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Discussion Starter #1
Who is that “lucky” devil?? Yep.. Picked her up yesterday at Greenville BMW. Got the ABS, foofoo suspension, electric grips, and the optional on-board computer and they all work pretty well.

The Good:
The mirrors rock!! Best I’ve seen on any modern sportbike.
The headlight throws some serious light.
While the wheelbase is longer than the RS, it’s much easier to flick into corners.. Much easier to hang off when getting serious.
The ESA works well.. better than expected

The Bad:
Everything else..

Do you remember the first time you rode an RS.. ?? In less than a mile you just KNEW you had to buy one.. You’ll NOT get this effect with this bike.

Spent all day on it today and all I can honestly say.. I have never been as disappointed in any new motorcycle I’ve ever purchased as I am with this bike. Geezzz.. I just pray to the lord god above (and I’m NOT a Christian) that it runs smoother once it’s broken in because as of today.. I’m not impressed.

I always said that if BMW would lop off 100 lbs and add 30 more ponies to the RS.. I’d buy it.. Well.. this may be 100 lbs lighter.. and have the extra HP.. but it ain’t no RS and is primitive in comparison. While powerful, the S is the most unrefined in-line 4 I have ever ridden. The ROUGHEST Kawasaki I’ve ever ridden was smoother in comparison. Maybe with time....

I can’t think of a single positive thing to say about the new front end.. There is virtually no feel or feedback to it at all. The turn in is the worst I’ve seen on ANY bike. Isn’t this supposed to be a step up in the evolution of motorcycles?? I’d have preferred simple forks or the old RS telelever front end to this. Will definitely change to a more neutral steering tire like the Metzelers or Pirellis next change. The Pilots just make the turn in worse. Maybe I’ll get used to it with time..

BOTH my hands were numb after 20 minutes and I had to stop regularly to get the feel back. I know what caused this.. While the bar angles are nearly perfect, the seat is about 1" too tall which throws all your weight on to your palms causing lack of circulation. Rather than slap on bar risers, the optional lower seat (which was not available at the time of MY purchase) should make for better ergos for virtually everyone. A Throttlemeister will go on in the am and gel grips as well.

But enough negativity... Before I run to the hardware store to buy a few yards of rope and a stool with balsa-wood legs, I’m gonna spend more time on the bike before I spew further. Some things can be tweaked... opinions change. I’ll give her a fair chance like I would with a new wife with serious personality flaws. I also realize that all BMW’s smooth out with time and milage...I just hope this is one of them. Sure.. there's a lot to be said for massive horsepower and less weight.. but at what cost? My first owners impression is that the RS or GT is a much better "overall" motorcycle in almost every way. .. As Ozzie would say... “Please God help me..” Maybe she'll grow on me... fingers crossed. All you people who have been raving about this new bike...especially former RS owners... Can I borrow your rose colored glasses?? PLEASE!

As I've heard so little negative feedback on these bikes..at least here. Is it just me? Are my standards simply too high??

So... let the devoted S rider slams begin.. and/or encouragement to hang in there..


 

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I'm sorry I don't get it. How could you not have known. In fact, you are kidding, right?

So many owners who still love the KS (I am one) have posted about the shortcomings of this bike.

I don't know what can be said to make you feel better about your purchase. Maybe some of the issues can be resolved, maybe this is not the bike for you.
 

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Jerry (Pirate),
That's a real bummer for you.
I haven't spent much time on the RS or GT but lots of time on the GS (and a few asian sport bikes) and maybe that's the reason for my glowing review of the KS. It felt like a luxury vehicle to me when compared to my R12GS.
The KS I rode had some miles on the odo and maybe that smoothed it out a bit but overall, I thought it was great. My limited experience with the KS is that once you stop waiting for the bike to live up to all the published hype and your body stops trying to ride it like your last bike, you'll begin to relax in the saddle and things get better.

It will take some time for your mind to stop comparing it to what the RS you've ridden for long felt like. Once that happens, rider input begins to smooth out which in turn makes everything feel smoother and more natural. At this point, the whole KS experience begins to get better and better with each mile behind you.

