Author Thoughts on CT after a couple of months  (Read 1297 times)

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  • Offline LaneShare

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    Offline LaneShare

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    • Bike: VFR1200X
    • City / Town: Orange County CA
    Thoughts on CT after a couple of months
    on: Aug 20, 2020, 10.01 pm
    Aug 20, 2020, 10.01 pm
    When I was considering the VFR1200X I leveraged this forum a good bit to capture the thoughts of existing owners, and I wanted to return to favor to anyone else on the fence. I have had mine for a couple months and put 1600 miles on her so far.

    I have been a long time rider, and for around 20 years lived in the SF Bay Area and commuted mostly by motorcycle to deal with the area's horrendous traffic. After moving around a bit, I am now in Southern California, where the traffic is only a touch better. My current situation allows me to work from home, so commuting is not a concern.

    My bike history includes a number of Honda's and BMW's.

    Honda - VF500 (the old Intercepter), VFR800
    BMW - F650GS, K75S, R1150RT, R1200GS, F800ST

    I have dealt with chains, belts and shafts at one point or another (including a clutch spline failure on the K75) and know the trials and tribulations of each. Since I have always lived in relatively busy areas, I came to view ABS as a necessity.

    The biggest deterrent to most folks on the CT is the weight, maybe followed by the height. I am a relatively big guy, and I was definitely surprised at the effort required to lift it off the side stand and rolling it around in the garage, or worse, up a slight incline is a challenge. My advice here is to park thoughtfully! Find a level spot or back her into a downhill space. No matter what, it is a big bike, so if you're a big person it will be fine. If you're of smaller stature, there are plenty of bikes out there that will fit you, so maybe look around a bit.

    Ergonomics are good, I like the adventure style upright seating position. It is a nice reach to the bars for my 6'1" frame, and easy for me to flat foot with a 32" inseam. The mirrors are exceptional, one of the rare bikes that provide a view of what's behind me without an elbow intruding into the image! The pegs are in kind of a weird spot, being sort of annoyingly a slight bit too far forward (meaning they are right in line with where you would put your foot down at a stop). I suspect this is so you can stand on the pegs adventure style. It did not take long to get used to this, and is not a show stopper. But for whatever reason, BMW has this better dialed in on the GS.

    Performance wise the engine is a treat, which plenty of torque across the rev range. Big displacement means you do not need to do a lot of shifting around town, so in my mind the DCT is a bit unnecessary, unless you are regularly dealing with stop-n-go traffic. Here in CA, lane sharing is legal, so this is less of a concern. When I was looking at bikes, I was on the fence about a midrange bike (600-800 cc), but am glad to have decided against it. The cost here of displacement and weight, of course, is mileage, I get mid-30's around town, which goes up to mid to high 40's on the open road. In Southern Cal, you need to be able to keep up with traffic, which means cruising in the 80's and routinely hitting 90's when everyone is in a rush to get home, so I appreciate the less frantic engine. The suspension, as others have noted, is a bit lacking, but not as much as you would be led to believe. It seems a bit tightly sprung, which is better than the other direction. I have done 300 mile rides and did not feel like it is a must change (just yet anyway). On the twisties the taunt suspension feels better and it is an easier bike to toss around than its weight would suggest, probably because the single sided shaft keeps the weight sort of low, and the big bars help. I have done a few two-up rides with my wife, and she seemed comfortable and the bike managed us both well. On the highway at 70-80, I got about 200 miles out of a tank, which is okay, at that point you need to take a break anyway.

    The biggest dislike I have is the lack of a proper tach! The little LCD bar graph at the top of the LCD panel is a poor, hard to read substitute. With the big displacement, this is not much of a problem, but it is annoying. Others have complained about the lack of cruise control, which might well be more of an issue in less populated areas. Out in CA, it is rare that traffic is so light to allow anything but adaptive cruise to be of much use, so it is not something that I miss.

    My conclusion is that this bike at the current offered prices is a deal that is too good to pass up. Almost BMW like quality with Honda reliability, shaft drive, ABS and small things like a stainless exhaust. The adventure styling fits in well for those using their bikes as a means of transport or those who are looking for a general purpose machine. The weight of the beast means the adventure styling is more for aesthetics than anything else, and if you are looking to do BDRs there are better options. That being said, I would not hesitate to take the CT down a dirt road to get to a cabin or campsite.
    Last Edit: Aug 20, 2020, 10.15 pm by LaneShare

  • Offline maccduff   gb

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    Offline maccduff

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    Re: Thoughts on CT after a couple of months
    Reply #1 on: Aug 20, 2020, 10.23 pm
    Aug 20, 2020, 10.23 pm
     :821: so it`s a keeper  :046:

  • Offline Jac

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    Offline Jac

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    Re: Thoughts on CT after a couple of months
    Reply #2 on: Aug 21, 2020, 12.13 am
    Aug 21, 2020, 12.13 am
    LaneShare, completely agree with your summary assessment final paragraph! 

  • Offline mzflorida   us

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    Offline mzflorida

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    Re: Thoughts on CT after a couple of months
    Reply #3 on: Aug 21, 2020, 02.03 am
    Aug 21, 2020, 02.03 am
    Very thoughtful write up.   Suspensions are subjective...I hated stock.  Seat was pretty bad too.   Entirely agree with you on the weight.   I too am not small, am fit, and find the bike heavy in the garage.  I like most everything else about the bike.   But, I am just now considering "ideas" about what to replace it with but not any specific models.   

  • Offline Jfro5867

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    Offline Jfro5867

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    Re: Thoughts on CT after a couple of months
    Reply #4 on: Aug 21, 2020, 10.11 am
    Aug 21, 2020, 10.11 am
    Thanks for taking the time to provide a review. I am days away from getting my new DCT and it's always nice to have owners re-affirm your choice! I agree that slightly firmer suspension is a better trade off than having a soggy mess. I did demo an AT Adventure last summer and it was a very nice bike but did 'see-saw' quite a bit every time I pulled up to a stop. Didn't like that because it was so tall and if I didn't pull up dead straight it felt like it was going to topple over on me. Anyhow, No doubt you could twiddle with the settings to firm it up but obviously I never did that, it was a demo ride not my bike. I knew on the demo though it wasn't for me.

    Just picking up on mzflorida couldn't agree more about suspension being subjective. Been through a load of bikes trying to find one I really want to keep, three years ago I bought a RnineT Racer after reading all the media hype about it (and the standard RnineT which I did also demo BTW). I found the Racer to be extremely uncomfortable on the wrists, seriously uncomfortable, and the suspension was hard and harsh BUT every magazine review seemed to describe them as plush with terrific suspension?! Nope, not as far as I was concerned. Anyway, it had to go.
    Last Edit: Aug 21, 2020, 10.18 am by Jfro5867