pics. No time to load. Work today was a bitch. Later
Incitement? I like that! :ssmile
Great report Mister Organizer! Looking forward for your pics, but that's the only thing that sucked on this trip: we had no time to take pictures. BTW I saw the ones from your last trip and it's really cool to see a V-Max in the mud or the snow
Thanks for the first impression ... and favorable to say the least!!
Seems like having a DL V-Strom & a DR400Zs in the stable ... would be a pretty cool thing. I like that notion ... alot!!! These bikes have been sending off vibes in my direction for some time now.