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 Motorcycle Safety
 General Discussion
 Adapting to a new bike
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scottrnelson
Advanced Member
6922 Posts
[Mentor]


Meridian, ID
USA

Honda

XR650L, 1090 Adv R

Posted - 07/26/2018 :  12:48 PM                       Like
We probably discussed this years ago, but since I'm going through it again, might as well start a new discussion.

I've said in the past that I need about 1000 miles on a new bike before I really feel like I've adjusted to it. By "adjusted", I mean reached the point where I know pretty much exactly what it will do under all circumstances. The two bikes that were closest to the same in the past were a 1997 Ducati Monster M900 and a 1998 Ducati ST2. Similar engine, frame, wheels, and most other things, but it still took me a while to really adjust to it.

Well, two months ago I sold my KTM 990 Adventure after eight years of ownership. This morning I picked up a KTM 1090 Adventure R, which is a very similar bike. It's slightly heavier, a little taller, and puts out more heat from the engine, but in every other way it's similar but better. I've put 57 miles on it so far riding up to the ski resort nearby. I'll let it completely cool in the garage before riding it again.

The new bike feels very much like the old one when riding, but I won't get into the powerband until after 600 miles and the first service. This one is supposed to have more power. I'll be interested to see if I feel like I need another full 1000 miles to completely adjust to this new one or if I'll feel totally at home on it sooner than that.

Experiences of others in adjusting to a new bike would be welcome.

rkfire
Advanced Member
1715 Posts


Stratford, CT
USA

Suzuki

Bandit

Posted - 07/29/2018 :  5:52 AM   Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
I recently bought a new to me bike, a BMW K1200GT. It is as different to me, coming from the naked Bandit, as any 2 bikes can be I think. My first dozen short rides were really cautious. Brake touch and throttle feel were the biggest difference to get used to. Had to remind myself often, relax my grip. I was complaining to myself how hard these grips were...but it was me not the grips.

I have not bought many bikes over the years, I tend to keep them and wear them out before the next one. I don't try others either, not friends, nor demo bikes.

In my case, because of that I guess, riding a different bike takes quite a bit of getting accustomed. The new bike is significantly heavier, and longer. The individual turn signal switches were easy to get used to, but I have to look for the cancel button. There's so many switches on the handlebars, I couldn't find the horn the one time I tried...lol. Same with the high beam switch, which, I ended up pushing the wrong way, and got the flash to pass feature instead.


Linked brakes and ABS for the first time doesn't bother me, but the servo assisted brakes are like power brakes, but rolling backwards out from my shed on an incline....I found it takes a good squeeze to engage with the engine off.


It took a week or so to get accustomed to the optics of the fairing pointing straight ahead, while I am turning sharp in a parking situation.


I won't miss carbs or chain and sprockets. Never had a winshield and fairing before, but I can see how this might be nice in the winter. Electric windshield height is really useful. Hot days it is lowered, and some cool nights and rain it's been raised. But all that plastic, I am afraid to look at what has to come off for maintenance..lol.

I always take a little while to see if any ergonomic stuff needs adjusting. I've got the handlebars raised to the highest position, and the seat too. I like the posture it gives my bad back, and I am sitting eye level with the tops of SUV's etc. Nice view of the road ahead. I think I'd like the levers turned forward and down a bit.

Suspension is comfortable, with comfort, normal and sport modes available on the fly. I have it mostly on comfort, and see no decrease in cornering capability.

The stock seat had a tear, and it seemed sloped forward. I hated it, and was sliding into the tank constantly. Sargent seat was installed and fixed that.

Been about a month and 1500 miles. Been either hot, or rainy this summer. Not sure I'll ever get comfortable with the weight of this thing. At least, weight to me, is really only significant to me in low speed/parking lot positioning.

One other minor thing. It came with a top box, which I really was going to remove, but since then I find that top box more user friendly opening the lid up, and not sideways like the bags, just easier and handier for the often used items.
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Eagle Six
New Member
11 Posts


Snowflake, Arizona
USA

Kawasaki

ZX14R

Posted - 07/29/2018 :  10:02 AM
For me, it usually only takes a short while to figure out if I fit a bike, or a bike fits me.....maybe 40-50 miles, sometimes less. If it doesn't fit, it goes to a new owner, if it fits we become old friends long before 1,000 miles.

In that first 50 miles I do parking lots, hard accelerations, hard breaking, smooth cruising, some aggressive leaning, and test the power curve. It takes about 5 minutes for my wife (passenger) to like or dislike.

I change very little on most of my bikes that fit me from the start. On the couple of bikes that I tried to force fit me I made all the normal modifications and added all the farkles that many other owners seem to like, and they never did fit well! They went to a new owner. All of them were great bikes, they just didn't fit me, nor did I fit them.
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scottrnelson
Advanced Member
6922 Posts
[Mentor]


Meridian, ID
USA

Honda

XR650L, 1090 Adv R

Posted - 07/30/2018 :  7:46 AM
Can't test the power curve until after 600 miles on mine. Right now the shift light starts flashing right when it should get interesting.

I'm expecting the biggest adjustment for me to be that this new one is taller. It won't be an issue on the street, but on dirt roads I'll have to be very careful to plan where I'll be putting a foot down before stopping. This is the only bike I've ever owned where I can't get both feet flat on the ground at the same time - and I'm 6'1".
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rkfire
Advanced Member
1715 Posts


Stratford, CT
USA

Suzuki

Bandit

Posted - 08/01/2018 :  10:44 AM   Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
See, for me, the bikes I had before were similar enough in looks, size, weight, seat/handlebar relationship, that I never even sat on a bike never mind test ride it to know it will work out. Add to that, any new or new to me bike, I really don't want to dump.

Power gone up through the years, braking and grip of tires has too, but incrementally. Their overall weight gone up, 20-25 lbs. at a time.

So my familiarity was more about the touchiness of the throttle and brake lever, the angle of the handlebars and levers, the position of the brake pedal and shift lever. Which of course, all that stuff can be adjusted to suit. I'd take week to decide if this or that needed a tweek. The other bikes were similar enough, this BMW is the most dissimilar to me.


It's not a bad thing, except the weight, but I was looking for more comfort in my old age than ever.


But as an example, my Bandit was my first bike that would wheelie, simply by rolling the throttle on in first. The first time, I honestly thought cool...I slept on it and thought, that's scary. I adjusted quite a few things to get my weight lower, and forward and make it less wheelie prone.


On all my bikes I practice hard braking, but, different brakes, tires, feel, suspensions, I work up gradually and purposefully to maximum braking. I don't think that's a bad method.
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scottrnelson
Advanced Member
6922 Posts
[Mentor]


Meridian, ID
USA

Honda

XR650L, 1090 Adv R

Posted - 08/16/2018 :  12:53 PM
Progress report:

I've made it past 800 miles and have had the first service done. This morning I rode 170 miles up into the hills and back. For part of the ride everything felt just great and natural to me. But the one area I still haven't adjusted to is full throttle when revving the engine up into the powerband. I was supposed to keep it under 6500 rpms for the first 600 miles. so no big power there. Supposedly this bike has about 20 more hp than the 990 that it replaced, so I have to pay more attention during passing situations when I want to get around someone quickly. Gotta make sure I don't get going too fast.

So I feel like I'm mostly adjusted to the differences, but not quite to every difference yet.
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