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View Full Version : Sport Rider review on the Mana - slammed!



jsherm01
02-13-2009, 10:45 AM
Just got my issue of Sport Rider. No mention of the article on their web site. They didn't seem to think very much of it.

2009 Aprilia Mana
2008 Kawasaki Versys
2006 Yamaha YZ125
2005 Yamaha TT-R125
2003 Kawasaki KLX400SR - Motarded & Dirtarded!
2001 Kawasaki W650
1984 Honda Spree
1972 Benelli Mini Enduro (basement art)

USAFE7RET
02-13-2009, 11:02 AM
Well, to each their own. I really like the Mana and as soon as I can convince the wife, I'm gonna trade in my X9 500 for one of them!

pete roper
02-13-2009, 11:11 AM
With a name like 'Sport Rider' it's not really that surprising is it? The Mana isn't even pretending to be a 'Sports' bike but the magazine's name is obviously designed to appeal to the sort of saucer-eyed, beetle-browed slackjaw who can't comprehend anything outside their miniscule channel of interest. I don't buy or read bike mags but I'd hazard a guess that this one will always pick the fastest available machine as the best in any comparison and the staff writers have instructions to never use words with more than two sylables for fear of alienating their customer base.

Pete

SilverFoxUno
02-13-2009, 11:21 AM
With a name like 'Sport Rider' it's not really that surprising is it? The Mana isn't even pretending to be a 'Sports' bike but the magazine's name is obviously designed to appeal to the sort of saucer-eyed, beetle-browed slackjaw who can't comprehend anything outside their miniscule channel of interest. I don't buy or read bike mags but I'd hazard a guess that this one will always pick the fastest available machine as the best in any comparison and the staff writers have instructions to never use words with more than two sylables for fear of alienating their customer base.

Pete

Gee, Pete...kinda hard on them...ya think? :cheers:

JodyH
02-13-2009, 12:24 PM
Sport Rider actually liked the Buell Ulysses....
nuff said

SAFit07
02-13-2009, 11:36 PM
RIDER had a write up on their last issue (FEB 09). MANA was very well liked w/ the Shiver done a few months before.

A simple mag IMHO.

williamr
02-14-2009, 07:20 AM
Well, to each their own. I really like the Mana and as soon as I can convince the wife, I'm gonna trade in my X9 500 for one of them!

You've really hit the nail on the head with this step up. Think of the Mana as bigger scoot for serious cruising and it's a good choice.

For non-highway commuting it isn't, and it makes no pretence of being a sports bike.

Rob

shadyman
02-14-2009, 10:13 AM
The SPORT RIDER article is about what I'ld expect from sport bike riders. It's just an opinion from 2 or 3 guys. Apples & oranges. Remember opinions are like assholes, everybody got one. At least Aprilia is getting some press, and that is always a good thing.

groovymaster
02-16-2009, 11:16 PM
I really like the Mana and as soon as I can convince the wife, I'm gonna trade in my X9 500 for one of them!

Honestly. from experience I can flatly state the 300cc to 650cc scooters are not the "best of both worlds" (i.e., a city scoot capable of highway speeds). Rather, they are the worst of everything. I've owned a number of maxi-scooters and they are all overweight and handle like crap compared to the Mana 850. I'm not trying to be insulting; I'm being honest. Buy the Mana 850 as your touring and highway bike and buy a small lightweight 2-stroke 50cc or 90cc scooter for the city. That's fun! Every thing in-between is a horrid compromise.

.

pete roper
02-17-2009, 12:50 AM
Honestly. from experience I can flatly state the 300cc to 650cc scooters are not the "best of both worlds" (i.e., a city scoot capable of highway speeds). Rather, they are the worst of everything. I've owned a number of maxi-scooters and they are all overweight and handle like crap compared to the Mana 850. I'm not trying to be insulting; I'm being honest. Buy the Mana 850 as your touring and highway bike and buy a small lightweight 2-stroke 50cc or 90cc scooter for the city. That's fun! Every thing in-between is a horrid compromise.

.


I have to say I tend to think this is a more sensible approach IF you are looking for urban transport alone. Lets face it you can buy a cheap scooter of small capacity for peanuts, within a couple of years it will of paid for itself in terms of minimising wear and tear on your *other* bike, be it a Mana or whatever.

