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 Disappointed in high speed hiway travel

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dalehazelton
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PostSubject: Disappointed in high speed hiway travel   Sun 06 Sep 2015, 20:00

Okay, bought the Silverwing a few weeks ago and around town it's great. Went camping up in Watkins Glen this past weekend and it packed well with a big tent under the seat and GIVI scooter saddlebags and a top bag on the pillion seat. I took secondary roads the whole way up and was pleased. On the way home I took the interstate and at a true 65mph the bike was all over the place. There was a sound between 60-65 that I could only describe as a rhythmic frequency oscillation that might come from the Bridgestone HOOPS. It was annoying but I had to stay at that speed or get run over.

I had a Burgman Exec and it never handled as squirrely as this bike. The Silverwing followed tar snakes and going over a couple of steel deck bridges was frightening. My air pressure was correct.

Also this motor buzzes like crazy compared to the Burgman 650. Rolling on the throttle on an on ramp and the mirrors were just about useless.

I could also use more room in the cockpit. On the Burgman I could stretch out my legs perfectly straight and lock them there. I need a couple more inches on the Silverwing but the backrest is all the way back.

I was hoping this would be my long distance tourer but I think it's just under powered and undersized for that. Please tell me what can be done to change my mind.
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PostSubject: Re: Disappointed in high speed hiway travel   Sun 06 Sep 2015, 20:53

Are you tires balanced? Or was your bike loaded in an unbalanced way? I just know that I had my SWing for 7 years and it never handled the way you describe. I also had plenty of power from 65 mph and up. Can you tell us what year bike and the number of miles you have on it? I know when I put in the hyper pro's that it help a lot with giving it a more m/c feel but you should have had plenty of power on the ramps and also when accelerating from 65 mph and up. Mine got up to 80 mph very fast. The reason I ask about the mileage is for how long ago the air filter has been changed. I also didn't have problem with wind or passing semi's.
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PostSubject: Re: Disappointed in high speed hiway travel   Sun 06 Sep 2015, 22:44

1) Remove the butt rest. You'll gain more legroom.

2) Set the rear shocks to the firmest setting and/or travel lighter.

3) Hyperpros --as JeffR said.
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PostSubject: Disappointed in high speed hiway travel    Sun 06 Sep 2015, 23:52

Hello dalehazelton

Both the Burgman Exec and the Silver Wing have
there features. The Burgman is a little heavier and has larger tires.My wing man has a Burgman Exec with the newer transmission but our milage is about the same.Neither on can say they have the hourspower advantage at highway speed.Even with his $ 700.00 seat he feels the S/W ride is smoother. The Burgman may give a little heaver feeling on the highway but the S/W is easyer to handle around town. And if you ever had to change the spark plugs on your Burgman Exec you wish you had a S/W. I think once you have your S/W dialed in you will be happy. Howard
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exavid
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PostSubject: Re: Disappointed in high speed hiway travel   Mon 07 Sep 2015, 00:19

Very possibly it's the tires. I put new Hoops on my second SW and that made a world of difference. Much the same on my present BMW C650GT. I had 6000 miles on the bike and both front and rear tires were seriously worn. New ones on the bike and presto... like the bike was a hundred pounds lighter with power steering.
I've never noticed any serious wind buffeting of the bike or rider on the SW, B650 or the 650GT. The SW has the worst OEM windshield of the three in my opinion. I installed a Givi Adjustable screen on the SW which was a GREAT improvement. Of the three brands of maxi's I've owned the SW is the softest in front suspension. Not bad but definitely softer than the B650 or the BMW650GT. Stiffer springs would make the bike handle better in the twisties but give a harsher ride.

I really think your bike needs some attention, tires, suspension or possibly head bearing adjustment/lubrication. Neither the '04 or '06 SWs that I used to have had any problem running at 70-80mph on I-5.
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Dale N.
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PostSubject: Re: Disappointed in high speed hiway travel   Mon 07 Sep 2015, 00:39

I have an 08 SWing with Pirelli Diablo tires on it. I like the way it handles. Interstate speeds are no problem with it either. I put them on this spring and time will tell how long they last. I've put a few thousand on them this summer and still like them.
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dspevack
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PostSubject: Re: Disappointed in high speed hiway travel   Mon 07 Sep 2015, 07:25

There are reports of heavy set couples doing nation wide touring (with luggage) on the silverwing pushing the bike well beyond the 386lb stated load limit and not having the problems you describe.

