Author Topic: New Member in the Bay Area, CA  (Read 141 times)

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Offline Jai

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New Member in the Bay Area, CA
« on: May 23, 2020, 11:32:27 pm »
Hi COGers,

My name is Jai, and I've just purchased a 2002 Concours. A bit of background about me, which will probably help explain my very early impressions of the bike thus far: I started riding about 5 years ago, and have owned an '89 EX500, a '93 CBR1000F and a 2000 VFR800, which I've still got. With every successive bike, I've gotten more and more comfortable wrenching. The VFR had very low miles but was badly neglected when I got it, so I spent several months rounding it back into shape by rebuilding the calipers, replacing the plugs, replacing tires, etc. But eventually I ran out of things to fix on it, and I missed having a bike to work on. So I sold the old CBR (just shy of 70k miles), and have been looking for another bike to adopt and fix since. I was after something that was either running or not running with a free-turning engine, and required a good chunk of TLC. It had to be something interesting, and it had to be cheap, so that I could flip it later if I didn't like it.

When I stumbled on this Concours on Facebook marketplace, I felt like I'd found a winner. It was listed at $1,620, which was already cheap - I've seen many with significantly more miles go for 2.5-3k here in this absurd bay area economy. It has about $200 due in reg backfees, so I talked it down to $1,200, got some excellent advice on what to look for from the folks on this forum, and went to go see it. Everything checked out pretty well - it had clearly been cared for in a previous life and while it had mostly been sitting for the past year, it started up on full choke with barely a turn or two of the starter. I'd asked the seller to keep it cold, and a quick touch of the pipe prior to starting it confirmed that. Almost immediately, I was able to back the choke off some, and it settled into a nice, smooth idle. There was a small crack in the fairing (see picture) and some rash on the exhaust pipe that I really don't care about, but was a good excuse to knock another $100 of the price. Everything about it felt and sounded fine on the test ride, so I handed over $1,100 and rode it home.

- This is the biggest bike I've ever ridden. My old CBR weighed around 600 lb wet, but this was noticeably heavier, and just felt so much larger, with its massive fairing. I'm not a big guy (5'10", 150 lb fully fueled), so I was slightly concerned about managing the bike at low speeds. But it was no issue: even tight u-turns are done with ease on this bike, and while I can't fully flat foot it, being able to touch the balls of both feet down is just fine. We'll see how I feel after I find some weird slopes or poor traction under my feet, but no complaints as yet.

- The windshield is badly scratched up (picture attached), to the point that I can only see clearly out of the top 2 inches of it. But I mostly look over it anyway, and it does its job exceedingly well. I didn't feel any of the buffeting that some complain about. 

- The bike pulls cleanly basically from idle. It pulls eagerly past 3.5k, and really wakes up somewhere around 6k, with a nice growl. It reminds me of my old CBR in a lot of ways, and this is one of them. It definitely is a lot slower than that CBR (more weight, less power and a massive fairing is rarely a recipe for going faster), but it doesn't feel slow at all in its own right. It's not like I have the ability or the guts to use a huge amount of power anyway. I'm sure it will handle my 120lb wife plus luggage with ease.

- It vibrates. It's an 80s Inline 4 solidly bolted to the frame...of course it vibrates. I find it quite bearable, especially due to the foam tubes on the grips (see picture). My fingers were tingly after a 45 min ride, but nothing too obnoxious. I find it more surprising that, between the foam on the grips and the mile of slack in the throttle cable, I still have no issue at all modulating the throttle at any speed. The throttle response on this bike is nothing short of sublime.

- The tires feel really weird - it feels like the whole bike is floating. I've got no idea at all what the rear is doing, and it feels like the bike is sort of wallowing around. Maybe I'm used to very direct-feeling sportier bikes or this is a consequences of shaft drive, but I suspect it has a lot more to do with the fact that the tires are 10 years old. That, and they were probably underinflated. I won't be doing any more riding until I replace those tires, so the jury is out for the moment.

- On the flip side: I'd be curious to know what pact Kawi made with the Devil to circumvent the laws of physics on this bike. I took the long way home, knowing that I'd have to ride through a canyon. As I came into the first sweeper, I shed a bunch of speed and gave the handlebars a solid shove of countersteer...and had to immediately correct in the opposite direction as the bike took an absurdly tight line. I've no idea how this thing just falls into curves the way it does, but it's incredible.

