Ridemalibu Motorcycle Rentals & Tours – Los Angeles CA
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V7 Stone smooth out the ride tips wanted

Discussion in 'V7/V85/V9 Chat & Tech' started by v7flier, Jun 12, 2018.

  1. kiwi dave

    kiwi dave GT Reference

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    I don't like screens, and rode "naked" for years. The buffeting that most screens create is more annoying than any wind in your face.

    But I have found a screen I like, available here on the store. The Dart Piranha screen is just large enough to keep the bugs out of your dashboard and create an airflow up over your head. You aren't looking through any horrible screens (did I say I dislike screens?) but makes the ride much more enjoyable.

    https://www.guzzitech.com/store/product/dart-v7-iii-piranha/

    I try to limit my rides to 400 miles a day; most I ever did was 728 miles. There are others in the iron-butt category that claim to mange twice that. Good for them.
     
  2. v7flier

    v7flier Tuned and Synch'ed GT Famiglia

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    I just did a down and back from Sac to San Jose and back in a day. Around 300 miles all up. I took a mixture of roads though delta by the Sac river, and freeway, some 99, some 580, some 680. I find up to about 45-50 MPH, on the country single lane roads, the wind is fine. Traffic is mostly fine, occasionally locals took to passing me, as I was just enjoying the ride too much; can't blame them. At 70 on the freeways, it was another story. I felt like a slow poke, getting passed by a lot of other vehicles. The wind seemed to come from every angle, which is not impossible to deal with, as I dealt with it. But certainly not the most enjoyable. (Actually it's not nice in car either, for different reasons. Might take the train next time.)

    I must prefer sitting up riding. Not comfortable at all leaning forward. Perhaps I could put cafe bars on, and a little windscreen, but honestly, I like sitting up, and seeing what's around me.

    After sunset, I was blasted with bugs, but they cleaned off the visor and gear easily enough.

    Gotta love the summer. Long days, less gear!

    I was surprised my seat didn't bother me.

    I'm riding a v7 Stone, if that makes any difference.

    I'll be very curious to hear how you go. What route are you taking, 101? Have a good trip, enjoy.
     
  3. timax

    timax Tuned and Synch'ed

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    Dave are you on a Racer? Just wondering about your screen being so effective. This guy is on a Stone so very upright which would make a big difference. That screen does look nice though.
     
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  4. Godfrey

    Godfrey High Miler GT Famiglia

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    I've never ridden a sit up bike, unfaired, any distances longer than a couple of hours. It's not comfortable at average highway speeds for long, if ever. It's fine for toodling around town or whatever. Sit up bikes hurt my shoulders and butt too: Because I have a long torso, the bars are too close which straightens out my spine, and then all the road shocks are transmitted directly up my spine. It's literally painful for more than 30 miles at a time.

    A "cafe racer" with proper ergonomics ... and that means a moderate reach forward to the bars, pegs properly placed under the hips but not crunched up like a pretzel, with seat shaped to match my butt and thighs so my weight is distributed over a broader area ... is incredibly comfortable to me. Unfaired and with a small fly screen like the Dart Piranha, I can cruise all day* on a bike like that, and have for most of my riding history. A bike like that is wonderful for long stints on the highway at 70-85 mph; above that, the wind and buffeting take their toll in fatigue. The Racer fits in this class of bikes beautifully. With a larger coverage half-fairing (like the LeMans 1000 or Ducati Paso/907ie), move that long stint speed range up to 90-120 mph.

    I was mostly a long haul rider for many many years. I got my jollies wiggling through the twisties for short bursts, but most of what I wanted to do was cover distance and meditate. The LeMans 1000 Mk V was my best traveler bike. I rode from Santa Cruz, CA to Daytona Florida with that bike in three and a half days, and similar trips, more than several times. There's a rhythm and a pace to it that just clicked and made it possible.

