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 Is a Silverwing suitable for the Colorado Passes?

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joncallihan
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PostSubject: Is a Silverwing suitable for the Colorado Passes?   Sat 02 May 2009, 11:42

I've owned a Swing since last summer, but have not had it in the mountains yet. I'm somewhat concerned that it will not be suitable for the grades common on the passes here. If any of you have experience on them or anything similar, could you please comment. I would really appreciate it.
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JeffR
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PostSubject: Re: Is a Silverwing suitable for the Colorado Passes?   Sat 02 May 2009, 12:03

Jon,

I have rode my SWing in the mountains of California and it did great. I never needed more power and it had plenty to spare. I have also taken mine up Mount Hamiliton, which is only about 4,000' but it can be step going up one side, and I was 2 up and it did great. I have never been on your mountains out there but I did go up to the 7,000' elevation here, the mountain is about 10,000', and the SWing did great. I would have to say to not worry about it and go for it. Hopefully others will chime in too that ride mountains more than me.
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joncallihan
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PostSubject: Re: Is a Silverwing suitable for the Colorado Passes?   Sat 02 May 2009, 12:23

JeffR,

I've ridden in the California Mountains from Lake Tahoe to Mt Shasta and over the coast range north of San Francisco. US50, Cal 20 and Cal 49 to be specific on A BMW K bike. While they were great roads, they got nowhere as high as the major Colorado passes. I would have been afraid to ride the Swing down Cal 20 from Willett to Ft Bragg, it seems to me that the automatic makes it impossible to ride really slow.

Thanks for your take on it, though.
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PostSubject: Re: Is a Silverwing suitable for the Colorado Passes?   Sat 02 May 2009, 19:40

Jon,

I've ridden my Silverwing over Tioga Pass (Yosemite Natl Park) which is 9,943 ft; Sonora Pass at 9,624 ft, Conway Summit 8,143 ft in the Sierra Nevada Mts in Calif.

My SWing ran just fine and had lots more power left. I know that the passes in Colorado are in 11,000 to 12,000 plus range so they are higher.

But I wouldn't hesitate to ride over them if I were you. Probably due to the fuel injection system that probably adjusts to the altitude, etc.

My SWing ran much much better than my Honda Nighthawk 750 did over Tioga Pass. My 750 would start to peter out as I climbed higher and I would start downshifting and praying. But it kept going and I always made it over.

The first time I wasn't sure what to expect with my SWing but was I pleasantly surprised when it just sailed right over without a hiccup. My Nighthawk had carburetors and I ran it on 87 octane like I do my SWing. The Calif emissions system really hurt the Nighthawk but doesn't seem to affect the SWing.

Have fun,

Tony M.
Rio Vista CA
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MikeH
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PostSubject: Re: Is a Silverwing suitable for the Colorado Passes?   Sat 02 May 2009, 23:20

Hi there,
New to the forum and first post here. 2 years ago I took a trip to Colorado. I rode over Tennessee Pass 10,242 feet, through Leadville 10,152 feet, andover Monarch Pass 11,312 feet. The S'Wing performed admirably. This trip was 2 up with full saddlebags and Givi topcase. It had plenty of power going upgrade, although it did seem to idle a little rough at Monarch Pass. I regularly ride over 9,000 - 10,000 foot passes in Utah. Ride with confidence and enjoy your rides. The S'Wing can handle it.

Mike H.
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joncallihan
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PostSubject: Re: Is a Silverwing suitable for the Colorado Passes?   Sun 03 May 2009, 11:07

I'm sorry if I gave the impression that I thought the Swing could not handle the uphill parts.

I am most worried about over use of the brakes on the downhill, what with the inability to downshift to get a better use of engine braking.
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PostSubject: Re: Is a Silverwing suitable for the Colorado Passes?   Sun 03 May 2009, 12:31

Jon,

Oh, now I see what you mean. Well, I've gone over Sonora Pass more times than I can count and on my motorcycles, I simply downshifted to use engine braking to keep my speed down.

Sonora Pass from the crest down to the eastern side is very steep (26 per cent grade, I believe). The road is also very narrow and it has many sharp turns.

