Wife Swap - tankslap style

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Wife Swap - tankslap style

Postby Kwacky » 09 Sep 2017, 19:27

We've all swapped bikes today, in brief there are no shit bikes. All great bikes to ride.

I'll do a review when I'm back home.
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Re: Wife Swap - tankslap style

Postby C00kiemonster » 09 Sep 2017, 19:53

Great idea :)
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Isle of Man Bike Swap Review Thread

Postby D6Nutz » 11 Sep 2017, 08:29

I thought it might be interesting to put this all into one thread so we can see each others thought on all the bikes in one place.

Firstly though, thanks for letting me try your bikes out guys. It was cracking fun to be able to try 3 other bikes totally different to mine so close together.

So anyway, my thoughts. I think all bikes have a personality that you can describe them with, so that's how I'm going to describe what I rode.

KTM 990 Superduke

Personality - Yob wearing a baseball cap under a hoodie.

The KTM is definitely a bit of a nutter that likes to lurk and look intimidating. It makes no excuses for the either when you thumb the start button! It's no where near the fastest of bikes, and will top out at about 120. However getting to that 120 is an absolute frenzy of noise and gear shifts. The handling is one of the bikes main points, it turns very quickly and aggressively, it also wants to be thrown into corners and driven hard out the other side. Totally the opposite of a sportsbike frame. The primary difference to the other bikes on the island is that total lack of rider aids, you are totally left to own skills when riding. I defy anyone not to smile while on the KTM.

The other side of the KTM that wouldn't have been seen much on the island is the touring capability. It took the 250 mile ride from Haysham to Reading totally in its stride. I did it's best to protect me from the worst of the rain, but with no fairing that was always going to be a weak point. I still managed to get off the bike and spend time with the kids, not at all knackered and stiff (y)

Kawasaki Versys 650

Personality - Japanese business man in a suit with a job to do.

I know that sounds like an odd personality to give to a bike, but for me it just fits. The Versys is an incredibly accomplished bike that does exactly what it says it will, but does it exceedingly well. As a 650 it was the least powerful of the 4, but I never felt that I was being left behind. What it lacks in power it more than makes up for in handling and visibility. The riding position is very high, but the bike also takes good care of you with the protection offered by the fairing. Because of this position you have excellent visibility and can use the handling of the bike to maintain a higher speed when setting up a series of overtakes. You never feel like you are pushing the bike much, but glancing at the speedo through a series of bends while overtaking a number of cars will show it's no slouch.

Yamaha MT10

Personality - Slightly deranged speed obsessive yooof type.

The MT makes no bones about what it wants to do when you hit the start button. As soon as you swing your leg over and turn it over the bark from the exhaust instantly sends a tingle up the back of your neck. When out and moving it doesn't disappoint either. I will admit I found this the hardest bike to get on with immediately. Stonsie left the bike in map B for me, which gives a very very direct throttle response. I'm also not used to any rider aids and the MT has been loaded up with all the toys, which meant I had to think more about how to actually ride the bike as well. I'm going to see if I can get a proper test ride on one so I can have some more time to really appreciate it.

The really standout points about the bike though are the acceleration, mated with the quick shifter it's an insane piece of kit. You roll back the throttle, the can barks at you encouraging more, click it into second and roll back on again and the front lifts with ease and banging the quick shifter it will stay there too. I managed to get the blipper to work a few times on the way down the box and it's excellent, but like most things it takes a bit of practice and time to get out of a decade old habit of manually blipping. The handling was excellent, more like a sportsbike than the KTM, it holds an excellent line through corners and feels really balanced. I think it would take a fair old while before you feel like you are starting to push the bike though.

Ducati 1299 Multistrada

Personality - Bloke in a comfortable chair wearing a smoking jacket who suddenly jumps up and starts headbanging to thrash metal.

OH MY GOD! The Duke was the bike that I wasn't sure at all what it was going to be like to ride. I've ridden with duke63 many times and you can see that it's an accomplished machine, but it was so not what I was expecting at all.

