Versatile, bulletproof, beautiful tough classic
Incorrect main jet size in right carb caused fouling until corrected. Kickstand safety switch went out and had to be bypassed.
Having owned an 80's 600 single beforehand, even though it was a "retro" bike, the leap in sophistication was phenomenal. It was absolutely bulletproof reliable while I owned it, capable of 110mph, could cruise all day on the highway, and yet was fun to fool around on in town or country roads.
It had excellent acceleration, although gearing was slightly annoying (2nd too low, 3rd too high). The seat was extremely uncomfortable (fixed in the 2001 model year) and the stock handlebars were "buckhorn" making long distance high speed travel extremely uncomfortable. That said the bike performed excellent averaging speeds of 90-100 mph on I-40 from Oklahoma to California without a hiccup. It was always fun to see the look on the Goldwing/Harley dresser rider's faces when I passed them on a small old looking bike.
I did not baby this bike, I rode it in Oklahoma ice storms, LA traffic, on gravel roads, dirt roads, offroad (mud, pastures, etc) and it always started first press of the button or first kick (yeah, it actually had a kick starter, great for a dead battery) and it was always ready for more. I also stored it uncovered outside year round through four brutal years of Oklahoma weather, and the finish remained remarkably beautiful. It was a tough machine, and with a 2001 model or aftermarket seat and low bars, it's hard to think of a better overall motorcycle, as it can honestly be used for any purpose except motocross.
If you are lucky enough to own one, don't sell it. It has much more charm and versatility than the new Triumphs. I sold mine because I needed the money and I certainly regret it. If you want a "standard" motorcycle that can do it all (motorcycling has degenerated into genres) with great classic looks and cross-country dependability, get one if you can find one, they were only imported for two or three years.
Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 22nd August, 2010