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 Road report and a question

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Opalsboy
jdeereanton
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Jinglebob
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Jinglebob
Super Scooter Rider
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Jinglebob

Number of posts : 297
Location : Sacramento
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Registration date : 2009-07-18

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PostSubject: Road report and a question   Road report and a question I_icon_minitimeWed Jan 12, 2011 4:45 pm

Greetings all...

We had a break in the weather today. The sun is out and the roads are dry, so I took the SWing out for my first decent ride since I bought it. Step one was to take it to the dealer to have them put on the underseat strut, as the old one was not working. From there, I decided to hop on the freeway (at Watt Avenue, if anyone is from the Sacramento area) and then did a 20 mile run up Interstate 80 to Auburn. Grabbed a burger at In N Out in Auburn and then came back down Auburn-Folsom Road to check the bike's handling on some nice sweepers. Total was about 45 miles...not much, but enough to make some observations and formulate some opinions.

First the average or not-so-good stuff:

1. The position of the mirrors sucks. I need to get some mirror extensions for it...I think these are available from Twisted Throttle. That's sort of a priority.

2. Freeway handling was a little squirrely. Tire inflation was correct, but I think the small wheels provide less gyroscopic effect at higher speeds. I think the bike has a little less stability at higher speeds than my old cruiser. No big deal...important point is not to tighten up, but to stay loose.

3. You get blown around a bit more than the cruiser, particularly when passing large vehicles....agiain, no problem, just something to watch.

4. Wind noise at high speed was very loud. I had a full fairing on my last bike and wind noise was really not an issue. On this one, I think I'll need ear plugs and I definitely will look into the Givi Airflow windshield. You guys are telling me that a chimp could install the Airflow, so I'm taking you at your word...my mechanical skills are at or about chimp level...

Now, some good stuff:

1. The bike makes good power, even with my large self on it. 75 mph indicated was not an issue on the freeway, with about 5700 rpm showing on the tach at that speed. 80 mph was about 6000 rpm. As my last bike was a cruiser, I sort of have to rethink things a bit, because 6000-6500 rpm on my last bike would be about 85-95 mph, so freeway speeds were at 4500-5000. I am aware that parallel twin OHC engines are made to rev and the engine certainly did not seem to be straining, so it's a just a matter of learning the bike and not sweating the small stuff.

2. The engine is quiet and unobtrusive. You can hear it, but it does not intrude or cause fatigue.

3. The center of gravity is low. This means that handling in the sweepers and curves is pretty nice and pretty intuitive, even without a fuel tank between your knees. I was a bit worried about having nothing to brace my knees against in curves and corners-turns out it's a non-issue and mostly just a little bit of a relearning experience.

4. Comfort is good. The seat is way more comfortable than the cruiser and you could go a long distance on it without having your backside scream uncle. The ability to position your feet in various locations is really cool and helps prevent fatigue...I am 5'11" and found that the feet forward position really works nicely for me.

5. Automatic transmission is fabulous. Never worrying about picking the right gear for a curve or corner is really confidence-instilling...the bike is always in the right gear and I can concentrate on my speed and my line...just a really great feature, IMHO.

Incidentally, here is the question...the V-Matic light went on as I was going up the freeway. The bike has about 22K miles on it and was very well cared for by its previous owner. The belt was changed at 19K, so not sure why the light is on. Is it possible that the computer was not reset when the belt was changed? Does the V-Matic light do funny stuff from time to time, or do I need to get the bike in right away to resolve that problem? I noticed NO difference in transmission operation or clutch engagement after the light went on. I suspect this is not a huge deal, but would like to hear from you experts on this, if you please.

6. Cargo storage is really a nice feature. Threw the helmet and gloves in the underseat box when I went to lunch and there was room for more. This bike also has a Givi box frame on the back, so will be getting a box for it, probably a 48 or 52, for use in touring. And yes, I will be using the bike for touring. Should be excellent for that, I'm thinking...

Thanks for reading and also for responding to my question. I'm sure you guys know all of this already, but there are many who come to this website to research scooters (and I use the term loosely, as the SWing is a high quality motorcycle with an auto tranny, in my mind) and SWings...that's how I learned and I'm glad I did. Hope these rambling scooter-newbie observations are of value to someone...