The first thing, I'm glad duke started it for me as you need a degree and an hour or two with the handbook to work out the controls, there is a lot going on there. The next thing you notice is how comfortable the riding position is and how easy it is to paddle round carparks. I'm not sure exactly which mode the bike was in, but I know it was one of the softer modes, and this I am glad of. We pulled out of the carpark and rolled through Ramsey heading north towards the Point of Ayre. As we hit the national limit, I rolled the throttle on quickly with the though in mind that this is a bloody big bike so it needs to be pushed a little to get it moving... Foooooooooooooooooooooook, the bike shot forwards and lifted the front wheel with ease, a gently roll off to put it back down and a shift into 3rd and a roll back on again... Foooooooooooooooook, the bike shot forwards and lifted the front wheel.

Ok, so lesson learned, this is a big heavy bike but the motor is sweet as a nut and I'm sure some of the electronics where there taking care of me. As we moved further north the quality of the tarmac degraded and the roads tightened and became more technical. Again the Duke excelled, the big wide bars make it really easy to flip from side to side and the suspension soaks up all the bumps. From watching the bike on the ride up to Liverpool you can also see how the duke sucks up the distance as well.

I also now understand how on that year when duke63 was running in his first mutley, he had no problems keeping up with the sports bikes. I seriously thing that after the KTM the mutley could be a serious contender for a next bike.


So in summary from my point of view. We had 4 bikes that where poles apart in styling and what they promised to deliver, there was not a bad bike amongst them. Each had their plus points and each made you giggle for a different reason.
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Re: Wife Swap - tankslap style

Postby Kwacky » 11 Sep 2017, 08:57

I'm at work, so I'll have to keep this fairly brief.

At Calf I took the keys off D6Nutz and had a go on his Superduke, at his suggestion.

Those off you who have been to the sound know that the road away is uphill, bumpy, tight and twisty. "You fecker" I shouted in my helmet as my fillings rattled about, whilst I saw Jon sat on the bike comfortable armchair that is my Versys.

Yep, the suspension is tad harsh.

Regular readers will know that I'm not a massive fan of twins. The KTM sounds and acts like a bike twin, but the throttle and fuelling are sweet, so you don't get that snatchiness I've found previously with this type of engine. Power delivery seems to be fairly linear, which means you can use that torque and gun the thing out of corners.

Seating position felt a bit weird to start off with, it wasn't sure if it was upright or sports, but after a few minutes I settled into a riding posture that was comfortable.

This is a basic bike. I don't mean that in a bad way, it's a big old engine and two wheels. Steering is fairly responsive and you get great feedback, helped by having M7RR tyres which I knew really well. The front lifts with ease as you ride the creamy wave of torque. Again, that smooth delivery shows as the front come sup nicely, not suddenly as so bikes like to do.

Great sound, not too loud. As the owner was behind me I did some blips and got some burbles going so he could hear what the bike sounds like.

Next up was Duke's Multistrada. The big engine always sounds reluctant to start, but it does, provided MI5 have checked your credentials and you've signed the official secrets act.

The first thing I noticed were how wide the bars are. That makes handling this tall bike much easier, but it seemed a little strange at first.

This is a wolf in sheeps clothing. The engine hasn't been watered down, there's loads of shove there and if you crack the throttle open it responds straight away, then you second clear wave of power coming in further up the rev range. Like the KTM, this bike has no issues floating the front but it's very controlled. Touring mode apparently limits the height of the mono.

Great wind protection, beautiful sound, a well thought out and crafted machine. You can ride that bike all year round on all sorts of roads and it'll do it for you.

Last but not least was the MT10. This looks like it's a bit mental. It sounds it as well. The loudest of the bikes but it's not annoyingly loud. The engine is a peach, combining twin and IL4 giving you a booster rocket from the off then a screaming cruise missile as the revs rise. Once again I found the front doing it's floaty light impression. As we approached a sharp left hander a father and son standing on the corner gave it the international sign for the "wheelie please mister".

"Why not?" thought I as I wrenched the throttle open and started to lift the front skywards
"because it's not your bike and the owner is right behind you" said sensible me, so cut short the display and carried on as if nothing had happened.

