||12-27-2011 06:08 PM
re-hashing a dying thread here. I did finally install the exp into my 450. Why did it take so long, well actually I was tempted to return it. Two things I didnt like about it. #1. 40 years of riding with a conventional clutch and I done pretty good to this point, why cheat ? #2 was that I was very nervous about the ability to compression brake. Not sure what excuse to use here- going to go with the fact Im fairly light 150lbs. :1drink - but I have a harder time descending steep stuff then I do climbing. I relay heavy on the motor keeping me slow more then my rear brake.
Last night I thought I may as well install it and go ride one of what the locals from the area we are visiting consider one of gnarly rides. My theory is if gonna test it-TEST IT ! I know this is not saying how he EXP will be in our big bikes, but it will tell you about the performance of Rekluse's new product.
First off- install is very easy,on my 450 I lay it on its side to work on it-dont even need to drain oil when pulling the cover.
A negative is that when checking free play you have to pull the cover to adjust it, and it is critical that you get it right so your EXP goes to full lock. I got lucky, the # of turns on the throw out that Rekluse suggested, put mine on target. I am going to play with it a little and set it up for a harder engagement, they give you springs to install if you want to play.
Performance was better then I expected. It actually is not the "crutch" I thought it would be. My muscle memory still kicks in and I tend to feather the clutch times when I dont need to anymore. I am kind of a when it doubt- ride it balls out, so I try not to get really slow unless its single track or just really technical picking your way through stuff. There was a little of that today and I purposely kept my finger off the clutch- that is harder to do then it sounds, your trusting the mechanism to do what you normally have had to do. The EXP performed as it was supposed to and it did about what I would have done working the lever. I guess one of the better features of this is the ability to dog the bike in higher gear-its probably harder on the friction plates then it should be, but on long loose climbs it is nice to twist up and pull on some speed when you hit a good section on a climb. Engagement is very smooth-too smooth I feel, but that is adjustable :evil
Now my fear of lacking compression braking is removed-pretty much- I really put this to the test because I wanted to know what I was in for when I get into scary stuff. I say pretty much removed my fears, not 100%. you really got to get the bike down to an idle to get it to unlock, if it has any engagement it is going to pick up engine RPM and engage harder. Still I found that when doing 2nd and 3rd gear descents on rocky ground, if I used my brakes and got the bike and motor speed down I could get it to completely unlock-the only way to get your compression braking back is to rev the motor, in that case you have to be prepared, if you picked up a lot of speed soon as the clutch engages you may be skidding. I found to just rev to the point you plan to increase your speed : roll on a little heavy then go back to braking.
So all in all I like it. Believe it or not,the best part for me the lack of having to find neutral when jumping off to lock and unlock gates, it was nice to leave it in gear, open a gate, roll a little throttle (doesn't matter what side of the bike you are on-its in gear) walk the bike through with some motor assist,go back lock gate, twist it up and ride away.
I guess the best way to put it for those here on OC- I would certainly consider it for my 990. The one thing I thought I would do that I wont, is go back to stock gearing. I run 15-45 (not the 15-42 I thought before- thats if memory serves me correct) and to I still want my "R"s up when descending to keep me slow,taller gearing will mean the motor will be allowed to go to idle more often and chance it unlocking. The other thing the big bike has is gobs of power, so the ability to dog it is actually pretty good, it pulls out of the dog house pretty good for a motor that likes being in the 3-4000 rpm range. So for me its a better tool on the thumper then it would be on the twin. Hope this is good information- takes me a freaking hour to type this much:lol3 .