Thursday, November 7, 2019

FTR 1200S RR

This past weekend I helped a friend with the pickup/purchase a brand new 2019 Indian Chieftain Dark Horse and couldn't resist the allure of the FTR! We got a great deal on both bikes including a bunch of free stuff from the North County Indian dealership. I didn't intend to buy a bike on this trip but the closeout price I was given was just too good to pass up! I basically got the top spec 1200s race replica for less than the base model FTR. Throwing in the Indian Motorcycles helmet and delivery on top was icing on the cake! 

I rode lots of different bikes this year and the FTR was the most exciting street machine of them all. The attention to detail and quality on the build of the American made FTR rivals and surpasses any bike manufactured today. The race replica comes with an Indian red frame and swing-arm, fully adjustable front and rear suspension, and Akrapovic pipes. It's one of a kind style and 120hp make for a fun and unique street bike. I hope Indian will keep bringing great new bikes to market like this in the future!

Trying on the free helmet and Race Replica FTR

My new FTR 1200S Race Replica prepped for delivery
Just delivered and ready for it's first ride
Another beauty shot
First ride up PCH and back through the canyons with the new Dark Horse and the "Lap of America" Harley

Friday, September 20, 2019

Aprilia SR50 Motard

The latest addition to the Jenius Biker garage is this almost new 2014 Aprilia SR50 Motard. Almost new because this unique scoot only has 97 miles on it! It has been tuned to perform a little better by the local Aprilia dealer and feels just as fast as the Typhoon 125 I recently owned! This is a 4 valve 4 stroke scooter with 14" wheels that is perfect for zipping around the city!

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Italian Test

This past weekend I attended the Italian test event at Spirit Motorcycles in San Jose to familiarize myself with the Moto Guzzi Models and ride one Aprilia model I haven't ridden before. I love these events as it enables me to widen my motorcycle experience base which helps when advising and procuring motorcycles in the wild. I had never ridden a Moto Guzzi prior to this and it was interesting to compare the three models back to back to back.

First up I rode the beautiful "custom" Moto Guzzi V9 Roamer. The initial side to side vibration upon startup was something I hadn't experienced before on a motorcycle as the engine layout is unique to the brand. The Roamer was easy to ride, had a low seat height, decent power, and was most comfortable on the highway. Unfortunately this was my least favorite of the bunch due to the forward foot controls, the front 19" wheel, and the gearing which all make for a less than ideal street bike, but a decent highway cruiser. 

Moto Guzzi V9 Roamer
Next up was the dark themed Moto Guzzi V7 Stone. The V7 was instantly a better bike to ride for me as the bars, seat, and foot controls all combine for a very neutral, upright riding position. The gearing was perfect for city riding and gave a bike a more fun demeanor while enjoying the back and forth twisties. The one drawback for this bike is the lack of a tachometer which does come on other versions of the V7, but I'm not sure why it wasn't included on a bike like this. Overall I think this is a great bike for the money as you get a something unique with Italian styling and it's fun to ride.

Moto Guzzi V7 Stone
The last Moto Guzzi I rode was the best overall package, the most expensive, and my choice for the best model Moto Guzzi sells right now, the V85TT. I think the bike looks great, especially in the color scheme I rode, but not everyone at this event liked the look. Subjectivity aside it was a great bike to ride. Sure it doesn't have fully electronic or even adjustable high end suspension, but what it does have works great on the road. There was no dirt involved on the ride so I can't speak on that ability, however I'm willing to bet 90% of owners won't be taking this bike off road anyway. The size is perfect, not big and heavy like the larger 1000cc+ adventure bikes out there, and not too small and underpowered like the latest 300-500cc powered adventure bikes. It has a nicely designed TFT dash that was really easy to read and didn't leave me yearning for a mechanical tach like most electronic dash's do these days. The only downside I saw on this bike was the tubed tire setup which would only be an issue if you were doing some off road adventuring.

Moto Guzzi V85TT "Evocative"
Last bike I rode was the most exciting for sure. The Aprilia Shiver 900 is a model I have't ridden before and it was a lot of fun! This would be the perfect bike to terrorize the city streets with occasional rides through the mountains. I'm sure the aggressive ergo's would wear you down after a few hours, but the excitement that comes with each twist of the wrist would more than make up for it!  In touring mode it's really easy to ride around and is a tame docile machine. Switch to sport and it turns into a beast! the slightest over throttle and the front wheel is lifting towards the sky. I probably wouldn't but this as my sole bike, but it would make a fun addition to a garage with a few other tools in the shed.

Aprilia Shiver 900

Thursday, August 22, 2019


This morning I had the chance to get this American made IronHorse chopper back up and running again! It need an overhaul of the ignition and fuel systems from sitting for years, but I was able to complete that and get it running pretty quickly!

Friday, July 5, 2019

Versys Prep

The Versys has a new owner inbound Monday so I wanted to prep the bike for his arrival which included adjusting, cleaning, and lubing the chain. 

Chain slack was slightly above max tolerance.
Removed the factory side Givi for better access.
A little heat to remove cotter pin 
Adjusted to 1in of slack per Kawasaki
The old screwdriver in the chain while tightening the axel nut

After adjustment it was cleaned with WD

Motul chain paste applied to clean chain and wiped off excess

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Demo Day

I was really intrigued with the new 650 twin Royal Enfield motorcycles so I signed up for their demo event in NorCal June 22nd. The main reasons I wanted to check them out are the classic looks, small size, cheap price, and they seem like a perfect city run about bike. A 3 year warranty also helps dispel any build quality concerns.

The demo was held at Spirit Motorcycles in San Jose which I've never ventured to before, but I was impressed at the size, layout, and brands they have there. I was able to ride both the Interceptor and the Continental GT, but missed my turn on the Himalayan because I was on the Indian FTR 1200! My initial impression is that both bikes are easy to ride, and would be excellent bikes for beginner riders to learn on, grow on, and ride for the entire 3 year warranty term. Even with my 25 years of riding experience I had fun on the 20 minute Demo ride! The GT looks really cool, but the Interceptor ergonomics make it the one to buy in my opinion.
Royal Enfield Showroom @ Spirit
Demo Bikes Lined up and Ultra Cool AMA Champion Melissa Paris Leading the Rides (seen on the right in purple/Camo)
Lot's of People Showed up to the Event, and why not, Free Food!

The highlight of the day for me was the Indian FTR1200 ride! Man, what can I say other than I was blown away by how fun this bike was. Sure, the heat from the bike was burning my legs and the fuel economy seems ridiculous, but the sheer hooligan fun factor is immensely overwhelming. If you want to tear up the city streets this is the bike to do it on! I'm gonna be keeping my eyes open for a used one this winter!

FTR 1200 Display @ Spirit Motorcycles

Cockpit of the FTR I Hooned

Yes, it was hot! 97 Degrees and the Indian was Blowing Engine Heat on me to Boot!

You are reading that right, 77 miles of range left on a nearly full tank!

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Versys 12v Outlet

Spent a little time adding a 12v outlet to the factory location today. The previous owner had already added the OEM relay to connect the Oxford handwarmers so I wired the outlet through the same relay so it would only be powered when the key is on. 

My only two mods so far, 12v outlet and the quadlock mount for my iPhone.

Heres the behind the dash look where you can see the OEM relay on the left, the Oxford handwarmer wiring bottom center and the outlet on the right. Since this is a 2017 model it has the gear indicater integrated into the dash so it’s missing the harness for the gear indicator add on which I was going to use for the outlet. Fortunately the plug that harness attached to remained taped up to the main harness so I tapped into that.