Poor loading of your bike, and piling things high on the pillion could subject the bike to severe cross winds, such as you'd find on a long high bridge over water or passing a semi going the opposite direction on a 2lane road, but that should be the extent of it. Follow the lead of others above and check your tires and suspension.
In addition, a power commander will regulate your fuel-air mixture to insure you have maximum power and smooth acceleration across the entire speed band.
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dalehazelton
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PostSubject: Re: Disappointed in high speed hiway travel   Mon 07 Sep 2015, 08:34

Bike is an '08 and had 1,800 miles on it when I bought it a few weeks ago. Has 2,500 now. Tires are original but not hard or cracked and the rubber is still soft. Bike was not overloaded high (bag on passenger seat was maybe 8-10 pounds at most).

I have the GIVI Airflow which helped a lot. I'll check the rear shock setting.

I had the HOOPS on my Burgman 400 and Exec and they never seemed like a bad tire. But even the Burgman 400 handled better loaded, and I had a 52 litre top box on that in addition to the saddlebags and seat bag.

IF I can do the progressive springs myself I'll get a set (I know there are pictorials here). Thanks for the comments. It was a breezy day, the roadway was in a crappy condition and I was tired. I think it might have been a moment when I should have just stayed on blue highways.

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PostSubject: Re: Disappointed in high speed hiway travel   Mon 07 Sep 2015, 10:10

Has your rear tyre squared off a little? When I got my silvering the tyres were a bit squared off and I felt as if it was all over the road in the same way as you do. I just re profiled the tyre with a surform and the handling was fine!
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Winger61
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PostSubject: Re: Disappointed in high speed hiway travel   Mon 07 Sep 2015, 12:05

[quote="dalehazelton"]
It was a breezy day, the roadway was in a crappy condition and I was tired. I think it might have been a moment when I should have just stayed on blue highways.

Maybe you just answered your own question? Wink
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ScottO
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PostSubject: Re: Disappointed in high speed hiway travel   Mon 07 Sep 2015, 12:15

The Airhawk seat cushion on mine adds some legroom. I really notice the difference when I don't have it on. Also, the butt stop is in a better position when using the Airhawk. Do you have mirror extenders installed?
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exavid
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PostSubject: Re: Disappointed in high speed hiway travel   Mon 07 Sep 2015, 12:39

One of the causes mentioned by the guys above must be the cause of the instability because it's certainly not inherent in the SW. I've had both of mine over 100mph, around 102-103mph as measured by my gps and there were not stability issues. That was without a top case and with the OEM windshield on one and a Givi adjustable on the other.
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Meldrew
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PostSubject: Re: Disappointed in high speed hiway travel   Mon 07 Sep 2015, 12:48

I've always had the view that if you don't like a bike or maxi scooter you've bought, then sell it, trade it in and get something else. Because if you don't like riding it initially, you won't like it more after you've thrown money at it.

If the fork spring are too soft, the motors too buzzy, the mirrors vibrate, handling is rubbish at speed, the riding position is cramped, and it's been dropped a couple of times like the OP mentioned in his earlier post, then it wasn't really a good idea to buy this Silver Wing.
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john grinsel
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PostSubject: Re: Disappointed in high speed hiway travel   Mon 07 Sep 2015, 13:30

I read it is not new.

old---what is maint. history? Tires....most dealers in US do not or cannot balance scooter tires, especially rears.

I now have over 50,000 silverwing miles on 2 NEW SilverWings---remember first it is a SCOOTER, they work fine, but a bit dated design, but fine for what it is. I have been riding 60 years and huge mileage.

Try new tires, do work your self----Use Ride ON @$15.00 a bottle, one for each wheel.
Belt slap can occur. Bike that old I would change drive belt anyway. Carry old as spare.

I have ridden Suzuki Burgman 650---it is already over 100 lbs heavier than the too heavy SilverWing and more expensive. Top Box in my opinion can have effect on handling, also I have ridden as far as AK with SilverWing/worst problem is wind management even with GIVI adjustable screen

Don't like the SilverWing=get another bike.
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Old Limey
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PostSubject: Re: Disappointed in high speed hiway travel   Mon 07 Sep 2015, 14:04

Iam in agreement with Medrew and John G. Maybe the Silverwing is not for you.
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dalehazelton
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PostSubject: Re: Disappointed in high speed hiway travel   Mon 07 Sep 2015, 14:31

The Burgman 400 was for me. The Burgman Exec was for me. This should fall in the middle so I'm not buying that - I LIKE scooters. I just need to work around the seat/legroom issue. Since the bike sat for 7 years more than it was ridden I'll check the condition of the belt and consider new/different tires, but probably won't re-shoe it until the beginning of the next season.

