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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,

Sorry I've been out of touch so long. I've been enjoying the hell out of my '06 blackbird, and have more than doubled the original miles since I bought it. I've ridden something over 8,000 km (5,000 miles) since buying this bike last January, and loved every minute (when I wasn't scaring myself silly!).

It's now well and truly winter here in Oz, which by most standards means "darned good riding conditions if you don't mind wind and a little rain". I've used my bike as a daily commuter and weekend play-mate to rack up these figures and wanted to give you some notes on my experiences:

My longest ride to date has still been getting it home from Sydney. I had hoped to make a long interstate run in April, but major kitchen renovations tanked my budget for that holiday. I've ridden a few 500-600 km (250 - 300 mile) days, though, and had a great time. With a good start I can see this bike being a shoo-in for a 1,000 km (620 mile) per day touring beast.

In the last six months I've averaged 6.7 L / 100 km, or 42.4 miles / Imperial gallon (35.3 mpg US), with an awful lot of those being commuting km. The absolute worst mileage was 8.33 L/100k (33.9 mpg Imp / 28.2 mpg US); and the best was 5.1 L/100k (55.73 mpg Imp / 46.4 mpg US), and while I have never run the tank dry, I did get up to 340km once before chickening out and putting 17.5 L (4.6 gal) in. On the highway, this bike should pretty handily reach 400 km (250 miles) per tank, even with the top box fitted. With full touring bags...I'd want to be a little more careful before breaking 400 km.

My tires were practically new when I bought the bike, and are now starting to show their age--though because of the commuting and touring km, they really don't show the cornering wear my mechanic says the bike is capable of. I'm riding for me, not for anybody else, but I'd love to be down around the sides a little further. I just need to find the weekend roads that let me play more in the corners at speed without running up the back of tourists and buses. I'm riding Michelin Pilot Powers front and rear right now, and am starting to research replacements suitable to my commuting and touring style. Michelin Pilot Road 2, 3, and 4 have treated me very well on previous bikes, but I've never ridden anything as big or powerful as this one. The softer Pilot Power's have squared off pretty quickly, though, compared to the harder touring tires I'm used to.

Even after all this time, this still feels like a big bike and is probably not an ideal commuter. If I had to choose between it and a 250cc commuter, though, I'm not sure I could stay off it! Riding country roads and touring my corner of Oz, it remains a delight. Throttle response has been an amazing learning curve, and I have yet to find roads that let me ride this bike to it's capacity. I've scared the crap out of myself riding a twisty lightly mountainous road on a dark wet night, and grinned wide enough to crack my helmet riding a clear-sky weekend afternoon. As mentioned just above, though, the slightly squared tires are interfering with cornering feel a bit. I'm loathe to change tires in the middle of winter though; I hate that first 100km or so on new tires in the wet. We'll see.

I've got a picture of riding with She Who Must Be Consulted, but I'll have to dig it out of my phone next time I log in.

Thanks for reading, all, and keep riding safe!

Revenant
 

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Revenant,
Not sure if you're aware but we have an australian facebook group - Aussie Blackbird Riders. And an annual get together/ride - Birds On the Oxley (BOO) 1st weekend in March each year where we get together in Wauchope & ride the Oxley Highway. Usually around 30 blackbirds at it. Usually about a dozen of us also get together at the island for the GP.
Colin

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Welcome back Revenant glad to read you are enjoying your Bird.

Before you buy new tyres can I recommend that you check other Aus Bird riders recommendations. I tried PR4's on my Daily Bird and hated them! Yes I know others really like them but I found they felt 'squirmy' (never felt confident pulling away/cornering hard) and they cupped quickly on the front and after a couple of 1000 miles the rear had steps in it. The only tyres that I have ever pulled off before they were worn out!
Sports Touring are definitely the way to go, I spent many years on Avons and my current set of Metzler 01's are doing very well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Revenant,
Not sure if you're aware but we have an australian facebook group - Aussie Blackbird Riders. And an annual get together/ride - Birds On the Oxley (BOO) 1st weekend in March each year where we get together in Wauchope & ride the Oxley Highway. Usually around 30 blackbirds at it. Usually about a dozen of us also get together at the island for the GP.
Colin

Sent from my SM-G955F using Tapatalk
Sounds great Colin! I'll put it in my calendar next year! I'll also keep an eye out for phillip island runs...be great to meet up with local Bird fans.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Welcome back Revenant glad to read you are enjoying your Bird.