    Some tips for long distance riding:
    • Once you have a bike properly fitted for your comfort, find your comfortable pace. It's rarely all-out blasting down the highway. It's usually something in the range from 65 to 75 mph, maybe a little faster depending on the road and the wind.
    • Use good ear plugs and a well-fitted helmet: Wind noise is extremely fatiguing, anything that cuts it down is a plus.
    • If you use a small fairing or fly screen, the goal is to arrange the bars and pegs, and your distance and height relative to the screen, such that the wind is parted around your shoulders, chest, and neck, and the helmet rides in clean air.
    • Most important: Don't ride continuously for hour after hour. Stop every hour to hour and a half for a five minute break: get your butt off the bike, stretch your legs and arms, stand up straight and stretch your back. This cuts fatigue enormously and allows you to ride many more miles in a day than trying to ride straight through until you need to refuel on every tank.
    Always ride within your safe zone of alertness and vision. If you feel yourself getting tired, stop and take a break. If you find it hard to see because of cold, sun, or whatever, slow down. It is MUCH less fatiguing to stop and rest a few minutes, then carry on, than it is to press on regardless. Be sure you have water and snacks with you: on a motorcycle, your energy is constantly being leached away by the required level of concentration, alertness, and the forces of wind, sun, light, and weather. ALWAYS stop when you are too tired and call it a day.

    Need I mention that some daily light workouts to get your legs, arms, shoulders, and core body strength up to the task are a major plus for riding a motorcycle long distances? I do stretches and light crunches every morning; I ride a bicycle for 10 to 20 miles every day. Always have, until the horrid years when my hip was disintegrating and the pain overwhelmed me. Stopping these things nearly killed me, and it took six years of persistent effort (and a total hip replacement, a knee replacement, and many other things) to get back to what I considered fit for motorcycle riding. I'm almost there again now... not quite, but I work on it every day.


    "No matter where you go, go there on a Guzzi."
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2018
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  5. Godfrey

    Godfrey High Miler GT Famiglia

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    No matter what speed I try to maintain on the highway, I find that it's very difficult to average more than 50-52 mph over the long haul with rest stops, fuel stops, bathroom breaks, and required food stops taken into account. 150 miles at 50 mpg is a bit too long a time to sit in one position. Stop every 50-75 miles for a break ... that'll be every hour or hour and a half on average for five minutes ... and you'll find it easier to go the whole trip in about six hours.

    How you configure the bike to be comfortable for you ergonomically is a matter of your shape and fit on the bike. You modify things, including how you sit, until it works well for you.
     
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  6. MJPTexas

    MJPTexas Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    Some good information here. Riding position is a very personal thing, but I'll add my 2 cents.

    The V7 is a nice bike, but it is built to a price point, much like the Triumph Bonneville and most entry level Japanese bikes. As such it will need a seat, shocks and probably fork work to make it pleasantly rideable over a long distance. If done correctly you should be able to ride the bike 6+ hours in a day without serious discomfort. My recommendation to new owners is to address this issue immediately so you don't become disenchanted with the bike.

    I've spent hours and hours trying to sort out windscreens for my motorcycles. What I typically end up doing is putting a small fly screen on my bikes to break some of the wind on my chest. In some cases I don't use a screen. I've found that having my helmet in clean air is my favorite riding position. A mis-sized screen will, at minimum, generate turbulence and a lot of noise, and, at worse, buffeting that will shake your head enough to blur your vision. Unfortunately there's a lot of advise on this subject, but windscreen experience is a very personal thing. The advise you receive may or may not work for you.

    The V7s are light motorcycles. Strong winds, especially side winds, are not kind to the V7. You'll get used to it.

    A V7 would not be my first choice to run down the freeway at 75 mph+ for hours at a time. They will do it. In fact, I had done several hours on mine at 80 mph+. Mine was a lot more fun on surface roads, running at 70 mph or below.

    A lot of people like the big fuel tank, which will give you a 200+ mile range, which equates to 4 hours or more riding time. I learned a long time ago that it's a good idea for me to get off the bike about every two hours. Let's me stretch, hydrate if it's really hot and clear my head.

