A 'borrowed' posting...
Was just reading this post on the Venture Rider.og, and thought to re-post this user's introduction ride on a SVTC. For those on this forum that might be swayed to the 'dark side'..lol...I thought it was a very informative 'first ride', experience. Enjoy!
1st thing, rest assured I know better than to look away from the road while riding, but thanks as well for the reminders. I tried both ride modes, I used the cruise control, and I had set the display to Nav just for fun, as I was unfamiliar with the route, I paid more attention to the chaps riding ahead of me than anything.
I drew stares from the other riders when I took the TC for a couple "almost falling over" slow speed loops just outside the turning radius while still in the parking lot, getting a feel for the bike at that speed. I backed the bike into its space using the electric motor. I got a chance to try many configurations of air conditioning, using the smoked plastic deflectors in a few positions, and the windshield up, down, not all the way, helmet shield up, down, different combinations. I was almost done the ride, 30 minutes in or so and it occurred to me I had not shifted my bottom in the saddle. That says a lot, the seat is very comfortable. I am not used to the feet-forward seating but at my most natural "feet go here" position I doubt I would ever require highway pegs, they might be too hard to reach without sitting on my tailbone, but people come in different heights, and my 5'11" height is made up using 30" inseams.
I started out in tour mode, I like the balance of v-twin shudder with the lack of overall vibration. My test rider had 18,900+ kms or about 13K miles so it is not squeaky clean, and that is helpful on a tester, the left mirror was busted probably from an incident on the trailer. I see how the sport mode is aptly named, and all things considered, I think the majority of use I would see would be in tour mode. If I want a sport bike, I can always get one. I want a tour bike.
Short-shifting up through the gears on an average highway on ramp, using my intrinsic skill of knowing how fast I am going based on noise, had me going 85 MPH before I got to the merge spot, in T mode, so there's that. Easy shifts once I discovered where the shifter was. I brake almost exclusively with the front lever, on the K1600 that gives you all the front and as much rear as can be offered. I thought the TC was braking rather anemically until I realized the UBS is unified differently than I am used. On my second attempt to slow the beast I discovered very strong braking, not that "glazed pads" scare from my first attempt. I gave myself about 600 feet to stop the first time and needed most of it. The next attempt, I gave myself 200 feet and stopped 100 feet shy.
Impressions? A well balanced bike, super nimble at speed, disguises its weight very well, as torque-y as they come. Forget horsepower, that is frankly not a factor to consider outside "top-speed" challengers. Torque represents a net physical change, and we experience that change as thrill.
The 2018 Honda Gold Wing Tour (GL) is too fat in the seat to call comfortable standing with feet planted on the ground, they got the shape wrong. The bike feels fat while moving slowly and feels like a tractor at speed, I also find the front suspension distracting -- the bike moves odd at slow speed and you can actually see the wheel carrier bouncing up and down as you move over bumps even at highway speeds. It feels less like a bike than the GL1500 & GL1800 I have owned. The luggage is too small.
The 2015 BWM K1600 GTL Exclusive (K1600) is a sport bike with enough luggage and large enough seat and windshield to use enjoyably two-up, but it is not comfortable over distance. The seating and foot placement is set up for dragging your knees in a fast sweeper. BMW has managed the same thing with bikes as they do with cars -- honey, the 330i x-drive sedan is a family far, not a sports car! The K1600 is a sport bike with luggage. BMW talks a storm about low centre of gravity, but the K1600 is seriously top-heavy. Goes like a sport bike, stops like a sport bike, hurts like a sport bike. Sport bike.
The Yamaha Venture TC (TC) is most like a bike. It is large, but the engine scaled with the rest of the bike, the feel of it a slow speeds? Bike. At highway speeds? Bike. Passing other vehicles on the highway? Bike. Accelerating, braking, getting on and off? Bike. Bike bike bike. It is a good feeling to have while shopping for a bike. Its two-person capabilities make it a better Tour bike than these others.
I really only had two questions, neither had anything to do with a test ride -- 1) what colour? and 2) when? Before I left the dealer I had my answers.
I decided if I want one I had better help. The way I help is 2 parts persistence for 1 part of assistance. I knew a dealer in Quebec with two. I asked my salesman to call them, right now, and ask for the bike. He didn't know where they were, or their name. I introduced him to the Windows 10 Maps app and we got their number off their website, I told him the name of the dealer. Fortunately he spoke french. I listened patiently to their conversation and with what little french I understand it seemed things were going swell and for some reason they were talking about MT-10s. Once hung up, he said "we can have it, they don't want anything on trade, and he has a couple of MT-10s if we want those too."
Meanwhile, I mentioned earlier to the Yamaha rep that I was having trouble 'getting' this bike, he went on a mission of his own. Long story short the dealership will soon have two Venture TCs in inventory with one being mine.
2) Next week.
Some time in the next 7 days, I should have a Venture to call my own, it will be Gray, which is excellent, I really don't care about the colour.
I can't wait! My salesman intimated they would have to have more money from me in order to go to Quebec to get the bike. I said "You should have thought about that BEFORE you got me to sign a bill of sale."
Last edited by YamahaParExcellence; 06-23-2018 at 02:40 AM.