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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-17-2010, 12:53 PM Thread Starter
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Picked up the XC in Bremerhaven, Germany, Friday after some serious nail-biting. I was worried sick that we'd get there and either; 1) It wouldn't have a key; 2) It wouldn't start; 3) It would be damaged; or 4) I wouldn't get it through customs. Fortunately, even with my terrible command of the German language, we were able to get on the road about noon.

When you ship a bike, it has to be damn near empty, so the first order of business was finding a gas station. But even before we got to one, the heavens opened up. Nothing like learning a new bike's characteristics in the rain. And on top of the rain, it was in the 40s too, which meant I had on heavy gloves, rain gear, etc., adding to the challenge.

We stayed on back roads for the first couple of hundred miles, which sucks in the rain in the fall with all the leaves on the roads. I drive like a little old lady in the rain anyway, so keeping the speed down during break-in wasn't a problem. I did follow a combination of all the recommendations for break-in, varying speed, compression/decompression runs, keeping the RPMs down, etc. Felt bad for the wife leading though, as she's a speed demon, and kept having to slow down for me. Regardless, after two days of cold rainy riding, we made it the 400+ miles back to our home in Heidelberg.

My observations/opinions on the bike so far;
1. The mirrors are a bit too narrow for my shoulders.
2. Metric style turn signal switches are hard to get used to after riding Harleys for so long.
3. The overall ergonomics of the bike were good for my 6' 200+lb frame.
4. The gas gauge sucks.
5. The saddle bags like to eject things if not secured properly.
6. The fit and finish is questionable- I have paint peeling around the passenger floorboards, and where the seat hits the gas tank it's already rubbed through the clearcoat.
7. Gotta get some driving lights ASAP, as I had two drivers cut me off. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt that they couldn't see me in rain.

All-in-all though, I'm tickled pick with my new scoot! Even the stock windshield I've heard so many complaints about worked well for me. Granted, I needed the wind to keep my visor clear of the rain, and I wasn't travelling very long on the Autobahn, but the buffeting didn't seem so bad. Power was good, and seemed to improve as the miles racked up. I need a bit of practice with the slow speed maneuvering though, as this bike feels a bit heavier than my Roadking. Can't wait to get the first service out of the way, so I can take her out on the Autobahn and really see what she can do!
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-18-2010, 10:44 AM
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Hey Expat,

That's a nice set of first impressions. I didn't mind the bit of story telling neither. Good job on that, and feel free to give us more from your upcoming trips.

About your complaints and praises of the bike - The mirrors can easily be changed to something that's more fitting for you. The turn signals might be just a matter of getting used to, but glad to hear the ergonomics work for you. The saddle bags have been pointed out to be trouble if not properly closed and your cargo secured, but you should get used to that.

Why does the fuel gauge suck?
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-18-2010, 03:21 PM Thread Starter
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Why does the fuel gauge suck?
Well, I wasn't paying much attention to the first tank, since I was too busy getting used to the bike, and it was rainy and cold. But after that I noticed the gauge stayed on full for quite a while, then dropped like a rock.

When starting out the following morning (in the rain again), the range indicated that I had about 75 miles left on the tank, and the gauge was at about 1/8-1/4 tank. Then, as soon as we got on the Autobahn, the "Low Fuel" message came on, and the gauge was bottomed out! The Autobahn is much different than Interstates, in that the exits are few and far between, so I was sweating bullets. Plus, running out of gas on the Autobahn subjects you to a possible fine of about $300. Well, I went about another 30 miles before stopping, and it only took about 16 liters (a little over 4 gallons).

The next tank I paid more attention to the Range indicator and gas gauge. The Low Fuel message came on with about 60 miles remaining, and again the gauge bottomed out. And, once again it didn't take anywhere near 5 gallons to fill.

As much as I hate to run out of gas, I do like to know the real range of my scoots. So, once it warms up a bit, I'm going to put a couple of liters in the saddlebag and run her out of gas, paying close attention to the actual range she has and far I can go on "Low Fuel."

My Harleys all had the petcock that you had to switch over manually to reserve, but you knew how much fuel you had left at that time.

Hope this helps.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-18-2010, 04:07 PM
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yea, the gas gauge has a lot to be desired. Mine does the same thing. I will run it out next time to see how far it will. Strange thing is when I fill it says 284 miles left. When it shows about 70 miles and you go about 1 mile it goes to low fuel, not the fuel light. Stop and fill up and it only holds around 4 gallons. I use the trip meter anyway once I know how far I can go.

dd
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-18-2010, 04:36 PM
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LOL. Yeah, I guess that does suck. My current scoot does something similar to that, but I got used to it. Keep in mind that some bikes don't even have a fuel gauge, and you have to rely fully on the "low fuel" light and tracking the miles since last fill-up.

