In the beginning
Early June and time for a new bike. The last time I bought a bike in 2010 I test rode everything under the sun. The Sprint ST featured high on my list but in the end I bought another 02 Fazer. The main reason was that I found the suspension on the test bike pretty underwhelming. I did not want to buy a new bike knowing that I would immediately have to go out and spend significant amounts of money to get it right. Other notable mentions were the Tiger and GS 800s as well as their respective big brothers, although I'm not particularly excited by the looks of the so called adventure tourers..
So what was I looking for in a bike?
- Rideability. Something that had a good low/mid range and pulled well throughout the rev range. I'm as happy as the next person revving the nuts off a bike, but don't want to have to, there are times when I just want to bimble along without working very hard. I also expect it to get up and go when I ask nicely
- Comfort. I'm not the smallest or youngest person around so a sports bike is out of the question, along with many of the modern crop of street bikes which seem to get smaller every year
- Versatility. I wanted something that was equally suited to motorway cruising, twisty country lanes (either pottering about or pressing on) and commuting, including busy city riding (i.e. London) and long distance touring. Last time around track days were also on my list but to be honest its been a while, and if I do feel the urge I would probably just hire an R6 for the day - and book a week of physiotherapy in advance
- Decent fuel range. The trend towards smaller bikes has seen tank sizes move to less than 15 litres. I really don't want to fill up every day or two for commuting or every hour or two when touring
- Good handling and performance
- Options for luggage
- Something that I would not be compelled to modify or change dramatically from stock
In short a good old fashioned all rounder. The fact that my last 3 bikes have all carried the "sports tourer" label is of no interest to me. They just happened to meet my needs (or wants) at the time. I suspect that my next bike (hopefully not too soon) will carry the adventure tourer label. Not because I love their looks but they are great bikes, easy to ride, really comfy and fill the all rounder role very well.
So one Saturday I wandered into my local Triumph dealer in search of new leathers (honestly!). On the forecourt I noticed a Trophy parked next to a used K1200RT. Hadn't thought of a full tourer but this might be a chance to compare these two highly rated bikes back to back. A quick sit on the bikes confirmed my suspicion that they were simply too big and heavy for city commuting and I did not ride either. I have seen people using them in London and have been impressed at how well they cope with traffic - but it just seemed like too much hard work. Next I wondered over to the Street Triple. I love that bike - but it misses out on most of my requirements. Yes its an ugly bug eyed monster but I still think its gorgeous - and I don't even like street fighters. I really wanted to be able to ride it with some degree of comfort - but sadly I couldn't. Didn't stop me taking it out for half an hour of fun though. The salesman tried to convince me to try the Speed Triple - but somehow it lacked the appeal of baby brother. Had already decided I didn't want a Kitty so that left the GT for a proper test ride.
I loved it. It's noticeably heavier than the Fazer but the weight disappears as soon as your feet are on the pegs. Handling was good, the marshmallow on the old ST had been replaced by a more appropriate shock. Performance was good. Not in a grin on you face, pop your eyes into the back of your skull way - but more of a OMG how did I get to be doing 120 kind of way (kilometres per hour officer). I did experiment at a variety of speeds because I wanted to assess the screen. It was pretty effective (standard screen) in terms of both protection and noise but was a bit noisy once you got above 69 mph. Even found a traffic jam to test its filtering ability and flickability. Special mention of the fuelling. It was damn near perfect. By far the best of any standard bike I have ever ridden and comparable to my Fazer which was a long way from standard. I tried very hard to get an appreciation of the Triumph pop and burble but failed. In fact I pretty much failed to hear the exhaust at all. In fairness I was riding with my normal lid and earplugs as I could only properly assess the screen that way. I had been a little concerned that I might struggle with the riding position - a legacy of previously broken limbs which is why I will eventually end up on an "adventure tourer". I had no problems in 90 minutes of riding. Aside from that brakes were adequate and predictable and it was an all round good ride.
I did notice excessive tram-lining, which I found strange as the bike (and tyres) had done less than 1000 miles. At least when I left the shop. I assumed this meant Triumph maintained the long tradition of bike manufacturers in fitting rubbish OE tyres. My day was made when I stopped for fuel. I came out of the garage and found a gentleman well into his 70's standing next to the bike positively drooling. "She's a beauty" he announced. We chatted about bikes for a bit before going our separate ways. Finally it was time to return to the dealers. I had warned the salesman that I intended to claim the extra half hour for bringing the S3 back early and he never objected.
