My Honda Silverwing 600 ABS 2006 Scooter Review
(Monrovia, Maryland, USA)
On way to Mid Atlantic Scooter Rally
I am 5'10" with a 30 inch inseam and 230 lbs. I thought I would post a review of my Honda Silverwing scooter to share my experiences with it.
I bought my Silverwing used with 10,250 miles on it in Nov. 2010 right after I got my motorcycle license. Rode it home and winterized it. $3,800 but the guy threw in a rear seat pack (briefcase size with special bungees), rain gear, pair of shoes (really great comfy just over the ankle shoes), one shorty helmet and HTC IS-33 (3/4 with sunshade) I actually wear, bike weather cover, fancy bungee cords (yes, that is important...), GPS mount, original windshield along with a Givi 214DT, and new front tire and rear tire.
The state inspection failed it due to the rear tire being dry rotted so I handed them the new tire and paid $100 for them to mount it. You have to plan on the inspection station getting their cut.Like:
- Plenty of power get up and go. I love that I can just twist and the bike jumps up and goes, without doing a wheelie but plenty of acceleration for getting on the highway, etc.
I have run on the highway at 85 on the speedometer (it lies by 5 mph) and was still not red lined. I routinely run 5-10 miles on I-270 at 65-70 real mph.
- Weight: The center of gravity is low so even though it is a 500 lb bike, I could pick it up the time I dropped it at a stop light (pay attention and don't stop while leaned over in a turn...) When I stop in a turn I can muscle the bike to stay up... And I can wiggle it back and forth easily.
- Rear and side stands: I find it reasonable to put up on the rear stand though some people complain - it just takes a little technique - stand on the rear stand arm and lift by the passenger handle. The side stand is fine when I am lazy and is used most of the time.
- Maneuverable and very responsive. Once I learned not to steer with my ass but to use the handle bars the bike became really easy to steer into turns. Before that I had a tough time getting it to lean by shifting my weight but a tiny push forward on the handlebars turns me towards that side. A bit counter intuitive but works great. It is so responsive and the Pirelli tires seem to hold really well so I feel like I am riding a sports bike. Lately I am finding myself running 10-20 mph over the speed limit on the local back country roads. (I really have to stop that....)
Also, when I leaned the bike over too far at slow speed in a parking lot turning the steering into the turn bounced it back to vertical.
- Pretty comfortable. I've done 125 miles in one trip and was not hurting at the end. Actually less stiff than 2.5 hrs in the car. I can put my feet forward, at right angles like I was in a chair or almost right under me. I can even stand a little going over rough roads though it feels small for that. Seat is well padded and soft.
- Roomy: I love the underseat storage. I got a pair of saddle bags at Wal-Mart for $40 which is a steal - have not seen them there since... Just those and the underseat storage let me go on an overnight trip with stuff to spare and buy 2 large lidded beer steins. I did not bother taking the rear seat brief case pack.
- Seems reliable. I did an oil change and have no leaks etc. It has been run on back roads and highway for 2500 miles now.
- Great Support site: www.Silverwing600.com. Lots of owners with excellent input and advice on maintenance, gizmos, riding. It's great to have someone to talk to and ask questions.
- Maintainable by owner (I think). You can get a manual and the Silverwing600 forums have lots of advice. What I have done so far seemed simple.
- Rear shocks are adjustable. I reset mine to 3 which seems OK for my weight.
- ABS Brakes: Tried them on gravel and they worked great. Gives me confidence when riding fast.
- 51-53 mpg: Despite my running 70 mph for half my commute.Don't like:
- Rattle: The bike has a lot of tupperware and when I rev it from a stop it often rattles a little. I plan to put foam tape along cracks when I take tupperware off for maintenance and mods.
- A little too maneuverable/responsive: Now that I know how to make it turn just a little push on the handlebars makes it turn almost too much. I sometimes start to over steer, taking a turn too sharp and need to come up a little.
It's a rider skill but I find it a little bit disconcerting how easy it
is to turn. When I rode motorcycles with larger wheels, I had to push harder to turn and that felt more stable and comfortable. On the other hand it is fun to zig and zag.
