This Means War.

Superhawk: 2. Bar-end weights: 0.

The SVS battery is still acting up, so today was another Superhawk day. I was eager to see how its shaved seat and SVS bar-end weights worked anyway, so I didn’t really mind having to leave my baby at home (though I still need to do a test ride on its new chain and sprockets…).

The first thing I noticed is that the heavier bar-end weights make a huge difference. Last time I rode the SH, I had to keep it around 4k RPMs; today, I could get to 6k or 7k without worrying that my arms would vibrate right off of my body.

That is, until I looked down and noticed that the righthand bar-end weight was missing. That damn Superhawk tosses bar-end weights like nobody’s business. I’m going to weld the next one on, boy howdy.

The shaved seat fared a bit better, thankfully. Wearing my riding boots, I’m somewhere between my toes and the balls of my feet, which is solid enough for me at stoplights. The seat is still uncomfortably wide, but I don’t think there’s anything I can do about that — I cut almost all of the foam away; it seems that the seat pan is just wide up near the tank. Rarrrr.

Due either to the added comfort at stoplights or just more experience on the motorcycle, I was pretty smooth off the line this morning, too. I still take off from red lights and stop signs more cautiously than I need to, but the bike didn’t lurch or buck at all.

The only downside to riding the Superhawk more often is that I find out all these dirty little secrets that Peter’s been keeping from me. Aside from the paint-mixer vibration and painful handgrips, the bike has a loose steering stem nut. I have no idea how long it’s been like this. There’s a noticeable downward clunk every time I apply the front brake more forcefully than for a very slow stop. I try to explain to Peter that this is the sort of thing that makes the baby jesus cry. “Oh,” said Peter, “so that’s what that is. I should have you ride my bike more often!”

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