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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm excited that I finally got to visit some dealers, see-sit-ride some bikes, and make a preliminary decision on what I'm going to. I have to travel the next two weeks, but when I get back I'm trading the Explorer for a new Connie! The only decision to be made is WHICH ONE?

2011 Black $9,900
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2013 Black $11,100
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2015 Black $TBD
2015 Green $TBD
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Dealer A with the 2011 has already agreed to swap titles with me because we are very close on market vs. OTD on the Connie. I'm a "little" concerned about all the rubber on the bike (fuel lines, brake lines, gaskets, tires- less so because I can change my own easily) being almost five years old. Yes I can drive out of there with a 7-year warranty but I was just thinking about it.

Dealer B wants to get rid of the 2013 and might be compelled to swap titles with me if I put on my best sales hat. A grand more for a 2013 OR save that grand for an MC Cruise on the 2011? The only difference I can see between these two bikes is the wheels (2011-silver, 2013-black) and the paint (2011-gloss black, 2013-metallic black). I really don't want a black bike… I REALLY like Kawi Green. I guess for the thousands I would save on the 2011 could buy a really good paint job!

Dealer B also has two black 2015s. I would want to talk him into getting me a green one if I go for current model year… just to get the minor refinements of the 2015. However, the new $300 SiSF flash over at COG would probably be as good or better than the minor tweak to the gearing Kawi made. Sure do like that Green, though. I have a couple weeks to think about it.

I rode a 2015 Victory CC and a 2015 Indian Chieftan. Here is what I look like on the Victory (sorry, no "me on a Chieftan"; reason below):
IMG_20150918_113713.jpg

If I were going to buy the Chieftan, this is the one I would buy:
IMG_20150918_120128.jpg

The test ride started on the Victory. It has plenty of room and is comfortable in the seat and legs. The engine is smooth and quiet. The transmission does have a whine and it was sketchy on some of the shifts (this IS a new bike, though). It caught me out once at a light and left turn; even though I was counting gears in my head, the gear indicator goes blank when you come to a stop, or when you're not on the gas… something like that. I couldn't figure that out, but it would give a "--" just when I needed to know what gear I was in. The batwing does nothing but make it wind noisy in the cockpit. I wore my full face helmet without earplugs and tried shield up and down. I don't think that can be fixed. Overall, it's a little unrefined, but riding down the road it was great. This one had the mini apes and cruise control. When you step back from it, there just doesn't seem to be a whole lot of "there" there. It's a basic machine. One thing I don't like, which the Indian also did, is all the shake in the handlebars. Let me just call the front end "rough". Steering is vague.

Halfway through the ride, I switched to the Indian. Steering is twitchy. If you hold a straight line on the highway, very solid. If you veer at all, the front end wants to fall quickly to the side, as if the front tire is a skinny disk. Strange feeling, almost like the big BMW K1600GT (some people might like it, and call it "light" steering. I don't like it.) Shifting was much better, but loud. The engine is pretty smooth, but the stock pipes are LOUD. I would not want this for a long distance bike due to the noise. The gauges and LCD are too small AND I was sitting close to the dash. Here's the main problem with ALL the Indians- forget it if you are over 6 feet tall on stock seats. They need to make an extended reach seat, but all they offer is standard and reduced reach. In the standard seat, I'm folded up and am too close to the fairing because of the gigantic bolster on the rear. It's more cramped than the Goldwing (not to say that the Wing is cramped, but its riding posture is unique in big touring bikes). Another strike is wind noise. Even with the electric windscreen all the way up, the story is not good AND you will be looking through the shield. But MAN DO THE INDIANS LOOK GOOD! I'm not a big chrome guy, and they don't turn my head easily, but when I saw that matte silver on chrome, I couldn't walk away from it. Even after the bad test ride, I was still trying to talk myself into it because it passes the EYE test with flying colors. Doesn't pass the head, heart, or butt test though.

