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Arete51 Escapes the Snow - First Impressions of 1200RT


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Finally got out on my 07 1200RT that I purchased in Riverside on 11/20/13. Had to wait through a 3-day snow storm, fog, and freezing temps, but finally the sun came out today and the temp got into the 40's at 7300 ft - much warmer when I got down even a thousand feet or so lower.

As I said the other day, I feel as though I have entered into a new realm of motorcycling. Sure, I've had the comfort of a Gold Wing, and the sheer power and handling of a V-65 Magna - now it seems I've combined the two, with even better handing, a surety through the curves, a rock solid feel of true tracking, and a comfortable riding position. Even though I only did 70 miles today, at least 55 of it was mountain roads, as I went down one side of the mountain and came home the other.

It seems this bike and I have melded together already: all I had to do was think it, and the bike responded. I just looked at my line through the curves, and the bike took me there. More power on the front brake than I anticipated, almost pulled me over the centerline on one curve, but I adapted. (Hadn't been on a bike, other than test drive, since I sold my Magna in June.) A little more top heavy than my Magna, but not nearly as much as my Gold Wing. What a pleasure to sail through the curves, knowing I had inches to spare before scraping anything! Flying on the ground is how I've always felt about it, the blue sky above, the g forces pressing me down into the seat, the ground level scenery flying by in a blur, the focus always ahead. Nice to be back on two wheels again, in my "natural state" of being.

A flick of the switch and the windscreen comes up, reducing the buffeting and enhancing the sound of the Remus exhaust as I power through the curves. I have to keep dialing back the throttle; I'm always going 15-20 mph faster than I think I am. Oh, how easy to hit 85mph on the brief segment of freeway I was on. Did I really do that curve at 55mph once I'm back on the mountain?

Tomorrow I will load all my camping gear and trip stuff onto my bike and take a test ride to Apple Valley and perhaps beyond, to see how bike handles with some weight on it. In mid-to-late December I am thinking about going to the Lost Dutchman state park near Phoenix, AZ, but I will write another post about that.

Arete51, at 7300 ft., from my cabin at Serenity Lake, CA. (aka Green Valley Lake - near Big Bear, CA)

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I"m thinking of getting rid of my 02 saber for a magna as my second bike. I have a 07 rt for other stuff. What do you think? I think that Magna is a hell of a nice bike. :thumbsup:

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  • 2 weeks later...

To Heyfrank: Sorry it took me so long to respond to your post; I've been under snow and freezing temps for the last 10 days or so and didn't do any motorcycle web surfing cause it just makes me miss being able to ride that much more.

I had an 83 Magna V65 and until I got my BMW it was my favorite bike ever. Had I kept it longer I would have gotten a custom seat because after about 2-3 hours the seat position would tire me out; but as a short sprint rider (under 100 miles) the stock seat was okay. The other problem I, and many others, had with the V65 Magna was overheating. Since I live in the mountains my bike rarely overheated, except when I might be in town and catch too many red lights. On the mountain highways as long as I was moving the temp stayed okay, but as soon I got into a town it would overheat, and the cooling fan would be slow to come on, and didn't always bring it down to the preferred 3-4 bars operating range. When I sold it to a guy down the hill, he had to immediately install a manual fan switch and lower threshold thermostat switch to keep the operating temp down. He later had the radiator re-cored and apparently all that solved his overheating problems. (He was driving it in 90 degree + temps all the time.) So if you're thinking about buying a v65 Magna be on the lookout for these types of issues and discuss with your seller.

As for the V65 ride itself, it was nothing less than awesome. The V65 is 1100cc's of incredible off the line power with a smooth shifting shaft drive and six speeds. As one who often loses his wiser half while riding a power street bike, and often has a little trouble seeing those double yellow lines on the old country roads (the paint seems to fade or blur or something) in every gear except sixth it just takes a little blip of the throttle to put those annoying sightseers in the rear view mirror. Even in sixth, in you're on the flat there's a nice response to twisting that throttle grip. The bike's seating position and handlebars put you into a bit of a forward lean, which comes in handy as you're digging into those curves and maintaining your solid line. As I recall, it takes a bit more effort for the Magna than my BMW to lift out of one turn and into another, but you will never feel sluggish when doing the twisties. When in town, you will get some looks, and lots of compliments on the appearance of the bike, especially with the Kerker exhaust and fat tire that I had on my Magna. I loved it, and wish I could afford to have a stable of bikes.

Hope this helps!

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