I think you'll find it's not ever going to be as turbine smooth as the RS (I don't think there will ever be a bike quite like the flying brick again) but that should be the only thing it can never be. It will always be different and if you compare it to other bikes you'll always find something to complain about. However, the bike has the potential to meet or surpass many bikes in it's class. I think you just need to give it some time and let her show you what she can do.

At least that's my experience and I hope that becomes the case for you.
 

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Oh geez Jerry........you should have asked. Them grey ones are the bad ones! :)

Seriously though, I'm NOT one of those riders that must convince himself & others that his bike is terrific, only because he bought it and has to live with it. If I was unhappy, I'd let everyone know why, and then move on.

I'm sorry about your experience so far, but I don't identify at all with your comments. Of course, I now have 4,500+ miles on mine, and it has "evolved" with miles. The only negative comments I can make are that I miss the cruise control from the RS, and the engine will "buck" under 3,000 rpm's, which I have no problem living with. Quirks in my book.

THAT'S IT!! I've owned many top shelf sportbikes and S is the all around most impressive bike I've owned. Not the fastest or qickest, but the best handling, most stable, and most confidence inspiring bike I've ridden. There is a bit of a learning curve with these bikes, as they are a little different than conventional sportbikes. Also, mine does NOT have ESA (by choice), and I have found that the bike is quite sensitive to suspension setup, i.e., rear spring preload, rebound damping, and tire pressure. I have mine set up properly for my weight, riding style, and type of riding I do, and I can tell you without hesitation that the bike turns in quick, holds a line beautifully, and responds surefootedly to direction changes and mid-corner corrections. It is impervious to shitty roads, and it will not headshake or do anything lacking stability at speeds of 150+ in sweepers.

I suggest hanging in there. The motor gets better and smoother with age and seems to like being run hard. The suspension also comes into its own with miles, e.g., ball joints, steering damper, shocks.

I'm an aggressive sport rider weighing 155 lbs. + gear. I run tire pressures of 34-35F and 36-38R, and I have adjusted the suspension on the very firm side. You may want to try this out.

Also, keep in mind that the S and RS are very different machines with very different focuses, at least in my opinion. The RS is a superb sport tourer, with emphasis on either end depending on your riding style. The S, however, is most definitely a sportbike. Not a supersport literbike, but a large capacity sportbike, "similar" to the ZX-12R I owned.

Also, note that the RS has a compression ratio of 11.5:1 vs. 13:1 for the S, and the RS makes 111 crank hp/liter vs. 144 crank hp/liter for the S. Obviously, the S is in a significantly higher state of tune, which sometimes can result in negative attributes, e.g., vibration, low engine speed issues, etc. Somehow the Japanese have mastered this situation. My ZX-10R has a 12.7:1 compression ratio and makes around 190 crank hp/ liter, and can be ridden in any gear at virtually any engine speed without complaint.

But so be it. Different strokes for different folks. Nobody, NOBODY beats the Japanese at their game of bang for the buck. I honestly don't know how they make these incredible bikes that sell for under $11,000. But then, BMW has their game too. Quality, exclusivity, high tech, real world road bikes that run forever.

As they say, more will be revealed. Good luck with the bike. It's beautiful.
 

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Damn, that's not a good reaction. The S doesn't feel very much like an RS, except (to me) the same feeling of stability and security. No matter what the road surface does, the steering line responds only to YOUR inputs and goes right where you wish. Except that it all happens a lot QUICKER, my S is MUCH better at sequential turns than my RS. The RS falls perhaps a bit quicker into the first turn (NOW, with the current tires)- with all that weight, and as high as a lot of it is, it's quite good at falling- but it sure doesn't pick up so quickly for the NEXT turn. The S has not even the slightest tendency to fall into turns, it simply does exactly what you ask it to do, and it stops exactly where you want it to stop. Completely neutral, always. I believe that's partially a result of the lower center of gravity.

