The Blackbird Appreciation Thread

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by cplus, Sep 10, 2011.

  1. -Tom-

    -Tom- Adventurer

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    One question for the thread - is the Bird stock still in downfall? I know I might come off as a fanboy but whatever, the Bird is my first bike and I fully intend on keeping it as my last, and as I watch all the motorized things appreciate in value, hot hatch cars we had as youngsters, and not just hot hatches but all at least somewhat special cars from that era in general, along with the bikes, it seems that they are skyrocketing in price. I'm not familiar with the US market, but here in these areas you can't buy any 80s or 90s hot hatch in decent shape under approx $10,000 which in some cases is close to their price brand new.

    Rare, iconic or just period-favorite bikes are slowly crawling up in price too, but for whatever reason the Bird is still cheap? Now I know that it's not a rare bike, it's not a trophy bike but it certainly left its mark in that era and it was a force in its category at that time, and we're approaching the time when the first Birds will be 30 year old...so it's weird to see it as a $3000 bike. Doesn't sound right! :D
  2. jwumpus

    jwumpus standup philosopher

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    I've done a bit of research and found a few people who mentioned heavy front end and being a bit pokey in the twisties. Is this much of an issue or just typical internet grousing?
  3. -Tom-

    -Tom- Adventurer

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    Can't say I'm well versed on assessing a bike's behavior since I never rode anything else, I have a major lack of reference points :D
  4. Creekgeek

    Creekgeek Master Finger Painter

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    It is a big bike and is heavy, esp if you just got off an NT650, but most liter+ bikes are like that. It makes a better sport tourer than twisty scalpel, You don’t notice the weight as much when you are moving.
  5. Cat0020

    Cat0020 El cheapo

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    Blackbird is meant for one thing: going fast.. and among all of my other bikes; it is the best best at going fast.
    The weight and heavy front end give the bike the stability at higher speed.
    [​IMG]
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  6. -Tom-

    -Tom- Adventurer

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    Bird's stock suspension was made with a 70 or 75kg Japanese man in mind, so anyone heavier than that will feel the bike undersprung and overdamped, which is not too big of a deal when riding on fresh rubber and nice roads at normal paces. I find city riding easy with the Bird, only worries being looney drivers and water temp :D
  7. Drop_Center

    Drop_Center Long timer

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    It was 30% cheaper in 2003 than a comparable new bike today. So $3000 may not seem like much but it’s about right, and more bike for the money than just about anything on the used market. If you can find a good one.
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  8. Desert Silver

    Desert Silver Desert Rat

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    I made my own converter for running regular bars out of the top triple clamp of a 1988 CR-500. I cut it in half then trimed off excess then using some shorter rubber dampener cones was able to tighten the bar clamps into the converter. If I was to do today I'd use one off of a XR-500R which has a solid handle bar clamp which will make alignment MUCH easier.
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  9. scottzilla

    scottzilla Been here awhile

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    Its overdamped, undersprung and 560 pounds. Its just like riding heavier sport-touring machines; FJR, Busa, C14, etc.
    Change the fork springs and you get an instant improvement to handling.
    Change the shock (Penske here) and you get an instant improvement to handling.
    Raise the rear (Search 8mm shim. In my case, the Penske increased the rear 8mm) and get an instant improvement to handling.
    put sticky tires on (Q3's in my case) and get an instant improvement to handling.

    After all that, every 1000cc/600cc sportbike still handles better. :D
    One area the Blackbird doesn't get enough credit is it's chassis. It has a very stiff chassis that responds well to "Upgrades" . Many bikes with lesser chassis will kind of crumble by adding better tires, for example but not the XX. it's solid.
    Just my .02
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  10. Creekgeek

    Creekgeek Master Finger Painter

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    @jwumpus - so have you gotten to actually ride one yet or did the comments scare you off?
  11. Guano11

    Guano11 Stop me if you've heard this one....

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    Agree and would add that even though it's known for being fast, the motor is under-rated as well. It's got an extra counterbalancer and is the smoothest I-4 I've experienced.
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  12. jwumpus

    jwumpus standup philosopher

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    Actually, I forgot to mention that it's my wife who is thinking of getting one. She told me that after reading about it she was concerned that it wouldn't be up to her requirements for very twisty roads.
  13. Creekgeek

    Creekgeek Master Finger Painter

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    It would be more fun on sweepers than the twists as it just is a lot to move from side to side at full lean. But you don't know until you ride one. Hope she finds what makes her smile.

    yeah, the motor is butter.
  14. Need For Speed

    Need For Speed Is that a cop?????

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    Not an issue, unless you are planning on riding a race pace.

    I have had my XX on this and many other super windy roads in the Western US in the last 10 years, and never had any issues riding a frisky pace through the technical sections.

    I do have upgraded springs in the forks and a Penske rear shock, which helps. 80k+ miles on mine and I still love it, despite having more modern steeds in the stable - ZX14R, FZ10, 1290SAS, etc.

    36 xx.jpg
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  15. Drop_Center

    Drop_Center Long timer

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    Once set up right, and especially if you drop some weight, an XX will shred a tight twisty and road. As well as my stock 919 and far more planted.
  16. jwumpus

    jwumpus standup philosopher

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    I messaged this guy about the Blackbird he's selling. After a week of erratically timed responses and general strangeness, my wife decided to do a search for his name. Turns out he had been arrested the day before for assault and possession of meth. So that's right out.
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  17. Creekgeek

    Creekgeek Master Finger Painter

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    There are blackbird forums that if you posted what you are looking for someone might be able to help. Glad you dodged that potential headache.
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  18. Subito

    Subito Been here awhile

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    Motivated seller!
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  19. Cat0020

    Cat0020 El cheapo

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    After riding 64k miles on a car tire mounted on the rear wheel of my Burgman 650, I finally put one on my XX:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    I put about 45 miles on it today, very happy with it, doing what XX does best: highway stability and high speed; even better with car tire mounted.
    [​IMG]
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  20. Creekgeek

    Creekgeek Master Finger Painter

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    Come to the dark side he says...
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