On my SWing I use extra care and simply keep my speed as low as possible and I am extra alert for dirt or gravel in the turns.

As I said, the road is quite narrow. And to make things interesting, they allow cattle to graze in some of the area (no fences); there are deer; and the US Marines have their mountain warfare training area there so they can be all over the place.

Once, while riding downhill on a steep gravel road I did worry. Now that one, really raised the pucker factor because my 04 SWing did not have ABS. I am less worried on my current SWing with ABS but still cautious about when and how to use my brakes.

Remember, the linked braking system, so if you have to absolutely use your brakes in a situation where traction is questionable or limited, use the left handle which has less braking effect on the front brake.

Hopefully, other riders will comment and maybe they might have techniques that work well in steep downhill riding.

Tony M
Rio Vista CA
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MikeH
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PostSubject: Re: Is a Silverwing suitable for the Colorado Passes?   Sun 03 May 2009, 13:33

On the passes I mentioned above, braking was not an issue. There
are also a couple of riders on the Yahoo Silverwing forum that reported riding
up (and down) Mt. Evans in Colorado with no problems.


There is a mountain highway near where I live in Utah that I
believe has an 8% grade with sweeping 45-50 mph curves. This type of road poses
no problem as only minimal braking is required – usually only a tapping of the
brake to check the speed going into the turn. Most of the time throttle is
required to keep the scoot going the speed limit. This road has a similar ‘feel’
to it as most major mountain highways I have traveled.


I have only noticed braking while going downhill to be a
concern if two conditions exist: A very steep grade combined with a very
slow
speed limit. There is a steeper, more winding road near my home that
accesses Power Mountain ski resort . IIRC this is a 12% grade. The steep grade,
combined with the tight winding curves dictate a speed limit of 25-30 mph. To
maintain that slow of speed on that steep of grade a lot of braking is
required. Most cars have to be in the lowest gear to prevent over use of brakes
on that road. This is the only road I have encountered where I am ‘concerned’
about braking on the S’Wing. Going down a steep grade at 25-30 mph, the clutch
will disengage and you lose the benefit of engine braking. I try to keep the
throttle open, even while braking in order to maintain at least 3000 RPM to
provide some engine braking.

Mike H. (Eden, UT)
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skiwoods
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PostSubject: Re: Is a Silverwing suitable for the Colorado Passes?   Tue 05 May 2009, 11:29

Being from Illinois, I am very jealous of all this mountain talk. Mad

BTW, I once took my bike up a hill in Wisconsin. I looked it up on Google, I was at about 1100' and it handled great! :lol!:
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Whitster
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PostSubject: Re: Is a Silverwing suitable for the Colorado Passes?   Tue 05 May 2009, 13:21

The SWing is quite capable of any Colorado rides on established highways.
I live west of Denver and have been over all the passes CO has to offer.

I've taken the SWing up to Mt. Evans at 14,200' AMSL a dozen times and nary a stumble.
It goes up faster than any of the ST1100's I've ridden up there. That fuel injection is awsome.

You just have to remember to keep the tranny engaged on descents. If you start out descending slowly and without throttle, the SWing will coast, and will coast quite fast if you don't do something to slow it down. If you find yourself in this situation just blip the throttle to reengage the CVT and the compression will hold you back comfortably.

Whit
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honda_silver
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PostSubject: Re: Is a Silverwing suitable for the Colorado Passes?   Tue 05 May 2009, 14:35

Whitster wrote:
The SWing is quite capable of any Colorado rides on established highways. I live west of Denver and have been over all the passes CO has to offer.

Was that paved or unpaved passes with your Swing Razz .


Last edited by honda_silver on Tue 05 May 2009, 18:32; edited 1 time in total
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joncallihan
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PostSubject: Re: Is a Silverwing suitable for the Colorado Passes?   Tue 05 May 2009, 14:58

Thanks to all.

I guess that my fears were just that, fears. Whit answered it all with the "how to" control for the descents. I never had any doubt about the ascents.

