Saturday, August 21, 2010

Update:

Now that the 1000km break in are done, I can push it as I am used to doing. The oil tank is a complete success. I already wrote about the temperature in actual use. One thing I could not judge before now: I use practically no oil now. This can only be attributed to the form of the tank, i.e. to the fact that the returned oil does not foam up and is allowed quietly sink to the bottom of the tank. Also the oil itself is still recognizable as having been red when new. It is of course dark greyish red, but not opaque black at all. This is still the first filling for the new engine. I admit that I have not changed it yet, something I normally would have immediately done after the break in. It is Castrol Power Racing 1 10W/40. I use a K&N #145 oil filter. I also always add 2-stroke oil to the gas, always fully synthetic, usually Castrol, but most any will do actually. About 25cc to the 15ltrs filling.
This engine is definitely better than last years aircooled and I think perhaps the my best street-use engine to date. I can live with the vibes which are nowhere near bad as with the balancerless engine of the blue bike.

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Today, after finishing the parts I need for the customer engine on the workbench and mowing the lawn (brownie points!), I went for my usual ride in the Swabian Woods (Schwaebischer Wald) which take me up what was the official Heilbronner Bergpreis (hill climb stretch, was a national event until 1983) and on to Sulzbach an der Murr, turning towards Schwaebisch Hall on the B14 (national highway) which is a favorite "hill climb" because it is relatively new and in good condition and because there are almost never any sheriffs present. Who knows why...
I take this to Mainhardt and then turn onto the B39 back towards home. coming by the "Loewensteiner Platte" where I usually stop for a coffee if it is not too full.
Despite the good weather, there was still room to park which I did and immediately caught notice of three Vuns! Three of a bike you normally do not see once a year around here!




This is Cristina Baio: 2004 champion, Italian female superbike series, Hers was one of the three Vuns there.
A friend of mine, Oliver Thiel - Ollie - instigated this. Since I last talked to him, he has gotten a CR&S consession (and sold a Duu that is not even on delivery yet) and had been at the Nuerburgring with some Vun owners the day before. One of the three present was his demonstrator, the others, that of Cristina and of John van Houten.
Ollie greated me with, "grab your helmet and take it out for a test drive." Didn't need to be told that twice; not all that often you get a chance to ride something as exotic as a Vun.
What can I say? It looks and feels very light. Actually, tho, it is only a couple of kilos less than my Skorpion SP. Riding position is good: this is very first bike with a super bike bar (ape hanger in my eyes) that I actually liked. I later rode John's which has LSL clipons and it was MUCH better. The BMW Rotax has quite a bit of punch up to about 6500 and is easier to drive at 5000 than my engine, but it is not at as good at low (2500-3500) or high and is probably down a bit on top end performance. No measurements, just my very subjective feeling. The Brembo radial clamp with racing pads is decidedly 1-finger only but easy enough to use and VERY effective. Biggest impression for me, tho, are the BST CF wheels. All three Vuns had these wheels. Steering, braking and acceleration are all extremely quick, seemingly effortless. These wheels are becoming a obsession with me. They would bring the weight of my bike down to 140kg, reducing the weight where it counts most. Costly dreams............
After more discussing at the "Platte" we rode together to Oillie's shop, John with mine and I with his. Riding home from there, that is riding mine after just having ridden the Vun, was a pleasant surprise.

I had lots of fun with both Vuns. What I did not like? The throttle response from idle in and around town/street use is very grabby, to put it mildly. I am used to flatslides and they are quick, but this was extreme. I would probably get used to it after a day or two. OTOH, I might possibily dump the injection for dual flatslides... I would definitely want narrow clipons like my Gilles GP Lights and also a smaller Ø front wheel pump. And of course I would reverse the shift pattern as always.

What else I liked?
My own baby was not so far off from this highend product. Franco (from CR&S) in particular was quite impressed with some of my technical stuff and took a lot of pics. He was pleased to see that I had somany Poggipolini products on mine as he a the owner are friends. John commented (he rode mine) that it immediately felt very light and that the steering was extremely light. He wasn't fond of the vibes but then he didn't get a chance to really rev it out and shifted far too soon. After riding he also commented on the very quick throttle response and ease of riding on residential streets and he found my riding position good.

Unlike so many things I have test ridden that were hyped up by the press, the Vun is not a let down at all. I am not sure it is a must-have, but it certianly comes close. Given their policy of building to customer specification, I can readily imagine that "my" Vun would be exactly as I want a bike to be. Things to dream about...