I can see the attraction of maxi scooters for folks who can't sling their leg over a motorbike but because of their frame design, as long as they use a conventional fork, (Unlike the Italjets with the HCS system.) they are never going to have the rigidity of a reasonable modern bike frame.

Each to their own but 'Touring' on a maxi? I'm sure it can be done but I'll also be it would not be a happy thing.

I live in the country but visit the city occasionally. I'd still take the Mana over the Griso as a city bike any day but if I was forced to live in a city, (Shudder!) I'd probably opt for a 125 scoot or a Honda CT 110 as my everyday run-about. Cheap to run and insure and you aren't going to be heartbroken if some dill in an SUV parks on top of it. They're also very nimble in city traffic and have oodles of carrying space and you can park 'em practically anywhere.

Full enclosure of the motor also means that snotty brats who's mothers don't supervise them are a lot less likely to burn themselves on bits of the motor. I had that the other day with the Griso, a kid was about to grab hold of the exhaust header so I told him not too, it's very hot, you'll burn yourself. Mum was right there and said nothing so the brat grabbed a handfull of header. You should of heard the shrieking! But I'd TOLD him and Mum had heard me tell him but it was obviously one of those 'Who's this piece of scum addressing my kid? situations and she chose not to back me up. It took ages to get the skin off the pipe. Mum said I was a danger to the community. I said my machine was legally parked and she was a neglectful parent. She stormed off in a huff. I couldn't give a shit:happy:

Pete

williamr
02-17-2009, 04:18 AM
I'm going to nit pick on this a bit.

Touring on the A500 I had was fine as long as you are happy with an 80 - 85 mph cruising speed. The scoot was comfortable and completely stable right up to its near 100 mph maximum. Good stowage space, and a tunnel bag puts the mass of anything heavy that you're carrying in the ideal place, low and central.

The frame uses 4 rails to form a box, with the fuel tank in between them in front of the seat. You lose the flat floor of small scoots but the structure is exremely rigid. Support for the steering head would appear to lacking compared to a bike, but there was no sign of any flexibility in practise.

The big drawbacks, apart from the transmission, are suspension related. There are two main issues. One is the scoot design limits the scope for suspension movement. That means that most maxi scoots have hard suspension. The second is that all that unsprung weigh at the rear really compromises the susprension. Some maxi scoots aren't true scooters, in that they have a fixed engine that doesn't form part of the swinging arm. Look at the 650 Burgman (the closest thing to a Mana in many ways) or the T-Max.

The suspension is fine for highway touring, but if you hit a speed hump or a pothole you need those ultra deep comfortable seats to cushion you.

The big plus for touring is that the weather protection is better than anything I've ever ridden. That's important in the UK where a big proportion of leisure riding is in the rain.

Rob

JodyH
02-17-2009, 09:57 AM
I choose the Mana for almost every trip into town.
Not having to worry about a clutch or gears frees up brain power to keep an eye on shitty drivers.
And I'm damn sure no stranger to a clutch or shifting (15 years racing 2 stroke moto-x bikes and a total of 35 years on 2 wheels).
If you can't maneuver a Mana through traffic as easy as a ER-6... it's a rider issue. Once you adapt to the engagement zone for the CVT and learn to balance the brakes and throttle it's as easy or easier than balancing a clutch, brake and throttle.

The Mana also has deceptive power output, it will drop a ER-6 or a SV650 in stop light drag races every single time.

The tank/trunk has got to be the best motorcycle idea to come along in years. Integrated storage that doesn't add width or the aero issues of a top box is a brilliant idea.

Why the Mana over a scooter?
Being a long time motorcycle rider I control the bike with my knees (which is impossible with a scooter). The taller seating position gives you better visibility. Cage drivers tend to respect a motorcycle more than a scooter and give you a little extra room.

williamr
02-17-2009, 10:35 AM
I'm not looking for a pissing contest, as both kinds of bikes have their place, but if you need to devote any of your brain power to using the clutch you either can't use it properly or you have a very small brain. As it's Jody, case proved.

An extra 100 lbs or so of mass is always going to take more shifting and be less agile. I suspect that your idea of traffic might be different to mine.

As for 'off the light' - read the magazine reviews for 0 - 60. Maybe you only race against people with your own level of clutch control or brain size?

