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Offline Gizmo

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First Impressions
« on: 07 October, 2014, 06:47:56 PM »
OK, I bought one 5 days ago, a blue one, an A7 with 13k on the clock, with Givi luggage and I thought I share some first impressions which may help folks like me who don't know what to expect.

These thoughts are after my first 5 commuting days, so about 600 miles.
The old beemer - 2004 R1150RS - had to go as the vibes were getting worse and despite the mechanics best efforts I was heading for H.A.V.S. - not good.

The CBF is way comfier despite being a tiny bike in comparison. Sitting on the RS after test riding the CBF made it feel so cramped.
Ironically, despite it's size but due to the mirrors, it's way more difficult to thread through the traffic!

The engine feels so smooth in comparison and is amazingly tractable and will pull fairly well in 6th from 25mph upwards. The BM was crap at any less than 2500rpm so filtering was always a 2nd or 3rd gear affair. The CBF is happy in 3rd-4th-5th.
Trouble being a lack of gear indicator and an engine that feels like it needs several more gears so I'm often trying to change up before realising I'm in 6th already.
Despite 70ish mph coming at a sky high 4,500rpm it still turns in 52mpg on a 50/50 mix of A road and London filtering.
Will fit a bigger front sprocket at chain replacement.

OE screen has gone; saddle full down and screen full up means the wind hits you in the neck with palpable pressure across the throat.
Replaced with MRA Vario - better but needs fine tuning.

Mirrors are an irritation and will have to go for some proper snap-backs. Big and clear on the A-roads but mounted on the fairing so you lose all wiggle movement for filtering. They are high enough to go over most car mirrors but are perfectly aligned with most 4x4 and van mirrors!!
Think I'm currently filtering more slowly than on the BM.

Over all I like the bike, it's comfy, sounds OK, the kids like the look of it and is no more fuel hungry than the BM.

However, the people who designed and signed off on the main stand design need a swift boot in the gonads.
It's horrible, it's rubbish and is a massive fail point.
I can roll a 700lb BMW onto it's mainstand with ease. This thing though.....
There's nothing to hold on to, no cut outs or levers anywhere near the normal 'lift' point.
That heavens for the Givi pannier rail as a handhold (until it gives way).
You haul it up and over the balance point and it crashes to rest, then takes a huge pull to get it off the stand again.

If anyone knows of a properly designed aftermarket mainstand - please say!

Heading for winter now so the next job is fitting hotgrips.
Fortunately the bike came with extender, hugger and ScottOiler.

Well, that's week one over.
Most of my minor niggles are just a case of adapting (especially rpm) but not the stand, that I do not like.
I'll try to add some more impressions as bits wear out and get replaced.
And 16k service in 5 weeks....
« Last Edit: 07 October, 2014, 07:00:16 PM by Gizmo »

Offline maninthejar

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Re: First Impressions
« Reply #1 on: 07 October, 2014, 07:10:44 PM »
Hi from a fellow BMW refugee, I traded my 04 R1150RT for a 2010 CBF a couple of weeks ago and concur with most of what you say. I had fitted GS inlets to the RT and carried out a regular TBS which helps the low speed running and gets rid of the hole at 4500rpm but for an 1150 twin they do need a surprising amount of revs to pull away.

I have a set of Oxford Touring Hot Grips on the way which will get fitted soon and have also fitted knuckle deflectors.

Re the main stand it is not as important as on the BM because you don't need to worry about oil collecting in one rocker when on the side stand and the resultant cloud of blue smoke when you start up after it sits for a while plus the RT side stand was a bit wimpy for the weight of the bike so there is a tendency to use the main stand more.

Offline Rustyrig

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Re: First Impressions
« Reply #2 on: 07 October, 2014, 08:06:33 PM »
The effort to put the bike on the main stand is minimal, do a search because believe it or not there is a correct way to put it on the stand, do it and it's loads easier.   

Offline richardcbf

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Re: First Impressions
« Reply #3 on: 08 October, 2014, 07:40:35 AM »
*Originally Posted by Gizmo [+]
......However, the people who designed and signed off on the main stand design need a swift boot in the gonads.
It's horrible, it's rubbish and is a massive fail point.
I can roll a 700lb BMW onto it's mainstand with ease. This thing though.....
There's nothing to hold on to, no cut outs or levers anywhere near the normal 'lift' point.
That heavens for the Givi pannier rail as a handhold (until it gives way).
You haul it up and over the balance point and it crashes to rest, then takes a huge pull to get it off the stand again.

If anyone knows of a properly designed aftermarket mainstand - please say!....

.....Most of my minor niggles are just a case of adapting (especially rpm) but not the stand, that I do not like....

*Originally Posted by Rustyrig [+]
The effort to put the bike on the main stand is minimal, do a search because believe it or not there is a correct way to put it on the stand, do it and it's loads easier.   