Assuming you keep the ESA out of comfort mode, anyway. I REALLY don't care for how it feels in turns in that mode. (yeah, I accidently tested this too, and now I understand why Miles wanted to change modes instantly)

However, before I switched the RS tires from Mez4 to Mez6s it wouldn't even do that, it was quite reluctant to depart from a straight line without a lot of encouragement. The Mez6s made a huge difference on that bike.

Now, let's see what's different between our bikes, since our impressions are so different.

1. Mine came with battleaxes, not pilots, and this is my first experience with them. But the handling seems pretty good, at least at the fairly relaxed pace I've been breaking it in at. Hard to be sure, with a new bike and new tires too.

2. I have the BMW short tank bag; and it has a very stiff body that continues the line of the tank. Between the support of the tank and bag, wind pressure, and fairly good back muscles I basically have NO weight on my hands. In fact, I have much more weight on my hands riding my RS. A, uh, mature profile undoubtedly helps too. I recommend donuts for best results.

3. But your smoothness problem I do not understand, and this is the first I've heard of the problem on an 06. The bike is not as smooth as the K1200RS- I don't think anything else could possibly be- but it's pretty damn smooth, at least at the RPM ranges that I most commonly use (4-6K) and from 2-4K as well. I understand that the balance shafts are more effective at mid RPM ranges than at higher ones, maybe we're riding at different engine speeds? The FEEL is different from the RS- not turbine-like at all- but the power delivery always seems smooth, consistent, and reliable. And there's a LOT of it.

4. As for the lack of front end feedback, there is a quote that might apply that I saw in an Irish review- "That is because there isn't anything wrong". I think (for what that's worth, probably not much) a lot of the "feedback" people have become used to is misbehavior that other suspension systems exhibit when stressed, and this allows the riders to gauge how much they are pushing things. The duolever doesn't misbehave, so this "feedback" doesn't occur. I'm sure BMW agrees with my analysis. . . ;) But I will bow to more experienced riders on whether this is a good thing or not.
 

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I don't have as much sportbike experience as the Pirate. In fact, the KS is the first sportbike I've owned. I had the K1200GT for two years and loved it. After reading about the S I bought one. I've put 4,500 miles on it in the past few months, and can honestly say I love the bike. I don't miss the GT, I think the S is a better bike. The only thing I miss from the GT is the cruise control. However, I did notice it took me some time to get used to it, possibly because I'm not as experienced with sport bikes. It took me at least 1,000 miles to get comfortable with it, and after a couple of thousand miles and learning the proper riding position I've come to love it. If your wrists are sore, you're putting way too much weight on your arms. You should be just lightly holding the bars, with most of the weight in your hips and feet. I hope your bike grows on you. If not, there are plenty of other choices out there.
 

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only one remedy :
- take xanax during breaking-in
- then take the bike to a track-day crowded with race-equipped bikes and riders
- relax yourself and let the bike do the job

i don't think you'll still be so disappointed then
(and i don't think the 'rs would have been happy in such an environment)

cheers
 

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thanks for sharing

your post could have been cut and pasted from my post 6 months ago when trading my '03 dyna for an '04 kgt. a few things i loved, the rest i hated. just this week i took my k out for a ride in the florida sun and realized what an incredible bike it is. all bmw riders said give it a few months, and they were right. i bet that s is the same. give it a few months. slowly get to know it.
 

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Pirate, reading some of your previous posts over the last 5 months or so I get the impression you're a good rider and appreciate performance machines as well as any of us. Reading this last post of yours my first thought was that perhaps there was something wrong with the mapping if it's running roughly. But the handling issues, the lack of "flickability", I don't get. I've logged about 8,500 miles on mine in 6 months, got about 300 miles track use at VIR this summer with CLASS, came up from a GT before this, and I echo those who say this thing, while in my opinion, is not "sportsbike", it has enough sport in it to keep up with anything out there. This last point is not an exageration; I'm not the best rider out there but besides the instructors at CLASS you can count on one hand the number of riders that were faster than me. No brag, just facts...wanna tour? 620 miles in a day this summer and I feel I had another 100 to go if I had had to have done so. Throttlemeister and wrist-rest help. Give it time, set your ESA to 2 up, luggage for spirited riding, and ride it hard. Hoping it grows on you.
 

