|05-03-2006, 06:21 PM||#1|
It's not freezing!!!!
Joined: Jan 2006
Location: Tiburon, CA
Reflections on 950 after Baja trip
I just got back from a trip 3 week or so trip to Baja, with two weeks and about 1300 miles actually riding in Baja.
I thought I would give some of my thoughts about the bike:
1) it's tough as nails and built like a tank. I crashed the bike pretty hard on some bad surfaces (like boulders) and between the bags and the crash bars there is little to no damage whatsoever on the bike. I have two small gouges on the right hand gas tank and thats about it. I did my best to break it and I couldn't.
2) I am very glad I got the evap can taken out because any of my drops would have probably left me stranded otherwise. If you are going on a trip off-road I wouldn't go without taking the can out.
3) I was with a Yamaha and a BMW and my bike is the only one that didn't break during the trip (baja tries to destroy everything).
4) I rode with conti TKC80s at full pressure. This made the bike really squirrelly especially on the sand and loose stuff, but, I think on the trip between Puertocitos and Coco's Corner it prevented a pinch flat or folded front rim at least twice. Its hard to imagine that my front rim is still true, but it is.
5) I am about 6 ft tall and the bike really needs some riser bars or a shim or something. It wasn't quite ideal for riding standing up so I was always in a bit of an uncomfortable position.
6) I debated about the 16T front sprocket. And after the trip I am still not sure about it. There were times when 1st was way too much, but second was too tall (this is especially true going up steep hills with lots of sand or loose rocks)--which made throttle control difficult. However, I am not sure if this would be cured by shorter gears (I just don't know) because then you are right in the powerband. My solution was to abuse the clutch more and use the rear brake a lot and this got pretty comfortable after a while. But, the problem with a 100hp dirt bike is that it has 100hp so I dunno. Be careful.
7) A steering damper would be nice for the sand. Once you lose the front end it has a tendency to stay lost and then, depending on how fast you are going, you have a tendency to fall down. I think a damper would reduce the drama a little bit.
8) The transmission got started to get a little clunky on me about 2/3 into the trip. It is still doing this. I am not sure why. Basically, shifting from 1st to second requires a lot of effort sometimes and then the bike won't go into neutral. I am going to take it to the dealer unless someone here has a quick fix.
9) Its a pretty frigging good dirt bike even loaded up. The suspension brakes and motor do a lot of work if you let them. The bike was beautiful. I was never in a situation, even on the worst technical and steep terrain where it bottomed out or got really out of shape (not so fortunate was my friends BMW who lost the skid plate on the first day). The conti tires are tough as nails I think.
Thats about it. I had a blast and the bike was nearly flawless. I am even more convinced now of its beauty than before and the reliability has been perfect.
I have some photos and stories of the trip here:
The incredible misadventures of a boy and his bike La Poderosa 3.
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