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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been riding my mean streak every day now for the last two weeks, about 520 miles now. My first bike is a 2003 Honda Shadow 750 ACE which I have for sale, but contemplating keeping it. Anyway, the honda is very mellow and easy going. Doesn't like to go too fast and would need mods for comfortable highway speeds. Extremely comfortable for city cruising.

My first impression of the mean streak was it's obvious power increase from the Honda. Couldn't stop grinning for a few days! A little scary for the first couple of hours, but got the hang of it right away. It actually feels lighter even though it is about 100 punds heavier. Performance and stoping power just don't compare. This meannie stops on a dime and corners like it's on rails. Very solid feel.

This bike gets really hot! Compared to the Honda, the meannie is blowing a lot of really hot air up my thighs. So much so, that I called my dealer asking him if this was normal. He said that yes, compared to the 750 Honda, it is much hotter, but compared to other 1600's or big bikes, it is about the same. Bigger engine, more heat. Not a problem while riding in the freeway, but hot riding stoplight to stoplight. I guess I'll get used to it.

I did not have a problem with the hydrolic clutch, other than my hand would get tired after a while of riding around the streets. The friction zone is way smaller than the Honda. The Honda has a friction zone that goes for days, but on the mean streak it seems like it is only about an inch or two. Something that I am still getting used to.

The Honda is chain drive and the meannie is shaft. BIG difference. I did feel the drivetrain lash. I like to ease off the throttle and downshift, if you will, as I come to a stop. This was easy with the chain drive, but with the shaft I get bumped back and forth. Don't get me wrong, it is not a drastic lash, but enough that I could feel an obvious difference. I have learned that it is a matter of throttle control. Before, I would roll off the throttle pretty fast, but now I have to ease off it slowly so that, as the coupler disengages - engages, it does not slap, but allows for a smooth transition. A little clutch control also helps. I know that everyone rides a bit different, but this is how I have adjusted for my riding style.

In the first few miles of riding, I hear and audiable "Chirp" However, after the first few miles, it goes away. I hope it doesn't develope into something more, and from what I have read, most meannie owners have similar noises. I have also felt the slight buzz around 30-35 mph range. I put up a seperate post on this topic.

This bike loves to be reved up! During the break in period I have taken it past the 3K rpm limit but not beyon 4K. I have gotten on the freway and accelerated fast through all gears going past 3K rpms on each gear. Man does this bike accelerate! Very smooth. Hope this helps the rings set in nicely and provide lifelong awsome acceleration.

I have heard other small noises coming from engine. For now I am just assuming that they are normal noises that this particular bike makes. I will ask lots of questions about this when she goes in for the first 600 mile check up.

Sorry for the long post. Let me know if you guys have any questions. Will put a follow up post after the check up.

Tony
 

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Tony, I've racked up over 600 miles on my blue 2004 meanstreak. Yeah, I like it a lot. Just so much rain and I never want to get caught in rain.

There's is drive lash and everything else you described, but no chirp. Just drives and drives. My hands also become tired after about 30 minutes, weird.

I came of an SV650 and the transition was more extreme than your transition from your honda. However, I used to have a VLX600 and there is considerable difference between my old Honda and the meanstreak. Like you said, the Honda doesn't cruise well. My SV, however had even more drive lash, jerking me at every gear shift. So even though the meanie has drive lash, there's not as much drive lash.

It is well balance and build confidence quickly. I'm a small guy and was a bit nervous about slow speed maneuvering, but after a few hours, like you said, my nerves eased and it became a joy to ride. In fact, it's the most well balanced and easy bike I've ridden yet.

It's not quick though. I'm sure everyone says that. Coming from a sport bike, this thing is actually slow. But, hey, it's a cruiser!

Enjoy your ride and post often so we can exchange stories. Will be taking it in soon for the 600 mile break-in checkup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the comments. I just got my meannie back from the first 600 mile service. After a few questions to the mechanic that worked on my meannie this is what I learned...

The oil looked normal, no major chunks of stuff and filter looked normal too. He pulled out a spark plug and did not see any signs of cabon deposits. Everything looked clean and normal in there. The bike was put together well from the dealer I bought it from because there was nothing loose and everthing was well lubricated. He mentioned that the engine was running strong and had good acceleration. Needless to say, I was very happy :D

Another dealer I talked to wanted to adjust and/or synchronize the throttle body. One said that this had to get done and they had to remove the gas tank to do this. Of course they wanted more money for this service. The mechanic at the dealer I actually took it to said that this was not part of the service. He told me that after talking with me he called Kawasaki and they told him that the throttle body should not be touched. There is a gasket or something, don't remember the tech wording, that is sealed from the factory and can be compromised is someone starts messing with the throttle body. I am happy I did not take it to the first dealer I called.

