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DATE: April 11th, 2002
Ok, I finished the oil changes on my X440S on Wednesday and still wanted to clean and oil both the air filters and the chain. But Thursdayís weather was to go to pass up! In the middle 60ís and partly sunny! Which itís a good thing I did because todayís weather was cloudy and only about 45 degrees! I took off from work early (Thu) and met up with one of my riding buddies. Big thanks to him for hauling us out to the club, because I donít have a trailer yet to haul my bike with.
I did not make any suspension or sag adjustments prior to riding because I really didnít have the time. So Iím still riding on the factory settings. We mostly rode MX but did jaunt off into the woods a few times. It was a little mucky in places out there and I wasnít in the mood for a mud ride so we stayed on dry ground while in the woods. The MX track is basically like concrete, there is no such thing as loam on it. Some sections of it were a little soft due to moisture but not wet.
Once again the bike felt very good whether in the woods or on the MX track. But this time I was able to twist the throttle as much as I wanted since the break-in was over. This bike has linear power, there is not Ďhití like other bikes have. Well, I guess thereís a hit off of idle as I was trying to keep the front wheel down most of the time! Like Iíve read before, if you wanna go faster just keep twisting the throttle, how true that is! I never was able to top out while riding. Granted, we donít have any real long stretches at the club that would allow it to run as fast as it can. Later this year Iíll be going to some other tracks and will be able to check this out. Even though you don't full the pull of traditional competition 4-strokes you realize how fast you're really going when the corners come up on you much faster than you think they would. I'm glad this bike has awesome brakes!
The Ohlins suspension is AWESOME. I saw tree roots in my path, when we were in the woods, but I donít remember feeling them like I did on my XR650L. I did a lot of jumping this time and did not bottom the suspension once! The suspension still seems a little stiff but the bike doesnít even have 3 hours of riding on it yet. Iíll probably try to get about 10 hours on it before I start messing with the clickers and set the sag. By then the forks and shock should be all broke in. I really like the feel of this bike. It feels like it was custom made to fit me (6í 2Ē and 215lbs.). I even think that the seat is pretty comfortable, the grippy seat has taken me some time to get used to but so far I like it. Not bad when you consider the lazy boy like seat that my XR650L had. This thing also feels very, very skinny! Nothing juts out and makes contact with my legs. I have to make a concentrated effort to squeeze with my knees to feel the bike there.
Iím still amazed at how responsive the throttle is. Oh, and the sound that resonates from the FMF exhaust, sweeeeet. The bike handles so well and feels so light (to me) that it instills confidence in the rider. I canít wait to set the sag and get the suspension clickers set just right. There are a couple of tracks with some whoops that Iíd like to try now. On my XR650L I would always just roll through whoop sections. This bike should allow me to fly through them now!
Iím not sure if the handlebars are tall enough for me or not, I really like 'em high. I had some Jimmy Button bend Renthals on the XR650L and would like to try them on this bike. This would make it more comfortable to ride while standing up, for me.
My buddy and I eventually headed over to our clubís small little flat track to do a little speed racing. This track has a high bank on one end and an off-camber flat turn on the other. The flat turn was also pretty roughed up from 4-wheelers and ruts created by rain. My buddy rides a Kawasaki KDX200 that he just put an FMF pipe and silencer on. I rode it earlier in the day while letting him experience my ĎDale and now his bike has quite the mid-range hit that was non-existent with the stock setup. He and I were about the same speed. Neither one of us could catch up to the other. It seemed to me that I was having problems getting traction out of the banked turn. But I also noticed with each lap how much earth I was churning up in the exit of that turn. I could tell the wheel was spinning because the RPMís where high it just wasnít all getting to the ground. When I got home I checked the tire pressure in both the front and rear. It was 8.5 psi in front and 9 psi in the rear. The manual says 14 psi in both. I put 13 psi in each and next time we'll see how that does.
After flat track racing we went back to the MX track to get some pics of us jumping our bikes. We got some great pics. I'll try to get them on the web when Yahoo is back up. Then I'll post them here on TT.
All in all we had a great day, neither of us went down and I finally got to push my 'Dale as hard as I wanted to at this point. My brother-in-law Scott asked me tonight if I wanted to race next Saturday. I'm thinking about doing it. This would be my first MX race ever! If that happens I'll post my experience.
I'm a VERY satisfied 'Dale owner and can't wait to ride again. The next time I should have clean air filters and chain!
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