When Captain Nandu Chitnis posted an invitation to test ride his P220, on BikeNomads forum, in few minutes the plan was made to ride to Mutha on 23rd Oct early morning.
At 6:15am the ride to Mutha started with me on CBZ and Praveen Shirali and Captain on the P220, all dressed up for the occasion. After a few breaks to cherish the beautiful sunrise we reached the twisties of Mutha.
After a break of few minutes, it was the test time. So first Praveen went on the 220 to ride in the Mutha twisties. After a couple of runs on the bike, it was my time to swing a leg over the bike. Two runs later, the best test ride I have ever had, we called it a day and headed off towards city where people would be getting into their daily routine.
Ok enough of story, coming to the real part of it. The riding impression.
First impression As I sat on the bike, the front fairing gave a big bike feeling. Though the saddle height was not too tall. Initially my left hand went looking for fuel tap and right leg was searching for the kick lever Well just turn the key and after a few seconds press the right thumb and bike will come into life. No worrying about putting the fuel tap to ON position, etc.
Also can someone please either remove those RVM’s or put them in a more useful manner?
Brakes As I started the bike, first thing I checked out were brakes. After all I didn’t want to go so fast that I might not be able to stop in time The brakes are one of the best I have experienced. So there goes my worry of being not able to stop the bike in time.
Performance We were not at Bonneville so I just got time to check the acceleration and roll on’s. Bike is quick to reach ~90 on speedo, which is very accurate when compared with GPS. (Max I managed was 91 on speedo and GPS registered 89.6). In roll on’s you need to be at revs in access of 5k to get a good roll on feel, below that somehow I was not happy with the performance.
One thing that I noticed though was that somehow at higher revs bike was not giving the feel of having around 20 horses under your seat.
Handling A good set of twisties is the best place to test the on tarmac handling of the bike and hence we were at the right place testing the bike. Probably due to the longer wheelbase and fatter tyres the bike felt a bit slow in turning in, this I noticed after I went back on CBZ. One more thing which I noticed was that, riding first time, I was not at so much ease as I was on Apache (when I rode it for the first time, at the same location).
Another minor issue with handling was the tyre. Under hard braking and down shifting at the same time, the rear made squealing sound, similar to Apache’s rear but unlike Apache’s rear, it didn’t do out of line.
Regarding other parameters like riding comfort, mileage, etc, well its better to ask the owner of the bike who has spend more time with the bike.
All in all, it was a nice way to start your day. Looking forward to more such mornings.
Thanks to Captain Nandu Chitnis for letting us test ride his 220.