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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
6mm shim, cartridge kit up front, good aftermarket rear shock. Then get your butt off the seat and let it run.
Roger that Bees. Suspension upgrades are planned for next year due to money, so stuck hopping around the road until then. Really looking forward to doing it though.
I've been learning about suspension lately as don't really know much. When you say Cartridge Kit, does that mean a complete set of new aftermarket internals? Can you recommend something good please?
And, what about a rebuild of the rear shock? There's a guy in Melbourne who reckons he can do a good job on the stock Showa shock. Thanks mate.
 

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Beings that your on the down under continent not sure who's available there
But I'd highly recommend this gent. There's a bunch of gent who have run his kits and are very happy. He also does a very good rear shock. As for the rear you can also go Nitron or ohlins. The Nitrons less costly and just as good a unit.
 
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Beings that your on the down under continent not sure who's available there
But I'd highly recommend this gent. There's a bunch of gent who have run his kits and are very happy. He also does a very good rear shock. As for the rear you can also go Nitron or ohlins. The Nitrons less costly and just as good a unit.
+1

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Great, thanks men. Just looking at it now. Love their red rear shock!
So, I'm guessing I'd have to send them my forks to have it done properly? Not keen to send forks to the States from Aus. I read here, from a post by Jamie in 2014, that he ships a fork catridge upgrade kit. Wonder what that's like instead? Maybe get that and one of his shocks?
 

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NATO
For the fronts it's a drop in cartridge kit you purchase from him outright. So that and one of his rear shocks would be a good setup I think.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Awesome Bees, just mailed Jamie to get the ball rolling. I think his set-up will be better than anything I can get here in Australia. Americans and Europeans are spoiled when it comes to getting good aftermarket Bird parts! Thanks XXGUY for the +1 endorsement. Good to have other people's opinions about suspension shops/kits.
 

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If you have some mechanical skills and the shop manual along with his instructions you should have no problems. I think he might even send some fork seals too. He recommended I use 10 weight Honda oil. So make sure to ask him what he recommends. I put the forks at the neutral spot where he recommended to start. So good I haven't even changed the settings.
Below is a thread I started and on it is pictures of the kit and pictures while I am putting the kit in. That should answer any questions you have about the kit. If the link doesn't work search for it as it is on this forum.
"Getting ready for a three week trip"


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Daniel
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I fell in love with the shape and curves of the machine. It's a plus that the engine is smooth, powerful and gentle all at the same time. Just depends on my mood! I wanted one since 97 and I wasn't even a sports bike rider. I Found a 7000 mile 2001 in 2013 for $3500 obo. Jumped on it. It is still a bike I always stop and look at even if it is sitting in the garage... because I think it has timeless classic lines, powerful, just fun to take corners with when clinging to the tank with a knee, and cheap for what you get! New similar ones don't interest me at all. They are UGLY to me. Same power to weight ratio as a Ferrari. You don't have traction control or ABS so you need to know how to ride... and you don't need it. The power is soooooo predictable!
I like to tinker around on bikes and I can do that with this one and not have to have a computer to do it. For a little money ( very little compared to buying a new one) I have just as good or better suspension, electronic cruise control, massive amounts of removable luggage space, adjustable bars. Plus it's 20 years old... soon I can put antique plates on it! Insurance isn't bad either. And then... something in me just likes it!
I have looked at a BMW K1600 GT but that would have to be in addition to my BB. After my 1st summer of ownership into the late fall my wife said something about selling it as she figured I had had my fun and would keep riding Goldwings... Honey... said I... I'm never selling that bike. Never!
And I haven't. Gave the ST1300 to the son, bought a 2015 wing but the BB will always have a home in my garage as far as I can foresee.


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Well said !
 

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Daniel
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Anyone else?

For me, one of the defining factors for my interest in this bike is its speed. I love things that roll and go and this machine really moves.

I also find it harder to ride than other bikes which means I bond more with it as I improve. One of my friends threw a leg over my Bird the other night and immediately announced 'oh yeah, I could ride this'. I knew otherwise as this was the same guy that has only ever ridden on his uncle's farm and broke his leg going down a hill the last time he was there. It's just not a straight forward hoon bike, or a cruiser, or a road bike. Its some sort of hybrid sports machine that takes a lot of getting used to, especially when cornering on stock suspension!

My other more learned mate says, 'you always get used to whatevers on tap', and that's true, but after a year of riding this beast I'm still not there yet.
I think the challenge of riding the Blackbird well and using all its power properly is what attracts me to this bike.
I've been riding me BB for 21 years now, it is a 1998 carbie. I started looking at a new bike in 2000, and was looking for a Goldwing, but they were totally out of my price bracket, then a friend told me of a friend of his who wanted to sell his BB. I went to have a look, took my then girlfriend for a ride, she's been of a few other bikes as pillian, and she loved the BB position and ride. It was the best bike I've ever ridden then.
Park your BB next to other sports bikes, and see around which bike the lities gather and admire. ( mm yes ). I've ridden Yammie R1, Kawasaki Ninja's, they are both racing bikes, I definitely din't want to be a pillian on either. I'm used to my BB, according to me it handles fine to my abilities, its comfy to my knowledge and my girlfriend still wants noofies after a long ride. I don't do track days, but I can show an M3 or M5 or M6 a thing or 2 if I have to. They are very unassuming, but the bike will out perform my riding skills by far. take it for an Iron Butt ride 1000miles in 24 hours, and then tell me you don't like it.
Just my 2 cents.
 