What did you think?
I loved it but there are a couple of things that I need to think about before I make a decision.
Oh - what are they?
- Firstly the missile launcher has to go. (He agreed that it wasn't the bike's best feature)
- I have to decide if I can live with the vibes. It was very apparent that I had not spent the past 90 minutes on a silky smooth 4. Not unpleasant but definitely noticeable
- I have to decide if I can live without the outrageous top end that I have now. Just a statement not a criticism. His daily ride was a gixxer that was regularly tracked so he knew what I meant
He explained the deal on the SE which sounded really good. I had no idea that it had only just been launched. I went home and read lots of reviews and trawled through all the Sprint Forums I could find. Many of the reviews mentioned the tram-lining and blamed it on the geometry, specifically the long wheel base. I didn't buy that and still maintain its the tyres. Mine managed to behave themselves nicely until around 1600 miles and now do it too.
Monday morning and I was almost ready to talk. Just one thing to check. I spent several hours in London searching out Triumphs and especially Sprints in bike parks. I wanted to look at the forks, rims, swingarms, headers and engine paint on older bikes to see how well they aged. Test passed so I phoned up and asked what they'd give me as a trade in. I had planned to sell my bike privately but the offer was decent. Sure I could have got a few hundred more but this was the easy option. Right I'd like a blue SE please - when can I pick it up? Uh oh, they don't do the SE in blue. I hadn't actually payed much attention to the Cranberry Red one in the shop because I was always going to have a blue bike. So back to the dealership that evening to look at the colour. Choice was collect that one next week or wait for a champagne one. They only had one picture of the champagne bike and it didn't appeal. Also I'm not known for my patience. The dealer did offer me the demonstrator I had tested but I had already decided I wanted new - and I wanted the SE.
So signed the papers there and then and arranged to collect it the following week. Naturally the conversation turned to what accessories would I like. A replacement can was top of the list but Triumph don't do or sell one. The answer was not much. The GT comes standard with ABS and a rear hugger. ABS is soon to be legislated but when will bike manufacturers realise that a hugger should be standard equipment on any bike? The SE edition already included heated grips, touring screen, gel seat and a powered top box (panniers are standard on all GTs). All that left was a fender extender and tank pad. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that these were sensibly priced so I may as well just order them and have free fitting plus inclusion in the bike warranty. I was initially sceptical about the carbon tank pad (real carbon - not just carbon effect) as so many modded bikes have loads of tacky looking carbon things stuck on them - and there was no other carbon on the bike. No need to worry, a carbon end can featured in my near future.
Took these pics while in the shop, not very flattering but they had already closed for the night and I only had my phone.
Friday June 14th finally arrived and I left home for my last ride on the Fazer. Very mixed feelings about this and regretted that I couldn't just have 2 bikes. Before collecting the keys I booked my first service. I asked for two weeks but the earliest date they had available was three. Since I knew the bike was to be pressed into commuting service I pointed out that this would take me well over the recommended mileage. The workshop manager said I'd be ok as long as I kept it under 1000 miles. It was close but I did manage - by two miles. A seven mile ride home and time for a detailed visual inspection. Only two minor niggles to report, one of the infill panels was slightly mis-aligned and one edge of the tank pad was lifting. These were corrected at the first service. Yes I know I could have done both myself but it was a new bike.
Walking around the bike I noticed the panniers stuck out beyond the handlebars. I had previously decided that I would ride with panniers and without top box because the bike looked nicer that way. But it was going into London regularly so I took them off and resigned myself to the top box - at least for the commute. Now I do think the bike is very good looking but did notice a couple of strange design decisions. The indicators had clear lenses and conventional bulbs (complete with the fried egg effect). The rear lights, however were LEDs ... but the lenses were red. The front indicators are integrated in the mirrors with ORANGE lenses. None of this disturbs me enough to want to spend money on changing it, but I do think it 's careless. Many of the reviews I read complained about the analog speedo. Have to confess I like it that way. The numbers are a little on the small side as the dial is calibrated in both miles and kilometres. Understandable for a UK touring bike as most of them will get to spend time in Europe. But I do prefer the look of the Aussie version which only has kms. (Haven't seen pics of any other versions).
I also had my very first onboard computer (on a bike). Its pretty comprehensive with loads of useful features but there are some things that I would have considered tweaking.
- I have to choose between the clock and other info. I would prefer to have the clock visible all the time.
