Fun with Superhawk

I went out to the garage and the SVS wouldn’t start again this morning. Just like at Hare Racing last week, it WUBBAWUBBAed a lot, but didn’t catch. The battery died a whole lot quicker this time, though. Rarrrr. >:O

I took out the jumper cables and tried to jump the bike from the car, but it still wouldn’t catch. I was already running late to work by this point, so I just pushed the SVS back into the garage and hooked it up to the battery tender. Sigh. That battery is only five months old, so I’m hoping that a full day on the charger is all that it needs. I hate having to go back to Kragen to dispute battery warranties — something that I’ve had to do more often than seems normal.

I debated taking the car, but it’s a gorgeous day out and besides, I was already all geared up. My choices at that point were: Cat’s Ducati, Cat’s 929, and Peter’s Superhawk. The 929 and the Superhawk were the only accessible bikes (the Duc is tucked away towards the front of the garage), and I hadn’t ridden the Superhawk in a while, so I went with that one.

I’d bought a stock seat a little while ago — Peter’s Corbin seat is pretty wide — so I swapped that on to see how I did with it. I still need to cut out part of the foam, but I’m on bent toes with the stock seat, compared to being on tippytippytoes with the Corbin seat. Thank goodness for small favors and all that.

Before anyone asks, I remembered to adjust the clutch friction zone in this time. See? I can learn from past mistakes! It still isn’t very comfortable for me, though, even adjusted all the way in. I saw a hex bolt on the clutch bracket next to the adjustment knob — I may go at that before leaving work today to see if I can adjust it in even more.

I think I hit every red light between our house and the freeway, causing me to lurch all over the place while taking off from a stop. I just have the worst time with those liter bikes. I think I’m afraid to give it enough throttle, so I’m way over-cautious.

Once I was on the freeway, of course, things were fine. Though, christ almighty, that bike vibrates. I was riding around 6k RPM — my preferred range on the SVS, which redlines at approximately the same place as the Superhawk — and I felt like I was sitting on a paint mixer. Accelerating and decelerating slightly didn’t seem to make any difference. I’m used to some vibrations; I mean, I ride a V-twin, too, but this seemed really gratuitous. Peter, does it always do that??

Peter had also mentioned that he didn’t really like his grips, and he’s absolutely right. They seem really small and really slippery. Since my hands are small, I tend to modulate the throttle with my thumb and index finger while braking with the three other fingers, and my index finger was actually overlapping my thumb. And my hands are tiny! There’s really no surface friction on the grips, either, so I had to really grip the throttle hard to keep it where I wanted it. It felt like I was making a tight fist for 15 miles. No wonder Peter’s arms hurt on long rides. He’s been talking for a while about finding extra large-diameter grips, which we’ve been unable to find. After riding the bike, though, I think even regular gel grips would be a huge improvement. I have an extra pair in the garage, ostensibly for the Bandit, but since that ain’t gonna run anytime soon, I’ll donate them to the Superhawk and see if they help. Those stock grips are really terrible.

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2 Responses to Fun with Superhawk

  1. Peter says:

    Heh, yup, it vibrates. I noticed it a lot more last time I rode it, but I think that’s because I wasn’t used to riding it at the higher RPMs. I think that’s also partly to blame for why I tend to ride it at the much lower 4k RPM point.
    Mmmm, gel grips. That could be really nice. Although maybe someone here will know of extra-large diameter grips for big-handed freaks like me.

  2. B12Bill says:

    Hey Carolyn, like the new format.
    About the grips, I have used Progrip 714 gel grips on my Bandit, and they worked pretty well. They seem to be a bit larger diameter than normal grips.
    I too have quite large hands. The FJR currently has grips labelled “GrandTouring USA”. They are ‘football’ shaped, in that the center section is quite large, and tapers to either end.
    Hope Peter heals quickly, and Ride Safe,
    Bill

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