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DATE: FEBURARY 10th, 2002
WOW! What an amazing motorcycle.
I rode all day Saturday doing the break in and then a few hours of extended break in not exceeding 3/4 throttle yet. Started off in flat trails then ended the day with some rutted short hilly single track areas. Even tried a little poor mans MX track we found in the middle of no-where.
First off. This bike is tall. I'm 5' 10" and I can just get all my toes on the ground. It even seems to ride high as well. My first thought was I'll never be able to turn this thing especially in tight woods. Oh! Was I wrong. This bike easily turns better than my ol Honda XR250. No comparison. I can't believe the confidence this bike gives me in the rutted turns. Rutted or no ruts I was in and out of a turn quicker than I have ever been. The height was no problem at all. The added visiablitiy of the trail ahead was great and the bike leans over without a problem.
Next the power. The power is so smooth it's incredible. You hardly think your accelerating except the ground just goes by faster and faster. Then I was riding in some tight twisting loose dirt trails and the smooth power delivery was sweet. The throttle was very manageable. It's almost impossible to launch off the trail into a tree. But I haven't tried full throttle yet so we will see. As soon as you hit daylight the power just comes on and the bushes and trees just start wizzing by you. The power is so silky smooth you get maximum trackion and nothing is wasted.
OTOH, if your looking for a power hit forget it. The power band just feels too smooth and the hit is almost impossible to feel. It's like the bike has anti-acceleration control like on Star Trek. You get warp speed without that warp feeling. That could be good and bad. Sometimes that power hit is a lot of fun. But sometimes it gets you into all kinds of trouble. I did miss the fun of a big hit on the straight areas but didn't miss it one bit in the tight stuff. It would be interesting to see how other maps feel.
Suspension? I'm in heaven. Even though the suspension is still a little stiff and needs some break-in time the E just glided over everything I threw at it. I was extremely impressed in the down hill rutted snotty stuff. I could switch back and forth over the ruts with ease. Something I could never seem to get right with my Honda XR which was a rut magnet.
I did some small jumps nothing big and the E is a BLAST!. I look at jumps a whole different way now and my confidence is growing rapidly.
I called Cannondale to see what they set these bikes up for. A tech said about 170lb to 185lb rider. I'm 180lbs with gear so I'm right in there. I never realized how timid my old XR made me in the ruts and small whoop type bumps till I got on my Dale. I can really see the difference already in my confidence level and it's just been one day.
Also, The Cannondale motorcycle doesn't vibrate at all. I felt no headshake. The electric start was flawless all day and I must have used it twenty times. The exhuast didn't seem loud at all. Sometimes I couldn't hear my exhuast over my buddies stock Suzuki DRZ.
The only problems so far has been a loose hand guard, and my idle speed seems to be a little high when the engine is warm. I'll see my dealer about this one. Especially since JPeters said they have new maps available for E's after break in.
Overall, I'm very satisfied. All I can say is WTG Cannondale Motorsports!!!
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