The bike has ben really well sent up, power delivery is fierce but controllable, the quickshifter and the autoblipper work perfectly and you go up and down the gearbox, with a sweet sweet sound as you do.

I suspect that this bike can be a real monster when you give it some, but it wasn't a demo bike. Maybe one to try in the future.
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Re: Isle of Man Bike Swap Review Thread

Postby Kwacky » 11 Sep 2017, 09:09

Good detailed write up (y)
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Re: Isle of Man Bike Swap Review Thread

Postby Jack » 11 Sep 2017, 09:15

good read
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Re: Wife Swap - tankslap style

Postby Cav » 11 Sep 2017, 11:26

I'm enjoying these... 2 more to go - c'mon you lazy lot, you aren't allowed lives outside of Tankslap!!
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Re: Wife Swap - tankslap style

Postby Stonesie » 11 Sep 2017, 12:56

In no particular order..

The Superduke 990
This bike has a reputation as a bit of a bucking bronco but D6Nutz has had his re-mapped resulting in a responsive but smooth throttle connection which is just how I like it.
The suspension worked well with the M7 tyres and the unusual (to me) riding position which is very forward putting you over the front tyre, this bike is really happy in the twisty lanes with a broad spread of power from about 4K up it loves to grunt out of corners with the front tyre skipping on the cusp of a wheelie, keep feeding it gears and it has no trouble keeping up with the 2 160bhp bikes (Ducati and Yamaha). It has great brakes too and sounds good even with the baffles in.

The Ducati Multistrada
This was like meeting an old friend after a few years, a bit different/better but still familliar. I had a 2013 Multistrada S for a while so I pretty much knew what to expect from the newer DVT bike.
The thing needs a talking to, a fat looking heavy touring bike should not go like a sports bike and try to wheelie at every spirited sniff of throttle. The DVT gives it noticeably more mid range grunt than my '13 had and still gives it that 7K rush.
The suspension and brakes are excellent and it even sounded great, that standard exhaust gave a great noise and even the occasional backfire.
Add to all that the comfortable riding position and fantastic full colour dash and this is one excellent all rounder, I think it even has a bluetooth connection to a smart phone to look at some data from the ride?

Versys 650GT
This one I had no expectations before getting on, Kwacky had not been left behind much so I was keen to see how it rode.

It's tall, the seat is soft and comfy with a very upright riding position for great visibility, good weather protection, close/wide bars and comfortable pegs make it seem like a bike for tackling long rides. Then I opened the throttle to keep up with the pack and was very surprised at the acceleration and induction noise, nobody was going too crazy on other peoples bikes but the pace was decent and the little 650 handled it well.
The soft suspension handled the bumps well but also settled into corners nicely and held it's line nicely.
The brakes were also really good for 2 piston sliding calipers up front where the other bikes all have 4 piston radial calipers.

I enjoyed them all and maybe should have left the MT in a more friendly state for other riders rather than my preference of minimum traction control and B mode throttle (the most linear and direct mode).
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Re: Wife Swap - tankslap style

Postby Deegee » 11 Sep 2017, 21:46

Great write ups so far lads!
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Re: Wife Swap - tankslap style

Postby duke63 » 11 Sep 2017, 22:13

Best add my views:

Started with the Versys.

Similar riding position to the Multi though the bars are not as wide. The engine is a little gem. Revs freely and with hardly any vibration. Only started to run out of puff once close to three figures. Turns easily and with only
minimal push on the bars. It's super comfy, soft compliant suspension and it fits Kwacky's commuting needs perfectly. My only complaint was that the brakes don't have much bite.

Next I rode the KTM.
I have always wanted to try a Ducati Streetfighter and I suspect the KTM is similar. It feels strange initially as you are perched right over the front wheel. Suspension is firm!! Took me a few miles to get into it but I felt it needed riding like a sports bike, be firm with it and push it into corners. Suddenly felt right, hanging off the seat and pushing it hard though the corners. The road up to the Point of Ayre is twisty and bumpy. I liked the twisty, less so the bumpy. Once the bike bounced me out of the seat, only to feel the seat bounce back up and thump me in the arse. Great brakes. It's a proper hooligan bike. I could see why it wasn't easy to leave Jon behind when powering the Multi out of corners.

