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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I just got back from my first ride on the bike. I had my husband with me who was on his first ride on the streets, so I couldn't really go too fast and I had to make sure he was behind me, so the ride was more conservative than had I been alone.

Positives-
(1) I had it in B mode and didn't notice any fueling issues. Compared to the big carb cruisers I gave been on, fuel delivery was incredible. I averaged 36.5 mpg.
(2) I didn't notice any suspension issues. I'm 5'5" and 120 so that could affect it.
(3) The bike is easy to ride and didn't scare me at all. It will not go fast unless you tell it to go fast and then when you no longer want to go fast, just back off the throttle, it's that easy. Even though I had to make sure my husband was still there, I had to open it up a few times since I have never been on a 115 hp bike. I went from 30 mph to 70 mph in what felt like an instant. That was awesome beyond words and one heck of an adrenaline rush. I can see how this bike can get you into trouble if you let it.
(4) I love seeing what gear I'm in. That's a neat trick. It's also nice having a fuel gauge and your mpg. For some reason, going at 35-45 mph, it didn't seem to make a difference with rpms if I was in second through fifth gear. I didn't get it over 5k as per the manual break in. If my husband is following me, I can't do the motorman break in.
(5) It's really easy to turn and do slow speed maneuvers
(6) the bike is thrilling to own and I have an unnatural affection for it. I would have stayed in the garage with it yesterday, but at some point you have to be reasonable.
(7) I liked the feel of the controls. My other bikes have much wider grips. The throttle and clutch work great. I like the seating position. It makes you want to lean into the wind and at least to me, it feels aggressive. The whole bike feels aggresive and has an edge to it.
(8) The bike doesn't shake or vibrate! You would have to experience this on a Harley to truly experience the joy of your feet not shaking at all times. I can also see what's in the mirrors because the mirrors aren't vibrating with the bike! Whoo hoo!

Negatives-
(1) These are minor things. The bike gets way more dirt on it on the road than my cruisers, but it is so much fun cleaning it after that I can list it as a positive. It's the kind of feeling you would get from washing your dog.
(2) the bike feels way heavier than the 414 lbs claimed. I can't move the bike like I could my 380 lb S40. This bike is so much better than that S40 that I don't even care. It's a motorcycle. You turn it on and it can move itself.
(3) you get blown away, even at 40 mph. I'm used to a cruiser with a windshield, so this will take a little getting used to.

I have no regrets about this bike and welcome the addition to the 800 lbs of steel side.
 

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Good job I loved my first ride also. The only issue i had was what everybody said about manual and break-in. Section 6-4 said to keep out of red-line and no continuous operation above 5600 mine never said you could not exceed 5600 rpm and everyone else says theirs does.
 

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I just got back from my first ride on the bike. I had my husband with me who was on his first ride on the streets, so I couldn't really go too fast and I had to make sure he was behind me, so the ride was more conservative than had I been alone.

Positives-
(1) I had it in B mode and didn't notice any fueling issues. Compared to the big carb cruisers I gave been on, fuel delivery was incredible. I averaged 36.5 mpg.
(2) I didn't notice any suspension issues. I'm 5'5" and 120 so that could affect it.
(3) The bike is easy to ride and didn't scare me at all. It will not go fast unless you tell it to go fast and then when you no longer want to go fast, just back off the throttle, it's that easy. Even though I had to make sure my husband was still there, I had to open it up a few times since I have never been on a 115 hp bike. I went from 30 mph to 70 mph in what felt like an instant. That was awesome beyond words and one heck of an adrenaline rush. I can see how this bike can get you into trouble if you let it.
(4) I love seeing what gear I'm in. That's a neat trick. It's also nice having a fuel gauge and your mpg. For some reason, going at 35-45 mph, it didn't seem to make a difference with rpms if I was in second through fifth gear. I didn't get it over 5k as per the manual break in. If my husband is following me, I can't do the motorman break in.
(5) It's really easy to turn and do slow speed maneuvers
(6) the bike is thrilling to own and I have an unnatural affection for it. I would have stayed in the garage with it yesterday, but at some point you have to be reasonable.
(7) I liked the feel of the controls. My other bikes have much wider grips. The throttle and clutch work great. I like the seating position. It makes you want to lean into the wind and at least to me, it feels aggressive. The whole bike feels aggresive and has an edge to it.

