Cycle Forums: Motorcycle and Sportbikes Forum banner
1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
607 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First of all, I bought this bike in June, 2003 as a left over model and enjoyed a pretty steep discount ($2500 off MSRP). Here we are in Oct., 2004 and 18,600mi. later, here's my opinion. This bike sucks. It becons you to neglect any and all other responsibilities in favor of week long trips to the other end of whatever highway you may be on. You find yourself picking riding in a direction rather than to a certain destination.

I've spent as much as 900 miles in one day on this seat so I'll brag about it first. It's by far one of the most comfortable seats in the motorcycling world aside from an all out touring bike. I had a friend ride back from New Orleans with me after riding to the city on the back of a cruiser and the exact words that came out of her mouth when she sat down were, "Holy $hit, this is comfortable. I'm sitting on a Lexus!" The rider's seat is just right to be able to sit up, but also long enough so that you can slide back, get underneath the windscreen, and enjoy flying at a buck-fiddy as if you were on the newer supersports. Riding position is comforatable in that it's variable. One can sit at an almost straight up position with his head in clean air (I'm 6'2") or at a slight lean forward for those fast interstate miles, or with full tuck as described before. Pegs are low and forward with my heels feeling like they're right behind my knees in a vertical plane when the pegs are in the middle of my foot.

The engine is by far one of the smoothest V-twins I've ever ridden. It pulls very linear with no big whoosh, but a steady climb right off of idle. The torque lets you know that this is a liter twin and it's nothing to float the front wheel in third with a little tickle of the clutch. There is a slight buzz that is transmitted through the clip-ons, but it's much less than that which I feel coming from a stock Hayabusa. It is true that these V-60 twins take a while to break in and after 5k-6k miles it felt like it would rev faster and pull even harder. The gearing is almost perfect and because the clutch is so smooth, the bike is a joy to ride around town. At some of the 12,000' elevations in Colorado I could tell that the power was down a bit, but still had plenty to pull my 280lbs frame, full saddle bags, tank bag, tent and sleeping bag to illegal speeds as fast as I could turn the throttle, if I wanted it to. The engine does have a dry sump which makes oil changes time consuming, and a little messy, but once you've done it two or three times, it's pretty easy.

Suspension on the bike is set up for sport touring and even at it's firmest setting I still found the stock components a little spongy for my taste (remember, 280lbs), but while cruising on the highway for miles it's very comfortable. It's only when the pace get's fast and the turns tight that I needed something firmer. At 13,000 miles I switched the fork springs with firmer ones and went to a heavier oil, which helped with the front end dive alot. This bike comes with a center stand and it's easy to start grinding it down when trying to do the same with your knee pucks. It's not the best track bike out there (have not put it on the track), but it will carve up the road almost as well as my TLS, and in more comfort. Turn in is better than one would think for a sport-tourer, but the weight disappears at speed. One might get a sense that the bike is a bit top heavy compared to the sub-400lbs superbikes out there though. My only real complaint about the bike is here in that 40-42mpg is the max that I can pull from this engine. I have a power comander II with a custom map, K&N filter, derestricted air box, and Staintune slip ons. It runs like a superbike, and drinks gas like one also. At 55-60mph I will be down to looking for a gas station with only a half gallon left with 200 miles on a tank. At 80-85, don't expect much more than 150 miles out of a tank.

This bike has alot of posh, and still everything about it is functionable and works well. The dash is arguably laid out well and infomation is displayed where you'd expect it. The saddle bags volume is huge, but integrate into the bike so well that you don't notice their size when looking at them or when riding. The tank is plastic, so no magnetic tank bags, but has an offset gas cap which makes it a bit easier to fill up while it's on the kick stand. Single sided swingarm, looks trick and makes rear wheel attention simple and convienent. The integrated turn signals on the back of the mirrors are nice, but the position of the mirrors take some getting used to. Once you've been on the bike a while, you realize that having them so far up and out makes things easier to see behind you rather than trying to look through your elbows. Wind protection is good, but I like the fact that when I sit up my helmet is in clean air. At full tuck the noise is so loud that unless I have earplugs in, I can't stand it.

The exhaust is something of a wonder and I hated the "sewing maching" sound it put out stock. I quickly installed a set of Staintune slip ons, which made a WORLD of difference and although it will never equal the bark of my Yoshi race system on my TL, it does have a nice grumble while out on the road. I absolutely love underseat exhaust as it give the saddle bags all the room they need. Even in 100+ degree heat here in south Louisiana, I've never had a passenger complain about heat coming from the seat or the bike. In fact, I find this bike's cooling so effective that sometimes I worry. The temp. gauge is digital and I've never seen a bike run at 160 while on the highway. In stop and go traffic it will never get above 207 where the fans keep everything in check.

All in all, I'm sure you can tell that I'm in love with this bike and the only reason I have time to write such a long review is cause it's raining outside and I need new rain gear (frogg toggs on order). It's not the best bike in any one category, but it can compete in each category so well is what sets it apart. I've had no reliability problems from it, nor have I run into any problems with availability of parts. 18,000 miles is just starting to see what this bike can do. Once I hit 75,000, if Aprilia makes another sport-tourer, I MIGHT think about trading it in.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
607 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
No, the GPS does not come with the bike, but it does mount pretty easily.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
607 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
And in my humble, but accurate oppinion, it's one of the best looking sport-tourers out there without the saddle bags. The plate holder is a home-made mod. of my own design.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
To my fellow RST owners. I recently had a little issue. My bike fell over on to its side due to my own lack of thought. The side stand sank in the mud and over it went. Anyway, after restarting the engine it ran poorly then wouldn't start at all unless I shot starting fluid into the injector. It acts like it's not getting fuel. Any ideas?
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top