I'm on a couple of other forums to go with my other bikes and on every forum someone always talks about how they rode their bike a hundred miles an hour two-up with a couple hundred pounds of gear and got 70 mpg and it's the best bike in the world etc etc. Every bike excels in some areas and has limitations in others. I'm just discovering what they are.
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PostSubject: Re: Disappointed in high speed hiway travel   Mon 07 Sep 2015, 15:19

I would say if it is an '08 with only 2500 miles on it that the rubber..ie. tires and belt are just old. I would change the tires next year like you said and also install a new belt. What you described in your original post is not how the SWing rides but it known to be very smooth. Good luck.
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exavid
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PostSubject: Re: Disappointed in high speed hiway travel   Mon 07 Sep 2015, 18:59

I've never tried top speed with two aboard or a load on the bike but other than that I do know the top speed of every bike I owned which is a few over the past 58 years. My 49 Cushman scooter would do about 40mph with its 4hp and a bit over 60mph with its 8hp Eagle engine. That was measured with a watch and a roadway mile marker, all the other bikes had speedometers. It's easy now with GPS no stopwatches and mile markers to distract the rider. You don't have to run a flying mile now either. Anyway I do know that a SW, Burgman 650 and BMW C6560GT will all easily do over a ton which impresses me. They also do it with aplomb. Scooters have come a long way.
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dalehazelton
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PostSubject: Re: Disappointed in high speed hiway travel   Mon 07 Sep 2015, 20:24

I don't know the top speed of my VFR 800 and I never plan on finding out.

I think the weird harmonic frequency I was hearing at 62 or 63 is like how my van gets a vibration in a front tire at 43 mph - rotate the tires and it goes away. It must be an issue of balance or a flat spot or the old belt or something.

Seating room just has to be dealt with. Not spending on a Corbin just now.

I know the Silverwing is a good scoot, I just need to sort out this one's issues.
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model28a
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PostSubject: Re: Disappointed in high speed hiway travel   Mon 07 Sep 2015, 21:10

The Burgman 400 was way too cramped for me. I think my Silverwings have a lot more seat/legroom. When I ride a Burgman 400 at the shop I don't understand how I ever rode my old one.
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PostSubject: Re: Disappointed in high speed hiway travel   Mon 07 Sep 2015, 21:53

[quote="dalehazelton"]
I think the weird harmonic frequency I was hearing at 62 or 63 is like how my van gets a vibration in a front tire at 43 mph - rotate the tires and it goes away. It must be an issue of balance or a flat spot or the old belt or something.


When I bought my 2007 SW it had 6 year old tires on it and I used to hear rattles like I carried a box of Lego in the front. Since I had them replaced with a couple of Pirelli Diablos ( front $ 62 and back $ 74 supplied, fitted and balanced) those noises have disappeared and I feel less vibration on the handlebar.
I hope you get to sort out all the annoying little problems and I am confident you will enjoy the SW. Like anyone else I look around what else is on the market and I just can't see anything out there that would suit me better.

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PostSubject: Re: Disappointed in high speed hiway travel   Tue 08 Sep 2015, 01:10

If you have doubts about wheel balance the quickest easiest way to correct that is to install Dyna Beads. They do work, I've had them in my Goldwing 1800. The 1800 has a single sided swing arm which prevented hand balancing that I've always done because there's no way to put a balancer rod into the wheel. I used Dyna Beads on that bike and it ran very smoothly. I'll probably use them on the rear wheel of my GT because it also has an open center wheel because of the single sided swing arm.
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Meldrew
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PostSubject: Re: Disappointed in high speed hiway travel   Tue 08 Sep 2015, 05:50

Dyna Beads have always had this 'snake oil' tag, and a YouTube clip of a plastic bottle spinning round on the electric drill before and after does little to convince me they're any good. Putting them in old or worn tyres seems a waste of money too.

If you're going to put anything inside the tyres to balance them you may as well use a puncture sealant.
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PostSubject: Re: Disappointed in high speed hiway travel   Tue 08 Sep 2015, 07:03

I have bean using counteract balancing beads for the last 85 k kl on my swing and have recycled them on 3 DS rear tires and 3 front mc tires . they work very well and you can keep re using them with no bad effects.As fare as disappointed high way speed , the swing is very capable to keep up at 80 mph .My riding buddy are surprise how well it preforms.( sewing machine on steroids)
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PostSubject: Re: Disappointed in high speed hiway travel   Tue 08 Sep 2015, 08:50

Sounds like tires may be your culprit. Even with only 2500 miles, most experts recommend replacing rubber over 5 years old. Damage/rot is not always visible with the naked eye. I have taken 3 trips of over 1000 miles on my scoot and have cruised at 80 with no problems. Perhaps you were just tired (as you state) or perhaps you just prefer Suzuki?

