1000 km (nearly) bike review
Iíve done about 850kms on my 07 GT and thought Iíd post a few thoughts after 2 weeks of ownership. Theyíll be in no particular order so could be a bit random!
Overall the bike is awesome and the best all round bike I have ever ridden. Great for commuting to/from work, great for a blast through the hills, great for doing a week long trip with 2 people on the bike. Thereís nothing this bike canít do.
Software: I have no idea which software my bike has (was built the week of 25 Sep and has not had software changed yet). So far I have not noticed any low speed/low RPM issues.
Engine: Great. So versatile with the gear ratios on the bike. Any gear, any time. You can be really lazy and stay in 3rd gear all day, or work your way up and down through the gearbox to really push hard.
Handling: With the wide bars and hossack/paralever combo, the GT handles like a dream. Really effortless to tip into a corner (for a bike in this class). You forget how much weight you are throwing around corners with the GT.
Gearbox: Well Ė what to say here. If you change gears Ďnormallyí, this has got to be the loudest gearbox Iíve heard, particularly in the first 3 gears. I get a really loud clunk and the sound of something like a spring that has been wound up tight for a decade that has finally been let free. Far from what you would expect from a $30k motorbike. Iíve never missed a change though, so canít complain there. Iíve read through all the threads on this board and tried all the Ďfixesí and Iím pretty close to getting smooth and mostly quiet changes now. Adjusting the gear lever did nothing. The fix for me is the Ďdonít use much clutchí method. By Ďnot muchí I have found that means less than 10% of the clutch lever travel. Iím nearly doing clutchless upshifts, but not quite. I barely apply pressure to the clutch lever after pre-loading the gear lever, and it just snicks to the next gear (mostly). This only works for up-shifts. Down shifts still scare the neighbours.
Comfort/wind protection: Iím 5í8. No idea of my inseam Ė must be an American thing! I have the low seat in the low position, the tall OEM screen and the bars in the lowest position. So far, so good with the comfort. The low seat is much better than the standard and from a comfort perspective Iím happy. Iíve started another thread in regards to the seat cover sliding. Will try and get a new seat under warranty to see if that fixes it. With the screen all the way down I get nice smooth airflow hitting me about the shoulders and up. With the screen all the way up I am pretty much sitting in still air and just look over the top of the screen. So I donít think I need an after market screen.
Cruise control: Awesome. Couldnít live without it.
ESA: Great. Especially for changing pre-load from solo to 2-up. I ride mostly in Ďnormalí.
Tire Pressure Monitor: Very cool. Iím a lazy shit so this is a nice feature. Start your ride and do a quick check of the pressures. They donít transmit the pressures until you are doing more than 30km/h, but then are constantly updated for the duration of your ride, even when stopped, up until 15 minutes after the ignition is turned off. No need to worry about the pressure indication changing as the tires get hot. The computer calculates the pressures back to a reference temperature of 20 deg C, so they pretty much stay constant the whole ride.
Factory Alarm: Seems like a good feature to me. I have mine set-up to activate when I remove the key (thereís a 30 sec delay before it arms). Its not too sensitive either. You can get into your panniers without it going off.
Brakes: The non-servo brakes seem really good to me. I always found the servo brakes really powerful but a bit touchy during my test rides (Iím sure you would get used to them though). The new version is the best of both worlds. Iím still in the habit of putting my foot on the back brake when applying the front and you can notice some feedback through the pedal. Iím guessing itís caused by actuation of the valves that link the front/back brakes.
Luggage: Great stuff. I have the large topcase, tank bag and the liner bags for the panniers and topcase. Really well designed luggage. I have the second version of the tankbag and have no issues at all.
Trip Meter: I reckon my trip computer is about 20% inaccurate in regards to kms to go before empty. Iím guessing it uses your fuel consumption and remaining fuel capacity to work out kms to go. I have been as low as a 1/3 of a tank of fuel and the trip computer has told me that I could still do more kms with that fuel than the kms I had done with the first 2/3 of the tank! Hopefully Australia will get the software update that corrects the fuel consumption Ė should fix the problem.
Fuel tank/fuel light: As I am only up to 850km I am only on my 3rd tank of fuel. For the first tank (was riding pretty hard in winding, hilly roads) the fuel light came on at 268km and estimated 68km remaining. I didnít get fuel until 298km and put 19 litres in the tank. On my next tank I got to 300km (no light Ė combo of highway cruising with some twisties) and put in 16.5 litres. It will take a bit more riding to get a good understanding of fuel usage.
LCD: I find mine very readable in full sunlight. The issues I have is that the screen reflects really well and I can see myself on the display more often than bike information (nearly anyway!). I also had one instance where I parked the bike over breakfast (about 2 hours) and when I got back on and started the bike, the LCD was Ďgreyed outí like a damaged LCD. After about 5 kms of riding it was fine again, and has been since.
Thatís about all I can think of at the moment! In summary I love the bike but have the following complaints/issues. 2 of them should be easily fixed.
- Gearbox not as smooth as it should be for a bike of this cost/quality. Especially down-shifts.
- My seat cover is loose and sliding
- Trip computer is on drugs.
Am looking forward to putting over 5000km on the bike over the Christmas break.