George, I've been riding my 97 Blackbird since I bought it new in December of 1997. It now has 46000 miles on it and is bone stock except for a Corbin seat. I commute on it and have riden it all over the western states and Canada
with several thousand mile days thrown in. In
all that time I never thought the bikes suspension or engine performance lacked in quality. The bike serves the purpose it was designed for very well with no additional expenditures.
I also own a bone stock 2002 954 RR. It too does what it was built for and what I ask it to do, which is to go way faster than any posted
speed limit I've ever seen, stop faster than any thing I've ridden lately and go around corners like no one has a right to!
I had a 97 CBR1100XX, upon which the previous owner had installed a Race Tech setup in the forks. I thought the suspension, although harsh, provided excellent handling on the street. The rear shock performed well enough to make me not think about it. It already had a Corbin seat and a full Erion exhaust. Of course, the bike was stolen because it was so nice. The modifications you describe here I'm sure would be even better than what I had, but it seems like quite a lot of money for the slight improvement compared to my setup.
If you ride hard on the Blackbird you know the facts. Get on the phone, compare prices, and fix it before you get hurt.
I suspect that if you ride hard on a Blackbird a lot you're gonna get hurt no matter what your suspension. Either that or you'll lose your license and all that expense will be wasted.
How stiff is the ride with these components? Enough to cause undue fatique over long hauls? If that's the case then "upgrading" components could be more dangerous since fatigue is one of the major factors in crashes.
Anyhow, I'm still trying to figure our how anyone can call Japanese sportbikes anything less than the penultimate of perfection in all circumstances.
Yo George, calm down before you blow a gasket. I think that most Honda riders are probably doing just fine.
I rode a 99 XX 36,000 miles on the road and occasional track days and I thought it worked pretty darned well for what it was - a big GT. I did race tech the suspension but for a fraction of the cost you cited. I ditched the stock exhaust for an Akrapovic and PC II and other than that I changed oil and put gas in it. I had about 1K in mods and it did everything I wanted it to do.
Honda also warrantied, without question or hassle, all of the problems I had with paint chips. I ended up with a complete spare set of body work that I paid 0$ for.
My current 954 has great suspension although I couldn't set the static sag for my weight without some additional shims. Other than that it rocks like a champ. It needs gas, an occasional oil change and other than that it does everything I ask it to do on the road or in racing.
If this was true other mags would be saying this. George I would be very careful about using the word dangerous to sell your services. MO should be responsible journalists and check his claim. Journalism 101 check your sources twice and ask the accused for their side No wonder Honda won't let MO have bikes.
Higher performance is, by definition, a tradeoff with other desireable qualities in a motorcycle. The 1100XX is closer to the sporting side and thus trades some of the comfort and convenience features for performance. It is still far more comfortable than my YZFR1 in all respects----wind protection, seating position, and heat distribution. However, I wouldn't be willing to ride the 1100XX like I ride my R1 at the track (and I do.)
The "insurance penalty" is not the fault of the motorcycle. It is the fault of the riders riding it.
I find this article ludicrous in light of the advice I have gotten on suspension setup from numerous other sources.
When I got a question posted to the MO readership on what my next bike upgrades should be, my proposals about suspension were to a large degree deemed unneccessary. It was nearly a universal opinion that upgrading to full Ohlins was a waste of money and considered poseurism in its highest form. Even Raceteching wasn't completely endorsed. I was told that stock suspension works quite well, and that simply adjusting the suspension for my weight and perhaps riding style was enough for now. Also implied was the suggestion that I wait until I more resemble Ben Bostrom et al. to dump serious money into suspension. I have gotten this advice from a licensed racer with an R1 that had full Ohlins suspension as well. He said that the difference was negligible over stock. The 1100XX isn't even designed to perform like a racebike anyway. It's a big bike with a big engine. To make it handle like Ben Bostrom's RC51, it would require a total chassis redesign, eliminating virtually all of the qualities that its buyers seek. Just what does George expect from Honda? A bike that does 200 miles an hour, handles like a factory RC51, and is as comfortable as a Goldwing?
I assumed the comment was meant to be taken in the context of what the motorcycle is designed to be used for. In that regard, the performance and comfort of the 1100XX and similar bikes is nothing short of astounding given the bikes available 30, 20, or even 10 years ago.
Re: This article is either goofball B.S. or slander
Perhaps you missed the 'dangerious' in the title? If MO wanted this man to look like a credible source, they would have at least fixed his spelling and grammar mistakes. Since they did not, I would assume that they wanted him to come off as the ignoramus that he is.
Also, I would like to see some reviews of the great motorcycles made by Honda. As I understand it, MO isn't really in too good of a situation with Honda. You sending them things like this won't change that for the better, so please try not to fly off the handle too quickly.
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