Took the BMHusky for a spin today and for what I do on my DR, it is perfect. I can only report on the LAMS version as that is what the dealer had registered to go.
A quick ride on Raglan Parade in Warrnambool had me indicating with the horn....upside down from what I am used to but easy enough to get used to.
A very neutral bike in handling there are no surprises. The test bike had an amazingly soft clutch that is really really light. For a cable clutch it is almost hydrolic in feel, though I found it quite snatchy when changing both up and down. That could easily just be lack of familiarity with the ride and the fact she only had 27km's on the clock when I took her out. Finding nuetral was also interesting but I would guess this will get easier as the bike loosens up with a few more KM's under the wheels.
Acceleration is gentle though she surprisingly gets up to 100kph very quickly. The LAMS version certainly wont rip your arms out of their sockets or have you hanging on for dear life but being able to do 100 in 3rd EASILY, she could certainly lighten your wallet of cash and a very much needed green card. I can't say it's exciting as this bike is so smooth that it is just about boring. No vibes on the bars or the feet at all even without the rubber peg inserts, however there are minor vibes through the seat - nothing to get excited about however. I'm hoping it's just the restrictor plate due to LAMS but the engine feels
bogged down and slow to pick up speed. Engine note is very similar to the TE610 a mate owns and has a pleasant burble and pop on deceleration.
I found that the steering was really light on road and was easily upset by even small movements of the bars. Nothing to be afraid of, just very different to the DR650 which needs a bit of muscle at speed to change direction. Wind protection was certainly an issue at speed as I found it difficult to duck in behind the cowl like I can on my suzuki. I just couldn't get low enough to get out of the wind stream.
Enough of the riding on the boring black stuff, I needed to see how she went on dirt roads! Off of Raglan Parade and onto Swinton Rd which took me past midfield meats and coincidentally is also a dirt road which had some sand and deep loose stones. The Terra handled it all with ease. Standing was fine though wider than the DR between the legs. Something to note that when standing whilst on the road, the bars felt low and I was thinking that risers may be needed. This feeling went away as soon as I was on dirt. Bent knees and stance had them in a great position for my 5'9" height (175cm). She felt lighter than the DR and stand-over was about the same for me on both bikes - I can get the balls of the feet down but that's it.
Idling in first had me at 12kph which I found to be fine though in a number of situations where I have been in riding the Grampians, Cobbobonnee and Otways may have me thinking of increasing the number of teeth on the counter shaft sprocket. This may also help with increasing the rate of acceleration and increasing the grin factor.
The Metzeler Saharas are no dirt tyre but they were fine in the dry dirt and had heaps of feel on the road. Time would tell whether I would keep them or go for something more dirt oriented like the MT21's but these things were fantastic on road.
On the way back to the shop from riding the dirt, I tried some emergency stops. This TR doesn't have the ABS option installed but braking was great. Heaps of feel and the lack of dive was a revelation compared to the DR650.
Factory accessories on the bike were the skid plate, hand guards and pegs. The skid plate which covers a number of important bits but is in no way serious protection if you were to rock hop. I would suggest a different bike if rock hopping is on the cards as this is no dirt bike....hell it's not even a TE610/630 and miles away from a TE511. The handguards are just weather protection. There is no support so in a crash these would just bend or snap. Lastly the optional pegs - I haven't ridden the TR650 with the standard pegs so it's hard to compare. I did find the pegs to be grippy and as noted earlier there was NO vibration at any speed through them so they get my thumbs up.
My interpretation of this bike is that it is perfect for what I want. It's a road bike that can go off the black top with ease and is extremely predictable with no surprises what so ever (except the horn button in the wrong place)....exactly what I am after and great for a new rider or one returning to riding from a long hiatus. Nowhere near as agricultural as the DR650 or KLR650 (the bikes I see in the targets of BMHusky), the TR650 is a modern take on the breed and 17 years is a long time in motor cycle development. I can see a rival from the Land of the Rising Sun in the next year or so if the TR650 sells like I think it will.
TR650 $9495 after cash back (valid until March)