Good luck and keep us posted as you work through this.
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PostSubject: Re: Disappointed in high speed hiway travel   Tue 08 Sep 2015, 10:06

Even new tires can be bad based on my recent experience - in the Spring of 2014 replaced both front/rear Pirelli Diablo's with a new set of the same. Only put about 200 miles on the SW in 2014 because of health issues but this Spring took it out and had big issues with head shake [around 35- 32 mph] and severe "bouncing" at speeds 65 mph and above. Back to the dealer for check of the steering head and wheel bearings - they checked out fine. Then to the tire - the new front was defective internally and replacing it corrected the problem. I like the Diablo's but even a good tire can have a "bad apple"! Good luck on correcting your problem.

Rick V

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exavid
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PostSubject: Re: Disappointed in high speed hiway travel   Tue 08 Sep 2015, 13:49

Well in your case after seeing your avatar, your tires shouldn't matter since your bike hovers off the ground.
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PostSubject: Re: Disappointed in high speed hiway travel   Tue 08 Sep 2015, 14:04

I've owned a Burgman 650 Exec and now have a 2008 Silverwing - in fact I've just completed a long weekend tour of the English Lake District covering over 500 miles of mixed roads (both fast and slow). I'd say that without doubt the Burgman is a better, more sure footed bike at speeds above 65mph. It also seems a more relaxed ride and less 'buzzy' than the Swing. I think the better handling may be down to the Burgman's full sized front forks rather than the short, half-sized versions on the Honda. The bigger, adjustable screen on the Suzy also helps; the OE screen on the Honda is hopeless above 70mph.

However the Swing is much easier to man handle around town and at lower speeds and is more capable of nipping in and out of traffic than the oversized Burgie. It's a lighter more manoeuvrable bike which makes it less tiring around town.

I guess it's horses for courses at the end of the day, and let's not forget the Silverwing is a pot of gold cheaper than the Burgman.
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dalehazelton
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PostSubject: Re: Disappointed in high speed hiway travel   Tue 08 Sep 2015, 18:38

I agree with you Riggers, the Burgman Exec is a better highway ride, like a Harley dresser is a better ride than a Sportster. I never had an issue riding the Burger around town but manhandling it around the garage was a handful. I sold it because of the reported transmission issues, even though they probably only occurred to a 10th of a percent of owners. Anyway, I'm here with the Wing now and want to give it a chance. New tires are probably my answer, and just staying off potholed roads. I had it up to 65 and on smooth highway it was fine. I think it was just a confluence of things that left a bad taste in my mouth. I will say that it was nice to pack a four-man tent under the seat.
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PostSubject: Re: Disappointed in high speed hiway travel   Tue 08 Sep 2015, 22:58

I'll agree that the Burgman 650 is a smooth ride on the highway, almost as good as my BMW GT but the SW is handier in confined places and proven one of the most reliable maxis going.
BTW - I got scared off and sold my B650 after hearing about the transmission failures. I didn't like the idea of the way the variator was operated by a small electric motor with nylon gears. Also there was the stopper bolt which I had to replace on mine. The BMW is still an unknown quantity, I've got 6000 miles on it without problems but it doesn't have the long production and performance history that the Silverwing does.
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PostSubject: Re: Disappointed in high speed hiway travel   Wed 09 Sep 2015, 05:14

So this is now yet another Burgman 650 v Silver Wing 600 thread, OK then I'll play along. I'm taking my Silver Wing over to Northern Germany again in a few days time, I've also been up there on the 650 Burgman. So comparing the two, I don't thing there's much difference performance wise solo or with a passenger at autobahn speeds or on country roads, the glaring difference is in heavy city traffic where the Burgman is a bit of a pig compared to the Silver Wing.

In the flat lands of Holland cross winds affected the bulkier Burgman a lot more than the Silver Wing, it's nigh on impossible to brim the tank on the Burgman like you can on the Honda and having to hold a soft pannier out of the way to pump fuel in is inconvenient too. The Airflow and leg wind deflectors equipped Silver Wing make it far better to ride in heavy rain, the Burgman mirrors dump rain drops off them down onto your boots. I also had one Burgman headlight fill with condensation after a few days wet weather riding in Northern Ireland and it took months to clear. The under seat storage on a Burgman is better than the Silver Wing because it doesn't have those weird bits on either side.

