I have sat here all last night and all this morning trying to think how best to convey my impressions of the Hyosung GV650. To many here, to recite the litany of features of the GV650, would be an exercise in repeating the obvious. To others, a fifteen minute ride does not an impression make. So what I'm going to try to attempt is to convey the impression the GV650 makes on a guy who has been riding a GV250 all summer long. A special thanks to a work associate I ride with who helped me put it into perspective this afternoon after a good long ride (I think I have conviced him to trade up from his V-Star 650).
A GV250 Owners Perspective of the GV650
By: William R. Ramby09-17-2006 As
many of you know, I went to visit Dennis at CBXManMotorcycles
yesterday. Dennis' dealership is 75 miles from me, so going to visit isn't something that occurs as often as I would like. Still going for a visit always leaves me with the urge to write something about the experience. For those who haven't read it, my first visit led to this article (click this line to read it)
. At that time, Dennis didn't have the Hyosung brand as a product on the floor yet. This visit was to be different. For today I was to ride the GV650!
This article is intended mainly for all us low cc bike riders that may be wary of trying something that we've all read is so powerfull. For all you GV650 riders I'll try to explain why some of us, though impressed by the GV650, have not made the jump to the GV650. If your not interested in explanation, you can skip down a few paragraphs to where the meat of the ride begins.
As an almost daily rider of Hyosung's other cruiser offering, the GV250, the GV650 had some tall shoes to fill. Many may be surprised by that statement on first blush, but those who know the Hyosung brand know that the GV250 is The Leader in it's class, both technology and stylistically, if not in sales. My GV250 will do circles around any comparable offering being served up by the likes of Honda, Suzuki, and Yamaha. And has been for many years. To make a deep impression on me, especially seeing as I read about it every day, the GV650 would have to truly stand out in some not so obvious way.
When I say "not so obvious way", I am discounting both the looks factor and power. We all know that the GV650 has uncompromising cosmetics and performance. Just one look at the bike in person will tell you it's something special. And while I don't disregard the importance of these factors, for the purposes of this article, I will put them aside as a given.
No, where I'm going to go with this article is handling. Yes, we read how great the handling of this bike is all the time on this site and others. But no one, at least to my recollections, has gone in depth to give GV250 owners that comparison of handling. I can already hear the "huh?"'s coming. What I'm trying to say is that GV650 owners may think they have the corner, pardon the pun, on cornering, but the GV250, as anyone who has rode one for any length of time knows, is as much, if not more, than a master of this same feature.
Ok, so you GV650 owners are starting to think "This guy is nuts if he thinks the GV250 handles better than the GV650." and you would probably be right, so I'm not going to say that. What I'm trying to do is relate how GV250 owners feel about the qualities of handling the GV250 possesses and our level of appreciation for it. And any GV250 owner out there will agree with me. Until they ride the GV650.
All us GV250 owners know how much experience and knowledge went into designing the GV250 suspension. We all know the history. So to all of us, I say the GV650 handles way better. And it should. It has a proud cruiser heritage, coming from the same people that designed our beloved GV250's. Using that knowledge, the Hyosung designers built a better mousetrap.
Ok, now that I got that off my chest, I'll get into some of the details.
My first ride on the GV650 was in a parking lot, albeit a big one. I wasn't expecting much more than to do circles and was extremely happy for that much. I was also nervous as he**. This is a longer, heavier, more powerfull and more expensive bike than my daily ride. Also the pegs were mounted at their farthest forward position so, being a short guy, while I could still shift my legs were straight and uncomfortable. What if I couldn't handle it? What if I let it drop? To my pleasant surprise, I handled it just fine. I know that shouldn't have surprised me, but as I said, I was nervous. Just going in long circles in the parking lot gave me a good impression of the bike. Not a great one, but good none the less and that is impressive on it's own. How many bike give any impression at all just from doing circles in a parking lot?
I was finishing up my circles when Dennis came out of the dealership with his gloves and helmet. You can imagine how elated I felt. That was all I needed to see to know we were going for a longer ride. It also meant that Dennis trusted me not to damage the bike and for that I give a big thanks your way man.
Dennis and I started off from CBXMans in city traffic as one might expect still not building any great impression other than fast on the pickup. I'm sure none of us really sit still when the light turns green, and not beating a car off the line takes a lot of holding back. I could feel the power, but then I knew it was powerfull going in. I was still waiting for that something that would shout at me "YOU GOTTA GET ONE OF THESE!" and I wasn't hearing it.
We went through a couple of traffic lights and finally were stopped by one. Dennis raised his mask and said "Theres a stretch of road up here where I'm going to wave you past me so you can stretch it out."
I said "Ok." and the light turned green. We turned and went along a rural street with me wondering why he was going to wave me on. We made another turn and started heading up the mountain behind CBXMans. This was more like it, but still I hadn't been waved on.
Making yet another turn, I saw "The Sign". We all know the sign because we dream about it. That little yellow diamond with the "S" in it. You know the one. The "S" that in reality, or at least our version of it, spells out "FUN".
Anticipating the wave, I was ready for it when it came. Making use of that power that many of you are all to familiar with, I flew past Dennis with a thwap (to the inexperienced cyclist, thwap is the equivalent of a loud exhaust noise) and away I went. I was impressed by the power, but then I knew I would be. I was still looking for that something, and I was about to meet it head on.
The first curve was taken with a bit of caution. Or at least I intended to. In the blink of an eye, it was gone. Huh? No muss, no fuss? "That was to easy!" I thought.
The next curve was coming up and it was my intent to work it hard. Nope. There and gone. "What?" Yep. Thats exactly what I said in my helmet. I had taken that curve pretty fast and again, no muss, no fuss. "Wow!" I thought. I was starting to get seriously impressed. A hard turn was coming and I leaned the bike over. My left boot scraped the ground which startled me as I have never ever done that on my GV250. On reflection, it was most likely because my feet were at almost a 90 degree perpendicular to the bike (remember the pegs were all the way forward which is a long reach for short legs) as opposed to the angle of lean, but still I was impressed. The lean was there and it required no effort to recover.
A couple more twists and sadly it was back to city streets. I stopped at a light and Dennis pulled up beside me.
Dennis again lifted his mask, looked at me, and asked "So what do you think?" I could swear there was a twinkle in his eye!
Go on, you know my reply. Say it with me folks.
"I GOTTA GET ME ONE OF THESE!"
So to sum it up for all us GV250 riders, there is absolutely nothing to be afraid of in the GV650. Don't let numbers like 650cc's, or 68 HP, or any of that scare you off. This bike is the ultimate in cruiser control. It won't get away from you unless you do something totally stupid. If you ride it with the experienced gained from riding the GV250 or any other low cc bike you should be just fine. If not more so.
Of course this is all just my opinion so you can place whatever value you like on it. But you won't know till you try. I did and don't regret one second of it.