The meannie seems to have settled down. It is running a lot smoother than before. Don't notice the vibes any more. Either I just rev right through them or just got used to them. She seems to be more at ease between 2500 and 3500 rpms. Consequently, this is the same range I feel the most power surge, well .. more at the upper end of the range. She doesn't like to be below 2000 rpms. If I get below 2100 or so, I down shift. It may not be good for gas milage, but I know it is good for the engine. Gotta keep that oil pressure. I am getting about 34-36 mpg and I hope that this improves.

Last night I took it out about 10:30 pm. It was about 72 degrees F here in Cali, the moon was out, the freeway was pretty much empty and I did not want to go back home... :D

Ride Safe... Tony
 

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Scraped a peg yet? :wink: They are great bikes, aren't they? I've got close to 3,000 miles on mine, and I've loved every minute. No problems or weird noises, except the valves chatter a little - the dealer warned me up front that they would. The riding position makes a bit of a sail out of you, so I got a windshield pretty early on (also helps a lot when riding in colder weather). The Memphis Shades 15" Slim looks pretty sharp on the bike.

Bushmeal, I've got the Kuryakyn Iso-Grips on mine too. They're a little fatter than stock, so I had to adjust to a longer reach for the levers, but they look nice and feel good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yes I scrapped my peg for the first time the other day. :shock: I wan't going that fast, but man, it sure scared the sh*t out of me. It was a right hand turn at an intersection. Pretty big intersection and traffic travels at about 40-45 mph. I made the turn a bit to fast, so I leaned the bike more than I have to stay in line. Next thing I know I am scrapping the peg. At first it shocked me, but as I came off the turn I sudenly had a extremly large smile on my face... :D Gotta love the meannie
 

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yeah, i'm not sure if anyone has experienced this but my centerstand has it's tang on the left obviously and I went around a corner and hit the tang before I hit the peg, kinda scared me considering I looked down for a millisecond and say the metal spark :)

Anyways, I'm not sure if it's standard but my driver pegs move up but can't lock into the bike, this is so that if they do decide to scrape they can move up and allow me to go down even farther without just twisting the bike and sending me flying
 

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Morning, Gentlemen...

I just bought a blue '04 Meanie on Friday, July 30th (today being August 6th). So far I have close to 700 miles on her, and she's scheduled for initial service this coming Saturday.

This is my third bike....my previous one being a 1984 Honda Nighthawk 700SC, and the one before that was a 1978 Honda CX500. I thought the transition would be hard, since I love cornering and going fast, but the only thing I had to get used to was the semi-forward controls. Other than that she's well balanced and the sportbike spec tires inspire me to scrape the pegs on a regular basis! :wink:

Last night I installed the Kawasaki semi-hardened vinyl bags (with necessary fender struts and supports) as well as the engine guards. Both were a bit of a pain in the ass, but they both look really good if you take your time and get 'em on right. Tonight I'll be installing the Kawasaki windshield, billet light bar, and studded tank bra. I'll also be ordering this seat as well as this matching fender bib. I may switch out the Kawasaki studded tank bra for this one from Mustang, because I like the looks better (it's more slender). I'll probably offer up the Kawasaki part on eBay, if anyone's interested (hell, I may not even install it at all and offer it up still in the packaging).

After all that's done, I plan to cut the bottom half of the license plate tail piece off. I will then invert the plate's mounting bracket and bolt it on where the license plate light is now. I will then mount a small LED up under the rear lip of the fender to stay legal. This is a solution I have arrived at due to the rediculous cost of the other two alternatives I have found in the aftermarket.

Okay, now a question regarding exhaust....

I would like to get a nice aftermarket air intake (one of the Thunder series most likely) and either a Cobra Lo-Boy Shotgun exhaust or the Hard Krome 3" straights. I have read quite a bit about the different fuel processors available, but I continue to run across differing opinions. Have any of you had any success with any of these products? I'm leaning towards this one from Cobra due to its relatively simplistic approach...but then again I am no fuel-injection expert, and I certainly do not wish to destroy my engine.

Thanks in advance for any info.....and keep the rubber side down!
 

