This is the first bike I have ever full-out owned. Everything else has been family or friend or borrowed, etc.
I've financed it, and let me tell you, I was nervous. I wanted a 125 dirt bike to learn on, yet I drooled over GiSXRs and the great sexy Hayabusa might.
I worried that my friends with Harleys would "laugh" at my little 400. I worried about my ability to take it to the next level and become an official on-road rider.
This bike has not let me down. It has been great!
It has enough power to scare you on day one, but you soon get comfy with it and it is really a nice balance. It is more than enough for the dirt or the trails.
Most of my experience has been fairly flat desert riding, but I'm yearning for some hill-country trails. It handles super at high speeds off-road. It eats up the bumps and jumps.
On-road it handles beautifully until about 75 mph. After that it starts to wobble a little but it's not at all unstable, just the source of my -4 for quality.
It's not a German or Italian bike. Every little piece was not machined by a magical elf. There is some play here and there and some mold marks, but hey, I also didn't pay German or Italian money! I knew what I was buying and have no complaints. It's merely an honest expression of fact.
It is very light so it will take some definite wind damage when it blows. Riding 30 feet of the back of tractor trailer at 65 mph. is a blast on a dry sunny day! It's terror on a rainy night! Although the wind does blow you a bit, it is light enough to easily correct. It's not for old men, but not too difficult to tolerate either.
Also, the seat is not cosmic comfort. That is definitely not for old men. Aftermarket seats are available.
Your mileage may vary! For a local commute, it's no biggie. On the trail, you're standing a lot anyways. But I would not take a ride to Austin on this thing, without additional padding!
I have not truly topped it out, but from the looks of it, it might make 100 mph., in stock form. But it is very happy at 60-85 mph. which is more than enough for commuting and letting loose a little after work!
At about 88 mph. the power just kind of stops and it inches up to at least 96 mph. I felt like it had a few more mph., but I was running low on runway!
It is not a bike you buy for speed. You buy it for versatility. It's a bit of a Swiss Army Knife of bikes.
Having and riding a bike already gives you this terrific sense of freedom, but this literally double that sense! Now you can go off-road for fun or crash avoidance, and you can easily cut the median in a construction or traffic jam situation.
Try that on a GSXR-1000 and see if you don't end up buying a mirror and a fairing?!
This bike is tall!
I don't know how close to record-tall, but it is freaking tall! I have managed to drop it five times in the first two weeks, but none the second two weeks.
My drops we're all stationary or stopping-starting: once I hesitated at the top of a small steep incline, stalled it (my fault for not clutching) and was not able to catch footing to stabilize it for restart before it was heading for the ground.
I did something real similar on the same obstacle a few minutes later. It chug chug chugs real deep, but when it finally does stall, it's a hair sooner than the engine sound would have you expect and POOF! it's out like a light. I always just feel like it's got a few more RPMs until stall, then BANG!
317 lbs. is a light motorcycle but a heavy dirtbike! Just let it go down! Hold the bars straight to protect the mirrors and clutch/brake but just let it go on down.
It is so tall, you won't get the leverage to stop it, you'll just hurt your back. It's no biggie. Nothing harmed. The tank is skinny. Nothing hangs off that can be damaged. No real fairings.
It has a nice ding to the bar-ends and a scratch on the the rear axle-end, but mostly just to my pride! Another drop was in my front yard. It is so tall that trying to turn it around on your toes is just stupid. Get off and walk it right quick. It will save you from hearing the neighbors laughter!
Another drop was in my garage, I just noobed and forgot the kickstand. I barely made this mistake, I caught what I did almost immediately, like at 5 degress of tip, but at such a height, all I could do was sing 40 words of praise to myself as it fell excruciatingly slow to the floor! It's a long way down!
I did order the Kouba Link DRZ-2 lowering dogbones for the suspension to drop it 1 1/4 inches ($70 direct). However, by the time it arrived in the mail, I agreed with all the service techs and experienced riders, I no longer wanted to lower it. I had gotten used to it and it was kind of cool.
The kickstand is so massively stable that I mount the bike from the peg while it is still parked. The dirt-bike suspension settles several inches lower than it sits when unloaded, and everything suddenly feels fine.
Don't let a one minute sit in the showroom scare you away from this bike, you get used to its height quickly. But also, when you buy it, just go ahead and drop it on the ground right there.
Just tell everyone around that that is what you intend to do and drop the thing, because you will drop it! Just get it over with!
The only other negative I can think of is the gas tank. 2.6 gallons is freakin' small, but 65 mpg. is awesome. I'm getting more like 45-50 because I can't stop winding it out and riding it in less than optimal conditions, but it still beats the heck out of a big V-Twin or a 4cyl sport bike on fuel economy.
Do not buy a 250 street bike. They are just too small for the freeway. They're great for learning or for a parade, but terrible for commuting. I bought this as a balanced alternative to a bike I couldn't afford and a bike I was afraid I would feel underwhelmed by. I have not been let down.
I have disclosed a lot of negatives here, but that's human nature. Ultimately, I love this bike! It's really a great efficient commuter, and if you're feeling frisky, you can pull a U-wey and go back and explore that dirt lane into the brush you passed back there. You've got time on the way home, right?
Options are awesome!
If you are thinking about this being a best-of-both-worlds option, it is!
I really love this bike and don't regret buying for a second!
Thanks for reading, and I hope this helps!
Upgrades/Accessories: A pair of bar-end mirrors the first week, until I dropped it on them five times and just put the stockers back on! What was I thinking!?
Reviews are provided on an "as is" basis with no warranty and should be considered entertainment only. Reviews should not be used for any purpose whatsoever, including but not limited to, making decisions about any referenced vehicles, products, modifications or other information.