- Why is there no thermometer (ambient temperature) display?
- Maximum speed indicator??? Now I can understand why some people would like this. But it does mean that I have to remember to reset it after a track day because apparently many cops are aware of the feature. The ability to disable it would be useful
- It would be nice to access the computer from the bars
- The digital, electronic fuel gauge is as accurate as that on my 1970s Fiat 128 was
- Decent hooter (horn). Yes I know all bikes have puny ones - but manufacturers we do like to be taken seriously on the road.
- Why have they left off the hazard light switch?
Fitting and removing luggage is an absolute doddle. The most time consuming thing is double checking that is is attached because I can't believe its so easy. It seemed weird that the top box and panniers could move independently of the bike. Sound engineering reasons but can't say I have noticed the impact - but I've also never been aware of the boxes moving.
Here are the pics I took while walking around it.
Setup and acclimatisation
I had taken the Friday off work to collect my bike and was going away for the weekend (by car). The run in process meant that I had to spend the first 100 miles below 3.5k revs. I managed 40 miles bimbling around the local country lanes while I got acquainted with the bike and set my levers etc to where I wanted them. The suspension was very comfy, perhaps a little too much. So the long process of microscopic adjustments began. The front and rear units are both pretty basic with the front being adjustable for preload only and preload and damping available on the rear (single setting to control rebound and compression). Front pre-load was the starting point as it did have a tendency to dive under braking.
Monday morning was off to work and the day I'd complete the first hundred miles. Good job because it felt weird on the motorway section to be in the left lane on a litre bike with cars zooming past me. It was also the day I placed my order for a stubby exhaust can - some carbon to match my tank pad. I wasn't convinced about the look but in the end decided I wanted something different - and that there was little point in having a single sided swingarm and relatively attractive wheels if you were going to hide them. I did toy briefly with the idea of having a link pipe made for the existing Titanium can in my garage but then realised that a can designed for a four cylinder bike probably wouldn't be ideal for a triple. Once I hit traffic I discovered that it didn't take very long for my right hand to go all numb and tingly. I spent the next few days trying to work out a way to avoid this but to no avail. When I am filtering in heavy traffic I move my hand forward slightly so that I don't need an extra movement to reach the brake. I probably also grip slightly harder. The problem had to be either the angle or the vibrations. I ruled out the grip thickness because it was the same as my old bike. I debated long and hard about whether to fit risers or not. I had said I didn't want to modify a new bike, but then changing angles counts as adjustment rather than mods. I soon decided that I couldn't cope with the tingling so a set of risers was ordered. At the same time I ordered a set of extended footpegs. I didn't have to change these but decided that a bit of extra legroom would be welcome.
I fitted the risers first (one thing at a time so I could tell what made a difference). Fitting was really easy and they appeared to be well made. I did need to re-route the clutch cable but this was a simple task. The next day I completely forgot I had done this until I arrived at work tingle free. Definitely a result. The following evening the footpegs went on. This time I could feel the difference and the bike was noticeably more comfortable. I do still need to find a way to extend the brake linkage. Note to Triumph - on a long distance bike these little things count. One size doesn't fit all, adjustable pegs would have been welcome. The next day I fitted a pair of grip puppies. My tingling hand had been solved but I heard so many good reviews about them that I bought a pair - and I like them.
In the meantime my can had arrived and been fitted together with the baffle that came with it. It produced a lovely growly sound but not too loud. The web site promised (as they all do) that no re-map was required. However I can confirm that a re-map would be beneficial. The throttle is slightly (and inconsistently) snatchy at low revs and it feels like a very slight loss in low and mid range. But I now have the Triumph pop and burble with a vengeance. Yes it is addictive, and it is definitely bad for fuel economy - especially in the beginning as I was compelled to do lots of acceleration so that I could decelerate to listen to the exhaust. But it is also excessive - sometimes embarrassingly so. I have no problem with being heard in traffic - but I don't particularly want to sound aggressive. When the bike is warm I can produce a single pop by doing a relatively quick clutch-less upshift. Two or three if I use the clutch. And when I use my right hand to shout at drivers who do something particularly stupid is positively snarls and cackles as the rev counter climbs back down. After 6 weeks and 2000 miles the carbon sleeve is showing slight signs of yellowing - so definitely too lean.