Bob
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Waspie
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Waspie

Number of posts : 2392
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Location : Portland, UK
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PostSubject: Re: Road report and a question   Road report and a question I_icon_minitimeWed Jan 12, 2011 7:34 pm

Nice review Bob.

I take it, all in all the Silver Wing gets a thumbs up.

The Givi screen is from personal experience really easy to install and will most definitely decrease the wind noise you experienced, it also enhances the ambient noise too.
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Skippy
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Skippy

Number of posts : 299
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Registration date : 2010-08-18

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PostSubject: Re: Road report and a question   Road report and a question I_icon_minitimeThu Jan 13, 2011 6:24 am

Mirror extention blocks available from here very shortly - see message on the other page!
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jdeereanton
Silver Wing Guru
Silver Wing Guru
jdeereanton

Number of posts : 1996
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Location : Huntsville, AL
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PostSubject: Re: Road report and a question   Road report and a question I_icon_minitimeThu Jan 13, 2011 7:24 am

Jinglebob wrote:

Incidentally, here is the question...the V-Matic light went on as I was going up the freeway. The bike has about 22K miles on it and was very well cared for by its previous owner. The belt was changed at 19K, so not sure why the light is on. Is it possible that the computer was not reset when the belt was changed? Does the V-Matic light do funny stuff from time to time, or do I need to get the bike in right away to resolve that problem? I noticed NO difference in transmission operation or clutch engagement after the light went on. I suspect this is not a huge deal, but would like to hear from you experts on this, if you please.
Bob

Bob, you may have noted this in an earlier post, and I've missed it or forgotten. Does your bike have a JCosta Variator installed?

Some, (not all) with the JCosta installed have noted the V-Matic light coming on under certain conditions. I should pay more attention to the problem and the supposed solutions, but we don't have the devise affixed to our SilverWings so I've not been too concerned with the issue.

So central question - Does your bike have a JCosta?
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Jinglebob
Super Scooter Rider
Super Scooter Rider
Jinglebob

Number of posts : 297
Location : Sacramento
Points : 4815
Registration date : 2009-07-18

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PostSubject: Re: Road report and a question   Road report and a question I_icon_minitimeThu Jan 13, 2011 10:17 am

That I don't know for sure...

However, the bike is completely stock in every other way, so I'm going to assume that the variator is also stock...
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Opalsboy
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Opalsboy

Number of posts : 1292
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PostSubject: Re: Road report and a question   Road report and a question I_icon_minitimeThu Jan 13, 2011 10:26 am

Bob, I have never had this experience, but I am curious to know if the light remained on or did it go out eventually. Did you have to use the standard reset?

Dale, you are a smart guy. The question I am curious about is what actually turns the light on other than the odometer at 16K intervals? Belt slipping, temperature or something like that? I have read the posts before about the JCosta users and during times of clutch loading up on hard acceleration but don't know enough about the mechanicals to really know how the switch actually is activated. I hope my question is not confusing.
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jdeereanton
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jdeereanton

Number of posts : 1996
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Location : Huntsville, AL
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PostSubject: Re: Road report and a question   Road report and a question I_icon_minitimeThu Jan 13, 2011 11:24 am

Personal note - not very smart, just have a fairly good memory.

It seems to me the light is programmed to come on at the 16K mile point and whenever there appears to be a disconnect between the expected (sensed) speed of the Belt / clutch/ variator relative to the indicated RPM / speed. All done in the on board computer.

At the 16k mile point the light comes on and stays on until reset. Once reset the light will come on to indicate the need for a belt change after another 16k miles have been traveled.

If the light comes on at any other time while under way it is to indicate some sort of failure / problem. Rather inexact, but it is only an indicator.
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Jinglebob
Super Scooter Rider
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Jinglebob

Number of posts : 297
Location : Sacramento
Points : 4815
Registration date : 2009-07-18

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PostSubject: Re: Road report and a question   Road report and a question I_icon_minitimeThu Jan 13, 2011 12:31 pm

OK, that helps a bit.

The light stayed on. I'm guessing that the computer reset was not accomplished after the belt was done.

