So, this Swedish Midsummer Eve the bike finally arrived and I could take her out for the virgin ride. To be honest (which I always am) it was not love at first ride. I think it will take some time to get used to my new companion, it isn’t easy to go from street bike to adventure.
After this evening’s 40 kilometres I have the following remarks to make:
– The kawa vibrates much more than I would like. All the reviews I have read had led me to believe that vibrations would not be an issue. But I feel it quite a lot in the footpegs and a little in the handle bars. When riding faster than 80km/hour the engine vibrates so it is uncomfortable to keep my legs against it. Even after this short ride my hands are tickling. Time will tell if I can live with this.
– The riding position is great for my back and shoulders and arms. My legs don’t fit as well as I would have wished in to the sculpture of the tank and the saddle is leaning a bit forward which might be an issue on longer rides.
– Mirrors are ace, very good visability and they do not seem to pick up any vibrations.
– The gearbox is smooth and I can run the bike easily in city traffic and changing between 30 – 50 and riding over speedbumps without changing to 1st gear. This will make commuting to school much easier. It actually runs so smooth that I stalled the bike a couple of times at green lights thinking it was in 1st gear when it was 2nd.
– The suspension seems good when riding over speed bumps no need to slow down lower than assigned speed (the Monster I had to almost stop to get over bumps).
– The windshield gives a lot of turbulence. Don’t know if the extra windshield could be modified or if I could do better without it.
– The engine is a lot weaker than the Monster. I did expect that but maybe not to this extent. I have to have a lot bigger margins when riding out in roundabouts etc. Also I need to gear shift sooner and it feels like there are gears missing when I ride at 90km/hour and the bike vibrates as much as it does.
Well, this are all my first impressions. Soon I will have to ride a lot more and we will see how we get along. I have to do a thousand kilometres before next Friday when I have the appointment for maintenance. This at the same time as my fianc’s parents are visiting, school has just finished so I’m at my lowest energy level and the temperature is peaking 37 in the shade. As usual I know that somehow I will make it, but at the moment I just don’t know how.