- The rear brakes are (too?) good. The front brakes are not great. I'll be taking a look at the pads soon, and rebuilding the calipers/going to steel lines, as required.

And that's it for now! There is just nothing like the feeling of getting a new bike. The excitement of learning all about it, about fixing it up, making it my own, and above all, riding it. I have a couple of questions to get me started:

- The bike's fuel tank does not open with the key. See picture. The ignition key doesn't even fully go in and these old keys are super delicate, so I have no interest in forcing it. The previous owner used a screwdriver to put gas in. Any thoughts on how to deal with this?
- I'm probably not going to do much more riding till I put new tires on and new oil/filter in. If this forum is like any other bike forum that has ever existed, I'm sure there's plenty of opinions to be found on here like both. But more importantly - this bike did not come with a manual or a toolkit. I can make do without a toolkit, but I am absolutely going to get a manual. The options that I can find are Clymer and Haynes. But is there also a factory service manual? I've also read something about DVDs - where can I find these?

From all the reading I've done on this forum, and the help I got form some members when considering this bike, it has been eminently obvious that you're a helpful, enthusiastic and very generous bunch. I'm proud to belong to this community, and am so excited to enjoy my new bike!

Offline Rusty

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Re: New Member in the Bay Area, CA
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2020, 01:05:27 am »
 :welcome: Hi Jai! Hope you enjoy your new bike! There are a lot of good people here to help you get your bike running 100%! Love my concours too. Hope you become a full member and be able to get even more information and other benefits! If you live in the bay area our AAD in northern California is Keith (Wandering). I am the area director in the Southwest and look forward to meeting you in the future! Later in the year we still hope to have a couple of Meet and Greets and you would have a chance to ride some great roads and meet some fun people! Keep on asking questions and hope you get some answers. See you soon!

 :motonoises:   :motonoises:   :great:

Offline gsun

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Re: New Member in the Bay Area, CA
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2020, 01:41:15 am »
Errr...where are the pictures?

Offline Jai

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Re: New Member in the Bay Area, CA
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2020, 02:20:00 am »
I can't seem to post any. It's telling me max. size for attachment is 350kb. Even phone pictures are at least twice that. Will need to figure something else out.

Offline Jai

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Re: New Member in the Bay Area, CA
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2020, 02:27:03 am »
Ok, trying using a hosting service.
IMG-20200523-155219215" border="0
IMG-20200523-155414934" border="0
IMG-20200523-161122884" border="0
IMG-20200523-160234312" border="0
IMG-20200523-155432265" border="0
IMG-20200523-155102406" border="0


« Last Edit: May 24, 2020, 02:31:47 am by Jai »

Offline Rusty

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Re: New Member in the Bay Area, CA
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2020, 02:41:26 am »
Great pictures! Like that yellow one too! The C10 looks like it needs a little TLC but overall the bike looks good. Welcome to the group!  :)
 

Offline SantaCruzRider

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Re: New Member in the Bay Area, CA
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2020, 03:12:11 am »
Welcome. Very nice looking bike and sounds like you got it for a song, so hopefully you have a little left over to solve those very few issues you pointed out. I suspect you'll be well rewarded for the effort.  :great:

If you ever want to go for a ride, I'm in Capitola. Used to do the Old San Jose, Hwy 17 mountain commute to Sunnyvale daily -- though now that's a distant memory. Looking for an excuse to put on the boots.  :motonoises:

Cheers
Dan Breeden
Concourier editor emeritus (2015-'16), OtP tag-along rider 2017
'94 Concours; '02 FZ1

Offline Bob_C_CT

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Re: New Member in the Bay Area, CA
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2020, 11:51:23 am »
Welcome to the forum.
The DVDs are for the newer C14 model, none for the C10.
There is a factory service manual and the Clymer and Haynes.
If you can use the screwdriver while pushing down on the cap I would do that for now.
The OEM shield sucks for buffeting so they can be had for cheap or you can get an aftermarket one and cut down your OEM one to a shortie, black it out, and use for hot summer use.
Southern Connecticut.
97 C10,ZRX Front, Meanstreak rim

Offline connie_rider

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Re: New Member in the Bay Area, CA
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2020, 08:52:29 pm »
Welcome!!

Ride safe, Ted
14 Connie (Traveler II) / 03 Connie (Buddy)
Gone but not forgotten; 87 and 00 Connies..

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