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Old 05-22-2006, 08:22 AM   #1
Infracaninophile OP
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First Impressions of my used 950 S

Recently bought a used 2004.5 S model GO! bike here. Got the bike home on Friday evening. Had other committments all day Saturday and could not ride. Was eager to ride today.

================================================== ====
Note: I'm 50 years old, have owned probably about 35 bikes during my lifetime, and my everyday bike is an 03 BMW GS Adventure. Prior to that my last primary bike was a 1996 R1100GS that I put 103K miles on in 6 years.
================================================== ====

Made two separate rides today, each about 125 miles.

Overall I like the bike very much. It has a lot going for it. The absolutely most noticeable thing from my GS Adventure is the weight. It really does feel almost 150 pounds lighter. GS Adventure is supposed to be 600 lbs or so dry.

Mine is in pristine shape and just returned from it's 15,000 kilometer service. The PO showed me how to check the oil and coolant levels, etc..

The weight reduction is awesome. The fact that it doesn't have FI or ABS is kind of refreshing. A chain and no driveshaft or rear drive to go bad. The trellis frame like my old Ducati 900SS is so practical and very sexy.

The front brakes are good but not awesome. I felt I had to use 3+ fingers instead of the 2 I use on the BMW. Maybe just needs some fresh brake fluid and a bleed. Good, but not great.

The power is good but not sport-bike-like. I took it up to 125 indicated and there didn't feel like there was a lot left. My bike has stock exhaust and the jetting doesn't feel perfect. Once I decide on which cans I want, I think getting it on a dyno and jetted well will help. I'm happy with the power, it's just not ALL that big to me. I'm going to do a dyno run PRIOR to replacing the cans and jetting just to see how much HP and Torque both before and after.

The handling is fine. I haven't played with any of the settings. PO told me it's set to the "sport" setting or such. It feels good. Not much sag at all when I get on the bike. I like that. It will just take some time and miles to get more confidence in the bike and the front end. I am used to the excellent BMW non-standard suspension which doesn't have any fork dive.

The seat absolutely sucks. I have a Renazco on order with input from Neduro. My "build date" isn't until the end of June so I've got 6+ weeks of sore butt to look forward to. May ride the GS more.... I was riding the OEM seat. My bike also came with the "Low GEL Comfort" seat which will be sent to Renazco to form the base of my new seat. I ordered a suede seat with black sides and grey top.

I have Scorpions front and back and they work fine. I didn't push them much today. Have never (that I can recall) ever ridden on Pirelli tires before. For the kind of riding I will mostly do these tires will be fine. What pressure F/R do you run? PO told me what he ran but it was something like 28/32 or such. Sounds low for a street tire. Again, I need to read the owner's manual.

The height of the bike is good and you sit ON the bike and not IN the bike like I do with the Corbin on the GS. It's neat. The wind noise and such is just fine. I don't see any need to change the windscreen.

The handlebar reach and such is perfect for me and is even easier on my bum right shoulder than my GS. This is good. It means that when I get a comfy seat I can ride this thing for a lot of miles. The bars are much narrower than the Pro Tapers I have on my GS, but they work well. The ergos of this bike seem pretty darn good.

I filled the bike up this morning before heading out on ride #1 and filled it again before coming home for lunch. I got 44.3 MPG which is not bad and better than I anticipated. I rode it about 75% easy and semi-flogged it for 25%. I was expecting worse. Got home from a ride in the mountains late this afternoon and didn't fill it up yet.

Haven't put the luggage on it yet. Want to get the hang of the bike first.

Am strongly considering the FMF and Wings exhaust. The Wings is high $600's and not sure about the FMF. Can anyone tell me why you selected what you did and would you do it again? The Wings are TI and not too expensive. I had an Akro system on my F3 race bike and loved it. I just can't see that much $$ for 2 cans. I want access to a spark arrestor. The cats were warm under my butt on a 85F day here if I wasn't moving along. Would be great to drop the weight and the hot cats sometime soon.

I think my tires will last till 12-13K (bike has 9.3K on it when I brought it home) and then at that time will change tires and chain and sprockets all at once.

I like having the little "glove compartment" as I had on my BMW airhead GS PD. Very handy for small stuff. I also like the small space under the seat.

Need to decicate some time to read the owner's manual this week. Just opened it today to learn how to set the clock.

All in all it's a great package especially at the price I paid for it. With more hours in the saddle it has the potential to be one of my favorite bikes of all time. It's got good mojo and the time passes quite quickly when riding it. I was in a zen-like mood almost all day when riding it. Felt great.

I still think I would take my GS on a long, multi-day cross-country trip, but we'll see. I really like both bikes and and they are apples and oranges. It is nice to have both bikes in the garage at the same time. I'm a lucky guy.

Again, did I mention the weight? It feels great.





