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DurangoKid,



Texas World Speedway. Woo hoo! I love Denton. My town, baby (Go North Texas Eagles!). I'll have to get back up there soon. I haven't fished Ray Roberts in a while...



Anyway, back to motorcycles (there's a great road, 380 I think, that comes into the back side of Denton from the west, north of the 35E/W merger there). The Aprilia guy liked the Honda the best on the street. And what's cool about _some_ people in this business is that, even though they work for a certain manufacturer, their favorite bikes are what another manufacturer produces. Usually, they'll be honest if you just ask.



Oh yeah, and would you readers be interested in a few MO track days across the country? Especially if we hooked up with a manufacturer to get some test bikes and instructors (and MO personalities) out there?
 

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Yes, but then I am always up for more track days. I would be slightly concerned that a trackday attended by such a potentially wide audience would have real potential for being a squidfest (lots of black and red flags can ruin a track day). It would be important to have really good organizers for the event. I would think that you would have to have some pretty strict adherence to a fairly tight ruleset in order to make it work (inside passing, wheelies, groups, etc).



Access to test bikes and tire service would be REALLY cool, though. The opportunity to ride competing bikes side by side on the track doesn't come up very often unles you spend enough time at the track that your friends become willing to lend you their bikes. An MO track day would be the perfect opportunity. I'd probably go, especially if you could get the use of the full Fontana track for a reasonable price.



 

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Stick some damn pipes on the lot of em...

... and chip them up. After all, who buys a V-Twin and leaves them stock in the exhaust department. Them's some wonderful tunes lurking in there.

Okay, I guess it would make much difference in the outcome of the comparo, but it would give us video loving squids something special to listen to.
 

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As said Aprilia representative - let me disclose that I like 'em. I even own one - a little one. When I get the chance to return to my beloved Texas Hill Country I regularly take out my 1990 Honda CB-1 for a thrashing. The wail of 13,500 rpm and "cruising" at 7000 rpm does have it's high points.



As far as twins vs fours go, you love what you love. Whatever you own take care of it, maintain it, buy the best products you can for it, and for God's sakes ride the damned thing!



At Aprilia we simply don't get to ride as much as we would like and having the chance to ride with the MO boys and get a chance to ride all the bikes in the test (Except the GSXR - Minime was busy dragracing $60,000 Civics with it) you cannot buy a bad bike out of that group. They all excel in some ways and are at a disadvantage in others.



The 954 is phenominal. It's plush and responsive at the same time, and I fit the bike really well. It's the inline four I would buy out of that group despite the fact that I like looking at the Yamaha. The Honda just work for me.



The Suzook? WAY too many out there. Not being one to want to look the same as the rest, I simply could not ride a GSXR. (I know there are plenty of Hondas out there - but at least the 600 looks differentfrom the 954) Great bang for the buck sure, but would I find myself out in the freezing cold garage scraping the mung from the shock linkage in anticipation of the first sunny warm spring ride of the season. Probably not.



If I were spending my money, I'd buy a used Falco, slap on a Penske shock, custom paint job, Mille swingarm, some Speigler brakes and the Flaco fighter kit. You want different?



Heh - let's ride.



Ciao for now - gotta get back under the bubble.



Robert Pandya
 

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Thanks, I appreciate that feedback, and I fully agree with you on the value of riding the bikes. However, the dealers around here (and I suspect in most places) won't let me ride the bikes unless I have a fat wad of cash in hand, which I don't. I'm still in the "shopping around" phase and not ready to buy that same day, so a test ride is pretty much out. I purchased my VTR based on reviews and without even an initial test ride! Granted, I never want to do that again, but I was very pleased with the bike and didn't regret the purchase at all.



I also agree with you that I should get the R if I get a Mille. I would consider the Falco but it seems too similar to my current bike to really be worth all that extra money.
 

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I am soon moving from the lovely confines of VA back to TX (actually to Sherman). I am sad to leave the amazing back roads of VA. You are correct about 380 -- it runs from McKinney in the East to Denton and beyond. It is as good a N. Texas road as I have ridden. Sadly, it will not compare to riding the Parkway early in the morning when it is abandoned...



Track days across the country -- great idea. That would be great fun, especially if you could get several makes on board to offer demo rides. They may even throw sponsorship dollars your way to keep cost down.
 

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Re: Power in the right places?

