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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So we just bought a very clean and stock 2005 620 for my wife as her first bike.

I ride an s4rs.

I thought I'd compare and contrast them for people who either are currently shopping for a monster or might want to move up from their earlier bike.

First thing I noticed was how much lighter and lower the 620 is. I can flat foot on the 620 and I'm tippy toes on the s4rs. It takes a while to warm up too. You can finish your coffee and then start to gear up before the thing says 120 instead of "low."

Clutch is much easier to use. This is a big one for a new rider. It's not just that it's lighter (I don't find the s4rs all that bad), but its engagement area is a bit bigger.

I cranked on a whole lot of preload in the back and then away we go.....

This thing steers like a tank. Wait... I'll back up... it's not that bad, but after the s4rs it's slow and heavy to steer. Is this because I've dialed the nose high attitude out of my s4rs or because the wheels are that much heavier? I don't know.

After some more corners I get used to it. Could use a little rebound damping as there's a small pogo after turn in thorugh a long corner that causes your line to do a small "s" Overall not bad and beginning to be a real hoot to ride.

So some highway work to get to the dealer (where it's getting an inspection). It'll scoot compared to the cars, but it's not half an s4rs. Grab a big handfull of throttle and it slurs forward (s4rs lifts front). An indicated 110 no problem and it had some more in her (although not 30 more ::))

Brakes are ok (the earlier goldline). They're not two finger lift- the- tail sort of brakes, but plenty of feel. Back brake is fine too and nicely settles the bike.

Runs hotter than my water cooled bike. 200 on the highway at not-legal speeds. 50 degrees outside. Mine would be at 165 on this ride.

Back onto some twisty bits... ground clearance is much less, but hang off some and you won't be the one slowing the group rides down. Thinking the front end is heavy-steering again but again in three corners it feels fine.

So here's my overall impression. It's a cheaper bike and it shows. This is not a slam.

Little things... The ignition key on my bike feels like butter to turn. This one is a little notchy. The controls on my bike all have just a little better feel (this is a componant quality comment, not a use comment).

I don't know how many mods we'll do to her as we will see if Gwendy wants something else in the future or not. After two seasons she'll pick whatever she wants (have I posted up about how gorgeous the sport S is in person with the red faring off a Paul Smart?).

The biggest difference between bikes is the IMMEDIACY of the s4rs. On the 620 you can grab the brakes instead of smoothly applying them. You can crank on a fistfull of throttle and you get acceleration but not clocks in your face. It's happier if you do it right, but I intentionally did some pretty hamfisted things to it and it didn't mind.

My s4rs is set up pretty stiff. It doesn't ever wallow in a turn.

It turns in very quickly compared ot the 620... No thinking about holding the line either.

The 620 is much more forgiving with sloppy downshifts... another good beginner trait. The s4rs will not suffer sloppy throttle blipping on downshifts (and with the Termis, everyone within half a mile will know too). I like this on my bike. Shadowchaser has a slipper clutch in his so not an issue.

The best way I can describe it is to refer to magazine writers who guest ride race bikes and keep talking about how immediately all the controls reacted and how all the "slush" was gone from the roadbike. That's what hopping off the 620 and onto the s4rs is like.

If you are smooth, you'll think you've died and gone to heaven. If you're not smooth, it will be a jerky nighmare.

This is not to say the s4rs is a difficult bike to ride. Far from it. I find it one of the easiest bikes on which to do anything I do... ride fast, ride slow, bumble through traffic (never over 220 with the rad fans on), carve corners.

In the Spring I'll see if Gwendy wants to ride the rs and we'll get her impressions.

"Lawyers Dad" can borrow the 620 too and he's ridden my bike so he'll post up as well.

It's interesting to ride these back to back. They look the same, but they are not as related as they appear. Different animal entirely.

Anyon else have similar "back to back" impressions of two bikes?

Chris

Sorry for the rambling nature of his post. I wanted to get some things written down. I'd be happy to discuss (and should have done better here) individual things like suspension... engine... brakes....throttle feel... steering... Next time.
 

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Good post, and its pretty much what I expected in comparing the thwo bikes. And +1 on the 1000S, two up possible and that great fairing [thumbsup]

In comparing the operating temps, the 620 is measuring the oil temp and the RS is measuring the water temp. Apples and oranges. Expect 260 on the 620 during the summer, and if you could measure the RS oil temp it would probably be very close.

