C14 first ride.

Julian Solomensky jsolo at solo-tek.com
Thu Aug 30 23:50:39 PDT 2007

Got around to doing a rough adjustment on all the levers/pedals.

Waited for the day to be over and left at 7:30.. Returned about 4 hrs and ~165 miles later :)

All I can say is WOW.

Being the pessimist I'll list the bad first. 

1) Right upper thigh gets cooked extra well done.  Have to figure out how to reduce the heat in that area.

2) windshield is useless at full top.  I'm 6' tall, and need another 3-4" or so to get into that sweet spot where it's nice and quiet.  Also it must be wider.

3)  Can't remember, there was something, but its 1:30 am, and I can't remember.  Just remembered... That Kipass crap is useless.  I rather have a traditional key like most normal bikes do.  Filling up is a pain.  To lock the steering you have to push before turning the damn thing.  Minor detail really, but this 'security' feature is more hassle than its worth IMO.

4) sets funds aside for tickets.  It's wayyyyyyyyyyyyy to easy to speed on this thing.  Speed is so deceptive its insane.  55 feels like 35-40.

5)  This is definitely no honda.  The 06 st1300 I test drove was considerably more smoother.  I suppose over the next few weeks this thing will smooth out some as well, but there's definitely more vibes than the honda had, especially at higher rpms (I didn't go above 4500).  The honda was more forgiving in shifting too.  The rear end on the honda looks MUCH better than the c14.  Without bags though, the st looks strange, this thing looks great.  Side covers go full back, so it looks like a sportsbike - sort of.

6) A digital speedometer would of been nice.  At night, the red analog one is a bit difficult to read (maybe just my eyes).  The LCD display is great at night, will report later about day time usage.

I think it was brand loyalty that kept me with the kwak.  If the last bike was a honda of some sort, I probably would have gotten the st1300.

The 190 rear tire was definitely a selling point for me though.

Some speed/rpm #'s.

@80 mph in 6th gear, the engine is doing ~3700/3800 rpm.

@40 mph in 2nd gear, ~4K rpm if I recall

@30 mph in 1st, ~4K rpm.

It seems like 6th gear is not even necessary for street legal speeds.

Handling is like on rails.  You pick a line and the bike just follows it.  I've always had a hard time keepingi the line with the gpz.  It was better when the tires were new, but never as good as this.  I took some curves I normally take on the gpz at ~50-55 which was pushing it (I got a s
 pogo stick effect).  On c14, it's just goes, asking for more.  At one point I thought I was going scrap a peg.  It felt completely planted and solid.  That with stock suspension settings.  

After 165 miles, my ass doesn't feel too bad.  There's room for improvement in the seat.  The cover gets sticky after a while, more difficult to shift around.  Wearing jeans is probably not the best for long distance riding.  I would be much more tired and fatigued on the gpz after this kind of mileage.  For next spring a better/bigger shield is a requirement.  

The brakes are amazing!  Very little effort required for stopping.  I've yet to really grab a handful, but suspect a stoppie might even be possible.  The gpz brakes weren't terrible, but nowhere as powerful as these.

The rear brakes is weak, but that's probably by design.  Less chance of locking up the rear wheel.

The headlights are awesome.  After adjusting, I don't think I'll even need to upgrade to HID's as I was planning before.  Even on curves, the road is light up pretty damn good.  Oh, there's also a passing toggle switch to flash the brights (with the low beams simultaneously).

Ok, I think that's enough for now.  My semi coherent thoughts are becoming incoherent :)

PS.  If you're thinking of getting one, you won't be disappointed.  It will be a change (depending how much customization the gpz had - bar risers, front end, etc.)  Before committing, evaluate your needs.  I think the honda is still the better choice for the touring in sport touring, while the c14/fjr are better for the sport side of things.  I think i chose the c14 in part because of brand loyalty, the zx14 derived engine, 6spd, 190 rear tire, all the electronic gadgets.  There's probably some other things worth mentioning.  I'll post as they come to mind.

If there are any specific questions, I'll address those too.


Best regards,
 Julian                            mailto:jsolo at solo-tek.com

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