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Written by: Mike DeGaetano
Date: November 5th, 2002
Well, here are my first, second and third impressions of the new '03 X440.
First off I love this bike and I am riding it faster than any bike I have ever ridden! I can't put my finger on why exactly other than it is so damn easy to go fast on.
Here are the biggest differences between the '03 X440 and my cousin's "Bugman" '02 C440.
First the '03 X440 has to be at least 15 to 18 lbs lighter than the '02 C440. The body lines and plastic look way cleaner than the '02s. The frame is narrower and lighter. The motor hits way harder right off the bottom and that was my biggest complaint about the '02s.
Ralph's '02 C440 just felt too slow and to heavy to me. It just was way to wispy off the bottom in comparison to the CRF450 that I rode. But now the 03 snaps to attention with just a touch of the throttle.
My new '03 X440 pulls a lot harder right off the bottom, probably harder than the CRF450 does now. Cannondale cut down the silencer by about 5 inches and that helps give the bike a lot of bottom end snap. I cut Buggy's '02 C440's silencer last year and they found out and tried it at the factory from what I am told.
The suspension is incredible right out of the box. The Ohlins shock now has a high and low speed adjuster on it. This is perhaps the best suspended and best handling bike that I have ever ridden. All I did was set the rear sag at 95mil. and once everything was broke in I stiffened up the forks and the shock a bit.
Each time I have went riding at least 4 or 5 people will come up and look over the bike and then tell me how fast I am going on it. One thing everyone keeps saying at the two different tracks that I have been with the bike is how fast I am going in the corners and I can certainly notice that my cornering speed has picked up quite a bit.
I am totally pumped about my new Cannondale and I can't wait to race it!
Mike DeGaetano, NEMX # 1 plate holder in the 40+ expert class.
PS Give a big thumbs up to Pete Collins of Pete's Cycles and Sleds in Worcester, Mass. for making me take his 03 X440 after he got hurt and telling me to ride it for a couple of weeks. I probably wouldn't have bought my bike if it wasn't for him. These bikes frigin rock :-))
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