The way to verify that as the problem would be to reset the indicator and then see if it goes back on. That would indicate another issue pertaining to the V-belt and not a simple computer reset.

Can the V-matic indicator be reset by moi, or does the bike have to go to the dealer?
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Jinglebob
Super Scooter Rider
Super Scooter Rider
Jinglebob

Number of posts : 297
Location : Sacramento
Points : 4815
Registration date : 2009-07-18

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PostSubject: Re: Road report and a question   Road report and a question I_icon_minitimeThu Jan 13, 2011 12:35 pm

Never mind...I just got the service manual and read how to reset the V-matic indicator.

I'm going to try that and then see what happens. If the light goes back on after reset, I'll probably take the bike into the Honda dealer to see what's what...

Oh yeah, also, I did not respond to Waspie...to answer your question-yes, the SWing definitely gets a thumbs up! I think the main lesson for me to have learned is that you don't need a 1500cc 800 lb cruiser to ride pretty much anywhere you wish to go. The motor has plenty of power, the bike is agile and user-friendly and is particularly ideal for the way I ride...which is to say, freeways to connect to good riding areas, then mountain roads and backroads to the greatest extent possible. It's really excellent in that application and I have no concerns about taking it really anywhere. I'm already planning a late spring/early summer tour to the Pacific Northwest on it...

AND-just want to say also that I really appreciate all of you helping me along as I muddle through the initial stages of familiarization with the bike...it is quite a bit different from other types of motorcycles, so your support is welcome and of great value!!!
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Guest
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PostSubject: Re: Road report and a question   Road report and a question I_icon_minitimeThu Jan 13, 2011 6:05 pm

I had a problem with the throttle shutting down intermittantly and the FI light flashed 9 times. The dealer couldn't duplicate what I experienced (it was like my throttle hand was spastic and shut down the throttle). The compute showed that I was right but the dealer couldn't duplicate the problem I experienced on the road. After days (and dollars) of troubleshooting, the dealer disassembled all the wiring connections and cleaned the contact pins. That solved the problem I guess because it runs fine now. Just a suggestion.
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buddy19520
Touring Scooter Rider
Touring Scooter Rider
buddy19520

Number of posts : 378
Location : Cornelius NC
Points : 4586
Registration date : 2010-02-28

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PostSubject: Re: Road report and a question   Road report and a question I_icon_minitimeMon Jan 17, 2011 7:01 pm

Jinglebob, thanks for the positive review. The Silverwing is not perfect, but it is pretty good. The problems you have seem to be common. Here is some info that might help you:

1) Look on eBay for mirror extensions (include Silverwing in search). I bought some last year from a guy in San Fransisco for about $25 shipped. They work well, but the paint has faded somewhat. They move the mirrors out about 1.25 inches each side. Instead of seeing your elbows, you see behind you.

2/3/4) Handling and noise at high speed - the stock windscreen is short and funnels air into your face if you are over 5' 6" or so. I have a GIVI (old style, single piece) that I cut down twice (I'm 6' tall and look over the screen). After adding a Laminar Lip I am quite happy. For warm weather, I use the LL with the stock screen and the handling is MUCH better. In crosswinds, the GIVI gave me some white-knuckle moments. I just thought it was me (being a new rider) until I tried the stock screen and found the handling issues mitigated almost entirely. I am using the GIVI for the cold weather, but have cut the ears off it, and it feels better. I have not used the AirFlow model, but everybody raves about it.

4) Comfort may be improved by modding the seat, using an AirHawk cushion (my fav) and by turning the butt-stop into a backrest. Look at this site for instructions how: http://leroybeal.net/motorcycles/silverwing/silverwing.htm

If you want to cut up the foam, look here: http://www.diymotorcycleseat.com/

I'm no iron butt, but have done quite a few 8-10 hour days this last year on the AirHawk. They are $150, but I have not regretting paying for it.

5) Re: the V-Matic light - hopefully the light came on because you have a J Costa variator under the hood. I put one in last January and would not want to have to go back to stock - it adds a lot of zip to the scooter. I have not had the light go on yet (have about 14000 total miles and 7000 on the JC), but many people report having the light go on have a JC installed. Don't be afraid to open up the transmission case to check it out. There is a VERY good pictorial on this site showing you how to do it (thanks JeffR!). The pins/weights in the J Costa are supposed to last about 10,000 miles. ScooterTrap.com sells them if you need them.

