I've put over 600 miles on my Gixxer 750 since I bought it two weeks ago. During that time I've ridden my 2007 V-Strom 650 once; I commuted to work on it one day last week. When I bought the Gixxer I planned to ride both bikes for a year, at which point I would decide which bike I liked better and sell the other one.
This past weekend I rode to Detroit and back with my buddy, Keith. He was on his 2006 Ninja 250 and I was on my 2012 GSX-R750. The weather was great, the road was in good shape, and most of the traffic was going the other direction so very little passing was required. It was a fantastic ride.
I noticed that my cornering speed has been improving steadily as well as my comfort level with the bike. I can take the same corners faster and with greater ease than before. I've also noticed that I can take the same corners substantially faster than I can on my V-Strom. [I ride many of the same roads repeatedly for practice, so I've become familiar with every corner.] If my doppleganger was on my V-Strom trying to follow me as I rode my Gixxer, he would be lagging behind almost immediately. The difference is noticeable.
When I got home from the 160 mile ride I also noticed that I felt very little pain or discomfort from the ride. Normally, by the time I get home on my V-Strom I can't wait to get off the bike and give my body a rest. I'm getting used to the Gixxer's riding position and am learning how to grip the tank and use my feet to remove weight from my wrists and hands. Sport bikes are still not designed for comfort, but this is far less uncomfortable than I anticipated.
When I ride my V-Strom now, the brakes, suspension and acceleration feel mushy. The handlebars feel like they're a yard apart and the whole thing feels really tall. By comparison, my Gixxer feels like a total hard body, a toned and fit athlete that is ready and capable to handle anything I throw at it.
When it comes to which bike will be leaving my stable next year, I can see where this is going. The one test remaining is to take the Gixxer on a road trip. I've got saddlebags on order. Stay tuned.
Monday, August 27, 2012
Saturday, August 11, 2012
This bike was purchased from Lanphere's Beaverton Motorcycles in Tigard, Oregon. I handled all the sales and arrangements over the phone with their salesman, Delaney. I originally was seeking a GSX-R600 but both Delaney and I felt the increased torque, especially in low- to mid-range RPMs of the 750, better suited my riding style. I'm not a red-line kind of rider and that's where the 600's prefer to live.
I rode the bike home, took a break, then took it on a 30 minute jaunt on a nearby semi-twisty road. I'll take it back out again tomorrow morning. This process of ride, rest, repeat is a 3x heat cycle that breaks in the new tires. A common misconception is that motorcycle tires need to be scuffed up to break them in. Actually, they need to be heated up through riding and then allowed to cool down to do so. Usually three times is the charm. Otherwise, ride them nice and gentle for about 100 miles and that covers it, too.
The forward riding position is quite a bit different than the upright neutral position I'm used to on the V-Strom. I feel like a great deal more of my weight is on my hands, which is true. When riding at freeway speeds a lot of the oncoming rush of air against my chest helps alleviate some of that pressure on my hands. I also get a lot more bugs on my helmet's face shield due to a lack of windscreen protection. But on the plus side, the bike is super smooth, very capable, and truly feels at home when cornering. The 750 is considered to be one of the finest all-around sport bikes ever made and I'm confident I made a good choice. I look forward to putting a lot of twisty miles on it.