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Jim aka "jschner" 2002 E440 Ride Review #5

My first real ride after the ECU update and I must say the bike does tractor a lot better. I can almost come to a stand still without using the clutch. I remember hitting this area that was less than 5mph that was very technical with rocks, trees, windy uphill trail and the bike was awesome. It crawled right through the stuff like it was suppossed to. No clutch! No stalling! Before, I would have stalled it easily and had trouble getting my momentum going again. Very challenging. On this ride I found myself using a lot less clutch which is a very good thing.

However, this ride was so rocky it just beat the heck out of me. I have the stock E440 setting and the rear end feels like a brick. The front end was getting me way too wild on the fast rocky uphills. It almost felt like I had no suspension at all I was getting bounced around so much.

On one such climb, I finally got my first real crash today too. I was going up this nothing but rock uphill and the suspension was just bouncing me all over the place. One huge rock was sticking out of with a "^" shape and the bike went one way and I went the other. I hit nothing but rock at about 20mi. My left side will be sore tomorrow. Somehow my watch was ripped off my left wrist. My wrist was cut up pretty good and swollen a little. First blood! :p

The bike faired pretty well. Knocked the left hand guard almost straight in the air. I also sheared off the top of the pin holding the left foot peg in place. The peg felt wierd but stayed for the remainder of the ride. Got a new pin on order.

All in all it was a fun ride. The new Camelbak worked great and it only hit about 80 degress today. I did however had something going with the radiator. One time when I stopped I could hear it sizzling. I relieved the pressure and some water boiled out. After that it was quiet and all seemed fine. So can the radiator be too full?

The suspension is definitely not plush in the rocks. I'm going to try to go even softer than the "E" settings to see if it helps. That'll be the next ride. If it doesn't help then I'll send it in somewhere and maybe get lighter springs and a revalve. I'm only about 175lbs with gear. And there are not too many naturally occuring doubles or triples in the woods. I think this bike could be softened up a lot for Enduro type riding.

Till next time!