You might also want to check the position of the headlight. Most of them seem to be set way to low. It is easily adjusted without tools. Search for it on this site, and you will find posts instructing you how to adjust it.

If you consider switching the grips, think about adding heated grips. My scoot came with Kuryaken grips (which are very comfortable), but adding heated grips at this point would be more difficult.

Most posts you see about the Swing are about comfort or accessories. Very few posts are about breakdowns or mechanical issues.

Glad to hear that you feel the Swing is a good replacement for an 800 lb cruiser. I love the looks of the cruisers, but I am still getting used to handling the 500 lbs of the Swing.
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Jinglebob
Super Scooter Rider
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Jinglebob

Number of posts : 297
Location : Sacramento
Points : 4815
Registration date : 2009-07-18

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PostSubject: Re: Road report and a question   Road report and a question I_icon_minitimeMon Jan 17, 2011 7:59 pm

Good info...thank you!

Went out today with a buddy on his Sportster. Weather sucked on ice...very overcast, thick fog (vis 1/4 mile or less) for a good part of the ride, roads were wet. Our run was on the backroads near here (Folsom, CA) up into the Sierra foothills to Placerville.

Still getting the feel of the handling of the bike with the smaller wheels...it definitely handles quicker than the cruiser and doesn't display that "falling into the turn" feeling, but does not have the same level of gyroscopic stability as a bike with larger wheels. As noted earlier, I expect that this is just part of the learning curve and that I will learn to trust the bike and its ability to turn in and corner properly...lots of good twisty roads today and I became more confident as the day progressed.
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john grinsel
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PostSubject: Re: Road report and a question   Road report and a question I_icon_minitimeTue Jan 18, 2011 5:28 am

Mirrors---simple fix, original CB750 type. Dennis Kirk as them cheap. I have heard Reflex mirrors work also, but could be expensive.

John Grinsel
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masscoot
Silver Wing Rider
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masscoot

Number of posts : 438
Location : Central New England
Points : 4976
Registration date : 2009-03-24

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PostSubject: Re: Road report and a question   Road report and a question I_icon_minitimeTue Jan 18, 2011 9:29 am

jdeereanton wrote:
Some, (not all) with the JCosta installed have noted the V-Matic light coming on under certain conditions.

Dale,

I have been having the same issue with the DR Pulley sliders also. It seems to be related to high speed throttle attacks and variator cleanliness. After reset it stays off unless I get a little spirited in my riding. Does NOT affect the performace nor safety of the ride, just a little annoying to look down and see a warning light on.


JingleBob thanks for the review and welcome to the site!
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Cosmic_Jumper
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PostSubject: Re: Road report and a question   Road report and a question I_icon_minitimeTue Jan 18, 2011 9:40 am

Jinglebob wrote:
Greetings all...
First the average or not-so-good stuff:
The position of the mirrors sucks. I need to get some mirror extensions for it...I think these are available from Twisted Throttle. That's sort of a priority.

Here is a link to a top quality mirror extenders & mount bolts set:

http://www.cjen.com/pages/kaw/zrx/mirext/mirext.html

While they were designed for Kawasaki bikes they are an excellent fit on our Silverwings. The price includes shipping.

Tim
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Jinglebob
Super Scooter Rider
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Jinglebob

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PostSubject: Re: Road report and a question   Road report and a question I_icon_minitimeTue Jan 18, 2011 10:46 am

Paul, that is exactly what happens with my bike. After I reset the V-matic indicator, it stays off until I jump on the throttle a bit, then goes on and stays on. Does not affect performance in the slightest. Seems like I may have an aftermarket variator on the bike. Also seems like it's not much of a problem, so I'm not going to worry about it. I know the belt's good...
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Jinglebob
Super Scooter Rider
Super Scooter Rider
Jinglebob

Number of posts : 297
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PostSubject: Re: Road report and a question   Road report and a question I_icon_minitimeThu Jan 20, 2011 11:35 pm

Got the Airflow and the mirror extenders today.

Will review the installation step-by-step here so I dont screw things up when I put on the Airflow...
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