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Written March 24th, 2002
To be honest I was very nervous about buying this bike and I doubt I would have if I did not read this forum (ThumperTalk)so much. I'm not much of an early adopter. But, to be honest, I really want to see this company succeed. I like companies that do things differently, especially American ones. I was concerned that I was getting persuaded by all the good things I was hearing here from a bunch of people I don't know and not thinking logically....no offense guys. The cost was easy to justify considering all the goodies you get...as many have said it needs nothing...it started to seem like the best bet. Its just that they are so new and unproven. Just for the record I am coming off of a '96 CR250. It is sit your ass down fast. I've owned an RM125 and an RMX250 prior. Over the last few years I've taken spins on WR400's, YZ400F's, XR's of all sizes and fell in love with four strokes.
The power is more my style and I like the weight when terrain gets rough. I ride in a lot of hard pack littered with softball size rocks in some places. There is a lot of sand in one place I ride. I will report on this once I ride in it. I broke it in on the flat hard pack stuff.
Anyway, I went for it and now that I have ridden the thing I gotta say it is as sweet as it looks. I could not rev the thing past "medium" engine speed because I was breaking it in but I can tell it has tons of power.
The suspension is unreal. Soft on small hits, stiff on bigger hits. I think it is a little too stiff as others have mentioned...I will adjust it later. Not as stiff as my '96 cr250 but definately stiffer than my friends wr400. It is way more plush too. Feels like it has about 10 more inches than the cr.
The engine noise is very unique. Its a little noisy but sounds solid. The intake noise reminds me of a top fuel dragster for some reason. Awesome!
The handling is very quick. The bike is very rigid. I never missed a shift. Neutral has a definate click when your searching for it but it is a little difficult to hit until you get used to it. I feel this is a good thing. One thing I noticed is I think i hit the rear break once. Lots of engine breaking. I like this. I own a v-twin road bike so I'm used to it and acutally wished for it riding my CR.
Now for the bad. My lights don't work. I fliped the high low switch a few times and nothing. I did not check them out the door, I was more worried about other things besides the obvious. The panoram computer is junk. It displayed garbage and reset about 3 or 4 times during the rides. I will try the contact bending suggestions. The front break is a little mushy. I can pull it to the bar. Stops and modulates very well. All but the panoram can be fixed I'm sure. The breaks are Nissin so I'm sure its a setup problem. Also, I got made fun of for puttings clear tape over the side stickers. Thanks a lot guys! ...actually everyone was very jelous of my purchase. I ran into about 15 guys that day and they all were drooling on the thing. My one buddy with the wr was pretty shocked I got it. I let him find out when he showed up.
Now its time for the oil/filter changes and what not. I look forward to a lot of fun and proving all the skeptics wrong with this beast. I'll let you know how ProSource and Cannondale deals with the problems...they have been very cool so far. I can't wait to open her up...
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