I'm constantly amused by the hysteria caused by a few well publicised 650 transmission failures that seems to have convinced many owners worldwide that their Burgman is a liability and potential engineering catastrophe.

I'm over Burgmans completely now and can't even summon up enough interest to go to the local Suzuki bike dealership a short ride from my home.
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PostSubject: Re: Disappointed in high speed hiway travel   Wed 09 Sep 2015, 10:55

dalehazelton wrote:
Since the bike sat for 7 years more than it was ridden I'll check the condition of the belt and consider new/different tires, but probably won't re-shoe it until the beginning of the next season.
   

Since the bike sat for 7 years, the Hoops most likely have flat spots.  Bias tires develop flat spots where they contact the floor, radial tires don't. I would change the tires before I did anything else.
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PostSubject: Re: Disappointed in high speed hiway travel   Wed 09 Sep 2015, 14:57

I just finished a 1400 mile trip with over 500 miles on fast interstates with heavy truck traffic, some 2/4 lane US routes and 600 miles of Shenandoah NP/BRP twisties (skipped the Dragon this time)

I'm betting also that a tire change front and rear will cure the issue, either Pirelli Diablo or Michelin PowerPure are good choices.

I was loaded to about 425lbs between myself and underseat, saddlebags and a backpack on the pillion.

I rode at between 70-80 mph on the highways and 20-40 in the twisties...
I did not have any stability, handling or braking issues at all, except for some buffeting when passing trucks...and that's due to the Tall Givi windscreen (OEM was far more stable, but helmet turbulence was bad)

I have new Michelin Power Pure F/R @ 39/42 psi, and by the last part of the trip I was having some handling/stability issues, but a pressure check showed that I had beat about 10-15 PSI out of the tires keeping up with the sport touring crowd on the BRP. After correcting the pressure, the issues disappeared.

As for the Burggy, I've never ridden one, but seems way too heavy sitting on it in the showroom....
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PostSubject: Re: Disappointed in high speed hiway travel   Wed 09 Sep 2015, 15:39

Both of my low mileage Silverwings had the original tires on them until I found a plug in the rear tire on the 07 at 13,000. affraid I use the 07 for my rides over a hundred miles and had I known it had a plug in it I'd have replaced it immediately. I probably could have gotten another thousand or two miles out of it if it didn't have the plug in it. I inspect my tires often and I will replace them immediately if I find any signs of cracking or dry rot. With the miles I ride I see no reason to throw away good tires.
I must be odd because I have a lot more legroom on my Silverwings than I had on my 05 Burgman 400.
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dalehazelton
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PostSubject: Re: Disappointed in high speed hiway travel   Thu 10 Sep 2015, 16:59

"So this is now yet another Burgman 650 v Silver Wing 600 thread"

Not really, all machines excel at something and each rider is looking for something different. I just wanted to solve the handling issue and weird harmonic experience I had. I did love my Burgmans, but I love the SW, too.

I checked the date code on my tires and they were made in the 43rd week of 2007. The weird thing is I have a couple other bikes with tires at least that old and those bikes handle fine. But they aren't small circumference scooter tires so that may come into play. Hard to change a set of tires with only 2600 miles on them.
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hotwings
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PostSubject: Re: Disappointed in high speed hiway travel   Thu 10 Sep 2015, 18:53

dalehazelton wrote:


I checked the date code on my tires and they were made in the 43rd week of 2007. The weird thing is I have a couple other bikes with tires at least that old and those bikes handle fine. But they aren't small circumference scooter tires so that may come into play. Hard to change a set of tires with only 2600 miles on them.


Don't waste your time and money changing tires with only 2600 miles on them. It will not be a moment of eureka by any means and I can pretty much guarantee that you will not feel a difference. I changed the tires on my 05 last year, the front was original with 22000 klm on it, the rear had approximately 12000 klm+ on it. I changed them because the front had microscopic cracks and the rear was showing a bit too much wear for me. The motorcycle mechanic that swapped my tires said my old tires both had plenty of life left in them!! The original tires were Bridgestone Hoops, the new are Michelin Power Pure tires. With the new tires I could feel no difference in handling, riding, vibration etc. Just a little peace of mind knowing the tires are new. Save your money.......maybe install Dr. Pully 26gram sliders...that will drop your rpm's by 500 at a 100kph making the ride a little smoother.
FWIW- I don't understand your lack of acceleration. I can pull away from my brothers Virago 1100 from takeoff....i can hold my own with him on the top end.
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exavid
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PostSubject: Re: Disappointed in high speed hiway travel   Thu 10 Sep 2015, 20:27

