As my scoot is about to click over 10K, and prompted by Lead Runner's recent review of his GP1, I thought it would be a good time to give
an update about Doc, my GP1.
So what have I changed, learned or confirmed since my early ride impressions back in Feb-13?
* my scoot's name and sex :) originally I chose the name Gwen (in homage to the panther companion, Guenhwyvar, of one of my favourite fictional characters, Drizzt --> shortened to Gwen). I liked the name and it had good reasoning, but it never really clicked with me referring to the GP1 as Gwen. So a couple of months ago I started referring to my scoot as Doc.
* variator - initially stock variator with rollers (weighed on the scale at 11.3gm each - from what I have read on net still not sure if they are stock) offered good performance. J Costa installed - significantly better performance, though feels like the RPM at WOT (8,800-9,000rpm) has gone slightly past the sweet spot for max torque.
* clutch springs - met Mike Holland who graciously gave me and installed a set of Malossi clutch white (iirc) springs (med). Clutch biting delayed until approx 5,000rpm = better.
* Yoshi carbon pipe meant for a 250 motorcycle - Looks = fantastic. Performance = jury is still out. Traded for other scoot bits, so not out of pocket. Currently somewhat Frankensteined on there (didn't want to have header pipe cut until I was sure). Definitely louder with a much more pleasing, low thumping exhaust note. No real noticeable change in power delivery, at least not enough to completely rule out a placebo effect, BUT no significant decrease in performance, so inclined to leave it on there. Also shaved about 5kg off the weight of the scoot.
* Tires - Doc now has two new shoes, Pirelli Diablos. Not that I have had a huge deal of experience for comparisons, but night and day compared to the previous stock tires. Having said that, a large part of the stock tires relatively mediocre performance can likely be chalked up to them being on the way out (prev owner had Doc sitting unused in a shed for ages while travelling overseas --> replaced rear tire after a few months of riding because I came out one day to find that the tire had overnight developed egg-sized/shaped protusions all over it! - definitely not safe). Diablos have smoothed out the harshness of the ride (a huge benefit for commuting over Sydney's varied road surfaces) and perform great through the twisties. The ride is still on the firm side, but at least I know I can lay Doc into a corner and he will go where I point, even if the road surface is less than perfect.
* tank bag - I found a cheap tank bag on eBay and thought it worth the risk. Pulled the trigger and ended up a very happy chappy. Tank bag, as long as it isn't stuffed too full, sits nicely in the tunnel. Between the weight of it, the shape of it and the magnets in the bottom it stays in place while riding and is easy to put on/pull off the bike. I regularly commute and I can easily cart all my work related gear around in the tank bag, leaving the underseat bucket for spare gloves, tool kit, emergency rations and rain gear (with a fair amount of room to spare).
* MRA windscreen spoiler - not a lot of options for replacement screens on the GP1 out there. My MRA spoiler somehow managed to survive my accident on Drizzt and I was pleasantly surprised to find that it had enough adjustability to attach to the stock windscreen. A little rolled up phone and some double-sided tape to stop it vibrating too much and the result is a windscreen spoiler that provides a little extra wind/weather protection and doesn't completely spoil the look of the scoot.
* a few extra scrapes and a heart shaped hole - Doc came off the worse for wear the other day in an encounter with a particularly stubborn hedge. Riding (5-6kmh) down next to a hedge on a private street, intending to park close to the hedge so that Doc remained as far out of the way of passing cars as possible. Mirror got stock for a few milliseconds on a branch and Doc had a low speed, but awkward drop. The resulting damage :( - cracked belly pan, a bent left brake lever (bent back OK), some minor scrapes on the front fairing (coloured in with a black Sharpie at the moment), and an approx 80mm heart shaped hole in the plastics under the seat (with a little sanding this hole could almost look deliberate).
* I have always liked the look of Doc from the front or back, but that raised tunnel when viewed from the side is something that took a few months to get used to and start to like.
* Doc still doesn't really like cold mornings. If the morning temp is under 15 degrees I tend to have a minor problem starting Doc. Engine starts up, but the orange engine light stays on and he stalls out after a few sec. Generally starts fine on the 3-4 attempt, so not a major problem. From advice I have heard a new, better battery is one likely fix, but not in the budget at the moment.
* while I still occasionally look longingly at other scoots, Doc is pretty close to the ideal scoot for me.
- Doc is FUN, FUN, FUN to ride
- the engine is a cracker. For my intents and purposes there are not many things on the road that Doc can't stick with from 0-80kmh and Doc revels in a tight set of twisties. Only reason to need more power would be a bit better acceleration coming out of uphill bends. My 97kg weight obviously not helping. Cheapest way to get extra performance would be to lose 15kg. :)
- responsiveness and handling is awesome - so easy to drop into a corner, change direction, steer around things etc.
- light weight - dry weight listed as 138kg, so roughly 133kg dry with the Yoshi. Compared to Drizzt, my old Kymco Downtown, @ 166kg dry, that is a significant 30+ kgs, most noticeable when moving Doc around without the motor running, but also in how nimble and 'flickable' Doc is out on the road. Now Drizzt had more storage, better wind/weather protection, more headroom over 110kmh, ABS etc, but I am enjoying Doc's lighter weight.
- lack of carrying capacity for larger items - with the addition of the tunnel bag + the underseat bin I have my day to day carrying needs covered, but there is not a log else I can carry on top of that. Both my previous scoots had a sturdy rear rack to strap things to, wider rear seats to perch things on, and a flat floor (X-Hot) or lower tunnel (Downtown) giving them far superior oversized carrying capacity. I had used my previous scoots to transport all manner of objects - eg. computers, monitors, boxes. Most unusual thing was probably a 3 x 3m roll of lino.
- lack of weather protection - on Drizzt I used to be able to get away with riding through short, light showers (as long as I didn't have to stop too long at the lights) without getting too wet. Now, if I want to stay dry, I need to gear up with my wet weather gear at the first sign of rain. Not that big a deal.
- the high tunnel means throwing a leg over the back to mount the scoot - I am still young, so this is not really a problem, but would be for someone less flexible. You can mount by putting one's leg over the tunnel, but this is a little awkward. Either way, the biggest related issue is the scuff marks that collect on the rear plastic and tunnel plastic from boots touching on the way past.
- the plastic bodywork, particularly the light grey plastic that covers the tunnel, is hard to keep looking good and doesn't feel as precisely put together as other scoots I have had or seen. I envisage Doc LOOKING pretty worn, but GOING strong in a few years time.
Wow, way more rambling than I had anticipated. I'll finish with a couple of pics.