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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, I'm back in the Abarth for the commute today, but wanted to record my thoughts on my first 2 days / 100 miles on the Z.

Power:
There isn't any. This is a huge adjustment, but it's somehow fun. Preaching to the choir I guess. I keep mentioning it to my wife (who hasn't yet ridden her bike) and she's getting a complex about it. It's not a downside because I knew what we were getting into, but it's still unlike anything else I've ever ridden.

Handling:
Stupidly sharp to the point of being twitchy. I love it, I'm a little worried about a new rider though. Thinking about handlebar changes to help stability (open to suggestions).

Gearbox:
Didn't know what to expect, I'm kinda salty about the "meh" gearbox on our CB500X and the Pro 4spd was converted from an auto. It's good! I've admittedly grabbed neutral once and jumped back down to 3rd, but more on that later. I picked up MNNTHBX's direct shifter just to try it out (for $20 why not?) but I don't really see this as a weak point that NEEDS a fix. Clutch grab point annoys me (5° into the levers 30° of travel) so there are some cheapo adjustable levers on a boat from china.

Ergonomics:
OK... this is the big one. It's a Minibike, there's going to be some adjustments. Overall the riding position is pretty comfortable. I'm 5'8" and my knees tuck in just about flush with the top of the tank (or rather, the top of the leg cutouts). I actually really like that gripping the bike with your knees isn't really an option, I think it will teach good habits for my wife to carry with her to other bikes. I'm a bit worried about damaging the paint over time without a tank grip or a bra, but at the end of the day, it's an inexpensive bike.

Because my knees are so perfectly locked under the lip of the tank I find using foot controls to be a bit odd. I am getting used to moving my knees slightly out and away from the tank in order to position my feet further forward on the pegs. I get lazy with this occasionally and try to go through the gears with my knee still tucked and that's the only way I've screwed up shifts. This also results in a catch 22 in which my legs are locked around the bike in all situations but heavy braking... grrr. Where does everyone else put their legs while riding these things?

It's super weird that looking ahead up the road you can't see any of the bike, it's just gone. Glancing down at the gauges is a significant head movement.

Handlebars seem rigid enough for just riding around, but I can see why a cross brace is essentially a requirement for stunters. Grips are noticeably narrow, which leads me to my single biggest gripe... I can't seem to get the mirrors in a decent location. I just end up staring at my arms. I assumed bar end mirrors were popular on these due to looks, but it might just be for the functionality of getting your sight lines further away from your body. The shape (incorrectly labeled "hexagonal" multiple times in the manual) ends up with the larger portion of the mirrors showing me my arms and the tapered stylized outside point doing all the heavy lifting. It's entirely possible that I'm just an idiot. Maybe a slightly wider aftermarket bar will help with this, but most of them also seem to drop the OA height and lower the riding position.

Mods/Goals:
Oh man... the temptation is real. I was just thinking about this on my way to the office, the next two things I want to do on my car are a better intake and intercooler. That same money towards the Z would net me intake/exhaust/tuner/ and over half of a BBK. WHAT!? That said, its primary function is to be a learning tool for my wife. For that reason it will stay stock until she says so (she told me the fender had to go while we were still at the dealer).

So yeah. That's what I think so far, tons of fun, goofy ergonomics, lack of power, total beast.
 

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Some people get it and some don't. It's a lot more fun going fast on a slow bike than slow on a fast bike.

^^^^ What he said. I love my Z, the first thing I said when I test drove it was "I can't see the bike at all with my helmet on. I feel like a head floating around in traffic." It still makes me laugh sometimes. So much fun!! :grin2:
 

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hahaha, it is hilarious for me to not see any of the bike! I have a CT70 that I've never had a speedo on just because i'd have to fold in half to look at it. my knees are all the way on the outsides of the tank when I ride, so all you see other than me is two wheels and a headlight. its still a blast!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Nearly bought a clean Trail 90 a few weeks ago. I think the Z was a better choice, but I do love those little bikes.
 
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