The New Rider w/ The Gixxer 1000 Crashed
If you remember one of my posts from a couple of months back, I talked about a new rider I know that bought a GSX-R1000 for his first bike. He crashed (low-sided) yesterday after hitting some gravel mid-turn. Fortunately he's not hurt at all thanks to the excellent safety gear he was wearing (full leathers) and the bike has only cosmetic damage.
Just as a reminder to any novice riders out there, take three things from this:
- Wear good safety gear. The rider I'm talking about here was wearing a full leather race suit and escaped with no injuries at all. No road rash, no burns, nothing. You don't have to have full race leathers to be well protected at street speeds, but make sure you're doing enough to prevent unnecessary pain and hospital visits.
- When riding a twisty canyon road, control your speed so that you can give yourself enough time to react if you do see gravel in the road. This means being especially careful on right-hand turns, which are often blind in this situation. Only go as fast as your safe field of vision will allow.
- If you ride a sport bike, get frame sliders. They're a small investment in money and time but will save you big in case your bike does go down.
Good Weather, Power Commander Update and Bicyclists
We finally had a nice weather weekend here in Southern California after what seemed like several straight Saturdays and Sundays of cold, rainy weather. Just a week ago the high was only in the mid 50's, but today it got into the low 70's. I was able to ride San Francisquito Canyon and Bouquet Canyon, both in the Santa Clarita area. It felt like forever since my last real ride.
Regarding my Power Commander, I can't really tell what's going on with the gas mileage. Today I filled up and calculated I had gotten in the low 40's with the last tankful, probably due to mostly freeway riding. It's really tough to tell if it's affecting the mileage or not. In any case it's doing its job, which is smoothing out my bike's throttle response.
At least here in the Los Angeles area, many popular sport-bike roads (i.e. tight & twisty) seem to be attracting more and more bicyclists than I can remember seeing before. Today in particular was a little annoying because I was on a tight, twisty road heading downhill with several bicyclists ahead of me. None of them would move over and I ended up passing them all on the opposite side of the road. If I happen to catch some of them going uphill, most of the time they'll get out of the way but some will still insist on riding two-wide or even three-wide without budging an inch. If you think riding a motorcycle is dangerous, I think riding a bicycle on those roads is even worse.
Exhaust and Power Commander Update
I installed the silencer this morning and it makes quite a difference. The installation was simple, requiring just two hex bolts. I'd estimate it's 3 to 4 decibels quieter but still sounds racier and better than the stock exhaust can. It's perfect.
As for the Power Commander, it's definitely smoothed things out but at the cost of a little gas. My first full tank with the Power Commander installed indicates my mileage decreased by about 10%. We'll see what happens over the long term.
New Exhaust and Power Commander
I installed a new Yoshimura RS3 slip-on exhaust and Power Commander III USB today. When I first got the R6 I was fine with the stock exhaust except for how big the muffler canister was. Unfortunately two events changed my mind about the sound and eventually ate away at me until I ordered a replacement muffler. First, I test rode a 2006 MV Agusta Brutale 910 which has an amazing exhaust note for a stock bike. Second, I started going to track days. Hearing the other inline-four cylinder bikes with race exhausts tearing down the straightaways made my bike sound like vacuum cleaner. On a more justifiable note, the Power Commander was purchased to hopefully cure my bike of its jerky throttle response. The 2005 R6 is notorious for this; presumably part of the problem was a lean air/fuel mixture for emissions purposes (which the Power Commander can address). Enough about my reasons... on to the pics and ride impressions.
Stock exhaust. It's so long it extends past the tail.
Another view of stock exhaust hugeness.
The stock exhaust came off in seconds by undoing two bolts - one at the right rear passenger peg mount and the other was the clamp at the midpipe joint. Surprisingly it wasn't any heavier than the Yoshimura muffler I ordered - just bigger.
The only part that was a pain. I (actually my buddy) had to drill a hole through the end of the header pipe for a rivet that keeps the midpipe from rotating.
The new muffler installed. Notice it's a little shorter.
Another view of the finished product. A little shorter and not so big around.
I didn't take any pictures of the Power Commander installation because I got lazy. That wasn't too tough though; the only hard part was plugging the wires in. The fuel injector connectors were a little tough to reach and disconnect, but other than that it was pretty easy. The unit itself is resting in the storage compartment beneath the passenger seat. I made sure the night before that the right map had been downloaded and installed.
It had been raining off and on all weekend but I finally got a chance to ride the bike after it cleared up for a couple of hours. The first thing I noticed is that the new exhaust pipe is much, much louder than the stock one. It's so much louder that I don't think I can just ride around town without ear plugs. It does sound a lot better than the stock pipe, but borderline annoying due to the loudness. I can plainly see there's a place to mount a silencing insert in the tip, so I'm definitely gonna order one (it should bring the noise down a couple of decibels)
As for the Power Commander, it seems like it's done its job to a noticeable extent. Throttle response is a little smoother than before. The notchy throttle response was at its worst when the bike was leaned over in a 2nd gear turn, but I won't fully be able to test the difference until I can get on some of my usual twisty roads or a track day. Speaking of track days, I'm going to Willow Springs on April 3rd. What a great way to test the new setup.
Edit: I received the silencing insert that Yoshimura sells direct for the RS3 ($20). I'll install it this weekend and see what it does:
More Sections Done
I was able to finish a couple more sections of the site - types of motorcycles and the list of online stores. The rest are coming soon. Need to sleep now...