Both of my SWs could beat a HD Sportster (883 stock) across an intersection with no problem. I only wish there was an easy way to get rid of the timing hold back. If you could get full power from a standing start that scooter would burn rubber. Unfortunately my GT has the same trick programmed into the ECU so you won't be able to wheelie or get rubber on take off.
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Chris Olson
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PostSubject: Re: Disappointed in high speed hiway travel   Fri 11 Sep 2015, 21:08

exavid wrote:
Both of my SWs could beat a HD Sportster (883 stock) across an intersection with no problem

We heard these urban legends for a long time from the scooter folks about beating all these Harleys (it's always a Harley they beat) and stuff in stoplight drag races, or whatever. When we bought our Electra Glide we decided to try it with me on the 'Glide and my wife on her 2002 Silver Wing.

It was not even close. I took her off the line, shifting at 3,800 rpm 1st to 2nd gear, then went thru 60 mph in 2nd gear at 4,800 rpm before I grabbed third. Out of curiosity I looked up the published 0-60 times for these bikes
Silver Wing - 8.4 seconds
Harley Electra Glide w/80 cube Evo at maximum gross weight of 1,280 lbs - 6.5 seconds

In all the tests on the Silver Wing done by various rags they never mentioned the gross weight it was tested at.

The published 0-60 time for the 883 Ironhead is 6.6 seconds for the 2009's and 5.6 for the 2013 and newer.

Now, our 'Glide isn't stock. It has S&S Super Stock heads, Andrews EV27 cam, Vance & Hines pipes and is more in the sub-5 second 0-60 range.

I'm sure the Urban Legends will continue to be told, but I'm guessing these Harley riders that everybody tells about just weren't getting after it.
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john grinsel
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PostSubject: Re: Disappointed in high speed hiway travel   Fri 11 Sep 2015, 21:58

Now that Harleys are brought into SilverWing forum. Couple of things I have owned 4 Electra Glides, 2 new, three Sportster new. They are not very fast, shake a lot but Electra Glides can be enjoyable at 55-60 mph----Sportster paint shaker above 50 mph----Now to scooter part, non-SilverWing. Japan around 10 years ago, me on new Wire Wheel Sportster 883, Japanese on 250 Suzuki Scooter, Tomei Expressway----Toll Gate to Toll Gate, I could not catch him!! Later talked to him, he said he wasn't going wide open all the time.....I was!
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exavid
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PostSubject: Re: Disappointed in high speed hiway travel   Fri 11 Sep 2015, 22:15

I speak from experience concerning being able to beat a stock looking Sporty across an intersection, four lanes each way. It happened twice with two different HDs about a year apart. I can't say if the riders were whole heartedly going at it or not but in both cases the SW had about two length lead as we crossed the crosswalk paint on the other side. If there was any way to bypass the acceleration limiter on the SW (or on my GT) things could get real interesting with these machines.
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"Hi Yo"
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PostSubject: Re: Disappointed in high speed hiway travel   Fri 11 Sep 2015, 23:03

Chris Olson wrote:
 When we bought our Electra Glide we decided to try it with me on the 'Glide and my wife on her 2002 Silver Wing.

It was not even close.  I took her off the line, shifting at 3,800 rpm 1st to 2nd gear, then went thru 60 mph in 2nd gear at 4,800 rpm before I grabbed third.

I'm sure the Urban Legends will continue to be told, but I'm guessing these Harley riders that everybody tells about just weren't getting after it.


Thanks for debunking the myth. I too was winning against my wife.......'til the divorce. Laughing Laughing
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Chris Olson
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PostSubject: Re: Disappointed in high speed hiway travel   Fri 11 Sep 2015, 23:08

Well, they're in two different classes.  We rode our Silver Wings to Alaska last September and they were all right on a 7,500 mile trip.  But not happy with the tire wear with the smaller tires going at twice the rpm of a full-sized motorcycle, and riding two of them we were getting combined 25 mpg.  So we decided to go back to a full-size bike for touring, two-up with better tire life, ~48 mpg on average, better wind and weather protection, far greater comfort, and more luggage capacity.

While the SW's will cruise at 80 mph it is not a pleasant day if you run that all day on a busy freeway out touring, and the gas mileage goes into the crapper.

We bought the SW's last year, were happy with them while we had them, but decided to move on this spring because they weren't exactly what we wanted long-term.