And so the bike chose her own name. I have never actually named or sexed a motor vehicle. When I brought the bike home Elaine named it Roly based on the arrangement of the first 4 characters on the number plate. Well I'm sorry, but I am not riding something called Roly. And so she became known as The Grumpet. Well you really do need to hear her when I take my hand off the throttle. Update on the sound: I recently went on a short local ride and intentionally left my earplugs at home. It's (ahem) louder than I thought.
The suspension tweaking is still in progress. I have deliberately not measured anything and am using the seat of my trousers approach. So far I have arrived at 3 clicks of additional pre-load on the rear and an additional half turn on the forks. These settings are from the factory settings for a solo rider and I'm 16 stone. When I go in for a dyno run to sort out the fuel mapping I'll ask them to check the suspension using a more scientific approach. I suspect that I could do with stiffer springs for the forks - and I prefer a linear rate. I suspect that this would turn it into a very good handling bike for road use. Since I'm not planning to track it that will be all I need, at least until I wear them out.
On the subject of maps and things I have never owned an injected bike, or one where I can access the ECU. I was pleased to discover the free TuneECU software which allows access to all the ECU features. Triumph do publish off-road maps for many of their bikes, but sadly not for this model. If they had I probably wouldn't need a dyno run to develop a custom map. As a bonus the OBD cable I bought on eBay for my BMW (car) worked perfectly - so it didn't cost me any money. I have coughed up for a blue tooth adaptor so that I could hook the bike up to my phone and get full telemetry when riding. Haven't actually used it yet (other than to test it works) but it looks really cool with the Android Torque app.
While I was thinking about where to wire the GPS mount the first service came up. So I took the easy way out and asked the dealer to do it for me. A bit strange that the dedicated plug from the ST is no longer available. It has been moved backwards on the bike to provide power for the top box. The accessory plug at the back of the fairing is a nice touch. Its unswitched so suitable for connecting a charger. Perhaps I would have made the socket in the top box unswitched too. What if I want to charge my phone while I stop for lunch? Oh yes - I have a scottoiler waiting to be installed. Really must get around to it as doing the chain twice a week is no fun. [edit: now done]
Finally he gets to the point.
Riding so far has been a lot of city commuting, some motorway riding and some gentle riding on twisty roads. I haven't been on a long tour or done any really hard riding yet.
Lets start in the city.
The bike is surprisingly nimble and narrow. The folding mirrors mean that you can get through spaces that Vespas can't. They are rotating rather than folding. A nice feature is that the mirrors are adjusted inside the housings (like on a car) rather than by moving the housings. This means that when you flick them back out the mirror is always correctly adjusted. The mirrors are also well positioned. They typically go under those of vans and over those of cars so it isn't that often that you do need to move them. Throttle control is very good and control at low speed is easy, despite the slight snatchiness mentioned earlier. If you know its there you can compensate for it. Many of the reviews that I read complained that the bike used a cable clutch. I certainly did not find it heavy on my test ride and first ride out. But in first gear in heavy traffic I have to agree - a hydraulic clutch would have been nice. Oh and I can confirm that the ABS does what it says on the tin after an almost incident nearly involving an inexperienced, incompetent wannabe cyclist on a Boris bike on Trafalgar square.
Changing direction is precise and easy. So if you are filtering between two lanes it is relatively easy to move over to be between the next two. That is as long as there is a reasonable gap. The bike does have a very long wheelbase which means the turning circle is large - so if the gaps are tight you probably won't bother with this manoeuvre. These precise and easy direction changes do require that you have both feet on the pegs, i.e. you are moving. If you happen to make an incorrect decision and find yourself trapped in the wrong queue you just have to live with it. It really is too big and heavy to move around cars and into a different queue using your feet.
One of the geometry changes that I am considering is to raise the rear end. This has nothing to do with handling - but when I do need to stretch my legs in stationary traffic it means standing up (and I like stretching my arms too). This means that the bike is some way down my legs. No problems on the flat, but if I happen to stop on a hill or sideways slope and use the rear brake to hold the bike in position I feel like it is top heavy and feel I may lose control - so end up putting at least one hand on the bars.
Fuel economy is fairly average when normal London traffic is involved. For a tank used exclusively on commuting (which includes some motorway time I won't make 200 miles. (Ok I might but it would mean putting more than 20 litres in). On my last tank (school / summer holidays) my average consumption improved by 10mpg, along with an average speed improvement of 10mph. In fairness I have to say that I have also been riding without the top box this week, but I suspect the average speed is responsible for the difference.
