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So, I've finally gotten the S4R broken in somewhat (630 miles on the clock) and, as a guy coming from a 620 bought 16 months ago as my first motorcycle, I thought I'd just share some of my experiences so far with the new bike. I bought the 4 valver about a month ago as an '04 leftover (after nagging the dealer to death to come down off his $10,900 high horse) and I couldn't be much happier.

I loved my 620, which served as my main transportation and became quite an obsession. It was a great bike because you could throw it down, crack open the throttle a hair too much on corner exit, and it would just roar and slide ever so slightly. All you need with that bike are some sticky tires and loud pipes and you've got a hell of a good time. It's a very forgiving bike that taught me how (and how not) to ride, and was always tons of fun. I could've kept it and been completely happy.

I rationalized the S4R as a practical upgrade, since it warms up much quicker on cold mornings and had a taller seat (I'm 6' so the 620 was pretty low to me). The insurance was actually cheaper than the S2R 1000 through my provider for some reason. I finally haggled them down enough.

The one adjective I keep coming back to when comparing it to my old bike is 'effortless'. Acceleration and handling are improved immensly. Brakes are the same as on my 620, but the better fork keeps the front tire in a much happier place. Now that I don't have to babysit the tach anymore, and that the motor has smoothed out, it really shows its teeth. At first the tall gearing was annoying, but I've grown accustomed to it. 14 tooth is on the way, though. The handling is great, and it feels really stable heaved over. I need to set up the suspension better, though. Too much preload.

The one issue that I'm having is the factory rubber. It has Pilot Sports, and they take much more effort to warm up than the Powers I had on the 620, although I finally got them warm enough to start melting the little michelin men on the edges today. So come spring, those new Power 2CTs are first on the list.

This may sound wierd, but I REALLY enjoy the stock exhaust compared to my old D&Ds. It could be a hair louder, which is why I was curious about a midpipe. Has anyone kept the stock cans and just removed the udder? How does it sound?

All in all, I love this bike. The new testastretta engines may be faster, but this mill is still a beast, albeit a very well trained one. The power is really easy to manage, and spinning up on exit is pretty much automatic. And just like my old 620, it's easy to kick the end out while upright around town too. It really just feels like the bike for me. I have the DML to thank for helping me make an informed choice.

So my 600 mile service is this Friday, which was one of the things I got the dealer to throw in with the bike, and I was just wondering if there is anything I need to make sure they do. They're pretty stand-up guys, but I just want to make sure I don't overlook anything.
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