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The previous posts pretty much say it all, but I'm happy to add to the conversation. It's true, the Bird is a bit heavy, but the dividend of that is its stability and smoothness at speed, and speed it surely has. in real world riding (with real world riders) the difference between the Bird and Hayabusas, Ducati V4s, etc., etc., is academic. Of course, a bonus is Honda's workmanship and durability; and it's classically pretty. But not only has the Bird got speed, that great motor also has grunt; you can ride around short-shifting all day and still humble most other traffic. Not for nothing is the Blackbird known globally as one of the used-bike bargains, with support groups like this one to help keep them current.
 

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The BB is Plug and Play,
147,000 Kays on two of them in 12.5 years and I didnt ride for 3 of them,
Loss of licence. Broken shoulder and a broken collar bone, and overseas buying my new boat,
Chucked my 06 Silver Bird down the road at 78,000 kays, All mine, Written off,
Bought my 05 Blue Bird with 40, thou on the clock, It now has 108,000 kays on it,
Between the two of them, Two Batterys, Set of fork seals, one rear wheel bearing,

My 05 Blue Bird is resting in the garage while I tour around Australia on my Boat,
When I come back, Charge
158827397_5184241104980542_1116289268056110250_o.jpg
Kiah Inlet 004.jpg
the battery and put it in the bike and it should start,
Whats not to like about the BB,
Ive had 12 inch risers on both of them,
The handling is Awesome and I have no aches or pains any where, no matter how long I ride it for,
 
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My two other bikes in recent years before the bird were a Honda Magna (a fun ride) and a Yama Vmax. The Vmax (with Vboost) was quick but was a pig if I took it over 115. It shook like a Detoxing addict and did not handle wind from passing a truck well at any speed eitherl.

As far as my bird goes, I think they just look classy... like a gal in a svelte black satin evening gown. Acceleration... check, ride comfort... check (I have a Corbin Smuggler saddle and lowering link) gas mileage/tank size/ regular gas, stability at high speed and in high wind... check. I know some hate them but I like the linked brakes.

I've ridden Busa's that have a bit of a softer / smoother ride, but I have been in the saddle from north of Fort Lauderdale to Tampa and back in the same day, over 550 miles and home to Orlando and back in the same day (~425 miles) and still be walking when I get off. I can't ask for much more, except maybe a 2022 model, maybe with some options like panniers and cool 2 up saddle options... a hyper cruiser :)
 
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As XXGUY said it's a great overall package. It's powerful, it's reliable, it's comfortable for a sporty bike, the brakes are good, it handles great for it's size and weight, and it looks great.

I have always liked the 90's - early 2000 sport-cruiser look with the sporty design and rounded curves. CBR600F, Suzuki GSX-F, Yamaha YZF Thunderace and bikes like that. And I think the XX is the best one of those kind of bikes. It's got that little extra power that the 1000cc YZF lacked and the comfort I expected from the GSX-F (I only had a 1996 model). I also love that while the power is predictable it will kill you if you push it too hard. In the words of Ross Noble on why he likes bikes: If you get it wrong, you die.

The one thing I don't like though is the dual-brake system. I just don't think it works very well except while giong straight forward. I also didn't know about that when I bought the bike and the second time I rode it I eventually got onto a gravel road and like a kid on a bicycle I stepped on the rear brake to make a track in the gravel and I almost flew over the handlebars.
 

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The one thing I don't like though is the dual-brake system. I just don't think it works very well except while giong straight forward. I also didn't know about that when I bought the bike and the second time I rode it I eventually got onto a gravel road and like a kid on a bicycle I stepped on the rear brake to make a track in the gravel and I almost flew over the handlebars.
Ahh but then it did it's job as it hauled you down in a very hard braking unfriendly environment. You now have the reassurance that in dodgy traction environments you can stop fairly quickly and safely. In corners on a good surface gentle modulation with either brake especially the rear will let you roll a corner at a very respectful rate still.
 
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Ahh but then it did it's job as it hauled you down in a very hard braking unfriendly environment. You now have the reassurance that in dodgy traction environments you can stop fairly quickly and safely. In corners on a good surface gentle modulation with either brake especially the rear will let you roll a corner at a very respectful rate still.
I can't argue with you about that. After three years I'm still not used to it but luckily I've never had to really use it either. So maybe I just need more practice, especially with using the rear break. Thanks for this, you made me think:)
 

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Your welcome.
Don't hammer it the system is set up to give 80/20 from the pedal or handle bar. Depending on which you use. A side benefit is that it settles the rear almost like trail braking. It takes some adjusting to it but once have it you'll get very fast in the corners. Have a friend here the routinely runs down good riders on newer sport bikes.
 
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