02 October 2010

Pizza Bike, Initial Thoughts.

I'm at work typing this, and I rode the bike to work this evening.
I've now ridden the bike 187 miles, legally and otherwise.

I like it, but it's not perfect.
Guzzistas call the bikes "Torque Monsters". This engine pulls strongly from 1000 rpm in every gear. At twenty mph in top gear the tachometer indicates exactly 1000 rpm. Twist the throttle and Pizza Bike simply accelerates. No strange vibrations, no complaints. Amazing. On the road you can settle into 5th gear and pretty much leave it there. There's just not much need to shift unless you come to a stop.

It handles well. It feels quite heavy at slow speeds, but that feeling goes away at about 15 mph. The bike feels very comfortable being hustled through corners, and I know my comfort level will only widen as I get to know the bike better.

It's apparently getting pretty decent fuel mileage. The tank holds four gallons and with 187 miles on the tripmeter it's getting better than 50 mpg, although I have to admit I've been dawdling with it at fairly low speeds and I haven't yet accelerated hard with the machine. I plan to fill the tank in the morning and will then know the exact fuel burn figure.

It thumps quietly and I like the sound of it. There is a slight low-frequency vibration in the handgrips that is not at all unpleasant, and even that settles down above 65 mph.

It's cold natured and must be choked for quite a while before it's willing to run smoothly.

The upshift from first to second must be REALLY positive, and it seems like a long pull. I've found neutral more often than I would like.

Even though I'm only 5'9" tall, my knees come perilously close to the fairing just aft of the cylinders. I've heard this complaint from taller riders but didn't expect to ever hit my knees on the fairing, and I have bumped my knees against the fairing a couple times, particularly with Sara Jean along.

I hate the mirrors. They are too close to the bike's centerline and I cannot see what's goin' on directly behind me. I'm gonna look into adding a mirror to the end of the left handgrip to fix that problem.

My hand tires pretty quickly from holding the throttle on. I'm sure part of this is because it's been so long since I've ridden, but I'm still gonna look into a friction/cruise control device pretty quick.

I wish the bike had a steering lock. It doesn't.

The seat on every other bike I've owned can be opened and rotated on a hinge to give you access to battery and storage beneath the seat. The seat on Pizza Bike comes completely off with the push of a button, and then you have a fairly large seat in your hand...
What do you do with it now? I wish the seat was hinged.

So overall, I'm pretty delighted with the machine. I'll give it a year to make a real impression on me, but unless it becomes a maintenance nightmare, (and with Guzzi's reputation that's unlikely considering this machine is well past the "breaking-in" point), I think I'm going to like Pizza Bike a lot.

I'll be updating you as we get to know one another better.

I was surprised when I refueled the bike this morning as I watched the meter sail past 4 gallons and register almost five before the pump clicked off. It's got a FIVE gallon tank! The bike burned 4.6 gallons of fuel to travel 188 miles. So it's not getting 50 mpg as I thought.


Anonymous said...

Clint has found a product called "Throttle Rocker". Look it up at throttlerocker.com. He has found this the most comfortable for the palm of your hand than the other brands. This thing clamps on the handle grip. They are around $10 but well worth the cost. It will allow you to take your fingers off the Throttle and use the palm of your hand to maintain the speed.


Greybeard said...

I've seen 'em Bo, but forgot about 'em. And that's JUST THE TICKET!
Tell Clint thanks for lookin' out for me.

Rita said...

I still can't figure out where you hold the pizzas you are delivering on the thing.

Greybeard said...

There's this amazing "secret" compartment just above and warmed by the exhaust pipes Rita that keeps your "Hand tossed" at exactly the right temperature until I knock on your door!
And remember... I'm making less than minimum wage, so TIP GENEROUSLY!

Timothy Frazier said...

Check out CrampBusters, too. Best ten bucks I ever spent on a bike accessory.

If you want to get the Caddy of friction-lock "cruise controls" take a look at http://www.brakeawayproducts.com

jinksto said...

Choking (or more correctly over choking) can cause plug fouling which can make the bike seem cold natured. Check your plugs for fouling. A new set (or cleaning the current set) might straighten things out for you.


Bloviating Zeppelin said...

I still think you'll like that bike. And don't feel bad. Just about every damned Honda I've had has been cold as hell. And regarding the hands cramping, mine do that as well. My hands and wrists can fall asleep and "buzz" after only a few minutes if I'm in a position where weight is placed on them. That's why I need a bike with as vertical a riding position as possible.