|HOME · FORUMS · SHOP · INFO · REVIEWS · PICS · FORSALE · G-MAP · LINKS||^ Visit our Sponsors|
2 friends of mine got new 2002 Cannondale E440's this week (tuesday). Both of them came off DRZ400's and are ex-racers. They know how to ride fast, real fast, in the woods and cross country. One of the guys is my favorite guy to race with. He's an ex wrestler and about 150lbs. I KNOW how fast he was on his DRZ400. He was one fast mother!@#$er.
I'm 6'3" 220lbs and ride a tricked out XR650R set up for woods. Believe it or not, on this bike, because of it's ability to "hook up" I'm probably one of the fastest guys in our group. Today (sunday 1-13-02) we all went riding and everyone was excited because the debut of the new Cannondale E440's!
Unfortunately, I never got to ride the Cannondale's because I had one of the worst riding days of my life. To give you an idea of the pace we were riding at, in one day, I did all of the following:
Destroyed both my SRC brush guards ripping one right off the bike. Cracked up both of the cups on a pair of brand new MSR knee guards (yes, I'm swollen and limping). Sprained my left wrist. Broke one rib (a first for me and it sucks). Bent my right foot peg bracket causing my kickstarter NOT to return after kicking (talk about a pain in the A#$!!). Don't ask me what it's like to have to restart a 650R after you've crashed and it's flooded!!!!
The reason I share this with you is because although I didn't ride the Cannondale E440's today (because of injuries), I GOT TO DO SOMETHING EVEN BETTER; I rode at peak levels (my maximum ability) with two of my friends as I witnessed them experience THEIR FIRST DAY on these American made machines.
I'M SORRY TO SWEAR, BUT I'M HERE TO TELL YOU THAT CANNONDALE ISN'T ******* AROUND! THEY MEAN BUSINESS! THESE BIKES KICK ASS! CANNONDALE E440 - OUR FIRST RIDE AND REVIEW
First off, the suspension of course was very stiff. Anyone whose familiar with OHLINS knows that it takes a good 10 hours plus of hammering before it's really broken in. So, the first thing we had to do is back off the compression (PROBLEM SOLVED!). Then there was too much rebound; a little more toying with clickers (PROBLEM SOLVED!). Now the suspension was dialed and the guys were building confidence on the bikes by the minute! Within a few hours we were riding "up to the limit". I know how fast my friend was on his DRZ400 and I can tell you within a few hours on the Cannondale E440 he was ripping it up like it was a walk in the park. Much faster AND SMOOTHER with less effort.
It was amazing. Here's the first reason why: The Cannondale's chassis is (I believe) the most rigid on the market. Their decades of experience building mountain bike frames probably made this a breeze (I've owned Cannondale MTN bikes my whole life because of this.). Combine this with OHLIN'S SUSPENSION (the best on the market) along with Tallon Hubs, FAT DID spokes and rims and you have the greatest handling enduro in the world! Period.
I saw it today! These bikes handle like you wouldn't believe. I've got full race tech suspension and gold valves set up by a guy with 30 years experience on my 650R and the OHLINS is one notch up. Everybody who rode the Cannondales raved over the suspension and steering. I didn't have to ride it. I saw it firsthand chasing my friend at speeds up to 80 miles an hour in sandwashes or 20 miles an hour through nasty rocks, g-outs, tree roots and trees. Mind you, this is STOCK, out of the crate, with less than 10 hours!Here's the second reason why he was so fast:
THE MOTOR AND FUEL INJECTION The Cannondale has an ECU which means you can ride it from sea level to 12,000 feet with no adjustments required. Today we rode from 5,000 to about 8,000. Because sometimes we go down to the high desert (about 3,000 feet) most of us have our bikes jetted in the middle. This means when we get to 8,000 feet our bikes are "feeling it" a little. THE CANNONDALES NEVER MISSED A BEAT! One of the things everyone was raving about was the throttle response. UNLIKE ANYTHING THEY HAD EVER EXPERIENCED...
HOW'S THIS FOR HUMILATION? Sometimes I would get way ahead of everyone and then fall and have to restart my bike. Of course because it is has a carb you know what happens. I'm getting passed by everyone as I kick the **** out of it! My friend was in front of me and fell over in the rocks (Moron me being in 'hot pursuit' bumped into him!). Any other bike he'd be flooded and starting would be an issue. NOT THE CANNONDALE> IT'S FUEL INJECTED AND STARTED INSTANTLY WITH THE PRESS OF A GREEN BUTTON!!!