Before you buy new tyres can I recommend that you check other Aus Bird riders recommendations.

Great suggestion. 1 I tried PR4's on my Daily Bird and hated them! Yes I know others really like them but I found they felt 'squirmy' (never felt confident pulling away/cornering hard) and they cupped quickly on the front and after a couple of 1000 miles the rear had steps in it. The only tyres that I have ever pulled off before they were worn out!
Sports Touring are definitely the way to go, I spent many years on Avons and my current set of Metzler 01's are doing very well.
Great suggestion...and one reason I mentioned it before buying. My mechanic is spruking pirelli Angel's and has also mentioned Conti Road Attacks... Oh would love to hear local opinions.
 

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Hi there rev! I was wondering where you went. Good to see you have been enjoying it and agree with your comments re commuting. The occasional times through the melbourne cbd have been a pain in the $rse....... And wrist. I could tempted to do the philip island thing this year if you want to. I ride casually, certainly not a hard scratcher. I use angel gts and love them. Although i dont push them i have had no slip in the wet.
Tooroo
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Great to hear from you too! The Angel's are getting a good rap; as a casual-ish rider, how many kms you getting out of a set? Phillip island sounds fun. Rode there with a guy I know in Melbourne back in March and had a great time. I have never been to the motogp. Seems like when I have had money and opportunity the weather sucked and vice-versa. ?
 

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BirdDog
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Nice to see you Revenant & Duck!!!
I went through several sets of PR3’s and was pleased....I hated the 4’s too. I’m convinced the Road 5’s are the finest tire I’ve run on the ‘bird. I’ve got over 5,000 miles on them so far and with virtually no flat spot on rear or cupping on the front. Turn-in and straight line smooth as silk...and they eat the road! Picture taken yesterday.
 

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Great to hear from you too! The Angel's are getting a good rap; as a casual-ish rider, how many kms you getting out of a set? Phillip island sounds fun. Rode there with a guy I know in Melbourne back in March and had a great time. I have never been to the motogp. Seems like when I have had money and opportunity the weather sucked and vice-versa. ?
have to check the spreadsheet for that. A couple of days get back to you.. I have never been too, for the exact same reasons you have. Money, weather, other commitments..Plus I'm not a big fan of riding in large groups.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Nice to see you Revenant & Duck!!!
I went through several sets of PR3’s and was pleased....I hated the 4’s too. I’m convinced the Road 5’s are the finest tire I’ve run on the ‘bird. I’ve got over 5,000 miles on them so far and with virtually no flat spot on rear or cupping on the front. Turn-in and straight line smooth as silk...and they eat the road! Picture taken yesterday.
G'day funwithbono! My experience with the PR4 was on an entirely different bike, but they treated me well there. That bike definitely didn't have the power to throw down like the Bird does, though I never felt anything but confidence pushing them as far as my own abilities allowed. I haven't seen any write-up of the PR5s yet--Great to have your take. Thanks for the pic! Is that a bike you ride every day, or mostly on the weekend? Your chain, rear sprockets, and wheel look clean enough to eat from... I ride mine every day as a commuter as well as for fun--I'd never sleep if I tried to keep mine that clean! :D
 

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G'day funwithbono! My experience with the PR4 was on an entirely different bike, but they treated me well there. …..
My wife's Fazer8 is shod with PR4's and they serve her very well. Last set 12,000 miles and pulled when they had eventually squared off. Current set on 6,000 so she is not getting new tyres before we set out on our European tour in a few weeks!
 

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Rev.
checked the spreadsheet.
Purchased 72,300k
New front PR2 at 72,545k
new rear pirelli angel gt at 84923k
new front pirelli angel gt at 93,204k (so pr2 lasted 21,000k, was never comfortable with the pr2)

So, I cant tell you the lasting of the angels yet, but the back still has plenty of meat at 101,000k. that's 17,000k!
I'm in the passive riding mode, as you can tell. Lots of flat freeway work, occasional squirts through country. But the rear hasn't flattened much at all.