- Buffeting at high speed: This is really not a Swing thing but an issue with the windshield. The after market Givi creates a suction that causes wind to come in from behind and rattle my brain.
I added Vetter vents that help move the wind wrap back a little giving a slightly bigger calm spot. I also find that I reduce buffeting by moving forward on the seat or leaning forward but that is less comfortable.
Oh, and closing the face shield all the way really helps the helmet aerodynamics. I am looking at upgrading to a Scorpion modular helmet. I tried removing the windshield totally but that put too much air on my chest.
I need to find the original windshield (misplaced it!) and am thinking of trying a Givi Airflow windshield or airfoil. So... not a Swing issue but a bike in general issue. Other bikes have the same issue and the windshield aftermarket business is going strong...
- Seat a little too narrow. I have a fat butt... I've been sitting on a lot of motorcycles and find most are uncomfortable. My favorites have big wide padded seats - but are big bikes. The Burgman scooter has a bigger seat... strangely the KLR 650, Versys and V-Storm all seemed comfortable. I can contemplating adding a gel pad.
- Lack of adjustable front shocks. When I sit on the bike the front shocks compress quite a bit. Happens on all other bikes so losing a few lbs would help... or adjustable shocks... There are aftermarket progressive shocks people are recommending for a couple hundred $.
- Clearance: The bike has low ground clearance. I have bottomed out on a speed bump (lightly).
- No off road capability: The tires practically have no tread and a slight goose to the gas makes the bike want to slide out from under me in grass.
I do ride it through my lawn when turning around but have to be very careful. I want an off road capability - like a crossover motorcycle. i.e. ride the highway 2 hrs then off road on fire roads and horse trails.
I am considering a KLR 650 or V Storm or Versys as a second bike for this. On the other hand the Swing is so nice since it has no gears I am likely to want to keep it for the work commute.
- Highway confidence: OK, I am a new rider as of this spring with 2500 miles. I am now riding the bike on I-270 at high speed and feeling pretty confident... but not as confident as I would like to feel.
I am not sure if it is the small scooter wheels or high maneuverability or light weight thought the bike tracks well and feels quite stable. Someone told me a KLR 650 has issues on the highway when trucks pass due to it's light weight so I wonder if that is part of it.
I only feel a little buffeting when passing trucks or getting passed but a stiff (20 mph) cross wind seems to catch the windshield a bit and I have to compensate - I think that is pretty normal.
So... I am not sure why but I feel a little uncomfortable on the highway at 75 mph and would like a more "large car like" feel. I suspect that a Goldwing... well, OK a Burgman might also be better for highway cruising since it is a little heavier.
I am doing the almost 10 miles trip on the highway a couple times a week and I feel like I want just a little more... BTW, I hit 60-65 on the back roads without trouble and it feels fine - like I said earlier - sporty. The bike loves 30-60 mph. My highway issues are an undefined gut feeling.Overall:
It was a really good choice for a starter bike but might be a tiny bit too small for my fat frame. I rode a Burgman and it was a bit more luxurious - wider and softer seat, slightly more leg room going forward.
On the other hand it felt heavier and not as sporty and if I stop in a lean it would likely go over. I am not sure which I prefer. The Burgman for long distance highway cruising and the Swing for my commute to work?
My ideal bike would be a Swing with a fat seat and 17 or even 21 inch wheels, 6+ inches of ground clearance and lots of skid plates ....
Good chance I will be looking at adding a gel seat or Corbin seat and Givi Airflow windshield and hanging on to the bike for many miles / years. It may not be my only bike but likely to be a favorite ride when I am not in a hurry on the highway.
A battery tender like the Battery Tender Jr. can make all the difference in whether your scooter will start right up each spring, after being stored for months.
Just about every scooter owner needs to have a battery tender, sometimes called a trickle charger. Unless you are lucky enough to live in a climate where you can ride all year long, chances are your scooter will be put on ice, figuratively-speaking, for at least a couple months every winter.
One of the key steps in winterizing a scooter is to protect your battery from draining during its "rest" period. This can – and will – happen if you leave your battery sitting untended in your cold scooter over the winter, even if it's in a garage or shed.