Thanks, so RS = 620 + steroids - ritilan. Got it! ;D
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Meltz said:
Next, I'll compare and contrast the Ninja 250 to the ZX-10R and shortly thereafter I'll tackle the WR450F vs the Hayabusa. [laugh] [laugh]

Just kiddin'. Couldn't help it.
I deserved that. Funny how nodody would lump the ninja 250 in the same category as a 10r, but many think of a monster as a monster.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ash said:
wait, you think the APTC clutch has a BIGGER engagement area (aka friction zone) than the bigger non-APTC bikes?? My experience with these bikes is exactly the opposite.... and is one of the things I hate hate hate about the new small cc bikes.
At least on these bikes, yes. The engagement area is bigger on the stock 620 compared to my s4rs with stainless springs (don't think that would change anything but maybe lever pressure). Although the RS is easier to modulate within that small zone.

Biggest difference is that if you release early or suddenly at 4.5K on the 620, the rpm just get knocked back down to 3.5K to match the take off speed and then you accelerate away normally. Still rather smooth. Release early or suddenly on the rs at 4.5 K and the bike speed catches up instantly to the rpm.

I rode a new multistrada 1100 with a wet clutch and didn't pay enough attention to it to compare here. Which means it worked well enough for me to ignore it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
desmo_drum said:
In comparing the operating temps, the 620 is measuring the oil temp and the RS is measuring the water temp. Apples and oranges. Expect 260 on the 620 during the summer, and if you could measure the RS oil temp it would probably be very close.
Thanks... reading the manual today...

knew that if I had thought about it at all because I know mine is water temp and Gwendy's just can't do that. [laugh]
 

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I would think the 620 would feel more "flickable" due to the narrower rear tire? Of course you did mention that you have your RS setup with the back higher than the front, so naturally it will turn in better. Perhaps replacing the ride height rod with an adjustable one on the 620 will help dial it in better?

And of course an Ohlins shock would hurt anything either. ;D
 

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I've briefly ridden a 620 with an adjustable pushod installed, and the rear end jacked waaay up.
You can get beyond 'flickability', clear into 'flat-out spooky'.
Too nervous for me, but the owner liked it that way.

That same 620 can keep up with the big bikes just fine, only suffering on uphill straightaways.
Vividly illustrates the importance of corner speed...
 

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Interesting comparison Chris. Probably much more apples and apples than me comparing that 620 to the ST4s i have now. However, after flogging the ST this morning with the bags off and some warm pavement and hot tires, i dont miss the 620. To be quite honest, im not sure that my next bike will even be a Monster, but rather an SBK.

For what it is the 620 is a great bike. I bought it knowing that i wouldnt keep it. So i never did any upgrades other than the seat. The 620 fits that axiom that its more fun to ride a slow bike fast than a fast bike slow. But it doenst beat riding a fast bike fast.
 

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Ash said:
i dont like how the friction zone is near the end of the travel, and is so difficult to modulate, as you also indicated.

Same feeling with my '04 M800 wet clutch no APTC. Engages late. If reved high and slipped, just as grabby as any dry clutch duc I've owned.
 

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+1 on Bluesharks comment on riding a fast bike fast.....Does anything compare???(keep in mind this is a clean sight!)
 

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Blueshark928 said:
For what it is the 620 is a great bike. I bought it knowing that i wouldnt keep it. So i never did any upgrades other than the seat. The 620 fits that axiom that its more fun to ride a slow bike fast than a fast bike slow. But it doenst beat riding a fast bike fast.
So the 620 is a slow bike? I wasn't aware...
 

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Blueshark928 said:
It wasnt meant as an insult. It is what it is.
First post in ages, came out of retirement to defind my Blue light special.... Slow compared to what? Here in the States, it ain't slow.

The 620 is slower in comparison to superbikes, both Ducatis and any Japanese 600 and up... but this comparison is hardly fair. The 620 is faster in the quarter mile than 99% of any of the cruisers that you can get on the market. Yes, 99%. Even the Warrior, with 1700cc's, needs a tick more time to get the 1/4 done. Know what else? Crusiers are what most people are buying here.

So, while there are many bikes that are faster, there are at least as many that are slower. Plus, that 800 lb VTX cost over 2x mine and I'll smoke it in the curves too.
 
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