Negatives-
(1) These are minor things. The bike gets way more dirt on it on the road than my cruisers, but it is so much fun cleaning it after that I can list it as a positive. It's the kind of feeling you would get from washing your dog.
(2) the bike feels way heavier than the 414 lbs claimed. I can't move the bike like I could my 380 lb S40. This bike is so much better than that S40 that I don't even care. It's a motorcycle. You turn it on and it can move itself.
(3) you get blown away, even at 40 mph. I'm used to a cruiser with a windshield, so this will take a little getting used to.

I have no regrets about this bike and welcome the addition to the 800 lbs of steel side.
Welcome to the family! I don't know about you but I much prefer washing my bike, my dog likes to shake off every 10 seconds.
 

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Good job I loved my first ride also. The only issue i had was what everybody said about manual and break-in. Section 6-4 said to keep out of red-line and no continuous operation above 5600 mine never said you could not exceed 5600 rpm and everyone else says theirs does.
It should say for prolonged periods of time in mine. First ride 2nd ride every ride is a rush. I just enjoyed another 200 miles today!
 

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Sounds like a wonderful first ride. Lol @ the wife taking it easy for the husband, that's great.

Suspension: Yes the fork springs are fine for your weight, I forget what has been said about the ideal rider weight for the shock spring. At some point your pace might exceed the basic stock damping, that's when you talk to Stoltec. ;)

I went from 30 mph to 70 mph in what felt like an instant.
Yes! It compresses the distance in front of you, so be sure you pointed somewhere you want to be lol.

I think cruisers typically have larger diameter bars and grips, if that is what you mean.

Dirt? If the weather is nice enough to clean a bike it is riding weather, and I'm like Pig Pen from the Charlie Brown comics, so the bike stays dirty.

I think you are feeling the higher center of gravity compared to your old bike more than the difference in pounds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The Sportster I have is 575 lbs and it feels like it doesn't want to turn when you are making a turn from a stop. You really gave to think about not turning wide. The Sportster likes to go in one direction. The Shadow we have is 535 lbs and you don't feel it at all. It actually falls into turns, which in itself takes some getting used to. I'm almost trying to make myself like the Sportster but it may have to go and I might get another Shadow in its place so we will have two cruiser bikes. My husband wants nothing to do with the Sportster. He wants a bigger Harley, so we might go that route and get a Dyna.

The FZ-09 was so easy to ride. The Harley, you have to give it a bunch of gas from a stop, then it goes like a rocket. If you don't give it a bunch of gas, it might not go anywhere. It does feel like it has more low end power. The FZ-09 seems to have a more even power delivery. The Harley is way rougher and much less refined than the FZ. I do like the Harleys torque going straight.
 

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Different bikes, very different geometries etc.

I wouldn't be surprised if in a few months there's an 2nd 09 in your garage. If hubby gets lucky with the waiting list. ;)
 

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I wouldn't be surprised if in a few months there's an 2nd 09 in your garage.
I'm right there with you v2Bob.

Congratulations, Jen. When you decide you want something, looks like nothing gets in your way for long. I'm looking forward to more of your ride impressions. Your first comments were very interesting, and your note about "no regrets" sounds very familiar.
 

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Congratulations, but the fun is just starting. My FZ just turned over 950 miles today, I think I enjoy it more every ride. My wife doesn't think that's necessarily a good thing.
 

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I just added about 160 to mine today, most of it twisty roads. I haven't smiled this much since the last time I rode it!

PS.....don't tell my wife I said that!
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Hah....he HATES sport bikes. He rides the '08 Shadow that we have. He also doesn't like my Harley. If anything, there might be an R6 at some point, if that bike would even make sense with this one. Most likely, the Sportster will get traded for a Dyna.

It's nice riding something technologically up to date. I love the digital gauge. I know people were complaining about it, but I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it. I also like cars that have a million controls, so maybe that's just me. The fuel injection is also great. There is no choke, no turning the fuel on and off, and you don't have to wait ten minutes to get going.

