Got the first service at the dealer's to my Bonnie this week. Its a multi-brand house, BMW, Triumph and Kawasaki with good showroom coverage.
Bill Dog wrote:
Not only was it the size of the R18 that put me off but the amount of effort it took to actually pick it up off it's maintstand really surprised me.
While waiting for the maintenance to be done, I spent my time jumping on the bikes - too heavy rain to enjoy proper test rides.
R18 - to say it politely, it felt just ridiculous Sitting on the bike, the cylinder heads look and feel disproportienate. Holding the bike at standstill feels like balancing a long pole, with an easy sliding weight trying to escape to either direction. And yes, it requires either strenght or tactics to pull it up from the side stand.
And the looks...well, certain masculine jokes about compensation etc. do come into mind. I found the view from the seat to be the most ridiculous, the bike looks better from a bystander viewpoint.
I have no doupt the machine behaves OK once in move, but this is not enough justification for all the suffering when handling the bike at standstill/ walking speed.
There was a K1600 B(agger) next to the R18. I'll guess it weights a lot more (?), but it felt easy to hold compared to the R18.
From there a jump to GS1250 at different seat hights, all felt top heavy coming from those lower bikes, but more compact, easier otherwise...to a R1250R, a bike that I was close to buy once, but was now happy I got the T120 instead. It feels easy, quite like the T120, just everything a bit more sporty (harder seat, a tad deeper lean angle,a tad tighter knee angle etc...and, of course, an engine with about twice the power, superb brakes and high-tech suspension...) and to a new F900XR - a bike that surprisingly felt really good. Although it was positioned into the adv gategory, it lacked the typical top-heaviness of GS series...yet had a similar upright riding position. 105hp with the low weight it is an interesting combo, that's likely a bike well beyound it looks, not much of the fairing though.
The new Kawasaki Z650RS felt a bit like a small toy compared to the big brother Z900RS, not in the good way, I'll guess it tries to be as newbie friendly as possible....I did not bother with Kawi's extensive sport range...neither I did with the various Tigers around and 'classic' Triumphs I know already.
Oh, and I got my bike serviced too.