The more I look at it, the more I like. Bar height to seat looks like it'll yield a very comfortable riding position. Open engine bay looks like it'll shed Florida heat for you....and engine itself is artwork. Massive swingarm, giant brake discs.
Looks like its screaming for that high rear fender thing to "go away"...
HaHa!!! Surprisingly, that's what just about EVERYONE has said!!! Many of the riders immediately go to the tail tidy!
When you're able, please post further initial riding impressions! (I'm sure you're out enjoying right now)
I took it out yesterday and rode over to meet a teacher friend for lunch. On the way to the restaurant I took a detour. There's an undeveloped housing complex going in where all the roads are paved and only a few houses on the south side. The roads have a few curves and, since there's nobody living there I can kick up the RPM'S!
Too soon to say still but after almost 100 miles on it:
1) The gearing is amazing! Honda set this up for heavy torque in EVERY gear at low RPM's. So, I went 25-30 mph in 6th gear and NO jerking or chugging!!! I will compare this to my old Versys that, when in the 2500-3500 rpm range there was always a chugging. (This has been remedied by one of my friends that own's his own ECU flashing business. I rode his flashed Versys and WOW! Total difference immediately noticed from Kawasaki's stock ECU!) Well, Honda has got this bike down!
2) Despite the low end torque when you juice the throttle it hustles! For example, 6th gear at 3500 RPM, then a twist of the throttle...you can feel a split second before the engine bites! Then off you go! With that said, for you racing riders, this may not be something you'd enjoy as I can see you wanting immediate power. I think the difference with this Honda is that once that engine hits the higher RPM's it almost begs for you to go faster, if that makes any sense.
3) The riding position is something I'm getting used to. Coming from the Versys I was always upright. The CB has me leaning a little forward and down on the bars. It's definitely not as crouched as a sports bike but I put risers on tonight. Not sure if I need the 1 1/4" rise so I may lower it to 1/2", just for that little extra lift.
4) The seat...tell me ONE BIKE you've owned that you ever were happy with the seat!!! This actually isn't too bad but, then again, I haven't been out for long enough to know for sure. I will say that there's a more comfortable spot. When I slide all the way back it feels softer.
5) Handling - I didn't want to push it too much as I'm still in the "break-in" period but going through those curves I was able to do 45 in a 15 mph "L" curve! I'll admit I was probably going beyond the comfort level but...well, y'all know! I have felt a little slide from the rear tire so I'm going to adjust the rear spring. It does feel every bump on the road so we'll see what a spring adjustment can do to remedy this.
6) Overall - I really liked my Versys but I just couldn't get it out of my head that the maintenance was such a disappointment. And the fact that I had other issues with the bike that I just don't think was acceptable from Kawasaki. (There were others on the Versys forum that had similar issues. At first I thought they were crazy...and then it was happening to my bike.) The Versys was a great bike for touring because it could handle the long, straight highways and then hop right into The Dragon. I could get over 250 miles a tank on the Versys. But it just pissed me off. So, the Honda is here. I figured this time I would get a little more of a sports bike with a taste of the more upright seating. That EX I had last summer should have never left my garage! But this Honda has just a little bit of that EX feel to it! So I like it.
Also, since this summer I'm going to stick around town, I thought maybe it's time to just get a motorcycle that suits the majority of my riding - which is local, commuting to and from work and the weekend jaunts. This Honda will cover all those bases!
Bottom line at this EARLY point on the Honda...I lose about 50 miles of travel before fill up's and won't have the luggage space. But, I'm going to order a set of the Shad hard side cases and maybe a top case. But I get the Honda quality that, in my experience, says a lot! I'm also ordering a Puig windscreen. There's just a little too much blast in the chest right now. Although the wind feels good in this Florida scorching heat I know when it cools down it will be welcoming.
Finally, I'm getting used to that front wheel. It feels like you're leaning over the front tire! (If you've sat on a GSX then that's what this Honda feels like, only a little more uprighted bars.) The EX was sporty, but the Ninja's just have a more comfortable feel - almost as if the rake is longer in the front. Maybe the risers will help some.
I'll detail more in the next few weeks...if this rain ever stops!