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BROKEDOWN WAY OUT IN THE WOODS (first problem with my Cannondale E440!)
Sorry it's been so long since my last update... I haven't been riding as much due to the three fractured ribs I'm recovering from. Finally, after getting literally depressed (from not riding!) I said "screw it. I'm gonna ride anyway". It's probably not the smartest thing to do but it sure the hell beats sitting home feeling depressed!
I believe this update will make up for the gap since the last one as it will cover quite a bit of my perspective on the machine. Yes, I brokedown way out in the woods as I experienced my first problem with my Cannondale E440. Also, I tried to bump start and that wouldn't even work! I'll save this part for last though.
BREAK IN OIL CHANGE AND TID BITS OF SET UP
After the initial 90 minutes of use I had the break in oil change done. There was hardly any metal in the fluids. They looked great.
Now with regular oil in the system instead of the break in oil the machine (engine) is a bit quieter. Also, in the beginning the transmission would have a tough time getting into neutral if you were stopped. This problem has been completely eliminated.Those of you who read earlier reports remember me complaining of the bike feeling too light. Well, coming off an XR650R and riding it at the level I did, this is something most wouldn't understand as long as speeds are over 10mph. The real problem was in the bars. Once I got my chopped 28.5 inch pro tapers on the bike I quickly felt at home. The stock "deer antler" had me all disoriented. With the chopped bars I also went to an SRC Triple Clamp Mounted Handguard system. You can check them out at:
www.SRCINC.net Say HI to Wade Summers for me if you call.
TELL ME ALL ABOUT THE BIKE
As you know, this is a bike where you don't have to do a thing to it. All I did was changed my bars and handguards. THAT'S IT!!!
The bike is extremely thin. Thinner than a KTM.
What makes this bike so amazing is two things:
Let's start with the motor. The bike has the broadest powerband I have EVER RIDDEN. It pulls stronger than a DRZ400 off the bottom and winds to the moon like a YZ426. The best part is that is does not really hit anywhere. It's just broad usable power EVERYWHERE. Because the bike is fuel injected explains why they are able to milk so much power out of the engine.
Think about it... How hard is it to buy a brand new 2002 car with a carb on it? With fuel injection the bike is running optimum and CRISP everywhere. NO WORDS CAN EVER DO IT JUSTICE until you ride it. And, once you ride it it would be very hard to go back. It's the most amazing power you'll ever experience. I'm shocked everytime I ride it at how much power they're milking out of a 440. No one will be disappointed in the power delivery of this bike. I can promise you that...
Because the power delivery is so smooth it is deceivingly fast. I have heard rumors that it puts out over 50hp and I wouldn't doubt it for a second. Read all the ATV magazines and see what they are saying about the cannondale QUADS. I talked to one guy with a Cannondale Speed Quad who drag raced his friend over and over on a yamaha 660 Raptor with an E-Series exhaust and continually the Cannondale Out Pulled it. They even traded bikes and the results were the same. It doesn't really shock me.
HOW'S THE GEAR BOX? The transmission on the Cannondale E440 is the best I've ever ridden. It's tight and nothing has ever felt so BULLETPROOF. At first I was concerned about it being too tight As it was hard to find first gear when stopped. Within an hour after the break in oil was changed this completely went away. IT's the sweetest transmission I've ever ridden. What I like is that it NEVER (yet) has caught neutral when shifting from first to second. For what I use the bike for the gear ratios are PERFECT. For most people (CA in particular) first gear is going to feel way to low. 5th gear is tall and winds to 88mph. Again, for all the super tight woods and nasty creeks around here the gearing is PERFECT.
THE CLUTCH The hydraulic clutch is awesome. It's a real treat if you've never had one before. I use the clutch a lot. Some people would even joke about how much I would use the clutch on my XR650R, I used it a lot. The Cannondale E440 is no different. My friends (both have E440's) don't use the clutch at all. I use it all the time. I love the hydraulic clutch because it is SELF ADJUSTING. This means as I heat up the clutch rather than the lever gaining free play it just STAYS THE SAME. It's great. (If there is anyone who is hard on clutches it's me. It will be interesting to see how the clutch on this bike holds up. I have total confidence in this engine).