My wife noticed that my existing helmet matched the colors of my new bike. She was right!



Tom

Infracaninophile screwed with this post 05-22-2006 at 08:39 AM
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Old 05-22-2006, 09:04 AM   #2
Pete156
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Very nice machine. Built for us 50 year olds. I doubt you're gonna see fuel mileage as good as the 44mpg you reported. Mine gets around 35-37 on average. You definitely got the right color.
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Old 05-22-2006, 09:14 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete156
I doubt you're gonna see fuel mileage as good as the 44mpg you reported. Mine gets around 35-37 on average. You definitely got the right color.
Ditto. If I remember correctly I was getting a little better than 35mpg on road (lower off road).

Man, that's a beautiful bike!

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Old 05-22-2006, 10:44 AM   #4
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Thumb Another 50 year Old

I too had anj R1100GS which I have changed for a 2004 950S with 7000 miles showing. It is much faster and handles better than the GS thanks to the weight. It is fitted with Akros and Gobi luggage as well as engine bars and fork guards.

I have done about 500 miles on it and don't find it too uncomfy.

Will keep in touch

Ride safely

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Old 05-22-2006, 02:31 PM   #5
AntWare
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Nice bike Tom, keep it away from Ned

Do you know if the PO put the bar risers on it.
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Old 05-22-2006, 02:54 PM   #6
Infracaninophile OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ant Ware
Nice bike Tom, keep it away from Ned

Do you know if the PO put the bar risers on it.
Ant:

No risers on it. The bars feel good right now but haven't done much standing yet.

I'm going to ask Ned to ride his 950 soon so I can hear and then see if I can 'feel' a difference with his Akro's. Also gonna check out a friend's 950 with FMF's and gotta find someone local with Wings as well.

I want a bit more sound, but not too much.

I failed to mention in my earlier report that the 2nd nicest thing about the bike as compared to my GS Adventure, is the tranny. Man, this things just feels like melted butter when shifting. Nice.

Just got back from a run up Pikes Peak. Got turned back at the halfway point by a ranger who told me bikes were not allowed to the top. He said it was a bit windy (I'm guessing it was 30-40 mph where we were), it was raining hard (it was raining hard where I was) and that there might be some local snow showers. Well, it wasn't snowing where I was but if the temp dropped another 10 degrees it might have. An hour earlier it was 78F at the toll station.

I LOVE Colorado weather.

T.
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Old 05-22-2006, 03:16 PM   #7
Pointman0853
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New/Used GO!!!!!!!!!!!!

================================================== ====
Note: I'm 50 years old, have owned probably about 35 bikes during my lifetime, and my everyday bike is an 03 BMW GS Adventure. Prior to that my last primary bike was a 1996 R1100GS that I put 103K miles on in 6 years.
================================================== ====

I'm 53, and just love my 2005.5 bike!

Am strongly considering the FMF and Wings exhaust. The Wings is high $600's and not sure about the FMF. Can anyone tell me why you selected what you did and would you do it again?

Yes, I went with the FMF's. Firstly was price, then the fact they are USFS legal. I do volunteer work in the Cleveland NF, and that was a major plus for me.

Pointman
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Old 05-22-2006, 03:52 PM   #8
AntWare
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Infracaninophile
No risers on it. The bars feel good right now but haven't done much standing yet.

I'm going to ask Ned to ride his 950 soon so I can hear and then see if I can 'feel' a difference with his Akro's. Also gonna check out a friend's 950 with FMF's and gotta find someone local with Wings as well.

I want a bit more sound, but not too much.
I found the seated position great, but it was a bit of a stretch to the bars when standing. The risers actually improved the seated riding position and seemed to make the bike more manageable on and off road.
I've picked up a pair of the weld on peg extensions but haven't had time to put them on yet but Ned swears by 'em and that's more than good enough for me.

I like the FMF's a lot, I've probably got close to 30 miles on them now and still running the original packing, plus, they've got the spark arrestors you're looking for. Wayne Weber adapted a set to his way before FMF started producing them, so if you're anywhere close to that lunatic you could probably get a test ride on his.

Regardless of which ones you chose, it's worth it for the weight savings alone, gotta be somewhere in the 15lbs region.

Good luck mate
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Choose Life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family.
Choose a fucking big television.
Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit-crushing game shows,
stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth.
Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pishing your last in a miserable home,
nothing more than an embarrasment to the selfish, fucked up brats you spawned to replace yourself.
Choose your future. Choose life.
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Old 05-23-2006, 07:48 AM   #9
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Tom-

Looking good!

FWIW, I recommend going with a TKC 80 front and Scorp rear for what you want to do with the bike- IMO, the TKC handles better on the road- a bit lighter turn in, and it makes the bike worlds better on the gravel fire roads around here. Much more confidence steering and braking in the loose granite pebbles.