Thanks again.
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Whitster
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PostSubject: Re: Is a Silverwing suitable for the Colorado Passes?   Wed 06 May 2009, 11:45

honda_silver wrote:
Whitster wrote:
The SWing is quite capable of any Colorado rides on established highways. I live west of Denver and have been over all the passes CO has to offer.

Was that paved or unpaved passes with your Swing Razz .


I defined that with the 'established highways' qualifier.
The SWing sux big time in the dirt.

;->
Whit
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MikeH
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PostSubject: Re: Is a Silverwing suitable for the Colorado Passes?   Wed 06 May 2009, 18:20

Whit,
Do you think the darkside tire will improve the SWing's handling on dirt roads? I'm thinking it will improve stability and the beefier rear tire won't get nearly as chewed up by the gravel as an MC tire. I'm not planning any major dirt road expeditions mind you, but there are a few small dirt road jaunts that I have avoided in the past that I am thinking I will be more inclined to take on now.

Mike H.
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honda_silver
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PostSubject: Re: Is a Silverwing suitable for the Colorado Passes?   Wed 06 May 2009, 21:41

MikeH wrote:
Do you think the darkside tire will improve the SWing's handling on dirt roads? I'm thinking it will improve stability and the beefier rear tire won't get nearly as chewed up by the gravel as an MC tire.

I rode Texas Hill Country FM-337 when the road surface was rebuilt with my wife on my darkside tire.

There were two sets of hazards:
1) The dirt was very deep and loose except for tracks that the cars had just traveled through. The tracks were not continuous or perfect, they were just not as deep or loose

2) Imbedded in the dirt were large rock chunks


It was an immense challenge (even with the darkside tire) to stay within the tracks because the large rock chunks would cause the tire to jump to the looser dirt. Infact one time I had to put both my feet down to stabilize from the loose dirt jump ... which startled my wife.

When the track stopped or the rocks became too dangerous within one track, I would try to jump to the other track across the deep lose dirt. The slower you traveled the more dangerous it was.

If you do not know the entire road and construction (paved, hardpack, without ruts, without rock chunks), then I would not suggest the SWing.
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MikeH
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PostSubject: Re: Is a Silverwing suitable for the Colorado Passes?   Thu 07 May 2009, 12:33

Bill, the only dirt roads I will attempt on the SWing are hard packed roads that are easily passable in a 2WD vehicle. The SWing suspension just isn't rugged enough to handle too many bumps. The hyperpro springs help in that regard, as well as the PVC shim in the rear shocks. My thinking is that the darkside tire beefs up the rear end enough that I will feel more comfortable on the occasional dirt road.

Last summer my wife and I were on a scooter trip to Bryce Canyon Nat'l park and then down to Kodachrome Basin state park. There were some dirt roads in the state park leading to some of the formations that where just too uncomfortable. I had the hyperpros at the time, but had not installed the PVC shim on the rear shocks yet. And I was still running a MC tire at the time. There was another dirt road that goes to Grosvenor arch which we wanted to see, but just didn't want to deal with the 10 miles or so of dirt road. Now that I have the PVC shim, and the darkside tire methinks I would be ready take that road if I am ever down that way again.
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honda_silver
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PostSubject: Re: Is a Silverwing suitable for the Colorado Passes?   Thu 07 May 2009, 14:22

MikeH wrote:
Bill, the only dirt roads I will attempt on the SWing are hard packed roads that are easily passable in a 2WD vehicle.

I did not intend on riding a dirt road, the warning sign said "Road Construction" which is the same warning if they are repaving the road.
The road started with fresh paving, then later the dirt road.

So if you are going to ride on a hard packed or non-paved road, I would suggest checking with forums or other people who have ridden the road to minimize the surprises affraid.
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Whitster
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PostSubject: Re: Is a Silverwing suitable for the Colorado Passes?   Thu 07 May 2009, 15:30

MikeH wrote:
Whit,
Do you think the darkside tire will improve the SWing's handling on dirt roads?
Mike H.

On the few dirt roads I've been on the wider cage tire doesn't seem to dance around as much back there, but I take it easy on the gravel anyway. The suspension, small wheels and fork travel just don't have it.

Whit
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