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Exhaust

We just installed a set of Hardkrome 2.5 strippers on a 2004 Mean Streak with a Hypercharger and have done so on several Kawasaki bikes and models without using a power commander, we get great power increase and no problems. 8)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi ZooTech and welcome! Congratulations on the new meannie! Don't forget to post pictures up on the "show Off" forum. As for performance increase, I am leanning towards the Power comander III, Tornado Performance Air Kit from Thuder manufacturing and the 2-1 Megaphone from Muzzy. From what I have been reading, this combo gives great results. It may be a month or two before I do this upgrade. When I do, I like to get it on a dyno to get the before and after numbers. Ride safe.

Tony

Here is the muzzy site:
http://www.muzzys.com/catalog/cruiser_exs.html

Popular pipes compared. Not all though, but still a good article.
http://www.motorcyclecruiser.com/accessoriesandgear/pipe03/index.html
 

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Hello All,

Well I installed the billet light bar and windshield on my '04 Meanie. The billet light bar is a definate enhancement, both safety-wise and looks wise. However, if anyone is contemplating buying the Kawasaki windshield......don't! I had it on all of two hours and took it right back off. The name "Wind Shield" carries with it a few basic and reasonable expectations.....such as the concept that it might, in fact, shield one from the wind. Instead this thing would be best described as a wind amplifier, as I fought to see clearly through my sunglasses which were receiving a serious and unwarranted ass-kicking!

Anyway.....

I've had the bike now for ten days and have just under 1100 miles on her. I changed the oil for the first time at 803 miles (on Saturday) and went with Mobil 1 20w50, as per the shop's recommendations. Immediately after changing the oil the lifters on the rear cylinder developed a ticking noise. Needless to say that's the last time I assume the guys working around motorcycles every single day know more about oil than I do. I will be replacing it with the proper 10w40 post haste. What bothers me the most is that according to the owner's manual I am well within the temperature range to use 20w50 if I want to.....but it must be too thick for the oil pump to pass it around and still have enough pressure for the rear lifters.....so I guess 10w40 will be all I use from now on. Live and learn......

Today I will attempt to return the windshield and the unopened studded tank bib (I bought a better one through Mustang) and exchange them for a kick-ass leather jacket I tried-on while I was there the last time. Wish me luck!
 

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I had the same experience with the F/S medium windsheild for my classic. The dealer installed it and I was back there twenty minutes later so they could take it back off. I ended up buying the Rifle windsheild and have been very happy with it. Some people like the Memphis Shades too. Take a look at my bike in the photo section- the Rifle is the biggest one you can get for the bike, but I'm not sure how that would go with the Meanie styling though.

Phatboy
 

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Phatboy said:
I had the same experience with the F/S medium windsheild for my classic. The dealer installed it and I was back there twenty minutes later so they could take it back off. I ended up buying the Rifle windsheild and have been very happy with it. Some people like the Memphis Shades too. Take a look at my bike in the photo section- the Rifle is the biggest one you can get for the bike, but I'm not sure how that would go with the Meanie styling though.

Phatboy
Thanks for the info.

I spoke with the dealer earlier today and they said they could not return the windshield because it had been mounted. I said that was a rediculous policy since I would never know the windshield sucked until it was mounted, but now I'm stuck with it. How do you go about selling a windshield with 2-hours of use on eBay without giving away the reason? :?
 

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Zootech - Finding a windshield was the most challenging accessory I bought (so far) for my motorcycle. I bought three different Memphis Shades windshields before I found one that worked for me. I have the Pop Top, which is a smaller one, but it blocks a good amount of the wind and it doesn't feel like it's frantically whipping my head like the other ones. I got some good and well-meaning advise from people regarding which windshield to get, but ultimately I think it comes down to trial and error. Part of the difficulty is that the best windshield depends on a particular person's size, height, how they sit on the bike, etc.

I guess my point is that if you want a windshield you should keep trying - but find a dealer whose willing to take back the windshield if it doesn't work out. I'm fortunate because my dealership was completely cool about it.

Also, if you decide to sell it on e-bay or somewhere else, I don't think it's a bad thing to simply say it didn't work for you. It might work for someone else. I've read reviews where some people liked the F/S shield. On the other hand it can be difficult though, because you don't want them coming back to you if they don't like it. Not a totally easy situation I guess....
 

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Well....I listed it on eBay. I simply said, "Different people are different....and this windshield doesn't suit me".

Hopefully, someone will come along who will take a chance on it and it'll work better for them based on their height and inseam.
 
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