    Enjoy and welcome to the Guzzi fold.
     
    avlis, Mayakovski and dududuckling like this.
  7. v7flier

    v7flier Tuned and Synch'ed GT Famiglia

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    Wind is one thing, and a big thing. Shocks, seat, riding position another. Then there's engine noise adding to the wind noise and vibration in the bars, seat, foot pegs.

    I really love this bike around town, or 15-20 mins on the freeway to downtown.
     
  8. Godfrey

    Godfrey High Miler GT Famiglia

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    While I don't disagree, I don't agree completely. The V7III Racer is arguably the best outfitted bike in the line for suspension quality, if you weigh in the neighborhood of 170 lbs and ride solo: that's what its suspension is set up for, and with the Öhlins rear suspension, the ride is excellent while the Kaifa fork is serviceable (speaking a little charitably there... :)). It quite frankly has one of the best stock seats of any motorcycle I've owned; far better than what came on my Ducati 750GT, 907ie, or LeMans V. On my "suspension and wheels upgrade tour" ride, I rode 400 miles south on the stock suspension and, other than the fact that I had to crank the rear suspension up to its limits to handle my weight properly, I was not beaten up by the bike's suspension or seat at all; in fact, the Comfort Gel dual seat was not as comfortable as the stock seat (I fitted it so that I'd have a place to fit my travel bag...).

    However, it is quite fair to say that upgrading the rear springs and installing the Matris fork cartridge kit moved the suspension to a whole new level of control and comfort. It now has the same feel suspension-wise that the aforementioned 907ie and LeMans V had. Of course, in the process, it now costs much closer to what those bikes cost too... You rarely get something for nothing.

    What I'd recommend to anyone intending to travel with one of these bikes is to ride it a bit and work on those things that matter to them. Your personal pain and comfort threshold should guide you as to what the motorcycle's needs are.

    They're certainly the most fun to ride on quiet roads where there are lots of nice turns and 50-70 mph is primo. But getting places in the USA means those roads are less useful.

    I would not buy any bike that didn't have fuel capacity for at least 200 miles on a tank, preferably before reserve. (This was one of the huge mistakes I made buying the Ducati Scrambler ... 90-100 miles and out of fuel just drove me crazy.) Not because I want to ride that long in a stretch, but because it is extremely annoying to me to have to stop every 100-125 miles to fuel up. There's a huge difference between taking a break every hour to two hours, and having to stop for fuel on that same schedule...!
     
  9. dududuckling

    dududuckling Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    All very good pieces of advice. Thanks!

    Yes, I am taking the US101 from Santa Barbara up to San Jose, possibly start early on a Saturday morning before traffic builds up, if it does.

    I completely agree. I'm thinking about taking a break after 1.5-2 hours, gas up and what not. I have done 20 minutes on the freeway and that was about it. I need more seat time on the bike and getting used to it. I find it most comfortable when cruising at 55-60 mph in 3rd or 4th gear. Sometime I enjoy the scenery too much and forgot to twist the throttle :lipssealed:
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2018
  10. dududuckling

    dududuckling Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    I'm not overly tall, only 5'7" and this small crown fairing above the headlight, which is the same height as the dart piranha, has done a pretty good job deflecting wind off my belly and most of my chest. As for the suspension, I was kinda hoping it was already tuned to my weight from the factory - 187 lbs. But will probably have to recheck on that.
     

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    Last edited: Jun 19, 2018
  11. dududuckling

    dududuckling Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    Same - that's how I use my bike on a day-to-day basis. The ability to park and fit almost anywhere is a major plus vs owning a car.
     
  12. Richard Ducati

    Richard Ducati Tuned and Synch'ed

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    Word.

