**Updated for 60,000 miles in this post (7/5/16)**
We can never have too many positive reviews, and now that I have some miles on big red, I have developed some opinions. I'll start out with some details about me so you know where I'm coming from. Besides, I can't wipe this stupid grin off my face.
5'8" - 200# - 170,000 miles riding experience (+60k now)
Last bike: '82 cb900c dressed like a wing
Commute: 100 miles (97 miles interstate/highway)
Jones Powersports, Columbia, Mo
Outstanding experience! Knowledgeable techs and no pressure sales and no tricks either. $20,000 out the door + offer for 20% off accessories with new purchase.
EDIT: Changed ownership in 2015 - still a good outfit to deal with.
2012 Cross Country Tour
-LOVE the looks! Someone with an art degree was paying attention.
-Had to have the tip-over protection to ease my mind.
-Lowers were also a plus to extend the riding season.
-Trunk for those long trips...yep, this seemed like the complete package.
As I walked up to the bike for a test ride on a demo day event, I though 'this sucker is big.' Once I climbed aboard and rolled away though it felt like a much smaller bike. Well balanced (even with the trunk on) and confidence inspiring right out of the gate. Set up reasonable well for a guy of my height as well - stock.
1,200 mile Review
I recently rode in the rain and the ABS gave me the confidence to squeeze a little harder, even in the rain. After playing around with it, I could get the ABS to engage and never have been able to lock the tires. Not the same on my wife's C50, that's for sure.
"Clunky" perhaps, but I don't mind at all. I've spend the last 60,000 miles on an old cb900c that are known for persnickety tranny's that like to miss gears. I got into the habit long ago of making clean, firm shifts - so have NEVER missed a gear on this CCT. I did add the heel shifter as well at around 600 miles. Good clean design and my foot got used to it's placement and size within 50 miles.
Comfort and Storage:
Wow! My longest stretch in the saddle so far is 1.5 hours. No issues with reach or sore-a$$. There is a ton of room in those bags too. I carry a laptop and padfolio in a backpack every day to work and the whole thing fits in a saddle bag - nice! After a 45mi stretch in moderate rain, no leakage either.
The radio and other electronics (including cruise control and heated grips/seat) have worked flawlessly since new. I've had an iPhone (no sim = iPod) connected and it has worked just as advertised. Good sound quality and volume, especially since I preferred to avoid the stage 1 mod - and ride with a 3/4 open face (no ear plugs).
All that suspension travel is great!
Wind management is excellent on this model. The fairing winglets and hard lower vents do just what they are designed to do. I can reach both sets while on the bike without taking my eyes of the road, but this will be a challenge for some.
As it turns out, the last 45 miles I rode yesterday afternoon was in a light shower. There were a couple short periods of heavy rain. If I could have maintained >55mph I would have never gotten wet. Even so, I only got a little sprinkling on the head and shoulders at slower speeds. The roads were soaked, yet I never got my own road-spray on my shoes. Only a few sprinkles on my knees from the water that trickled over the hard lowers.
I am a little concerned about the touring windshield. While I quickly got used to looking through the shield, I really have to crane my neck in order to see over it. I'll probably look into comparing the costs of cutting it down -vs- new, shorter shield. Do any other 5'8" riders have any recommendations?
Break-in was by-the-book, though I did excersize the full range of rpm's without using more than the recommended amount of throttle. I could really feel the engine come alive at around the 300 mile mark, but have managed to keep myself from flogging it somehow.
MPG was around 35mpg during break-in, and has improved to about 42mpg now. Note the commute above. I expect that to improve as the internals loosen up a bit more.
This engine doesn't have the giddy-up of the in-line 4 that I used to ride...but you can't compare apples to oranges. It DOES beat the pants off the 2011-2012 hardley touring bikes that I've ridden. No offense to those hardley owners. Love you man!
1200 mile Summary:
If you're thinking about buying one of these sweet machines, DO IT! You won't regret it! ...and don't forget to frequent this forum. I've learned a ton here, and most of it has been from sifting through old posts!
25,000 mile Update (7/11/14):
I'm still in love with this bike! She makes my thighs hot in temps over 80, but stripping the lowers off and putting on a blade windshield in the summer cools it WAY off. Yeah, more air turbulence, but that's the point.
Concern: My grips wore out at 22k. Started falling apart in my hand. Don't know why, maybe a fluke...or the oils from my hands are extra-corrosive? At $200 for replacement, I'm spending $100/yr in grips.
After spending a couple years with her, I have some wish-list items:
1) Adjustable Windshield would be a great addition.
2) Switches and instruments could use some refinement
~~~backlighting for volume (the single light on cruise is fine, once you find it)
~~~backlighting for heated grips toggle
~~~heated seat toggles that are glove friendly.
~~~I haven't had problems with water-resistance like others have had.
3) Modulated Tail-light option that doesn't defeat cruise.
4) Improved computer/calculation accuracy
5) Less reflective instrument bezels. It reflects onto the windshield at night.
60,000 mile Update (7/5/16):
My bike is still 99% stock. The only things modded/added to this bike are: passenger handles, heel shifter, iPod hookup relocated to saddlebag, and brake light modulator. I had to replace the windshield @55k due to excessive wear. That said, it's pretty much decided; when I ride this one into the ground I'll be looking for a 1:1 replacement. I just know there is someone out there who has an identical bike with far fewer miles. You know the ones...the garage trophies?
1. My second set of grips are wore out! I've had the same set (2 pair) of gloves for the last 38K. I started wearing them religiously after I wore out the last set of grips at 22k. I'm a bit taken aback that $30 worth of gloves have outlasted $200 grips. I'm going to have to go with something aftermarket I suppose.
2. Cruise control is flakey @ <50degF and just plain doesn't work @ <40degF. I'm sure I have some corrosion in the wiring on the handle bars, or at least some looseness. The temperature correlation seems to suggest the latter.
Every thing else just seems to be maintenance issues. Occasional tightening of this and that. I'll need to dig into the air louvers under the fairing and in the lowers next. They're a bit sloppy and don't close completely anymore. I hoping it's an easy fix.
Bullet proof and SOOOO worth the money!
I'm hoping someone keeps that 2012 XCT low mileage garage trophy polished up for me. I'll come to get her someday.