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Over Time

Pirate said:
Who is that “lucky” devil?? Yep.. Picked her up yesterday at Greenville BMW. Got the ABS, foofoo suspension, electric grips, and the optional on-board computer and they all work pretty well.

The Good:
The mirrors rock!! Best I’ve seen on any modern sportbike.
The headlight throws some serious light.
While the wheelbase is longer than the RS, it’s much easier to flick into corners.. Much easier to hang off when getting serious.
The ESA works well.. better than expected

The Bad:
Everything else..............
Congrat, ahh, Happy, ahh, Welcome to, ahh, :( .

We thought the S would be a great new bike for us. Unfortunately, while it may be a great solo bike it is seriously deficient as a two-up sport-tourer. If Mr Robb could see fit to add some better bags, a little storage, and a small tail rack we'd already have one. But .... our woes are different from yours, but woes nonetheless.

The RS, for us, just makes a fantastic touring bike. And for a bit of hope - we both took a half day off after buying the RS. Why? To ride it, of course. But not because we couldn't wait - it was because we both thought we'd just made a HUGE mistake trading our K1100RS on this "thing".

That "thing" is now the best bikes that BMW ever made (with the K75s a very, very close second). Just like the Lucinda Williams song, "Over time..."

Hang in there. And just think as you ride along how cool you look. :)
 

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I dont get what you see lacking in the S Jerry, At least not in my S maybe there is a fuel mapping problem or some other woes with yours.
Just yesterday I went on a 600+ mile ride with 2 K12RS's one 98 one 03 and 1 Mille RSVR set up to tour, when we swapped out bikes it was all I could do not to pull the guys over and demand my KS back, I do not miss the KRS one bit-- felt heavy sluggish and like a full touring bike in comparison.
I missed the slight vibration coming from the S that lets me feel the revs as I cant hear them thru my earplugs and found myself no longer feeling that the Krs (which I loved for 67k miles) was a sporting ride, it just isnt in the same handling class even with Ohlins, Chips, pipes.

Now from riding 400-500 mile days on RC51's and 996's I learned to support my weight with my lower back, my hands never went numb all day yesterday and in the Texas Hill country the S acquited itself very well indeed running with a full blown RVSR with full Ohlins OZ wheels and a talented rider onboard.

I did run with the ESA set to Solo+ luggage since this was a hard charging ride and also purposely set the ESA to comfort a couple times and then changed it to sport while cranked over at a good lean angle during a couple sweepers with nothing other than feeling it tighten up, no drama to it at all.
Guess it all just depends on what you are looking for in a bike and maybe you are just expecting the S to be something no bike could be as you really didnt want it in the first place??
Just pointing out your earlier posts where you commented that you didnt want to get one and were only buying it as a test mule for products--- not exactly a purchasing formula for liking a new ride.
 

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I picked up my 06 k1200s Saturday. I had tested an 05 K1200s earlier in the week. The demo bike weaved at low speed, was very sensitive to throttle input at low speeds and was difficult to flick. It was fun, stable & fast.

The 06 bike has none of the problems at all.

I had assumed there might have been some unannounced improvements between the 2 model years or that the demo hadn't had the fixes yet or that tire pressures were way off.

Pirate, something is definitely not right with your 06. As a previous owner of a K1200RS and a sports oriented rider, it's my initial opinion the S handles better, is more comfortable one up, is easier to maneuver at low speed & has a much freer reving (with a little more vibration) engine.

I loved my KRS when I had it. I loved my 12GS too. The S is better for sport touring with the emphasis on sport. Hands down. No doubt. Absolutely.

Get yer bike checked. Try another.
 

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This is the BEST discription I've ever heard of the supposed lack of feedback.... Jerry I think the S will grow on you. no the motor is not smooth like a brick, or like a Japanese multi..I think it has character and there are some very smooth spots once it breaks in. Just give it time.



