Oh, yes...if you were anymore tongue-in-cheek, you would reference how much worse you had it under the thumb of BAM!
"God I hate them all"...
Yes, John, I hate the twins as well. Everytime I read a review from yee blessed MO trio about the latest and wettest inline fours, I lust about harnessing the topend surge and handling of the latest and greatest litre bike.
Then, reality sets in, and I sling a leg aboard my trusty heavily modified SV....and I realize that for us visceral types, V-Twins reign. Torque, revs to the throttle stop and premium brakes/suspenders give me the fix I've been seekin'.
I saw the Mille R at a dealership last Saturday,and all I have to say is...DROOL. Ohlins, Brembos, V-Twin rort and the ability to school the inline HP kings (in the palms/feet of the right pilot) makes me realize I've got something to dream about.
If only I could afford the insurance...oh...and riding ability.
Videos? NO VIDEOS??? You guys are getting lazy. Id rather u wait a few more days to put a better piece together. I glanced at the 2000 twin comparo and it had MORE! I understand u do the new ones in three parts but you seem to be rushing them now. SO just so i have this right... I payed nothing for the overflowing piece on the 2000 twins(lots of pics and all the info i could handle and more) and i pay 12 bucks for a rushed piece with too much play-complaining and not enuff meaty info or pics? I hope the track and strip articles make up for this lame one. I also hope the supersport comparo is more like the old ones(with a duc to add flavor). I miss the old MO!
Guess I'll be the first to post the obligatory *****...
...concerning the fact that the price difference between the Mille R and the RC51 would buy a cushier seat and Ohlins goodies for the RC51, and still leave plenty left in your wallet.
When Aprilia offers a standard Mille that's still a lot more expensive than the RC51 it just ain't right to use the Ohlins-Oz wheels equipped R model in this comparo, especially since it's the standard model that's the defending champ in most Twins Comparos, including this one...
That's some fine writing, and I am glad he is writing here. His range of experience and reactions to the test bikes speak to me far more than most motojournalists, who often focus on technical details and jargon, instead of how well the bike interacts with the rider, which is what we all REALLY want to know. Who cares what kind of suspension or motor a bike has if it wears you out after an hour or won't run properly?
So keep it up, and keep us amused. Don't let anybody edit a word, even when you use a double "and". Also, I think that was the first use of the word "wattle" in a motorcycle article, and should earn you a Pulitzer.
I'll use this opportunity to send an open message to Suzuki:
You need to give your twins a chance! You've clearly got one of the best sport twin engines around. You launched that engine in what can only be called an "experimental" chassis, with mixed results. It now looks like you're going to relegate the twin program to the back burner and stick to what you know, which is high performance, four-cylinder sport bikes.
I think you could compete very well with the likes of Ducatic, Aprilia, and Honda with a little continued development. Put the TL1000R motor in a chassis with the weight and handling of the GSXR1000, and they would be trying to figure out how to compete with you. I would be one of the first in line at my local dealer.
The TL1000s are excellent bikes for your first foray into the sport twins market, but the fact that there is room for improvement is well documented (refer to the reason for exclusion from this test as an example). From my point of view it seems that you consider these bikes a business failure, or have decided the market isnt there. I think the market for sport twin motorcycles is clearly there, and if you produce a superior product (something that you are obviously capable of doing), you will sell a lot of them. Additionally, if you do this at or near your present prices, I believe you will gain market share at the expense of the European makes, not your own excellent four-cylinder product line. I think the twin/multi-cylinder choice is driven more by preference, not merely price and performance. I like them both, but Ive found that Im fairly unique among my motorcycling acquaintances in that regard. For many, a twin is the only way to go, and if they have to spend $4000 to $8000 more to get it, so be it.
But thats just me. It seems a shame to give up after your first try, especially when it was an inspired first try at that.
Good piece. I agree, the Duc is (still) beautiful but is a masochistic street ride. My only comment on the test is that basically stock bikes were compared. In the real world, we all ditch the stock exhaust and add a Power Commander. Having done this to my RC51, (plus a new seat and steel brake lines) the machine was totally transformed. Its hard to believe how MUCH MORE power was waiting to be untapped. The character of the bike is also vastly improved (more motor, less weight - I don't miss my Ducatis anymore).
While I know its not practical to suggest modifying borrowed test bikes, it would be interesting to follow-up with a comparison of privately owned machines that have been set up with the basics, i.e. exhaust, chip. I would lend you my 51, but I'm east coast based.
John, John, John! Welcome aboard and I couldn't be happier. I paid my subscription fee long before you joined and your presence makes this site worth twice the current cost. Maybe I will just pay more so that I don't have to be harassed by the Buell Advertisement any longer.
I laughed out loud when I read your comment about signaling turns by honking. I test rode the standard Mille today, ok so it wasn't the R, but the horn (read: turn signals) required way too much concentration to operate. Exactly why does a motorcycle priced at $13k not have self-canceling turn signals? And how about a gear indicator? I can quickly access my lap times, top and average speed, but can't tell which gear I am in.
I can hear that fat-ass Boehm now "Hey John, forget to take your Paxil?" Hopefully you have a lawsuit pending for that crap. But dude, tone it down a bit, eh? I was thrilled to see that the first portion of your twins test was the street ride, since that is where most of us ride. Honestly, who the hell enjoys commuting? So to criticize any of these bikes in LA rush hour traffic is irrelevant. We, at least I, couldn't care less. Street riding is the "non-track" portion of the test. Put the bikes in the back of a truck and ***** about not being able to enjoy them because you are stuck in traffic.
Wow! The Mille kicks ass. What a tasty morsel that 60-degree V-twin is? Admittedly, I hate the way it looks. I read a comment earlier comparing the Mille's bodywork to a '94 GSXR. The guy that wrote that should be on your staff, brilliant, and nothing could be further from the truth.
I rode the Falco also. I love the way the Falco looks. However, the claim that the Falco's engine has been de-tuned for the street is meaningless. It revs up like an SV650, albeit a bad ass SV650. On the other hand, the Mille well you have to ride one to understand the difference.
Now if I could just have the Falco, with the Mille motor, self-canceling turn signals, a gear indicator, a slightly more relaxed riding position along with the swing-arm from the Mille Aprilia, are you listening?
Yes, the Power Commander - properly programmed with the correct map - makes all the difference in the world. The stock ECU runs lean to meet emissions requirements. I have a full titanium Akrapovic system on my 2000 RC 51. Before installing the PC, the motor ran lean, especially noticeable when riding in cool temperatures (~45F). After uploading the proper map, the 51 was instantly transformed into an adrenaline pump. I cannot exaggerate the difference it made -- The bike is now SCARY fast and a lot more FUN to ride. The inside of the exhaust outlets also took on a black carbon film, previously grey before remapping the PC. Don't hesitate, get a PC for your 51, its one of the best investments you'll ever make.
No, its not just you. I too would buy a TLR if it had been/ is developed. I have been saving up for the day when I will buy one of the Italians. However after many great years with a GSXR750, I would not hesitate on a comparable twin from them. Shame on Suzuki for not following through.
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