Thursday, February 11, 2010

It's Spring, and a Young Man's Fancy Turns to Thoughts of ...

Well, I lied about the next post being "Players Playing", but it is under way! This post is totally self-indulgent, and aimed at me and other motorcycle junkies who have a love affair with their motorcycles. Today as I was driving around in my car, I passed a fellow on a motorcycle. Aargh! I immediately began obsessing. One of my stops was the public library where a perusal of Motorcycle Consumer News' "Performance Index" magazine prompted this post.

My 2-wheeled love:

2001 MZ Baghira Super Motard

Right out of the crate it was merely interesting, but hardly rip-snortin'. However, creative application of a wad of dollar bills, transformed it. As a base line, the bike had a rather anemic 41 rear-wheel horsepower and 39 lb. ft, of torque. *yawn* A month at the spa resulted in 12 fewer pounds (stock exhaust replaced), a 34 percent bump in horsepower and a 41 percent increase in torque (engine mods). Now boasting 55 rwhp and 55 lb. ft. of torque, and a wet weight of about 375 lbs, we are talking about an effective back road scrapper!

All that made the bike so much fun to ride, I wanted to be able to do longer rides on it. Now a big single engine (one piston, unlike a Harley's two and most sport bikes three or four) is seldom anyone's idea of a touring bike (as my mechanic routinely tells me), but there are an awful lot of Kawasaki KLR 650's making round trips to Alaska, so I stick by my choice. To add to it's usefulness, I added sturdy racks to mount hard luggage bags (as opposed to leather throw-over saddlebags). That choice added 18 lbs right back on the bike, not counting the weight of the luggage and their contents. With a tank bag up front and the hard bags, I am well equipped for long hauls. An aftermarket custom seat from Rick Mayer Cycle made sure my butt remained content for more miles per day.

Here is the bike all loaded up:

MZ Adventure Touring Bike
MZ Baghira Adventure Tourer

What prompted the post was a comparison of my bike, with mods to the tune of around $1500 (call it $7k total), to the specs of a bunch of other bikes. How did my Baghira stack up? Pretty well, thanks. Referring to my HP and torque figures (55/55), here are some reasonable comparisons (from MCN's index, 1/2009. MSRP came from most recent model):
- BMW G650GS: 42/38 (1-cylinder, $10k)
- BMW F800GS: 74/51 (2-cylinder, $11k)
- Ducati Multistrada 620: 58/40 (2-cylinder, $8k)
- Harley 1200 Sportster: 58/69 (2-cylinder, nearly twice the displacement, $10k)
- Honda XR650: 33/31 (1-cylinder, $6k)
- Kawasaki KLR 650: 34/33 (1-cylinder, $5.5k and 40 lbs heavier!)
- Kawasaki 650 Versys: 59/42 (2-cylinder, $7.1k and 75 lbs heavier!)
- Suzuki DR650: 36/33 (1-cylinder, $5.1k)
- Suzuki DL650 VStrom: 62/42 (2-cylinder, $9.8k and 80 lbs heavier!)

No real threats in that list, so it look like my 9-year old Baggy is still a great value! Only the Kawi Versys could tempt me off, and that falls into a "why bother" category. Lust remains!

1 comment:

  1. Oh, my fancy is right about where yours is...

    And I may even be home to enjoy it.

    - Eric


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