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Old 07-24-2013, 03:05 PM   #16
ZJeepMI
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Joined: Jul 2013
Location: Plymouth, MI
Oddometer: 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShardPhoenix View Post
Should be subscribed to my own thread so I know if anyone responds to it..

I enjoy my S40 for what it is. It's my first motorcycle and it's done everything a first motorcycle should do. Like all bikes, it's capable of doing anything (within design parameters) that I want it to do. How well it does those things is sometimes something to debate. The worst part of the trip to Idaho was the 60 miles of I-84 I had to do in each direction. Both times I wanted that stretch to be over now. The bike will do 70mph no problem, but I don't enjoy the bike at 70mph. At that point the vibration has made the mirrors completely useless, and the buzz in the handle bars and foot pegs gets irritating. I find that the sweet spot for speed is 60mph, which is what I did while on the state highways and secondary roads. Mirrors are still useful and the vibes really aren't noticeable. Plus the slab is b-o-r-i-n-g. I got enough of interstate travel when I was an OTR truck driver. With that in mind I probably would have been annoyed with being on the slab even if I was on any other motorcycle.

The real downside to the S40 is that my wife likes to ride along with me. The little thumper is OK for doing 2 up for short distances, but forget going any kind of long distance. I asked her what she thought of the swing-arm mounted passenger pegs. She said she didn't really mind feeling every bump in the road being transmitted directly to her feet over short hauls but it would get old after more than an hour.

I'll probably have the little thump-mobile for another year. By next summer I should be in a position to get a new motorcycle and I've got my eye on a V-Strom 650. Want something that's better at speeds over 60mph, has more luggage options and my wife really likes them. Oh, and being a wee bit better for exploring fire roads and the like a bit better as well.

Also kind of sad that I haven't done much riding since I got back from Idaho other than commuting. Tight budget, and a busy summer class schedule. Starting a new job on Thursday so I'll have a little more "splat money" to spend on things like day trips and maybe some camping next month.
Good to hear a real world review of the S40. It's looking like my TW200 will be sticking around for the rest of this season, but I will hopefully be upgrading before next. I too am looking for something that rides well two up and it sounds like the S40 isn't ideal for that.

It's hard to get up into northern michigan from where I am without hitting a major freeway, so I really would like something capable of 70 comfortably, 2 up. Believe it or not, I've done several 150 mile 2 up days on my little TW and it's far from ideal, but it gets it done.

The v-strom will be a nice upgrade though, from what i've heard that bike will do about anything you ask it to do.
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Previous motorcycles: 1993 Honda Nighthawk 750
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Old 07-24-2013, 06:12 PM   #17
psmcd
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Joined: Aug 2012
Location: foot of Olympus
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great report

Hey Shard, keep riding and writing, I enjoy your style. The S40 seems cool, especially for a first bike and if you stick to the back roads. 2 up I can see where you're looking for more and it seems a lot of people enjoy the WeeStroms. I got back into riding last year with a DR650 after a 20 year hiatus. I'm just riding solo and only up to 150 - 200 mile day rides with as much dirt as can be found. The thumpers lend to shorter trips and back roads. If ever you get the chance try your bike in the Walla Walla, Baker, John Day, Pendleton region. Lot's of roads suitable for S40 loping.
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Old 07-24-2013, 10:26 PM   #18
ShardPhoenix OP
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Joined: Sep 2011
Location: Grants Pass, Oregon
Oddometer: 746
Riding I shall keep doing. I'm addicted to it like many of us here are. I commute via motorcycle on any day that doesn't require me to drive my pickup. Rain or shine, warm or cold but I do draw the line at ice/snow. Thankfully I don't get much of that where I live.

My commute is a commute I'm happy to have. I take secondary roads the entire way and there is always little traffic. It's a cathartic way to start and end my day away from the house. My bike is in its element on those roads for sure.

@ZJeepMI

Glad that you found my synopsis of the S40 helpful. One other thing I'll mention about it is that it has known cam-chain tensioner issues. If it extends too much over time it can fail which is no bueno. What's shifty about it is that the problem can start happening as early as 10k miles. My bike has 17k miles on it and I'm getting ready to pull the clutch cover off of the right side of the engine to check to see how my tensioner is doing. Short cam-chain tensioner life can also, obviously, lead to short cam chain life. If I'd done a little more research on S40's and found out about that problem, I probably would have been inclined to look elsewhere-- but I got a good deal on my '05, so I can't say I'm too mad about finding out about this issue after the fact. (Paid $1900 bucks, 7.5k miles on the odo) I'm a mechanic by trade so having to do some wrenching to double check and rectify the problem if necessary isn't any skin off my lips.


Anywho, here's another picture or two for my picture thread. My jerry-rigged set up when I replaced the front wheel bearings last summer. Who the hell needs a jack when I have scrap wood, bottle jacks, ratchet straps and access to a garage with a sturdy I-beam...





...and here's my ugly ass the day I brought it home almost two years ago. Hadn't been on a motorcycle since I'd taken the basic rider's course three months prior, but rode home 30 miles on the interstate during peak traffic anyway. Perhaps some over-zealous safety folks would have a minor coronary over that, but fuck 'em. I had fun. This picture was not my idea. I had already come in the house and taken my jacket and helmet off. Wife says "WAIT WAIT I NEED TO GET A PICTURE OF YOU". Ok dear, if it makes you happy I'll go pose for you. Hence why I have the ball-cap on. What a stupid grin...

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