Written on: 22/06/2010
This has to be the phattest, coolest V-Twin ever! I just got mine, did 600km in 2 installments, and just can't keep my hands off it. Except for the carbon Leovince exhaust, it's standard. As others have pointed out, fit and finish is first rate. The gearbox is fantastic, the brakes are still first league, and in general, all peripheral equipment is top notch. I can't say anything about reliability yet (which is why I have rated this 4 stars), but I expect few surprises here. Some users have pointed to the on/off throttle response. I agree it's bad, but it's not all that bad! I also have a 2002 BMW 1150 GS, and that's not much better. OK, it's less powerfull, and less liable to produce an unexpected wheelie, but if you're not careful, it'll surprise you just as well. The same for the suspension: it's pretty bad when you ride slowly, but once you get to 120km/Hr or more, I find that the ride becomes quite pleasant and confidence-inspiring. Riding the SP1 in town or early morning traffic is sheer murder though: the bike just doesn't like it. It hates riding at low revs: under 2000 rpm, you can almost physically feel the big pistons and conrods wince every time they go round, and its relatively high weight makes itself feel. But of course, you buy the SP1 for riding fast, and for going fast through the bends. Which is what it was designed for, and which is what it does extremely well, and quite comfortably! I was amazed how serene and laidback the machine feels, even at high speeds, and how easy it all goes, without back aches, cricks in the neck, sore wrists etc. I'm 1.80m tall, and the SP feels like it was custom tailored for me. Speaking of bends: some apparently use a 180 tyre on the back, instead of a 190, to make it more chuckable. Personally, I feel OK with the 190 (I have Michelin PPs), and I like the feeling of having to lightly push the bike into the turn. It makes me feel more in control. Anyway, it just zips round on the roundabouts, great fun. Now for me, riding a bike like this is a Zen experience: it's about controlling myself through controlling the bike. It's not about silly speeds, or scaring other road users, or leaning out in rush hour traffic. I see the SP1 as a precision tool: it's about skills, and control. And it has everything to allow you to do that. Great bike!
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