HOW ABOUT POWER? I'd like to know HP and TORQUE ratings on these bikes. We were ripping up a tight and twisty wash. I was chasing the Cannondale with all my ability. On his DRZ400 I'd have a chance with the big 650R to get by him. With the CANNONDALE there was NO CHANCE! You know those tight corners in a wash like this that you end up "squaring off". He was rocketing out of those like that bike was on Nitrous. I couldn't believe it! When "GTMS34" was talking about passing CRF450's and YZ426's I was skeptical. Today, I AM A BELIEVER! (Again, sorry to swear but) THESE BIKES ARE FASTER THAN **** !!! And they aren't even broken in yet.... The power is so smoothe and tractible that they were never using their clutch (unlike the DR's). Over and over the comments about the throttle response were the same no matter who rode them "unlike anything I've ever ridden".
OTHER STUFF This bike is Narrow and Trim. It's 5 inches trimmer than a DRZ400 measuring from the widest part (the radiator shrouds). This bike is also light, but not too light. For high speed woods and cross country riding you don't want a bike that's too light. Tr riding a CRF out here and you'll find out. At 249lbs the E440 is perfectly balanced (NOT fat and NOT a-n-a-r-e-x-i-c, either). It also comes stock with a Panoram Enduro Computer. This is the trickest little gizmo I've ever seen. It's even private labeled for them with the Cannondale Name on it! Check it out at: www.trailtech.net
The tires are Michelin front and rear. Although, we pinched a tube on one of the Cannondales from hammering it, it was due to a "stock" paper this tube (like all the stock tubes). However, the tires worked awesome the guys said and they hardly wore compared to most of the other stuff we run out here. How would you like to change your spark plug or air filter in less than 60 seconds? With the new E440 you can! There's a quick release little button under the seat - push it - and you've got hte seat off with instant access to you plug and air filter... One other thing that impressed me was NOT the fact that if you tried to buy just the rims, hubs, spokes and suspension it would cost you over $4,000... No, what impressed be was that after hammering these bikes hard ALL DAY LONG I checked the spokes and they hadn't loosened a bit! They're were like "piano wire" from the factory and remained this way. How about the multi-faceted ignition schemes the E440 has? There are 3 different timing schemes available. One geared for LOW-END, MID and TOP. They hadn't got the manuals yet from Cannondale so we don't know what setting they came on. We all assumed they had to be set in the middle. For dual sport people it comes stock with a HI-LOW Beam headlight, and a dual filament tailight with license plate mount (Yes, they even run the wire from the light under the seat so all you have to do is "Plug In" your brake light switch. The chain guide is like something you'd buy aftermarket. Tallon sprockets. And, the exhaust isn't real loud.
FUEL ECONOMY Because of the fuel injection we believe the fuel economy (for the amount of powe it's putting out) is going to be impressive. I'll know tomorrow what that was. I',m as curious as the rest as the tank only holds 2.6 gallons. We went 60 miles today and there was still fuel left.
Needless to say, I love my 650R and I'm big enough and strong enough to ride it fast and keep up with the quickest, but..... After seeing what my friends did on these bikes today within just hours of getting use to them... After falling again and again and having to go through the hassle of a carb that flooded my engine... while everyone is passing me in the dust! After watching them fall in the rocks and just pick it up and "hit a green button" with no flooding due to fuel injection... (by the way, I'm convinced the cannondale could be started upside down!) After bending my damn foot peg so my kickstarter wouldn't work! After having to pay $5,000 for my 650 and then pump another $2500 into it to get it to the level I ride at (not too mention all the trial and error... Then, after pushing my bike to it's utmost limits and watching a stock american made machine out handle it... I'm not going to wait for the reliability to "pan out".
Cannondale is backing the E440 with a 6 month warranty!(EDIT by jschner. There is no 6 month warranty. See Cannondale for details.)(KTM will only give me 30 days) As much as I can ride where I live I"LL HAMMER THE **** OUT OF THAT E440 in 6 months. Plus, get this, in pricing the parts they are all comparable with the Japanese!
I don't know how I'm gonna come up with the cash (yet alone, handle the bath I'm gonna take on my 650R) but I'm gonna get me one these Cannondale E440 "Warlords". Aren't they the sexiest, most majestic enduros you've ever seen? Take a look for yourself:
You can read the specs here:
P.S. Special thanks to all the other Cannondale Owners (GTMS34 and EMARACING etc) who are kind enough to take the time to share experience and input with us on these bikes.
P.P.S. Again, sorry to swear, but CANNONDALE ISN'T ******* AROUND WITH THESE BIKES! THEY'RE OUT TO MAKE A STATEMENT I THINK!
P.P.P.S. Think about this; if the reliability IS THERE, it's payback time baby!
|BACK||Email a comment to jpeters||NEXT|