Finally I was on the MT10. I've wanted to ride one of these for a while or more specifically the engine.
Started it up and that growl was instant. Proper MotoGP growl.
The bike was lovely to ride. Loads of power, comfy seat and that growl. Did I mention that noise? Sat at the traffic lights in Ramsay pretending I was Valentino. The quick shifter and auto blipped were ace. Worked perfectly. I love auto blippers more than the QS. They make barrel get up to corners so easy. I did think the brakes could do with a little more bite but I have got used to the M50s on the Multi and they are the very best. Also felt that the rear could do with a bit more height, the bike felt very flat with its poise. Feels a special bike.

Thanks for the opportunity to try the bikes. Made a nice change and an eye opener to realise there are no bad bikes, just different bikes. We have so much choice out there.
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Re: Wife Swap - tankslap style

Postby Blade » 11 Sep 2017, 22:22

The Multi sounds the Bike to have.

Reading everyone's reviews it seems to do everything well (y)
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Re: Wife Swap - tankslap style

Postby duke63 » 11 Sep 2017, 22:34

Oh and one thing on the Mutli that was epic this weekend were the Metzeler Z8s. Dry weather they are like a sports bike tyre with assured handling and a nice quick turn in. In the wet, and man did we have some wet weather on the way home, they were brilliant. No slips, slides or issues at all. Just assured grip and handling.
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Re: Wife Swap - tankslap style

Postby kiwikrasher » 12 Sep 2017, 02:13

The Multi is a surprising bike, I was sold after having the two weeks in NZ on one. Would love to see how the new one compares to mine.

In saying that I'd have loved the opportunity to try the other three as well. Great write ups by all, well done chaps (y)
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Re: Wife Swap - tankslap style

Postby C00kiemonster » 12 Sep 2017, 08:45

duke63 wrote:Oh and one thing on the Mutli that was epic this weekend were the Metzeler Z8s. Dry weather they are like a sports bike tyre with assured handling and a nice quick turn in. In the wet, and man did we have some wet weather on the way home, they were brilliant. No slips, slides or issues at all. Just assured grip and handling.


Thats a useful review. What mileage do you reckon you'll get?
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Re: Wife Swap - tankslap style

Postby Kwacky » 12 Sep 2017, 10:41

Z8s are ace. I loved them on the SX and they're working really well on the Versys.
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Re: Wife Swap - tankslap style

Postby duke63 » 12 Sep 2017, 13:26

C00kiemonster wrote:
duke63 wrote:Oh and one thing on the Mutli that was epic this weekend were the Metzeler Z8s. Dry weather they are like a sports bike tyre with assured handling and a nice quick turn in. In the wet, and man did we have some wet weather on the way home, they were brilliant. No slips, slides or issues at all. Just assured grip and handling.


Thats a useful review. What mileage do you reckon you'll get?


I've done nearly 2500 miles on this set now and I would guess there is the same again left in them. The Pirelli Scorpions on the bike from new were shot by 2800 miles.
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Re: Wife Swap - tankslap style

Postby Kwacky » 12 Sep 2017, 13:36

I got over 7,000 miles from the Z8s on the SX.
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Re: Wife Swap - tankslap style

Postby C00kiemonster » 12 Sep 2017, 13:51

Interesting. When I've burnt through these corsa's (which might be a while given the weather at the moment :( ) I might try them or the M7RR's i reckon.
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Re: Wife Swap - tankslap style

Postby Kwacky » 12 Sep 2017, 13:55

I'm not going to swap the tyres on the Street until next year. I can't see me using the bike much between now and Spring.
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Re: Wife Swap - tankslap style

Postby Stonesie » 12 Sep 2017, 14:42

I had Z8's on my STR and they were a great tyre on that, also a big part of the reason I put Roadtec 01's on the MT, the standard Bridgestone S20's were done after 2.5K miles, these 01's have done 3K and some dyno time so far and look good for the same again. They have slowed the steering a touch but not much and they are very neutral/stable handling, great in rain too.
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