Come on by and ride mine whenever, to get a feel for the Akros with a rejet, and the Renazco, and so on... or I can swing by your place tomorrow...
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Old 05-23-2006, 10:07 AM   #10
Infracaninophile OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neduro
Tom-

Looking good!

FWIW, I recommend going with a TKC 80 front and Scorp rear for what you want to do with the bike- IMO, the TKC handles better on the road- a bit lighter turn in, and it makes the bike worlds better on the gravel fire roads around here. Much more confidence steering and braking in the loose granite pebbles.

Come on by and ride mine whenever, to get a feel for the Akros with a rejet, and the Renazco, and so on... or I can swing by your place tomorrow...
Ned:

Let's hook up next week for dinner. You always look like you're starving. Or swing by at lunch one day when I'm at home.

I'd like to listen to your Akros and my stockers side by side. Antware said not to let you ride my bike. I wonder why?

Tom
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Old 05-23-2006, 10:23 AM   #11
unaweep
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Wings

Tom- I got the Wings on my 05.5 and couldn't be happier with them. Very light weight, stay relatively cool, THEY DO HAVE SPARK ARRESTORS- 2 sizes in fact, one louder than the other, but the loud (bigger) one is not very loud, really. People seem to rate them on par with Akra's, but I've never seen nor heard the Akras. For the money, definitely the way to go IMHO. I'd love to get together to ride with you guys sometime. I'm in Grand Junction. Jim
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Old 05-24-2006, 07:36 PM   #12
Infracaninophile OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unaweep
Tom- I got the Wings on my 05.5 and couldn't be happier with them. Very light weight, stay relatively cool, THEY DO HAVE SPARK ARRESTORS- 2 sizes in fact, one louder than the other, but the loud (bigger) one is not very loud, really. People seem to rate them on par with Akra's, but I've never seen nor heard the Akras. For the money, definitely the way to go IMHO. I'd love to get together to ride with you guys sometime. I'm in Grand Junction. Jim
Jim:

I may be over that way in a week or so. Definitely no later than mid-June as I'm riding out to the AMA races near SLC on the 16th or so. Maybe we could meet and do a ride down 141 or something?

Tom
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Old 05-24-2006, 07:45 PM   #13
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More First Impressions

Well, I've got almost 1000 miles on the new 950 since it landed in my garage last Friday evening.

I have a sneaking suspicion that this bike could be in my top-5 of all time favorite bikes. It is really growing on me.

Put the Gobi's on today for the first time and then did a 120 mile ride on the interstate to see how they felt. Could not even feel them. Didn't have much weight in them, but some bikes feel funny with panniers on. The 950 doesn't. I'll load them up soon and try again.

Then went up the Big Thompson Canyon from Loveland into Estes Park and then down the Peak to Peak Highway at a "rapid" pace following some well-ridden sport bikes. Piece of cake.

Had lunch at a wonderful cafe outside of Nederland (Sundance Cafe) and the weather was perfect. The view from the deck was awesome. Perfect weather, perfect roads, nice day. Zen like.

Bike hasn't missed a lick. Hasn't used any coolant. Hasn't used any oil so far, and runs just fine.

I still can't believe the difference in the weight and how well the bike shifts as compared to my BMW. It is night and day.

Am gaining more confidence in the bike and was working on my corner entrance speeds today. Gotta get used to fork dive once again. But the big twin just jumps out of corners.

I am still getting 42-46 MPG using premium unleaded.

I do need to fix/change the speedo somehow as I took my GPS along today and 82 indicated is 75 actual. That's a big difference. Is there a way to change the numbers for the speedo to make this work right?

Thanks,

Tom
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Old 05-24-2006, 09:10 PM   #14
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Nice bike -- congratulations!! It looks vaguely familiar...

Like neduro, I like the TKC front tire. I'm running them front and rear, and they are a great setup for my kind of riding (I do at least 50% gravel forest service and fire roads, so the stock Scorpions didn't really work for me). I also like the Akrapovics (great sound, fit and finish), although they don't have a USFS spark arrestor. I'm looking forward to a Peak ride soon, myself!!
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Old 05-24-2006, 10:49 PM   #15
Stephen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ant Ware
... I've picked up a pair of the weld on peg extensions but haven't had time to put them on yet but Ned swears by 'em...
Rode Ned's, and the extensions are nice, though I feel less need for'em with the PivotPegz. Both would be good. The TKC front is surprisingly good on tar, and quickens steering considerably, although Ned's fork spring mods may have a role in that, too. Falls right into corners, unlike the stock bike.

Don't know if it's the Akros or the jetting, but Ned's bike definitely pulls harder and smoother from low revs than my stock bike. Felt about the same above 4500, but below that the difference was quite apparent.

Top five bike? Easily. Certainly, at the top of my list... the very top.
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