Didn't get to ride FJR or Connie (yet), but I like both equally well in the sit test. The seating position, leg bend, arm reach are perfect for me on both; very similar but better than me on the ZR7. My head says FJR for integrated cruise control, regular fuel, less shifting, extended maintenance interval, and reported ease of maintenance. My heart says Connie despite all these thing and for appearance, engine, bigger bags, slightly better seat and I already know ALL the farkles I want and need. Plus… It's a Kawi and I'm going with the heart this time. I went with head last time and was disappointed.
 

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Good luck with your decision. The Concours is an amazing high speed motorcycle. It will complement the zr7 nicely. Get your extended warranty through the zggtr forum. Make sure the '11 is still under warranty though. Many Concours get a valve cover leak at 30,000 miles. The warranty won't cover the rubber bits that are scheduled to replace.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yes… I've decided I will be happier with black in the long run. And I don't see anything on the "New for 2015" list that I can't live without. So the battle will be between the two holdover bikes. I'm actually leaning toward the 2011 for the Super Black and silver wheels!

I need to ask that dealer about warranty and if they will take care of all the time based maintenance. I know there is brake fluid in there- no telling what that looks like or what condition the internals are. All the rubber bits of the brake system are supposed to be replaced every four years, so I would have to require that. Probably ask them to do a complete brake system rebuild- the lines and rubber parts anyway. Maybe the lines are okay for a few years and I can replace them with braid down the road. What if brake fluid has been in a bike on the floor for five years? I wonder if there's any moisture in there, even though it's supposed to be a closed system? Maybe the four year rubber bits replacement and a flush/bleed is a more appropriate request.

Now I can see which dealer wants to get rid of his Connie the worst… 2011 vs. 2013. The 2013 is closer, so I will ride to that dealer and see what we can work out. If that doesn't work out, I can always bolt to the other dealer. That will give me some leverage because I already told the closer dealer about the 2011 deal. I like both of my salesmen. I like both bikes. I can do my own service and I have a local guy who can do the valve adjusts.
 

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Love the black with black rims, greens cool but could get tired of it, blacks classier and easier to sell, not everyone will like the green at resale. Indian is pretty but heavy and expensive, don't like the front fairing. Love the cross country, but haven't ridden one yet.
 

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A dealer looking to move 4 to six year old bikes won't be willing to do much as far as deals or replacing perfectly good lines. After all, they had years to sell the bikes and failed.
 

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The brake lines are fine. Change the fluids. If the tires aren't dry rotted...or hard as rocks...you'll be fine with them too. Good luck...great choice!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Pulling the trigger on the 2011 super black in the morning. Finally. Probably a 12-hour round trip.
 
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So that BBQ, (and test rides) are THIS weekend at DF's place then? LOL
 

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Congratulations. Hopefully you will enjoy it more than you did the Explorer.
 

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So that BBQ, (and test rides) are THIS weekend at DF's place then? LOL
Well crap. That's a 28hr drive one way for me. Time is nothing but at just over 3000km each way and with my new tires on back order the old tires would never make it.
 

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Its always bad when you see a dealer with a several year old, but brand new bike. Usually they still want top dollar for it. Just as they have done so in all of 2013, 2014, and now 2015.

I like the green, but as mentioned, it eliminates about half the potential buyers if you try to sell it.

Adding some low end power does overcome the new gearing change.

Now, the reflash. Its pretty new, and the guy doing ti has the best of intentions. Heck, he might have even found the perfect combination and his just might be THE reflash of all reflashes.

Or not. Its pretty new, and its obvious hes using Woolich software and cables. Again, this may be incredible, or ??/ This bike is severely restricted, down low, so its not a tough one to deal with. All I wonder about is there are proven mods , for this bike dating back to 2010.

Theres a reflash out there thats not half as sexy, but has some serious development effort behind it. As of now, no one has came close to Ivans efforts with our Ninja 1000s' and we'll leave it at that.
 

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Pt 2 is you won't find your bike lacking power. No need to take a risk in improving this bike.
 

