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?
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.