When deciding on the bike I did wonder if a fully faired bike was sensible for a bike that will be used in city traffic. There is nowhere for the hot air to go when stationary. Perhaps not such a big deal as the UK is not renowned for its warm climate. Well its been a very hot summer and I can confirm that leaving the bottom zips on my riding jeans unzipped is not effective in keeping my legs cool. There is a huge amount of heat coming off the engine. I am also concerned at the amount of posts on Sprint forums about bikes overheating and electrical / electronic failures due to things getting too hot. Most of these do relate to older bikes so I hope that Triumph have learnt some lessons along the way.
All said its a competent city commuter, even surprisingly good. It is however a compromise, if you wanted a bike purely for city commuting this isn't it. You would choose something smaller with a much shorter wheelbase, lighter and higher which possibly uses less fuel. I don't want a bike solely for city commuting - so I am really pleased that this one does it so well and I can stick with having only one bike.
Leave the city, join the motorway and suddenly its all change. Now the bike is in its element. If you keep an eye on the speedo and gently go up through the gears You'll reach the (UK) speed limit and realise you have two gears left. Three if you accelerate with more of a sense of urgency. Keeping an eye on the speedo is actually a pretty good idea. The bike's natural cruising speed is about 95mph. Great if you're on the autobahn - not so good when your licence and penalty points are at stake. I don't just mean that its a speed you could ride at all day, it doesn't even feel fast. With the touring screen it starts getting a bit noisy above this speed but the long gearing means the motor is only just stating to get into its stride. Just below 5500 rpm. Someone once told me that the ideal revs for any motor (car or bike) was with the dial pointing straight up. Since I heard that (it might have been from an IAM instructor) I have never found a car or bike that disproved the theory. Only thing is on the GT straight up is 6000 rpm which is well into lose your licence territory in sixth gear.
The long gearing does mean that you will see fantastic fuel economy on the motorway. I haven't done a long motorway ride yet but the spot reading on the computer suggests 60 - 70 mpg at steady throttle. The good midrange and power spread means that gear selection is almost academic. At 70 mph you have a choice of 5 usable gears depending on your mood. Its the same at lower speed too, it doesn't matter too much if your'e feeling lazy and just want to ride in one gear.
The weight of the bike completely disappears and suddenly the long wheelbase makes sense. Stability is rock solid. Changing lanes while cornering at 120mph on a bumpy stretch with one hand on your knee is simply not a problem. Naturally this observation was made on a track and not a public motorway. While on the track I also noticed that 120 is actually a pretty comfortable speed to ride at. I probably wouldn't choose to do it all day because of the noise from the screen - but that is the only unwanted side effect. Trundle along at 50 in sixth and when a gap appears in the traffic all you need to do is open the throttle. Of course you also have the option of kicking it down a gear or 3 if you feel the urge. The riding position is perfectly comfortable. I find my self starting to wriggle in the seat after about 75 minutes - but that's as long as I can manage in a car or any other seat. If you choose its easy enough to tuck in behind the screen for a silent ride - I don't because it feels silly. Stability in winds is impressive. That is not to say you don't feel the wind but it is good.
Leave the motorway and head off down the rural roads. If the bike was in its element on the motorway this is what it was made for. Handling is good and turn in is easy. Not like a sports bike where you only have to think about turning but easy and willing. The long wheel base ensures there is no hint of twitchiness and an oncoming sneeze doesn't mean you have to slow right down for fear of losing control. You get to choose how you ride. A laid back cruise and its a good easy ride. Work the gears and you will be rewarded. Sitting over the bars rather than behind them makes you feel a part of the machine and cornering is completely natural. Grab a handful of throttle in the lower gears and the front wheel will get floaty. But no more than that. Even on a drag style start you would need to be pretty ham fisted to get the front wheel pointing skywards. Not suggesting you can't, but you would have to make it do so. That same drag style start would leave many sports bikes eating your dust on the road. Not because of the blinding acceleration. The long wheelbase and linear power delivery means that you can give it a full handful without worrying about losing the front wheel. That linear delivery and the midrange means that you start accelerating from pretty low on the rev counter and by the time the bloke on the sports bike hits the part of his rev counter where he has to worry about his front wheel he is probably already in your mirrors. Just don't bet you mortgage on the outcome of a race - because he will catch you pretty quickly.