4. As for the lack of front end feedback, there is a quote that might apply that I saw in an Irish review- "That is because there isn't anything wrong". I think (for what that's worth, probably not much) a lot of the "feedback" people have become used to is misbehavior that other suspension systems exhibit when stressed, and this allows the riders to gauge how much they are pushing things. The duolever doesn't misbehave, so this "feedback" doesn't occur. I'm sure BMW agrees with my analysis. . . But I will bow to more experienced riders on whether this is a good thing or not.
__________________
-karl
 

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Jerry,

When you asked me about vibration this past May at the "Gap", I told you that initially the bike was subject to some strong vibes at about 4 - 5000 rpms. This should go away. I have 16500 miles on my bike and it is very smooth.

The bike is as advertised a long distant sport tourer. It feels this bill exceptionally well. I can honestly say if I could find a better bike for this purpose I would buy it.

I hope your experience improves with time. As good as my KRS was with the ohlins and good tires it could not hold a candle to the performance this bike offers.

George
 

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kkugel said:
Assuming you keep the ESA out of comfort mode, anyway. I REALLY don't care for how it feels in turns in that mode. (yeah, I accidently tested this too, and now I understand why Miles wanted to change modes instantly)

Thanks for remembering that thread, Karl.

And, Jerry, your timing couldn't have been better (tongue-in-cheek) yesterday's private e-mail to Tim Shook, I gently suggested he might eventually gravitate toward the K-S.

But, this isn't the bike I go on our website and say: "You've got to have this one folks..."

Having owned a '98 RS and an '03 GT for a combined 8 years and thinking they were the perfect combination of sport and tour with the smoothest engine in the world, and then going for the K-S and riding it over the summer, there's no way that the K-S is a "development" of the RS/GT in my mind. Completely different and still can't believe BMW didn't use some letter other than "K" to label this series of motorcycles.

This mixup in mission and content shows up from-time-to-time on these forums. Some own and ride the RS/GT and can't fathom how anyone would ever consider the little mosquito in favor of their vaunted and classic machines. Then we have some who have put their foot in the door to great expense and exclaimed quite loudly, "what have I done?" Jerry is not the first, nor will, I expect be the last. Others such as Faust, John P., (who's on the fence), ClearwaterBMW, have either owned or experienced the K-S and come away shaking their head. A number of others are dubious about the various glitches: Isralie and Elgio come to mind. Wandering, weaving, comfort, low speed fueling, tranny (which Jerry didn't even go into), build quality compared to the RS/GT - example, the instruments.

As you all know, this conundrum has extended to the various on-line and hard print motorcyle magazines. Some give it world class status, other complain bitterly. Indeed, what has BMW wrought with the K-S and K-R? Hell, they don't even know where to class the bike: the most recent review Motorcycle News gave it their best Sport-Tourer award, leaving it completely out of the Sport-bike ranks. Other say it's a sportbike.

Finally, you've got to get your dealer to let you ride the bike, especially if you are currently riding an RS/GT; you've just got to. And then, get this, folks like myself and Locus and others knew within the first thirty seconds and the first turn from the parking lot that the K-S was it; the best damn performing bike in the world. How did we know this? It just seems to overwhelm the rider. Can you get used to it? Don't know, since my experience was some kind of epiphany; yes practically a religious experience; zen, all in the first two minutes (and it has lasted to this very day). Folks, this bike doesn't have adjustible anything, it's got to fit right from the get go - unless, unless, Jerry can fix all that for himself and the rest of the riders in the clan. And, no Tim H. it's not your dream two-up, go tandem across the universe motorcycle; unless (and there's that word again) your like Ken C. who does think it's the perfect two-up motorcycle and has logged 34,000 miles just to show us.

Conclusion: the most polarizing bike hatched yet by BMW?

Miles
 

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Jerry,
By now you know most of us really do like our S. That in no way says you have to like yours as well. I will admit I would have liked to see the cruise control carried over but BMW didn't see it that way so I put a Throttlemiester on. I put 37k miles on my RS and now have 6400 on the S and no I wouldn't go back. Yes, the RS had better luggage and cruise but for me that is all it has over the S. I hope you come to like yours as well as the rest of us.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
First of all... I clearly said.. "it’s much easier to flick into corners.." Lets get that out of the way.. We'd all agree on that one issue.