Now as to the OP's problems; Both of ours did have some annoying vibration below 35 mph, and at free-way cruising speeds seemed to be pretty high-strung and turning LOTS of rpm's to be there, as in 6,000+ in the western states at 80-85 mph.  Bottom line - they are underpowered for high-speed long-distance touring.

Last year, on our way to Sturgis on them, they were not really all that stable running on I90 in heavy traffic in South Dakota with a stiff 30 mph gusty quartering crosswind blowing.  They were all over the road, getting thrown around by the expansion joints and every tar snake, and we finally turned off and went north and jumped on 14 west, cruising at 60 mph, which was a lot more comfortable speed for them.  But you do have to remember that you do not have the contact patch with the little tires, that you got with a bigger tire on a full-sized bike.  So they don't feel as planted as a bigger, heavier machine will under the same circumstances.

They definitely got some high-frequency "buzz" at those kinds of speeds and rpm's running just about WOT to hold 80-85 mph in stiff wind, but I wouldn't call it violent.  At first it was no big deal, but after a few thousand miles in the saddle, turning those kinds of rpm's and the resultant noise and high-frequency vibration from it became somewhat annoying.

So in the end, even though we like the Silver Wing, we decided it is not the bike for us.  It seemed to be comfortable with occasional high-speed spurts when touring, but not sustained.  The rear tire life was sort of a downer as it eats 'em for lunch on a 7,500 mile tour.  The handling, while superb at lower speeds, leaves a little to be desired at sustained high speeds unless you have a perfect road and no wind.  The riding position, for me (6' 0") on a long trip, was a little cramped and I found myself sometimes putting my feet on the rear pegs to find a different contact point on the saddle to relieve my legs and backside.  For my wife (5' 10") it seemed to be fine, and she had put a Corbin leather saddle on her bike before we left for Alaska. I was riding with the stock seat.  I tried her bike for a bit one day and the Corbin was definitely a better long-distance touring saddle than the stock.

The other thing is the position of the floorboards.  They are too close together for me.  If I want to relax in the seat and take the strain off the muscles in my legs, I find my knees wanting to spread out and into the wind.  That is the characteristic of not enough legroom for the rider. While the seating position is approximately the same as the Harley, HUGE difference in comfort between the SW and the big 'Glide. On the 'Glide it is as perfect as it gets, with a long enough reach to the floorboards so my legs are relaxed, the leather saddle cradles my backside so there's not a heavy contact point on my butt cheeks and tailbone, and the reach to the bars is perfect, which stops arm and neck strain after a 14 hour day in the saddle. None of that was designed right for me on the Silver Wing. It is more suited to shorter riders.

So, like others have said, you have to evaluate whether or not the Silver Wing is the bike for you.  We evaluated them for a year and put 20,000 miles on each of them thru the season.  We decided as nice as they are, they were not for us long-term, and they cannot be compared to a full-sized touring bike. We put 23,000 miles (so far) on the '89 Glide this summer. I got on my wife's Silver Wing and rode it, before she sold it, after being on the big bike for most of the summer. The Silver Wing felt like a toy in comparison, and then after you ride it for a bit it sort of comes back - oh yeah, this is what it felt like.

And all this is an evaluation that you, as the rider, have to make. Nobody else can make it for you, and if you have to stick too much money in the bike to make it what you really want, you're probably better off to start with a different machine that already has what you want.
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PostSubject: Re: Disappointed in high speed hiway travel   Sat 12 Sep 2015, 00:20

I have no doubt a large heavy bike is best for serious touring. I've owned Goldwings for fifteen years and about 260,000 miles. I firmly believe that the GW is the world's greatest highway machine, with it's vibrationless, nearly silent, super smooth six cylinder opposed engine. However it's not the greatest in towns and cities. I prefer the maxi scooter for that and for riding the backroads.
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PostSubject: Re: Disappointed in high speed hiway travel   Sat 12 Sep 2015, 00:25

exavid wrote:
I speak from experience concerning being able to beat a stock looking Sporty across an intersection, four lanes each way. It happened twice with two different HDs about a year apart. I can't say if the riders were whole heartedly going at it or not but in both cases the SW had about two length lead as we crossed the crosswalk paint on the other side.

Paul, I highly doubt those guys were really getting after those Sporty's. They're not the quickest bike, but they're fast enough. My wife bought a 2015 883 Iron to replace her Silver Wing she just sold. And DANG, that is a fun bike to ride. And a head-turner - it gets noticed where ever you go on it - especially with a woman riding it. But it definitely ain't no touring machine. It's just raw, in-your-face motorcycle with no excuses for what it is. And that's probably why it's so fun.