I understand the mechanics behind the power pulse traction theory, I just didn't think they were invoking it in this article. I find it hard to believe that even the fastest road riders ride hard enough to make this an issue on the street. It just sounded to me like they were saying the Aprilia had the low-end grunt to hang with the fours, and I didn't buy it. A high-power (like 140 rwhp) twin to match the fours would be really cool in my opinion, but Aprilia isn't the one who has done it.

Incidentally, I was taught that a tire's maximum grip level was delivered at about 10-15% slip. This may have been only relative to forward motion, though, I suppose. I'm not sure how this relates to cornering.
 

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MO track days? ( from squid #1 )

That would rock... If you come close to St. Louis sign me up. I'm a squid... but at least I'm honest...
Might I suggest Buell and the new firebolt? I would love to get a chance to ride one before I open another loan to buy one. After all Burns did say "Nothings fallen off it yet, which is good."
 

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Hey Robert, good to hear that your Aprillia life is more fun that the Hawkworks life. Nice bikes at any rate. I appreciate the honest candor, very un-mfg-rep like. It is really irritating when a rep disses other machines and extremely refreshing when one says the things you did. Rather than detract from your marque, it elevates the company.



BTW: for the MO'ites out there, Robert produced the famous Hawkworks newsletter for a few years and rode in Lightweight superbike here in Texas for some years. A good guy who provided some good advice to this newbie racer a few times.
 

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Re: Lets do a Track Day!

P.S. It wouldn't be an "MO" Track Day, unless Calvin, Brent and John were in attendance.
 

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Beans, Beans...

The Magical fruit, which make a FIREBOLT come out of my butt.

Guys, I'd like to expound on the line item that someone else put in. It would be a really good idea for you to include the XB-9R Buell in teh Twins Shootout.

HOW long have you had their banner in rotaion on the site's homepage? HOW long has every single article been headed with a three-square-inch advert for the Firebolt?

It's supposedly engineered to be the ultimate STREET bike, so let's see how it stacks up, yes?

And just for more fodder, cuz you guys don't have enough to do...why not a Shootout of "The Others"? The triples, the v-fours, the litre-class thumpers, you know...the others.

and then the three-way between the winners of those three shootouts.

oh, and hurry up with that value-bike shootout will you. or better yet, get a valuebike in the garage for a long-term eval. something to use, when the higher-end stuff is in the shop. I need a new ride.

Thanks, fellas.

the new-guy vibe is wearing off in favour of the good rhythyms.
 

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Re: Power in the right places?

Well, the fact that there were complaints about rear wheel spins on the four immediately after getting off the twin (I think, I haven't read the thing in days, now) is what led to my posting. I haven't ridden every bike made for the last umpteen years the way professional motorcycle testers have, but I have ridden a GSXR1000 ('01), an R1 ('02), a Triumph Daytona ('99) and Speed Triple ('01), and both a Mille R ('00) and Mille ('02) fairly extensively, and the Mille, for reasons that I cannot put into words, really is the easiest bike to ride well of all of them. Not necessarily the fastest, but the one on which I ride the smoothest and feel like I am riding the most correctly from a tehnical standpoint. I'll find out at my upcoming trackdays whether it is also the fastest, although it is an unfair comparo, since I have maybe only done 30 track miles on each of the inline fours.
 

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Re: Beans, Beans...

I second the motion for a test of the 'others'. I almost always factor the 'character' of a bike into my decision, and the other category frequently comes up top. Sure, they have wildly different peak power, but in the right hands, supposedly slow bikes can do surprising things.

How about a Daytona, Benelli (yeah, right...), R1100S, VFR shootout.

I would like to see the Firebolt compared to the other twins, too, even if it is as a sidebar like the infamous BMW K1200RS in the sport tourer comparo in a certain other motorcycle magazine. Ride it in the same tests, and if it performs, include it in the test, but if it fails in some way, tell us about it all the same (or push it into the Other category). I am sure there are readers out there who are interested in bikes that don't win a straight shootout against the competition. It would be nice to be able to buy an American made sport bike, for one thing.

I'd like to see a comparison of the 'second' bikes, too. Falco against Sprint RS against GSXR750(?) against ZX9R. I don't know what we would gain from such a test, exactly, but I bet it would be fun, and maybe even interesting to read, especially since it is twin against triple against four.
 

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Re: Beans, Beans...

I will have to agree too. If for no other reason than I'm getting pretty friggin sick of that blasted firebolt ad "pulling down" whenever I scroll across it. Lets here about the goddamn thing.
 
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