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I just picked up my dragster today! Spent all day riding it and went through a tank of gas. Mostly urban riding, but did a bit of highway too.

I come from a long history of pure sportbikes and this is my first naked/streetfighter. Prior to this, I had the '08 1000RR, the '07 CBR 600RR, the '06 Yamaha R6, the VFR800. So one sportbike after another, and always Japanese made.

Here are my quick impressions. A full video review will be coming and it will be launched on my youtube channel at http://youtube.com/drivingvancouver I'm a car enthusiast with my own reviews site and will branch out into bike reviews this year and what better way to start than with my own MV!

Ergonomics: for my 5'7/133lb frame, simply superb. The reach and the sweep-back of the bars, their relationship to the seat and the foot pegs are all absolutely spot on for me. Perfect rider triangle. My usual complaint with non-sportbikes is that bars are too high. This Dragster keeps them low and also gives you bars that are WIDE, which combined with the forward riding position provides the rider with enormous leverage over the front end. At low speeds it is effortless like a mountain bicycle. Also, there is a sense that the centre of gravity is very low, much lower than a 600 supersport, which adds to this feeling of effortlessness and lightness over the front end. Such a refreshing change from the top-heavy, narrow-handlebar feel of a modern sportbike. Ergonomically, it feels much better than the regular Brutale 800.*

Chassis: Given my weight, the default suspension set up is not quite right. It feels like it needs someone heavier to compress the suspension and get it working. However, in spite of this, what I've felt so far was quite impressive. The chassis is exceedingly nimble, very adjustable and happy to lean. For me, having the right ergonomics on a bike goes a long way towards making a chassis feel right and the perfect ergos on the Dragster definitely helps to make it turn. However, the front end does feel a tad light at higher speeds and does not button itself down the way sportbikes do. I need more time in the saddle to fully comment but suffice to say, I am happy with what I feel so far.

Motor/Driveline: The triple is a new experience for me. It doesn't have the turbine-like refinement and polish of a Honda-4, nor does it have the brawly, ragged thump-thumpiness of a Ducati Twin. It's kind of it's own animal, but leans more towards the raw and unfiltered end of the spectrum. I do enjoy the power delivery though. Very torquey and effortless even at low revs. Haven't really got a chance to see how it feels at the upper registers of the tachometer travel. The quick shifter is a revelation. This is my first bike with a quick shift, and it reminded me of the Porsche PDK transmissions I experienced on the 911 and Caymans which I reviewed. Shifts are a mechanical snap with no interruption to power delivery. Wow.

Refinement: It cannot match a Honda 600 or 1000 sportbike for chassis or driveline refinement. However, it is more raw, more feelsome and more alive. It's the age old balance of rawness versus isolation. Do you want a refined machine that feels like an appliance, or do you want a mechanical firecracker which feels a bit crude? This bike leans closer to the firecracker.

Looks/Details/Fit and Finish: The Dragster's looks are stunning. Its appearance in the metal is everything I expected from the press photos and more. The short tail, the sexy Diavel-style rear fender with bright LED signals, the handlebar mirrors (which are unexpectedly functional), the wide and low bars, and the wide tank. Combined, these elements give the feeling of compact, muscular aggression. Kind of like a Bumblebee from the Transformers or a grey mechanical pit bull. The Dragster oozes with virility; its styling a mixture of potency and tension. Fit and finish are very decent but not quite at modern Honda/Yamaha levels of surgical precision. I'm happy with it. It's an exotic, not a Honda/Yamaha.

Summary/Value for Money: No buyer's remorse just yet, but given its exclusivity (mine is the first in BC and only one of 6 in Canada right now) jumping on this bike seemed to be the only option. My other consideration was the Panigale 899 but I see those bikes almost daily (in their various displacement and trims). The Dragster comes with superb ergonomics, great handling and a raw, satisfying triple engine. Add to this beautiful -- no, sensational -- looks and a brilliant quick shifter and I think this is a bike I see myself keeping around for some time.

*The Dragster feels quite different ergonomically from the Brutale 800 on which it's based. Different seat, different bars which combined produce a very different riding feel. Sit on them back-to-back and the differences are obvious. Visually, I find the Dragster far better resolved as a design.

Ok, on with the photos.















 

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And another happy Dragster owner, congrats !:yo:
 

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Thanks for the review, nice one.
One thing really botheres me about the dragster is the all the visible electrical cables, i think they could have done better in this department....
And the fact that on my first short ride today, it was cut even shorter when i lost my shifter lever!!!!!!
Came about to down shift and nothing under my foot....
Stopped on the side to find the shifter dangling downwards!!! The screw that holds it with the quickshifter shaft had gone..... Went in Mc Guiver mode, was able to put it in first and ride home...
Bad luck.... So guys check ur bolts and nuts.....
Cheers
 

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Thanks for the review, nice one.
One thing really botheres me about the dragster is the all the visible electrical cables, i think they could have done better in this department....
And the fact that on my first short ride today, it was cut even shorter when i lost my shifter lever!!!!!!
Came about to down shift and nothing under my foot....
Stopped on the side to find the shifter dangling downwards!!! The screw that holds it with the quickshifter shaft had gone..... Went in Mc Guiver mode, was able to put it in first and ride home...
Bad luck.... So guys check ur bolts and nuts.....
Cheers
Hahahahaha, I've had the same problem with my left signal light.
Dangling on the cable at the traffic light :)
 

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what do you think about this?
is yours the same?
My Brutale 800 is a little bit better but the black connector with yellow cables is still visible. There is little room on the backside of the frame, a bit of a birds nest. I can't figure out a way to make it invisible.
 

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Whats up with the yellow wires? The F3 has black wires and connectors that are a lot less obvious to the eye. Do you think they just ran out of the black? Seems like the all the small things like the wires etc change every year...
 

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Yeah no place behind the frame to hide those things.
Something that made me laugh is the Owner's manual referring to the none existing underseat space as glove compartment, where i should find the tools for the shock, these tools were handed to me by the dealer, u can't even fit ur registration papers under the seat!
 

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It was quite refreshing to find some space under the seat of my Brutale 800 after 6 years of virtually none with my last two bikes :laughing:
 

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It was quite refreshing to find some space under the seat of my Brutale 800 after 6 years of virtually none with my last two bikes :laughing:
It easily fits three cans of beer. :naughty:
I have a selection of allen wrenches and a socket wrench with all kinds of sockets in there. Finally after all these years of not wiping my butt i'm able to carry some toiletpaper without the fear of catching fire. :jsm:
 
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