You have to get the wife on a bike. I'm surprised she hasn't expressed interest since you guys enjoy it so much. That's what happened over here. I decided to get a bike and was having the time of my life. I rode everywhere. My husband would follow me in the car since I wanted to ride the bike everywhere. Apparently he got sick of that and wanted to see what all the fuss was about, so I got him the Shadow for Christmas. He wants to go with me when I go now. He's been out twice in a parking lot, once on the side streets, and on the main roads today. We were going like ten miles under the speed limit (ugh). The people in PA were so nice, they didn't beep, didn't pass dangerously around us. I didn't know if he was up for the speed limit so I just hung back waiting. And mind you, this was my first ride on the bike so all I wanted to do was open it up. I did, but for a few straight shots at a time.
 

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Has your husband taken the MSF course? If not I highly recommend it... Take it together, because it's always a good refresher too :)

Your point about how the bike gets dirty easily sure hit home... After riding in the rain, DEAR GOD. Lol. I was brushing dirt and sand off the seat the next day (And off my helmet, and jacket...), it just gets flung up there!
 

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Yikes @ motorcycles going slower than ordinary car traffic. Yes, please take MSF, then some track schools. Not to turn into racers, but to be comfortable with 10 over the limit and ready for the unexpected etc.
 

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My wife and I took the MSF class a few weeks ago. That is what convinced my wife that a 300 was not going to be enough bike for her HeHeHe. It is a good foundation for beginners.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
My goal was not to go 10 mph under. He was so far behind me, I didn't know what else to do. I told him if he's going with me again, I'm going the speed limit, otherwise we are staying on the side streets!

I have taken MSF BRC 1 to get my license, I went back and took it again with one of my bikes after I had my endorsement and then took BRC II. I'm crazy like that. I've read every mc instructional book I can find and am one of those ATGATT people to the extreme.

My husband got a permit. He hasn't taken BRC yet. I would love if he did. I showed him in a parking lot. He refused to stay in a parking lot. He was insisting on riding the 200 miles with me to Romney, WV, when I had originally planned on riding my bike to get the FZ-09. I'm so happy he agreed to the uhaul idea. Yesterday was the first time he was on a real road. He thinks he can ride and needs to learn nothing. It's a very dangerous attitude and worries me- he's not worried one bit. I'm a good enough rider but I always want to learn more. I'm actually hoping to teach MSF this summer (we are both teachers, I teach physics and math).

Maybe don't encourage your wives if they are anything like my husband.
 

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Yes, my previous post was directed at him, though if you can get some track experience that's great too.

Wow @ his attitude about learning to ride. I don't know the best way to reach someone like that. He's a teacher? So say something like "You've seen the kids that day one think they know it all already but barely have a clue?" Or there's the YouTube videos of the zillions of ways riders screw up. Maybe if there's a male friend of both of you that's an experienced rider hubby will listen to him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Oh there's no listening. I've created a monster. As soon as we were leaving, on the first turn out of the neighborhood, he dropped the bike. I know people drop bikes, but it's way more dangerous on a main road. And, the bike was perfect before. I just cringed. He was okay and tried to pick it up so I wouldn't see. After MSF, I spent days on end in a parking lot practing the emergency stops and everything else. I didn't go near a main road for maybe a month or two. He spent an hour in a parking lot, another half-hour in a parking lot, another half-hour on the side streets, and maybe an hour yesterday. The male ego can be a dangerous thing.
 

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Don't give up on him yet. My wife did the same to me on our first outing.
She aced the MSF class, the instructors sang her praise (she is experienced off road rider).
Our first trip out, she was 10 under the limit too. We stopped and talked about it, (she was defensive) we made another 25 mile loop where I followed her.
I could tell that she was slowing down way too soon for every curve (the road is ALL curves) and never used her brakes. We stopped again and reviewed braking, counter steering, and lean angle. On the 3rd lap we were gaining on traffic instead of holding it back....YEAH!
All of that said, I have been riding since 1974 (on a mini trail) and I found the class interesting. I think he should take it! It might save his life.
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
He wants to go, it's more when. The classes haven't started here yet. If I got him into a class, he would go. When you get the license from MSF, you have to remember that you are certified to ride around a parking lot. There's a lot of stuff they don't show you that you figure out. Maybe I should follow him instead and see what he's doing. That's a good idea.
 
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