The tank/trunk is a useful idea. We had it with Ariel Arrow and Leader back in the 1950s. Downside is that it moves the weight of the fuel back from the centre of balance.

And Jody - I've been riding longer than you have.

Rob

Dragster pilota
02-17-2009, 12:47 PM
I just love this!!!! mine's bigger than your's, I can drive better than you, I have more years on 2 wheels, and now we are down to comparing brain size, where will this end????? The only thing I'd like to add to that contest is I have more bikes than you all....

Seriously I really loved the Mana and hope to have one at my disposal this summer too, late last summer I was handed a Gilera GP 800 and did a couple of short stints on it before it got to cold for me to ride (yes I'm a fair weather driver and NOT ashamed of it!!!), both the Mana and GP 800 has basically the same motor but the GP 800 beeing a "maxi scooter" I did not enjoy driving it half as much as the Mana. I will be having the GP 800 for the full summer of 09 and hope to also have a Mana to split my riding between but i seriously doubt that the GP 800 will be close to as enjoyable as the Mana, it's a big fat boat while the Mana i fun but on the other hand the GP 800 looks like a great highway ride, long, powerfull, and comfy as a TV recliner and on that long cruise from Enköping to Österlen (650km one way) it will most likely just float at quite a bit above the legal speed limit but not stick out so the Cops spot you, in other words, a great ride!!!

Since we signed up as a full Piaggio Group dealership we now have a bunch of rides at our disposal and I really consider myself and open mind (Dalai Lama once said, a mind is like an umbrella, if not open it don't work) when it comes to 2-wheels, my personal stash runns from a 1938 Harley Davidson, Ducati Monster, Jawa Speedway, Vespa V50, PVC scooters from 50 to 70cc in various tune to a bunch of MX bikes, on top of that I have demo bikes like Vespa 300, Piaggio X7 300, Carnaby 200, Mp3 400, Aprilia SXV & RXV 550, Shiver and I have a promiss from Victory Sweden that I'll have a Victory Hammer S at my disposal and my gut feeling is that I'll come away with a love for ALL of these, used at the right time for the right reason they all do what they are best at, creating a feeling of freedom!!!!!! Sure we can all pick on this & that about this & that, some just pick on anything just to pick at something and worst of all are those who'll have an opinion on something they have not spent enough time on to even create an opinon about but have to rely on magazine stories and read numbers for 0-60 like the Bible, shame....

Sure I can find faults with the Mana but the positive sides are more than enough to make me just love that bike, I had one of my best days the summer of 2008 riding the Mana....

DP says: I guess I'll get jumped on but I'm a big boy and don't give a f*ck....

JodyH
02-17-2009, 12:55 PM
I'm not looking for a pissing contest, as both kinds of bikes have their place, but if you need to devote any of your brain power to using the clutch you either can't use it properly or you have a very small brain.

And Jody - I've been riding longer than you have.

Rob
As far as a pissing contest.
You're the guy constantly shitting on a bike you don't own and have few if any miles on.
How about you let people who actually own the bike give their informed opinion and you keep your ignorant drivel to yourself?

As to riding skill...
If you want to take it to the track... I'm your huckleberry.

Before you embarrass yourself any further (re: dismissing my riding ability) anyone who attended the AF1 trackday knows better. I not only benchrace with the best... I can, will and have backed it up in public.
Dragstrip more to your liking?
10 sec. 140mph qtr. mile on a stock ZX10R on video.

I have 100% confidence that I can lap you or leave you sitting without breaking a sweat.

SilverFoxUno
02-17-2009, 10:04 PM
All I'd like to know is how would Ron know he has been riding longer than Jody...

Are you, like, really old, Ron?

SAFit07
02-17-2009, 11:32 PM
Anything JodyH posts, it's funny!!!!

Yep, I'm a JodyH fan.....

pete roper
02-18-2009, 04:18 AM
All I'd like to know is how would Ron know he has been riding longer than Jody...

Are you, like, really old, Ron?

Don't worry, there are lots of young pompous blowhards too. (I think it's Rob not Ron.)

"Ewww! I'm a riding instructor. Why would anyone not use the the rear brake? Oh I'm so clever"

Gimme a break! the rear brake is for steering in almost ALL situations. It contributes little apart from instability anywhere else. Most riding instructors I've met are boring, line-toeing droids whose idea of excitement is a nice cup of cocoa and a knee rug while listening to a fine selection of Niel Sedaka records. They probably contribute more to bike accidents than all the squids on Y6's put together.