WHAT ABOUT ENGINE BRAKING? This is pretty subjective. All I can say is the engine brake is just a like a typical four stroke. Not intense nor non-existant either.
WHAT ABOUT DYNO CHARTS AND POWER CURVE PRINT OUTS?
BOTTOM LINE ON THE ENGINE:
THICK D.I.D. Rims
I knew a guy who put an OHLINS Rear Shock on his XR600R. Cost him $900 bucks. In his words "Worth every penny...". I never understood this thinking... UNTIL I rode my Cannondale E440. I've said it before and I'll it again (over and over) "This is the THE BEST SUSPENSION I've ever ridden"... The part I'm still trying to figure out is how my friends who are 150 to 175 are saying the same thing???? I mean how is it that we're all riding stock Cannondale E440's weighing from 150 to 210 (I lost 10lbs!) and can ALL MAKE THE SAME CLAIM: "This is THE BEST SUSPENSION we've ALL EVER RIDDEN!" ????
As you know, all my XR's were done with EIBACH SPRINGS, RACE TECH Gold Valves and a master tech with 33 years of experience. Many people (who were my weight) would ride my bikes and couldn;t believe how good the suspension was... I'm here to honestly tell you that the Cannondale E440 out of the box is better! More amazing is that I haven't touched the sag! I haven't touched the compression!I haven't touched the rebound! And none of my friends have either (actually, they did and then ended up putting is back!) because we are still letting it break in! So, as far as the suspension. We all agree "It's the best suspension we've ever ridden in the world".
End of story.
Would you believe me if I told you that the Cannondale E440 shares virtually the IDENTICAL wheelbase and steering angle as that of the HONDA XR650R? Well, it does. After riding one day I was so amazed at how well the bike tracked and steered that I checked it out. This bike steers and tracks like you wouldn't believe. The brakes are absolutely awesome, too.
In the middle of a ride yesterday I was having the time of my life, riding a whole bunch of super tight and technical first and second gear stuff (since I'm recovering it's a little safer) just loving that little green button whenever I'd stall it! Finally, on one section with a tight up hill turn I hit a tree coming out of the ground. Tossed me off and the bike flipped over, I was on the ground not too bad but definitely feeling by already fractured ribs. When I finally got up I thought "well, I'm sure glad it's fuel injected so it CAN'T be flooded and hey I LOVE THIS ELECTRIC START!". Well, I went to push the little green button like I had been faithfully doing all day and...
Well, of course I did what every one of us would have done. Turned the bike around and tried to bump start it down the trail of twisty single track and when I let out the clutch...
Bwummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm................. Tick tick tick....
Great! Now what do I do? I'm stuck in the middle of the woods on single track! Who cares about the bike. This stuff is a bitch to even walk up and down!
NOTE: You would think in the back of my had I would be freaking out about the bike I had spent a small fortune on. You'd think I would be going "Oh no! My friends were right... I paid thousands to be an IN THE FIELD R & D guy for Cannondale at my expense!" But you know what, I wasn't and the only reason why is because this bike is SO AMAZING TO RIDE that even if I had to wait a month for them to send me "whatever" it would BE WORTH IT!!!! IT's that good.
LONG STORY SHORT With four little bolts we had the seat and the tank off in minutes and were checking out the battery. We tried jumping the starter and the battery arced like we were trying to weld. With 2 bolts we loosened up the fuel pump to get at the starter and quickly found the problem. Remember I told you I hit a tree sticking up at a weird angle? Well, it hit the started and pushed it (bent it a little) into the fuel pump. This caused the metal on the fuel pump to burn through the main starter connection grommet and short out the starter. All we did was provide some additional insulation and space between the starter and the metal housing of the fuel pump and we were riding again within 30 minutes!
If you have a Cannondale or know someone who does be sure to tell them to do this mod in advance. They can call me on my cell if they wish. I don't mind sharing the info.
This is THE BEST motor I have ever experienced...
[End of story]
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