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Discussion Starter #1
Instead of posting a new thread for each thing that I do, I thought I would put it all in one thread. I tend to not leave good enough alone, so feel free to leave your thought/ideas/comments/flaming insults/whatever here along with me.

I bought this on 6/9. I have only owned cruisers, including a Honda VTX1800F3 that I still have. I've ridden many other bikes, including a good buddy's GSX-R750 far more than I should have been allowed to. Since I moved to Florida, I wanted something a bit more agile than the VTX, and thus led to the purchase of the Gixxes.

The day I brought it home:

 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys. Round 1: tail tidy.

I chose the Vagabond unit because it used the factory turn signals and tag light. Also it was a very fair price compared to other offerings.

Before:


Look how far it sticks out:


It started raining while I did the swap, so this terrible picture is the best "after" I have at the moment, because I had to move from the driveway to the overcrowded garage.


Overall it was a quick swap, reusing some of the factory bolts and all the factory lights. It appears to be a well built unit. Solid and constructed well. The instructions for the installation were clear.

One thing that I didn't expect is that the tag is angled at about 45 degrees. I hoped it would be a little more perpendicular to the ground. No biggie, just don't want any reason for the law to look at me any harder.

Because I live in Florida, it rains almost every day in the summer. I've probably put more miles in the wet than dry. This does throw quite a bit of water/sand/dirt on my back. I don't care right now, but I did notice after a particularly wet ride.
 

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Because I live in Florida, it rains almost every day in the summer. I've probably put more miles in the wet than dry. This does throw quite a bit of water/sand/dirt on my back. I don't care right now, but I did notice after a particularly wet ride.
Not trying to put a damper on things, but save your old tail piece. I love the look of a tidy tail and put one on my last bike, then ended up hacking pieces off of the OEM tail to try to get more protection from spray (unsuccessfully). A lot of people on that bike forum would add one of those spray guards that looks like a diaper strapped to your bike, which I think looks worse then the OEM tail. This time, I decided to stay with the protection the OEM tail gives and left it alone. I know it doesn't look nearly as cool, but I wanted the protection from the road grime (people in San Diego, just ignore this).
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Not trying to put a damper on things,
Raining on my parade? :D

but save your old tail piece. I love the look of a tidy tail and put one on my last bike, then ended up hacking pieces off of the OEM tail to try to get more protection from spray (unsuccessfully). A lot of people on that bike forum would add one of those spray guards that looks like a diaper strapped to your bike, which I think looks worse then the OEM tail. This time, I decided to stay with the protection the OEM tail gives and left it alone. I know it doesn't look nearly as cool, but I wanted the protection from the road grime (people in San Diego, just ignore this).
I did save my old mount. But looking at it, I wonder how much more protection it actually affords? Riding in the rain means you're getting wet anyways, so screw it. If I get annoyed by the back stripe, I can swap it back out.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Why dont u buy led indicators? The big are very ugly like big ears. :)
Meh. I think the big ears are ok looking.

My biggest issue with LEDs is most of the Chinese made stuff that's available isn't reliable. Even expensive LEDs are poorly made. If I found an LED unit that I liked the looks of, and I knew would be reliable, I would consider it.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Crossed 600 miles today, so I performed the initial service.



Changed the oil and filter. Filter was on super tight, and the used crush washer was a pain to get off. I also put almost all of 4 quarts in it to get just under the full mark. I was holding the bike level. I probably could have put the last of that final quart in and been just at the full mark. Spec calls for 3.4 quarts. I tend to take my time with maintenance and really let all the oil drain out. Also, I've had bikes in the past that seem to hold a little more oil than listed, so I'm not going to let it bother me too much. Just a curiosity.

Here's something I do with all my vehicles; I write the date and mileage on the oil filter (and air filter, fuel filter, etc.) when I change it. Gives me a quick look at the last time it was changed.



I checked the torque on the exhaust bolts (one was a little loose) and cleaned, lubed and tightened the chain.

The chain had about 2.25" of free play in it. Spec is 0.8 - 1.2. Seemed awfully loose to me. I also notice the axle was not centered in the marks on the swing arm. I pushed the axle back and lined up the positioning marks, which ended up being 1 turn of the bolt on one side, and 1 1/3 turns on the other. This got the marks close, but I left the one that was off by alot instead off by a little. Not sure if I should trust the marks, or trust the original alignment. I will verify the alignment via other methods soon.

Finally, a random pic from today's ride.

 

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I've been trusting the marks and it feels okay to me.
Tracks straight and turns left and right equally. A laser line might be more accurate but if I can't feel a problem it's probably good enough for my skill level
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I've been trusting the marks and it feels okay to me.
Tracks straight and turns left and right equally. A laser line might be more accurate but if I can't feel a problem it's probably good enough for my skill level
I was thinking that if it didn't feel off it was probably good enough for me too. I took a very short ride yesterday and I felt no difference. However, the more curious and slightly OCD part of me wants to know for sure.
 

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Meh. I think the big ears are ok looking.

My biggest issue with LEDs is most of the Chinese made stuff that's available isn't reliable. Even expensive LEDs are poorly made. If I found an LED unit that I liked the looks of, and I knew would be reliable, I would consider it.
Suzuki makes LED blinkers for this bike that are high quality. I like the looks of them. But they are pricey. I went with clear covers and orange bulbs for under $15 bucks.
 
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