It is very easy to get into and out of a corner (much easier than an RS or GT), but it's mostly due to the odd front end..and/or bad geometry. Sure I'll be able to adapt (like most of the current S owners apparently have) and get used to the turn in but it's still turn in..which is a BAD thing... The desig-nerds job is take make the steering neutral .. BMW failed in this respect. However.. I'm hoping this will become another one of the endearing BMW quirks that we all grow to love over time.

Xlr8r.... Fortunately I didn't buy this bike as my main pleasure machine.. I would have prefered to keep my RS as it never fialed to put a smile on my face.. This was a biz decision.. Needed hands on access to the bike.. anything else is icing.. So far it's not very tasty.

Mark5lam... "I think you'll find it's not ever going to be as turbine smooth as the RS Actually.. I knew it wouldn't be anywhere as smooth as any RS and I did test ride one before buying for about 15-20 minutes. I noticed the roughness on that one ride and the odd front end, but I was at least hoping for an engine smoother than the cheapest bikes from Japan. For $17,000+ dollars I expect premium hardware along with my Blue and White emblem and large bill. However.. many here have said.. and I believe them, that the bike will smooth out with age/time/milage. That's a relief!!

sincGT.. You nailed it.. "Yep, the latest is not always the bestest."

kencorsen... No.. that tail light is still an abomination, but if there is a god in the heavens above, I suspect a prettier replacement is right over the horizon...[wink]

karlb... NO.. the problem has nothing to due with fuel mapping.. it's simply a rough, primitive engine with vibrations virtually everywhere. Obviously you know how smooth an engine should be if you are used to an RC51 .. How can you defend this bike?? I'm perplexed..

bcc... I agree you you for the most part.. "it's my initial opinion the S handles better, is more comfortable one up, is easier to maneuver at low speed & has a much freer reving (with a little more vibration) engine." It's just that after riding other brand bikes.. MV, Suzuki, Aprilia, Kawi, etc.. I was expecting for TWICE the money a bike that was at least as smooth as a $6000 bike.. I'm NOT brand loyal like many. If the company misses the mark.. I complain. Sure the bike is unique.. but I wanted "superior german engineering.." I just don't see it..

erik.. I also agree with you... their is no feedback by design... but that's NOT a good thing. BMW TELLS us it's a good thing. I just disagree. Just as a Caddy doesn't feel the road like a Lambo or Maserati.. I would prefer NOT to be isolated from my environment.. The new front end has even less feel than the RS... yet they market it as a "sport bike".. which it really isn't, IMHO..

milesmiller.. You know.. After riding K12's for years.. I know by now that shifting on any Kbike is clunky for a few thousand miles and then smooths out very well with time.. While mine is a tad clunky, it's no more so than any new RS or GT.. I have confidence that it'll not be an issue.

Like you I would suggest that any K12RS/GT owners (especially old as dirt Tim Shook) thinking about selling to move to the S to test ride one.. Some will love it.. others will not be so impressed. I know, like a cockroach, I'll adapt.. the bike will be smoother once broken in.. I hope.. I'll learn to like owning one (except for the tail light) and may eventually sing the praises of the converted.. I have MANY plans to change ergos to make it more user friendly to yours-truly.. and better looking.. I was just posting my honest, no-spin, initial impressions of an experienced motorcyclist on a new purchase.

Appreciate all the feedback, guys!!! Keep it coming.. I have a lot to learn about this bike and I do NOT plan on letting first impressions color my long term enjoyment of the bike.. The first time I saw Amber naked I though I'd never be happy with a woman with such small...er.. attributes.. Boy was I wrong!! She's the best thing that ever happened to me. The first time I saw Citizen Kane I thought it was boring.. Now I think it's in the top 2 movies I've ever seen. All bad first impressions.

I have already ordered lots of accessories that will make the riding experience better.. will re-evaluate after a few thousand miles... I'm sure this bluesy tune will change.. Fingers crossed. Again.. Thx.. Think I'll go out and do some more evaluating.. weather is perfect here in Asheville and I do have a new toy to get to know.. Happy Halloween All!!
 
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