Personal BLOG entries for August 1999.

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Latest update 29 / 8 / 1999 : Well it has been an interesting week with the Hayabusa.  It has suddenly developed an annoying vibration on the left hand side windscreen.  This is noticeable because the rest of the bike is pretty tight.  I've tightened the screw but it only went away for a little while.  Mind you it only starts when revved past 4500rpm.  Harmonics I think they call it.  The following figures were measured by the Australian Performance Streetbike magazine.  Buy the mag and read the review, it seems pretty honest in its appraisal of the bike.

6th gear 60 - 120km Hayabusa 4.9 secs (Australian Performance Streetbike magazine)
6th gear 60 - 120km Blackbird 6.1 secs (Australian Performance Streetbike magazine)
6th gear 60 - 120km GSX-R 6.8 secs (Australian Performance Streetbike magazine)
6th gear 60 - 120km ZZ-R1100 7.2 secs (Australian Performance Streetbike magazine)

The gearbox is not the best shifting thing on the planet.  At times it feels perfect other times it seems very vague.  And there is a definite false neutral between 5-6 if you're not careful.  After having a chat to the Suzuki staff and their demo bike which exhibits the same thing they reckon that shortening the gear lever would solve the problem.  BMW owners should be familiar with this kind of shift ?  Having learnt that, I'm now changing gears with the upper portion of my foot, and yes I admit, it seems to work.  Giving it a rev as or before changing gears seems to work just as well.   Regardless of the solution it is disappointing for a Suzuki.

Suspension - The black art.
On the road :  Standard suspension settings for the road are very good.  It is firm but no where near what I consider the extreme jarring of a GSX-R and certainly better dampened than a CBR.  I not sure whether this sort of  bike (sporty tourer) should have softer suspension, as softer suspension usually means much less handling.  Regardless, riding the Hayabusa after my GSX-R 1998 was like sitting on a cloud.

The front settings are near perfect I reckon.  Lack of outright feel but planted nonetheless, due to the steering damper ?  The steering damper is hidden away behind the headlight !  The rear is different, not what you'd call plush but on the soft side of sporty.  For Australian roads I think it could be a tad softer.  I also think that the front has a slight wobble since the change of tyre but I can't be sure whether it has always been there.

Next week I'll have the front damping set to soft to see what happens and I may have some pics developed !


Latest update 22 / 8 / 1999 : YES ! I did do the Hayabusa banner you see, took me hours but I did it ! The Hayabusa is relatively smooth.  Typical of any motorcycle, the Hayabusa does have some vibration.  The most noticeable are on the right footpeg in the afternoons, strangely the morning rides are fine.  Handlebar vibes could be described as lumpy rather than vibes, certainly not hand numbing though.  Chassis wise there is little vibration to complain about.  The mirrors do shake abit though, but not noticeable as on other bikes and view from them is stable once on the move.   Considering that the engine is solidly mounted, the result is exceptional. 

Speaking of the engine, it has certainly freed up quite a bit.  Take-offs are exceptionally freed of the initially restricted feeling when new.  Gearbox wise the 5-6 shift occasional finds a false neutral but you can almost predict when it'll miss...strange.  Clutchless changes are prefect though.  

Next week I've prepared more handling observations note I donot have the standard J spec rear tyre.

Latest update 14 / 8 / 1999 : Following my incident with the metal bolt I had to replace the rear tyre.  As expected, it proved impossible to get the J spec Bridgestone BT56.  As a result I made do with a standard BT56.  Physically the standard BT56 looks smaller due to the more rounded profile.  The thread looks deeper and feels sticker than the J spec.

Handling characteristics differences are noticeable straight away.  The Standard BT56 tyre provides much more feedback that the J spec.  However it is definitely not as stable in the straightline.   The bike feels much like a bike sports bike than a high speed cruiser now.  Around town the standard BT56 is great however on my latest high speed run down the track proved that the J psec is the better tyre.  Thread wear on the standard BT56 seems greater then the J spec.  The BT56 is showing more thread lacerations than on the J psec.  For your information I prefer the compromise in the J spec.

The headlights are very good, both low beam and high.  The high beams looks pretty cool from your riding position.  Initially I though the high beam was directed a tad low, however I soon realised that the beam goes directly ahead so anything in your path can easily be seen quite far ahead,  but if there's nothing ahead the beam doesn't light up anything, pretty cool huh ?

After trying out a normal CBR600 again I found the differences very noticeable.  The 600s really need to rev but even then there is little sense of speed, I guess its all relative.  I found it quite unnerving to be overtaken by my own bike and had no recourse.  Mind you I was in top gear but so was the Hayabusa. 

Normal standing starts especially at traffic lights (from idle) will see the Hayabusa take off effortlessly (changing up at about 3500-4000).   The 600 unless revving it past 7000-9000rpm simply to keep up.  Sure the CBR is a nice bike and I love the handling but I miss the power of the Hayabusa more. 

Note : that the Northern Territory does not have posted speed limits outside of towns.  The law recommends that you should travel at a safe speed.  With the large number of wildlife crossing the road I think that is sensible besides there's too much to see along the way.   There are also the numerous road trains that are speed limited to 100km/h.