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Old 04-19-2013, 01:29 PM   #1
F800 Rob OP
MotoInsight
 
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Joined: Oct 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Oddometer: 1,046
My SSR XF250

I posted this over at MCM at bit earlier today and thought that everyone here might enjoy reading about it as well.

Full Disclosure: Yes, the bike is Chinese and I might be able to get a better/more reliable/faster/safer/prettier new/used American/European/Japanese motorcycle for less/about the same/a bit more than what this bike goes for. (It's $3k new, but you can probably a new one for a few hundred bucks cheaper)

I also hold a dealer license in the state of PA and can sell you one of these, but it's not at all the main focus of my business - here is the main focus. I saw the SSR bikes, specifically the XF200 and XF250 at the Dealer Expo this February, was enough to make me want to become a dealer for them - if for nothing more than I wanted an XF250 for myself.

Flash forward to late March, and my XF250 arrived. Here it is:



Uncrating it did NOT go smoothly. Other bikes that we sell are nearly fully assembled, the SSR's are not. The XF250 in particular needs it front wheel installed. When we were done removing all of the cardboard, guess what? No wheel. That somewhat important missing bit stopped me in my tracks for 3 days until SSR USA expedited a 'replacement' over.

Having finally received the wheel, and nearly pulled a groin by installing it, setup of the remainder of the motorcycle was easy. Nuts and bolts where all tight. Slack on the chain was perfect. The 1400 ML oil change was exactly as expected. The included lithium ion battery (yes, seriously...) changed up and popped right in with a little bit of extra foam just to keep it comfortable. The bike fired right up. I opted out of putting any of the SSR stickers on.

A 170 mile (275km) break in ride later, I have a few observations to share:




Power from the engine is exactly what I hoped it would be. It revs a bit slow, and overall grunt is not as extensive as my other motorcycle (BMW F800GS) but it's more than enough to be A) interesting and B) interstate highway worthy. The motorcycle accelerates quickly through the first 4 (of 5) gears reaching a top speed in excess of 70 mph or 112 km. Fifth gear is more of an overdrive than anything.

The spacing of the gear ratios is excellent. The motorcycle will pull the front wheel off the ground in first gear, but the low gear is still very useable. Before ordering the motorcycle, I purchased a pinion and sprocket combination that I read worked well for the XF200. (16/44) Both of these remain on the shelf as they are completely unneeded.

I had read reports of the XF200 being super-viby. I was going to proactively purchase a set of pegs with rubber on them. The only thing that stopped me is someone, somewhere stated that this engine has a counterbalancer in it. Long story short, vibration is practically non-existing until way up in the RPM range. No need for different pegs.





The seat as well was surprisingly good. Generally, my arse is only good for about 100 miles at a clip. 120 later, and I had zero pain or numbness - which is more than I can say for my BMW. I wish it was easily removable though, so I can store my paperwork under it, like the BMW. I'm interested to see how it holds up in the rain as well.



What's not so good however is the instrument cluster. It looks pretty cheap and frankly, acts pretty cheap too. The needles waver a bit when they have to correct either way quickly, and I quickly noticed what was missing - mainly a fuel indicator, and yes, a trip odometer. The latter is a minimum requirement in my opinion, as how else when you know when you're about to run out of fuel?

Incidentally, I did run out of fuel at just under 110 miles, or 175 km. The bike just sputtered and that was pretty much it. I flipped over to reserve and away I went for another 8 miles to a fuel station. I put 1.8 gallons in it. (6.8L) So, that works out to be around 66 MPG or 3.4L per 100KM. I don't believe that is typical however...



Speaking of not typical, did you notice the steel braided brake line from the dash picture? Both front and back are steel braided discs. The bike stops better than expected. It's not BMW Brembo ABS braking, but still much better than expected and totally sufficient.

One braking niggle is the rear pedal height. You can tell this bike was dirt bike first - foldable brake and shifter levels are a dead giveaway. The height of the rear brake however isn't so noticeable, until you ride. It's dirt bike high - designed to be used when standing:









Other observations:
  • The tires on the bike are a brand I don't recognize - Kingstone. They are OK, but I would assume they are crap in the rain. When I test them in the wet, I'll let you know.
  • The mirrors have a ridiculously large DOT label on them. At first it was super annoying as you can't take it off, but now I don't notice it so much. They actually function quite well, all things considered.
  • What doesn't function quite so well is the license plate bracket. It's not designed for a North American sized plate. So, cable ties for now. I'm pondering on a long term solution for this...
  • The front fork covers are faux carbon fiber. They look great from one side, but rediculously cheap from the other as the back is bright, white plastic. They're also the only carbon fiber on the bike. I would rather them have just been all black plastic.
  • Not pictured, unfortunately, is the motorcycle has a completely adjustable front suspension. The ride, while good, is a bit harsh when riding on poor road conditions, so I'm going to attempt to correct it via adjustments. There is exactly nothing in the manual about it however, so I'm flying a bit blind...

As of right now, there are about 250 miles on the bike. Zero issues, so far. TONS of compliments as no one can seem to figure out what it is without the stickers on it. It's a hella fun ride too. Would it be my ONLY bike? Nope, not yet at least. If it keeps behaving for a few thousand miles, maybe...
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As of September 6th 2013, all Motorcycle Insight sites list above have been sold to and are operated by LM Cycle Supply. Please see the official announcement here.
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Old 03-05-2014, 03:25 PM   #2
skipro3
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So, 11 months later...

How do you like it so far? I've been considering a TW200 until I saw this post of yours. Can you give us an update and perhaps a comparison to the TW200 if you could?

Cheers!
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Old 03-06-2014, 08:45 PM   #3
F800 Rob OP
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Joined: Oct 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Oddometer: 1,046
Quote:
Originally Posted by skipro3 View Post
So, 11 months later...

How do you like it so far? I've been considering a TW200 until I saw this post of yours. Can you give us an update and perhaps a comparison to the TW200 if you could?

Cheers!
I actually loved it until I sold it last year. Zero issues, always reliable.

I found it to have more balls and be slightly more flickable than a TW200. That said, the lack of a fuel light combined with no trip really began to wear on me.

My wife's constant nagging about it didn't help either.
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As of September 6th 2013, all Motorcycle Insight sites list above have been sold to and are operated by LM Cycle Supply. Please see the official announcement here.
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