If you can't operate a vehicle with some degree of self control you are doing the world a favor by taking yourself out of the gene pool. Training and legislation won't help. Training will if you make it attractive. Having some ancient beardy with holes in his teeth telling you how rotten you are isn't going to work. Wake up and find out how a single track vehicle works and teach it in an interesting manner. Otherwise bugger off, you'll do more harm than good.

Have a nice day:bump:

Pete

PS, the Mana is a bit bland but its still a great bike and I'd take one over an R6 anyday:happy:

williamr
02-18-2009, 04:27 AM
Jody makes a point of telling us he has 35 years on two wheels. I beat this by ten years.

As he started casting aspersions, as usual, It seemed only fair to pile some shit om him. I love his instant response - he's so easy to wind up. Don't take any of this too seriously. He can't help being what he is.

Pete - training works for the vast majority who want to learn to ride properly but don't know how to. You can never teach yourself anything and expect to get it completely right.

Nothing wrong with the Mana at all - it's just not for me.

Rob

shadyman
02-18-2009, 11:07 AM
Oooohhhh Nnnnoooo! Tell me the pissing contest is not over. I love pissing contests, just don't piss in my face and tell me it's raining.

mitchmike
02-19-2009, 05:16 PM
GrandpaR, opps sorry WilliamR I think its time to hang up your wrinkly leathers and collect your bus pass, and make way for the open thinkers who embrace new concepts and technologies instead of this warped and blinkered view you have of a bike that you have no experience or real understanding. Its all good fun though and look forward to your 1000 word response, on back in the day when i was a lad, blah yawn blah,.....

williamr
02-20-2009, 03:46 AM
Don't be such s stupid little shit. Just because I don't think the Mana is the greatest bike on the road.

The Mana is too heavy and too clumsy for my taste. End of story.

THe transmission isn't new technology. A hydraulically controlled multiplate clutch and sequential box under ecu control might be considered to be, and would imo be a better option, but even that isn't really new. TRy being open minded yourself and looking at the options.

Now fuck off.

Rob

pete roper
02-20-2009, 04:00 AM
Don't be such s stupid little shit. Just because I don't think the Mana is the greatest bike on the road.

The Mana is too heavy and too clumsy for my taste. End of story.

THe transmission isn't new technology. A hydraulically controlled multiplate clutch and sequential box under ecu control might be considered to be, and would imo be a better option, but even that isn't really new. TRy being open minded yourself and looking at the options.

Now fuck off.

Rob

Whoops. Having a bit of a seniors moment there Rob :happy:

Yes, all sorts of technological marvels would be wonderfull. And who pray is going to pay for them? Whoops. sorry! Real world intrudes a bit there. Never mind. If you keep looking at the sky long enough a squadron of pigs WILL come along. Can't gaurantee it'll be in our lifetime though.

I don't think anybody is trying to say that the Mana is the best bike ever, just that its interesting and different.

Oh, and some of us think you are an under informed dill as well but that's by the by....:bump:

Keep on taking the tablets.

Pete

williamr
02-20-2009, 09:19 AM
Reasonable arguments are responded to. Gratuitous insults are responded to in kind, so you can fuck off as well.

I'm being polite, so I'll add please.

The Mana is interesting and different. It's just not for me. Why does that hurt you so much?

Rob

JodyH
02-20-2009, 11:37 AM
The Mana is interesting and different. It's just not for me.

Rob
Thanks for contributing to the thread.

:cheers:

mitchmike
02-20-2009, 02:31 PM
I knew i would get a rise out of WilliamR, took the bait nicely, but I wont respond with foul language, i have too much integrity for that...what have we got to do to convert you, the gear mapping is controlled by an ECU, the bike does not feel clumsy and heavy, end of the day its your opinion but i dont see many others agreeing with you.

pete roper
02-21-2009, 12:21 AM
Reasonable arguments are responded to. Gratuitous insults are responded to in kind, so you can fuck off as well.

Rob

Please take a number and go to the end of the queue.

I'll be with you shortly.....

I'm really, really, trying to give a shit. Honestly mate I am....but.... Nah. Sorry....

:bump:

Pete