As far as I know (and by all means, I really don't know much), the gas level in a motorcycle tank is fairly accurate when your tank is full or close to full, but becomes very iffy when you approach the near empty range.

I think the tank (someone please correct me if I'm wrong) has a vertical, narrow tube inside, which helps the guage determine the true height of the gas, if the bike were to stand vertical. It's all nice and dandy because the pressure at the bottom of the tube keeps the level in the tube at the approximate true height of fuel. The problem shows up when you're low on fuel, and the low amount of fuel gets to move around (from leaning, breaking, accelerating). At this point, the pressure at the bottom of the measuring tube varies so much, that it becomes mission impossible to figure out how much fuel is left. Even cars don't have this fully figured out, unless a reserve tank is used.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-18-2010, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Expat View Post
Picked up the XC in Bremerhaven, Germany, Friday after some serious nail-biting. I was worried sick that we'd get there and either; 1) It wouldn't have a key; 2) It wouldn't start; 3) It would be damaged; or 4) I wouldn't get it through customs. Fortunately, even with my terrible command of the German language, we were able to get on the road about noon.

When you ship a bike, it has to be damn near empty, so the first order of business was finding a gas station. But even before we got to one, the heavens opened up. Nothing like learning a new bike's characteristics in the rain. And on top of the rain, it was in the 40s too, which meant I had on heavy gloves, rain gear, etc., adding to the challenge.

We stayed on back roads for the first couple of hundred miles, which sucks in the rain in the fall with all the leaves on the roads. I drive like a little old lady in the rain anyway, so keeping the speed down during break-in wasn't a problem. I did follow a combination of all the recommendations for break-in, varying speed, compression/decompression runs, keeping the RPMs down, etc. Felt bad for the wife leading though, as she's a speed demon, and kept having to slow down for me. Regardless, after two days of cold rainy riding, we made it the 400+ miles back to our home in Heidelberg.

My observations/opinions on the bike so far;
1. The mirrors are a bit too narrow for my shoulders.
2. Metric style turn signal switches are hard to get used to after riding Harleys for so long.
3. The overall ergonomics of the bike were good for my 6' 200+lb frame.
4. The gas gauge sucks.
5. The saddle bags like to eject things if not secured properly.
6. The fit and finish is questionable- I have paint peeling around the passenger floorboards, and where the seat hits the gas tank it's already rubbed through the clearcoat.
7. Gotta get some driving lights ASAP, as I had two drivers cut me off. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt that they couldn't see me in rain.

All-in-all though, I'm tickled pick with my new scoot! Even the stock windshield I've heard so many complaints about worked well for me. Granted, I needed the wind to keep my visor clear of the rain, and I wasn't travelling very long on the Autobahn, but the buffeting didn't seem so bad. Power was good, and seemed to improve as the miles racked up. I need a bit of practice with the slow speed maneuvering though, as this bike feels a bit heavier than my Roadking. Can't wait to get the first service out of the way, so I can take her out on the Autobahn and really see what she can do!
Would love to hear a comparison btwn the Road King and xc when you have time.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-19-2010, 12:22 AM
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Would love to hear a comparison btwn the Road King and xc when you have time.
I second that.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-19-2010, 09:13 AM Thread Starter
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Would love to hear a comparison btwn the Road King and xc when you have time.
Certainly, but let me get a few more miles on it so the "newness" wears off a bit and I can be more objective. Plus, I'd like to ride it when I'm not freezing my ass off for once...
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-19-2010, 09:54 AM
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Certainly, but let me get a few more miles on it so the "newness" wears off a bit and I can be more objective. Plus, I'd like to ride it when I'm not freezing my ass off for once...
Awesome. We look forward to your comparison as soon as you're ready for it. :-)
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-19-2010, 09:03 PM
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I am thinking the XC fuel gauge is similar to the HD.VTX since the fuel pump is in the tank as I think so. Not completely sure on this.
There is a float with a filter When the fuel drops so far the float will send a message saying it is getting low-the low fuel on the dash- then as it drops more the fuel light comes on. No if it is similar to the VTX/HD the there are small areas that allows the fuel to come though the pump. Since it has to pass through the filter and and the pump the low fuel light can/will come on and go out until it is lite all the time.
The hd fuel light will not come on and off, once it comes on it is triggered you might say and stays on.

This my thought. Oh, my HD gauge does the same thing s my XC. The fuel light comes on at 1/4 tank and I can get another 50 miles+
I am able to get 210 miles without worrying on the 5 gallon tank.
After I get my bikes well broken in (4-5,000 miles) I gut a gallon can in the saddle bag and run it dry. This way I have an idea how far I can go. Notice I said an idea, it can change on each fuel up.
My VTX 1800 c I got 168 miles held 4.1 gallon tank, Ultra was 234 miles held 5.2 gallon tank, Goldwing was 273 miles held 6.5 gallon tank
You get the idea.

Just a thought

dd
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