I find myself cornering this bike at almost the same speed as my Fazer. Not suggesting one is better than the other but we are talking about a bike I have ridden for a few weeks with a suspension that is not properly setup and tyres I didn't choose (and don't altogether trust). And most of my riding has been commuting. It would be unfair to compare this against a bike I rode daily for 5 years with a properly tuned race suspension and tyres I did choose and trust. Just for the record I never approach a corner on the road with the intention of seeing how fast I can make it. Sorry - but that's just silly! I simply ride at a speed where I am comfortable and within my limits and observe what my speed is when I come out of the corner. An inspection of my chicken strips confirms that I use most of the rubber and leave an appropriate margin of safety. As with cornering fast I look at my chicken strips out of curiosity and do not regard them as a challenge. Fuel consumption for this type of riding is consistently around 50 - 55 mpg.
A few short night rides have shown the lights to be adequate rather than brilliant. The standard bulbs are on a par with Night Breakers in my old bike but nowhere close to HIDs in my old bike. I do have a pair of HIDs in the garage which I removed from my car when the MOT rules changed. Time will tell whether these get installed for winter use.
I love this bike and it meets all of my requirements for a bike. It does have some minor niggles, most of which I have mentioned, but none of these are sufficient to make me want to spend money on changing them (with the possible exception of the puny hooter).
Overall the bike excels in the area of rideability and the fueling with the original can is really impressive. Aside from that it would be unfair to say that it is brilliant or class leading in any particular area, but the overall package makes it brilliant for me. And I guess that's what the sports tourer classification is all about, I don't want a tourer, I don't want a sports bike but I do want something between the two - and that means compromises. Amazingly it has seen no wet or cold weather riding in my six weeks of ownership. I have a pair of Acerbis Dual Road hand guards in the garage and have confirmed that these will bolt straight on for winter. I will need to remove the bar end weights to do this so can't comment yet on how worthwhile that is until I have ridden that way. On my last bike these proved effective but inadequate for really cold weather. On the plus side they do make good frames for bar muffs and keep them off the levers at motorway speeds. Love them or hate them I will be riding through winter so if the temperature drops below 5 degrees they will get used.
I have not yet managed to find the optimal settings for the suspension so I have booked a session with a professional tuner. I expect to be advised on heavier front springs and oil. Actually I expect to be advised on a front end rebuild - but I will decline that advice. I am not after a sports bike that will be taken anywhere near the limit and my gut feel is that new springs would make it perfect for me and the way I plan to use it - but lets wait and see. I have also booked a dyno session on the same day to have a custom fuel map. I initially resisted the idea as its a new bike and I don't want to mod it. But one of the strengths of the bike I bought was its near perfect fueling and rideability. Changing the can has compromised that so I would like to get it back.
When the time comes to replace the chain and sprockets I may experiment with dropping a tooth on the front - but I also may not. Fortunately I have a couple of years to think about that.
In my dreams
How about a solo version of the bike? I'm not asking Triumph to turn it into a sports bike aimed at bigger riders. Just leave everything exactly the way it is and reduce the swing arm, allow a little more room for the riders feet and drop a few kilograms. I personally don't need to carry a pillion (she won't go on a bike) so this would make the bike perfect (for me) in making it more manageable in city traffic. Obviously it would have to be an option as I suspect the appeal to many others is the amount of room available for two up touring. If anything did change along the way my vote would be for a hydraulic clutch and some decent (better than basic) USD forks.
- The 55l top box is enormous and looks it. Strangely it appears to hold a little less than my 52l Kappa box. A really cool design feature would have been to allow one of the panniers to be mounted as a top box. That way you would have the flexibility of a sensible box for the commute and day trips without losing the full capacity for touring
- Have discovered a fairly large leak between the end can and link pipe that no amount of torque will fix. Hopefully a bit of silicone will fix the popping, and no doubt return a bit of the bottom end. I'll probably still have the dyno done
- 6 August 2013
- Exhaust leak fixed. A gap is left between the alloy end plate and S/S pipe to allow for different rates of expansion. This should seal when riding but did not. A bead of silicone cured the leak. The popping is only slightly improved and the exhaust seems to sound deeper.
- Yellowing exhaust sleeve. I had used polish on this (based on info from Google). It seems that it was the polish that went yellow. T-Cut has cured this.
- Found a spare seat on ebay for a silly price. Couldn't justify the cost of a custom seat and don't really need one - but now I can try to raise the seat safely knowing that if I mess it up it doesn't matter
- Lost the can and bought another. Read about it here
- 17 August 2013
- Suspension setup done