    A sit-up-and-beg riding position is only good for about 55 mph or so....after that, you either need a big ass fairing or need to hold on for dear life due to the wind blast. For my touring work over the past decade or so, I've been using my '04 Triumph Thruxton w/no windscreen and low, conventional bars fitted. At 5'-8", the stock clip-ons were simply too far forward for my short arms and it took an 80+ mph headwind to reach that point of 'floating' on the slipstream. With the low bars fitted, I find it to be the perfect compromise for around town comfort and long distance flying up to about 80 mph. Here's what she looks like in current configuration:

    [​IMG]

    Originally I thought the V7 was going to be relegated to more of a local use role. One to 2 hour stints out to the lake shore or day trips north to the straights & back. Now that I've got a GT tune and am 1/2 way there on dialing in the suspension, she's feeling like i could take her down to North Carolina for some Blue Ridge therapy. I just need some lower bars, rear shocks, and some bags to get her ready for prime time..... s-l1600 (5).jpg
     
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  13. PasoDuc88

    PasoDuc88 Tuned and Synch'ed GT Famiglia

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    Excellent articulation of the potential buffeting effect on vision - I hadn't heard this before but certainly experienced it during my last freeway stint at 80+ aboard my Roamer equipped with the OEM flyscreen... I'll be removing it soon.
     
  14. PasoDuc88

    PasoDuc88 Tuned and Synch'ed GT Famiglia

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    Great advice, Godfrey - I'll be venturing out on a short road trip this weekend to Laguna Seca (again, let us know if you can make it) and I suspect this trip will tell me for certain whether or not I want to do the front & rear Matris upgrades to the Roamer. But your assessment about the feel being similar to your 907ie is almost enough to convince me in and of itself - I've got an '88 Paso 750 and the stock suspension on it is brilliant (IMO).
     
  15. Godfrey

    Godfrey High Miler GT Famiglia

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    You're close to the target rider weight for the V7III Racer ... I can't speak for the other models, they have different rear suspension units and springs. Check the sag ... you should have somewhere around 35-40mm sag on the rear springs with your weight on the seat and the bike upright.

    For longer distance highway travel, just getting a set of bars an inch or two lower would help you a lot. (The Racer clip-ons fit me perfectly ... I'm just a hair shy of 6' tall with a long torso; they're not much of a reach for me.)

    There is a huge difference in the quality of the suspension between any of the OEM suspension units (excepting the Racer's Öhlins) and good aftermarket units. Same for the fork. This is where "you get what you pay for" comes knocking at the door...

    I use the Dart Piranha ... swapped the OEM front flyscreen out for it. It has better bracketry and works just a tad bit better than the OEM flyscreens, although the difference is really a nuance.

    BTW: At least on the V7III Racer, with the Agostini mufflers and GT custom map, My overall fuel mileage is 48.5 mpg, and my trip mileage runs closer to 55-56 mpg when not battling a headwind all day long. :D
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2018
  16. Godfrey

    Godfrey High Miler GT Famiglia

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    There's only a slight chance I'll make it to Laguna Seca on Sunday only because I'm already committed to an event on Saturday evening in SF. :(

    Yes, the Ducati 750 Paso and 907ie have superb suspension right out of the box, front and rear. The only thing I ever needed to do to the 907's suspension was set the rear sag and change out the fork oil for better quality oil (they were under-filled from the factory with very crappy stuff that was also the wrong weight). Of course, even they can be improved ... but I was never that good a rider that it would matter very much. The 907ie was a long-distance cruise missile in its day...! :D
     
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  17. kiwi dave

    kiwi dave GT Reference

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    Nope. V7-III Stone with stock handlebars and footrests. Quite a sit up and beg riding position.
     
  18. dududuckling

    dududuckling Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    Thanks for the input! And this is US mpg and not IMP mpg, that came stock with the bike, right? I used to be getting 50 plus mpg in the city, until I realized it was in imperial measurements, which equates to 35ish US mpg :(
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2018
  19. kiwi dave

    kiwi dave GT Reference

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    If your reading is in imperial measurements (which I doubt) you would be getting better mpg in US units. The miles stay the same, but you've managed it with less fuel.
     
  20. Godfrey

    Godfrey High Miler GT Famiglia

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    That's a little unclear, unless you meant to say "...you would be getting better mpg than in US units..."

    An Imperial gallon is larger than a US gallon, so you get more miles per gallon with an Imperial gallon as your unit gallon. You get fewer miles on a US gallon.
     

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