I got to ride it once and then I got banned from even touching it. Shocked
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PostSubject: Re: Disappointed in high speed hiway travel   Sat 12 Sep 2015, 00:34

exavid wrote:
I have no doubt a large heavy bike is best for serious touring. I've owned Goldwings for fifteen years and about 260,000 miles. I firmly believe that the GW is the world's greatest highway machine, with it's vibrationless, nearly silent, super smooth six cylinder opposed engine. However it's not the greatest in towns and cities. I prefer the maxi scooter for that and for riding the backroads.

My wife and I rode Goldwings for 25 years. We had every model Honda ever built. We bought one of the first GL1800's (a 2001) and the frame broke on it two months after we got it. After going round about with Honda over it, we finally ended up making a deal with the dealer and got two new 2002 ST1100's out of it.

Two years after the fact, Honda finally recalled the 1800's for broken frames.

We've become interested in touring on classic Harley's. We got two Evo's now, and I'm looking for a restorable late 40's to early 50's Panhead FL (that I can afford).

My current "commuter bike" is a 2007 Roketa Bali 150 scooter.
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PostSubject: Re: Disappointed in high speed hiway travel   Sat 12 Sep 2015, 01:32

Age has caught up with me so no long hauls anymore. The scooter is easier on my arthritis so I guess my BMW C650GT will be my last. Not complaining though.
It's possible those two guys didn't have their bikes cranked up well, I cheated and had the SW wound up a bit before releasing the brakes which helped a bit too.
I've had all models of the big wing as well, 1000, 1100, 1200 (fuel injected SEI, 1500, and two 1800s. A friend of mine near here has a 1500 with 400,000 miles on it. He did have to replace the clutch at 300,000 or so.
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PostSubject: Re: Disappointed in high speed hiway travel   Sat 12 Sep 2015, 03:16

[quote="exavid"]
It's possible those two guys didn't have their bikes cranked up well, I cheated and had the SW wound up a bit before releasing the brakes which helped a bit too.


I think that about sums it up. Even though I am impressed with the SW performance, I think a lot of times you surprise the bike riders because they don't expect a scooter to take off like it does. I have seen bikes burning rubber on take off when they think there is real competition lining up.
Mostly enjoy to ride the winding road in the mountains nearby and have surprised quite a few groups of bikes by zooming past them going uphill. small moped
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john grinsel
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PostSubject: Re: Disappointed in high speed hiway travel   Sat 12 Sep 2015, 07:45

If the argument is Scooter beating Harley-----I had new TMAX scooter......ate Harley for lunch. When I would back off throttle----they'd come blasting by, making all kinds of noise and hopefully shedding no parts.
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Dale N.
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PostSubject: Re: Disappointed in high speed hiway travel   Sat 12 Sep 2015, 11:05

I've never been a "Dragster" but I do like the pickup of the SWing. For me it has all the power and speed I need and is comfortable to ride and easy to handle. Being 69 years old pretty much LONG trips are also out for me. The group I ride with will do 200-400 mile day rides to get Ice Cream. Smile I get on average 50 mpg with the SWing which is better than most of the other bikes I ride with. It also keeps up with the others too, which I like.

On those days when I really want the power and speed I'll take out my 1974 Honda CB750. Riding both I can say the 750 will take the SWing on any given day on take off and probably top end. That being said, I have no real preference over either bike with the exception of not having to shift the SWing. The reason I like my CB750 is because it's the first bike my Wife and I took to FL from MN way back when we were young and healthy. So I guess it's sentimental reasons along with it's just an awesome bike.
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PostSubject: Re: Disappointed in high speed hiway travel   Sat 12 Sep 2015, 11:44

Dale N. wrote:
I've never been a "Dragster" but I do like the pickup of the SWing. For me it has all the power and speed I need and is comfortable to ride and easy to handle.

My opinion of the Silver Wing is that it is a superb all-around big scooter, excellent for commuting or even long trips.  But it doesn't have the capabilities of a full-size motorcycle, not even in the mid-sized class like the CTX700.  That's the area where I think a lot of scooter owners start telling fishing stories.  Yes, the scooter can do some of the things a full-sized bike can do, but there some of them big bike is going to do better and the scooter is a compromise.  You can only make that decision for yourself by trying it.

And John, on your Harley racing escapades - on the internet it is a known fact that a Metropolitan 50 can take a V-rod any day.
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