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Swap the 14 motor into the zr7s ;)
 

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The 14 is one of the most boring motors you'll ever ride with. Smooth, no hit. It just propels itself.

Fast forward to last weekends ride. Wife gets off the back and I can see shes frustrated. "Why does everyone drive so slow?"

Thats how you'd define this bike.
 
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The 14 is one of the most boring motors you'll ever ride with. Smooth, no hit. It just propels itself.

Fast forward to last weekends ride. Wife gets off the back and I can see shes frustrated. "Why does everyone drive so slow?"

Thats how you'd define this bike.
First bike that I ever hit the rev limiter without expecting it. There was no change in sound our power. It was just there. Look down and going 90 in second gear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
@rc and twa... just drove it home 270 miles while keeping it under 4000rpm. Everything y'all been telling me is 100% true... AND I LOVE IT! Exactly what I was looking for in every way. Holy smokes the bike wants to be north of 80 all the time. Doesn't need cruise except as a speed limiter and jail preventer. "...no hit, just propels itself..." BOOM! Spot on. That's what I like about it. It's like a rail gun, or the Superman ride.

I don't feel the need for mods except mount my phone and GPS. The seat and screen even works for me. I'm going to keep it bone stock as long as I can stand it.

Someone tell me what the mod is for the high beam indicator. Gorilla tape? Man that thing is bright! And I can't get an oil level to register in the sight glass on the center stand or on tires. Is there a trick to know if you are properly leveled to see the oil?

Finally, the brakes have me weirded out. In a straight line they are great. In turns I get caught out a bunch and almost dump it. Like ABS is kicking in when leaned over. Really grabby in turns.

100% successful trade. Even swap. The last ride on the Explorer was a good one- it did well. I'm glad because I wasn't mad at it anymore and we parted as friends. Pics later- y'all know what a black one looks like.

Oh yeah. In top gear, I'm showing an indicated 80mph at 3500rpm. Does that sound right? Assume actual speed is 72-73? Didn't have GPS today.
 

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Shouldn't be braking in turns. ;)

The brakes can be a little grabby. My Voyager is doing that now that I put EBC HH pads on. Once they bed in they should be a little better, and you will learn how much brake to apply. But before the corner please.

New oil is pretty clear, but you should see some as you transition the bike from the sidestand to vertical. If not, the oil is either low, or overfilled.

The bike is designed to cruise at 150, so the RPMs at 80 sound about right.

Opaque scotch tape will help. Electrical tape with a pin hole also works.

When I picked up my bike at Sportcycles, I made them show me the oil level and tire pressure since I was riding 500 miles home.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
TP was right. Oil was right, I was just expecting to see it on the center stand. Tilting a but more brings oil up into the glass from the bottom. Maybe it's low but I never got an oil light. Changing oil soon anyway so I will know.

Maybe I WAS braking in the turns and didn't realize it. Sure is a different ride compared to Tex. Not used to the speed and turn in so need to adjust. Perceived speed on C14 is at least half that of Tex so I'm entering turns too hot and heavy. Practice.
 

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TP was right. Oil was right, I was just expecting to see it on the center stand. Tilting a but more brings oil up into the glass from the bottom. Maybe it's low but I never got an oil light. Changing oil soon anyway so I will know.

Maybe I WAS braking in the turns and didn't realize it. Sure is a different ride compared to Tex. Not used to the speed and turn in so need to adjust. Perceived speed on C14 is at least half that of Tex so I'm entering turns too hot and heavy. Practice.
The lack of perception of speed is one of the reasons I parted with the connie. Found myself going 20 over without realizing it. Also passing everyone because it was so quick and easy to do.

The Concours is very planted in the curves and can take them fast once you get the suspension tuned correctly for you. S curves take a little effort to transition on the beast though. Too bad you didn't buy when I was selling off all my Concours accessories, but subscribe to the for sale sections at COG and ZGGTR forums for deals on used bits for the bike.
 
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