The front angel inspired confidence, which I need on this bike, whereas the pr2 front always sort of squirmed around a bit.
p
 

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BirdDog
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Hello again Revenant!

Yes, I commute, distance ride and binge ride with the ‘bird having ridden just over 10,000 miles this year so far. I attached photos of the 5’s today with 7,628 miles on them. Road 500 miles yesterday in some pretty serious rain and they performed flawlessly. I had great mileage out of the 4’s (over 12,000) but could never get comfortable with the greasy feeling feedback from the front so I went back to the 3’. Again, 5’s are the real deal!!!

As for the chain; my last two chain and sprocket sets were Regina’s and served me well with over 25,000 on both. I just installed the latest EK 530 ZVX3 and new JT sprockets 17/45 a couple of thousand miles ago...so far so good.

I do practice good chain hygiene. I always wipe down my chain with WD-40 and then lube with Dupont chain wax (been using this product for years) right when pulling in for the day so my chain is still warm.

Hope all is well down under. Take care!
-b
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Rev.
checked the spreadsheet.
Purchased 72,300k
New front PR2 at 72,545k
new rear pirelli angel gt at 84923k
new front pirelli angel gt at 93,204k (so pr2 lasted 21,000k, was never comfortable with the pr2)

So, I cant tell you the lasting of the angels yet, but the back still has plenty of meat at 101,000k. that's 17,000k!
I'm in the passive riding mode, as you can tell. Lots of flat freeway work, occasional squirts through country. But the rear hasn't flattened much at all.

The front angel inspired confidence, which I need on this bike, whereas the pr2 front always sort of squirmed around a bit.
p
Fantastic stuff, PBZ; I'm still umming and aww-ing about which set of tires I want. By the time I get my tax cheque back, spring will have sprung and I'll have a nice dry day for the first ride with the new tires. (He says optimistically). The Angels sound like they've certainly treated you well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hello again Revenant!

Yes, I commute, distance ride and binge ride with the ‘bird having ridden just over 10,000 miles this year so far. I attached photos of the 5’s today with 7,628 miles on them. Road 500 miles yesterday in some pretty serious rain and they performed flawlessly. I had great mileage out of the 4’s (over 12,000) but could never get comfortable with the greasy feeling feedback from the front so I went back to the 3’. Again, 5’s are the real deal!!!

As for the chain; my last two chain and sprocket sets were Regina’s and served me well with over 25,000 on both. I just installed the latest EK 530 ZVX3 and new JT sprockets 17/45 a couple of thousand miles ago...so far so good.

I do practice good chain hygiene. I always wipe down my chain with WD-40 and then lube with Dupont chain wax (been using this product for years) right when pulling in for the day so my chain is still warm.

Hope all is well down under. Take care!
-b
G'day Fun. Great to hear the 5's are working for you. They're the ones my regular tire-fitter is keen on, and given he's provided every set of tires I've ridden on for 10 years and three different bikes, I'm inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt for the first set.

Whoa...every ride? No wonder it's so shiny! Isn't WD-40 hard on your o-rings? Apparently not if you're getting that kind of wear out of your chains... I'll have to see if I can find that Dupont Magic Potion here in Oz. I've never seen it on the shelves. If you keep your chain that shiny, no wonder your wheels and sprocket look so good too--the never get grubby in the first place. I admire your dedication--not sure I can match it, but it might be worth a shot. Cheers!
 

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Well, they have suited my riding. I certainly have no need to change. Whereabouts in VIC are you? Rural? Metro?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Heh--I'll have to keep looking. Flea-bay has it available for $20 or so...plus $40 shipping. *LMAO* I'm not sure it's THAT magical.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hey Pbz. I do quite a bit of both--I'm on the other side of the bay from you, and do a fair bit of commuting into Sleepy Hollow, and day-riding all over Victoria (predominantly North and West of Melbourne). I've got to pick a couple of free days and head out East--there are some great rides out that way.
 
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