The S40/LS 650/Savage does what it is designed to do very well
After more than 25 years without riding a bike, I purchased a new 2011 S40 on 8-21-12 (one year ago). I got it on clearance for $3,999.00.
My first ride thought was that this bike needs a 6th gear. Even the spacing between 4th and 5th was inadequate.
Another surprise was how much I got blown around at speeds over 50 mph. I bought a flyscreen, but it's not enough. I will be getting a larger windshield next spring. The bike is so light (352 lbs) - so I'm hoping that the shield will make highway riding comfortable.
Actually, my first thought was regarding backfires. The S40 is set up from the factory way too lean. I decreased the backfiring by removing the brass plug (on the carburetor) and opening up the mixture screw. This also increased engine speed and throttle response.
Short term note: this engine needs proper levels of ZDDP in the oil - or damage will occur.
Long term note: this engine has a cam chain adjuster that needs monitoring - or damage will occur.
#1 - the price, although it's up to $5699.00 now.
Handling: light weight does have some advantages. Great for getting around town and the outskirts of town. I enjoy the back roads with 35-50 mph postings.
Insurance is cheap, due mainly to low output (31 hp / 37 lb-ft).
Overall, I love the bike. It does what it was designed to do. I got a great deal - wait for one.
Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 21st August, 2013