Author Thoughts after a week in the saddle  (Read 682 times)

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  • Offline crisort   gb

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    Offline crisort

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    Thoughts after a week in the saddle
    on: Jun 24, 2022, 07.37 am
    Jun 24, 2022, 07.37 am
    I've recently done a week of hard riding. Not that great a mileage (just shy of 1500 miles), but long hours in the saddle as we were the moto team supporting a big event. Prior to this I'd got about 3000 miles of saddle time in on the CT, so this was a proper shake down to help form my opinions on the bike. On this event a day is typically ride 30-60 miles from the hotel to the start, 60-90 miles on the event, then 30-150 miles transfer to the next hotel - around 12 hours a day between leaving the hotel and arriving at the next, most of that either riding or sitting astride the running bike waiting. As an indication of how hard it was ridden, my usual average mpg is 50-55. During the event I'd be averaging 33mpg over 90 miles of road riding!

    Overall the CT worked very well. I was a bit worried about the seat, being used to a Corbin on my Pan 1300, but it didn't give me any real issues. Other ergonomics were fine, though I'd prefer the footpegs slightly lower. Not enough to give knee pain, but I normally ride with the balls of my feet on the pegs and on this bike I notice my heels dropping a bit. I also need to have a look at the brake pedal - I ride in Altberg Hogg boots, which are hand made in Yorkshire, amazingly comfortable, properly waterproof, very hard wearing (both my high and low versions have more than 75,000 miles of year round riding on them and are still in good nick) and have decent soles for walking when on tour. Unfortunately, the Skywalk sole catches on the brake pedal making it harder to move off it on the CT - I need to look at adding a rubber to take the bite out of the pedal's teeth, or putting a flat pedal on. I can understand having a pedal of this design on a bike with basic off-tarmac aspirations, and it'd be fine with smooth soled boots, it just doesn't work for me with my preferred boot.

    The mirrors could do with being better - they really aren't as good as the ones on the Pan, and needed tweaking depending upon what I was doing (sitting at the side of road waiting for the next bike to push me on where I need a wide view, or riding in a tight staggered formation during transfers where I'd sometimes lose the bike behind in my blind spot). I'll have to look at changing them or adding additional ones. It isn't an issue in normal use.

    The DCT gearbox worked very nicely - there's a lot of start, hard acceleration, braking, stopping, repeat. Interestingly, in normal riding I tend to be in one of the sport modes, I found Drive to be better for this week, with occasional manual for some hills taken at odd slow speeds. Sometimes I'd be stopping every few hundred metres, other times going to warp speed to catch up. That's really hard on the clutch hand normally, obviously that wasn't an issue on a DCT bike! Thinking of being hard on the hands, I prefer the Oxford heated grips on my other bikes - they are a bit thicker, and much grippier than the smooth OEM Honda ones on the CT. That makes it harder to hold the throttle, I'm used to almost just resting my hand on it, whereas I tend to grip it on the CT which gets tiring. I know you can fit grip puppy type pads, I might give them a go to see how they affect the heating performance. I've also now fitted cruise onto the bike, which helps a lot on long slogs, but can't be used safely riding in a group unless I'm in the lead position.

    The suspension coped well (though mine was upgraded to the Maxton by the previous owner). Enthusiastic riding over sometimes poor road surfaces through twisties didn't phase it at all. General performance was fine. I didn't have any trouble keeping pace with the RTs and GTRs and FJRs, and did get to explore the performance on closed roads - at no point did I feel it was lacking, though it's obviously not in sports bike territory. I didn't actually scrape the pegs, but I appear to have lost my chicken strips somewhere  :002: I'll be looking at tyre options imminently as these are now almost gone, I'll probably be looking for something biased to road riding - maybe Michelin Road 6.

    Probably my biggest gripe is the size of the fuel tank - I was the one having to call fuel stops as the rest of the team had at least 50 miles additional range. I'm used to the Pan giving me between 240 and 290 miles depending on how hard it's ridden - and I regularly used that range without stopping (sometimes literally - not putting a foot down between the tank being full and empty). But that's a bit of an unusual way of riding, which probably explains why no-one has made a bigger tank for the CT to my knowledge. In this case we all fill up fairly close to the event start, but I couldn't necessarily make it to the hotel afterwards without a fuel stop, whereas the others would just fill the next day somewhere close to the next depart area.

    I was quite surprised to see that the rear of the bike with stock Honda panniers is a few inches narrower than the rear of a GTR1400 with stock panniers - it certainly doesn't look that way, though the GTR is notably Kardashian in rear end proportions. I'll probably end up getting a pair of narrower panniers (like Givi E22 or ex-police BMW ones if I can find some - they come up from time to time) anyway as we don't need to carry much but top boxes are frowned upon on the actual event .

    So, overall, I'm liking the bike. It did exactly what it needed to, performed well, and I was still comfortable at the end of each day and end of the week. The day after getting back, I rode it in to work rather than take the car or one of the other bikes.

  • Offline DE65Y   gb

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    Offline DE65Y

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    Re: Thoughts after a week in the saddle
    Reply #1 on: Jun 24, 2022, 09.41 am
    Jun 24, 2022, 09.41 am
    Interesting read, though I can't decide what the event was that you were supporting.
    TT maybe?

    The one thing that I didn't agree with was your comment on the mirrors.
    You've been spoilt by the mirrors on the Pan.
    In my view (no pun intended) the CT has some of the best handlebar mounted mirrors I've come across.

  • Offline crisort   gb

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    Offline crisort

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    Re: Thoughts after a week in the saddle
    Reply #2 on: Jun 24, 2022, 09.51 am
    Jun 24, 2022, 09.51 am
    In general use, the mirrors are fine - they just showed their limitations under these conditions. I was actually shocked by how poor they are; I didn't realise the blind spots were quite so big as normally you don't have someone sitting in a position just behind and to the side for any length of time, or need such a wide view of the road. Lifesavers are necessary!

    Still very impressed with the bike though.

  • Online Hound   wales

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    Re: Thoughts after a week in the saddle
    Reply #3 on: Jun 24, 2022, 12.26 pm
    Jun 24, 2022, 12.26 pm
    I also have a Pan and personally I find the CT's mirrors just as good - I just had to adapt to them being high up rather than at car-door level.

    I didn't have a problem with my seat but I came into possession of another seat that seems slightly lower and has gel pads - it feels a lot firmer. It has the effect of sitting me into the bike, like my Pan, rather than on it. I also have footpegs that are lower and further back, which also made a big difference to my positioning and integration into the bike.

    I have an older CT with only Drive and S1 options, and I almost never use Drive. It changes up far too quickly and the engine's already lugging by the time I get to 40; I'm constantly trying to change down. Maybe Drive works better on later bikes. I find S1 great, and use the up/down buttons when the occasion suits.

    The bike came with Oxford heated grips, so no complaints there, though I never had an issue with the diameter of the Honda heated grips on the Pan.

    My only real gripe with this bike is the suspension. I've set it up as best I can and still feel every ripple and imperfection in the road. I am not keen on spending Maxton money, but it may be my only solution. On all the bikes I've had, I never really noticed the suspension. I thought the CT's would be more compliant than the Pan's, being adjustable, but it's worse.

    Good to hear you're liking the bike and coping with its little idiosyncrasies!