I've not thought about lack of 'lift point', probably because mine (with the oem main stand) has the Honda pannier racks (attached to same points as those where grab handles would otherwise be) which have integrated grab rails which for me are fine as a hold point.
Maybe there's a fault with your main stand, because my experience is the same as Rustyrig in as much as it's a matter of technique* rather than effort to get the bike up and down.

*UP
Left hand on left handlebar grip + right hand on left 'grab' point + right foot on main stand lever.
Then 'push down' with the right foot on the stand (when it's touching the ground) while applying a small amount of lift with arms.
i.e., more force for push down with foot than lift.
DOWN
Put side stand down (just in case!)
Left hand on left handlebar grip + right hand on left 'grab' point.
'Rock' bike forward in a single move with most force applied by right arm to 'pull' bike forward.
(No one ever said on their deathbed, "Gee, I wish I had spent more time alone with my computer." Danielle Berry.) http://hmpg.net/

Offline alan sh

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Re: First Impressions
« Reply #4 on: 08 October, 2014, 08:33:37 AM »
I sort of agree with Gizmo. If you have the standard bike without the Honda rack, it is hard as there is no proper grab point at the rear. However, if you do have a Honda rack, it's a piece of cake.

Alan
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Offline tigertail

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Re: First Impressions
« Reply #5 on: 08 October, 2014, 11:13:11 AM »
For me the CBF has been the easiest bike to get on the 'stand, with or without panniers.  The main thing is to put your bodyweight onto the stand and gently guide it with handlebar and rear grabrail/pannier rail.  Hardly any physical effort required.  See the Wiki post here:

http://cbf1000.wikispot.org/Placing_the_Bike_on_Centrestand

Maybe if it is a second hand bike someone has lowered the suspension without lowering the 'stand to match?

TT
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The only stupid question is the one that you didn't ask.

Offline Gizmo

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Re: First Impressions
« Reply #6 on: 08 October, 2014, 01:05:20 PM »
Thanks for the support Alan.
Iím aware of the technique vs. force argument and Iím sure Iíll find the right technique for this bike.
But as a first impression...it's not coming naturally :003:

The standard Ďwing-likeí grab handles are too far back to be of much use. Hold the grab handle and the handlebar and Iím stretched quite wide.
Looking at pics, the Honda rack seems to give an extra grab handle forward of this which does explain the different opinions a bit.
AFAIK, my last 5-6 bikes have all had something near to the pillion saddle to get hold of, something this one doesnít.
I seem to remember my GSX1100EFE was difficult though.

Also, I think body weight and weight distribution are playing a large part here. The CBF feels more front biased than the BM which is exacerbated by me having a slight frame meaning there is less to bear down on the stand with.

Headlights are on my agenda too, low beam perfectly aimed, high beam in the treetops! Weird.

Offline Vulcanbike

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Re: First Impressions
« Reply #7 on: 08 October, 2014, 01:39:11 PM »
I concur in the extra effort required to use the centre stand. My former Suzuki V-Strom which weighed about the same required much less effort to put the bike on the centre stand. The differance I have noticed  with the Honda is you are lifting the whole bike, as when you are up the bike is balanced on the stand. Just placing my helmet in the trunk will cause the bike to tip from front wheel down to back wheel down. The Suzuki when up on stand had substantial pressure still on the front wheel.

Offline r32

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Re: First Impressions
« Reply #8 on: 09 October, 2014, 12:34:37 PM »
Many feel that the CBF is under geared, and some have even changed sprockets. But the bike is an easy revving straight smooth four. Rather than a relatively low revving twin. So if you project your speed at max revs in sixth you'll see that it's pretty damn fast. So in my honest opinion I feel it's well geared. I've found mine no problem travelling almost a thousand miles with luggage sat at 80 to 85.

Offline Gizmo

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Re: First Impressions
« Reply #9 on: 09 October, 2014, 06:36:08 PM »
It certainly is easy revving and smooth but I'd also say the gearbox also belies it's ancestry.
The rev shift at a given speed between 5th and 6th is minimal, I'd expect a longer step for a touring or general purpose machine.

The move from the boxer is mind set and adjustment, if I'd never ridden a big twin I wouldn't have the same adjustment to make, I'd just take it as the norm.
As the title of the thread says - these are my first impressions and the countering views are interesting and go to prove we're a varied bunch :018:

Although the engine will run quite happily in 5/6 around town, the lack of quick drive means that 4-5 are better options.
Going up a tooth should take cruising speed below the 5000 rpm buzz, make it more economical and not hinder town work which is what I need for my commute.

Going off topic - my Hein Gerike 'Rhino' boots have just started leaking (stitching!!) after 9 years and c180,000 miles of all weather riding. Bummer.

 


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