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Hello you lot, I've just introduced myself as I'm soon to collect my first thumper, & am itching to find out what the mystique is about this type of bike (2001 FX Vigor).

I've had a few different types of bike over the years, but I've always fancied a thumper, for its simplicity and character, plus I can see myself as ogri from the introduction to petrolheads! (what happened to those ogri stickered helmets around a few years ago?)

My question is what is so special about these bikes & why do most of you guys have more than one of them, are they addictive? Is anyone prepared to try to explain it?

Thanks, old(ish)jack
 

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for me i love off roading all off roaders are singles thats it for me oh and the sound
 

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Old jack, old john here.. how ye doin,,, so yeve finaly got yersel a thumper...... well theres a few things.. first its a single, easy tae work on if its a carb model, its got a thump, thump, thump, feeling when riding it, it has gobs o torque, especially in the 650 model, what else can a say, there will be a few after me adding to this... they look great, especially in the trail version basic an simple look, nice lines but thats in the bike ye choose... everys bike looks something tae the owner.... their a plodder,,, theres nae chance om hittin the ton an losing yer licence in a hurry an without knowing it.. as its vibey...a luv them :thumbup: :blob2:
 

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Go down the motorway on a twin or bigger and it sits smooth, go there on a thumper and it rattles your bones. Go down a B road on both and the thumper will make you smile as it punches out the bends. Its lighter slower (sometimes) but more fun, mind not to everybodies taste:blob3:
Its a bit like driving a Mini.. your not going any faster , possibly a far bit slower but its the smile it brings to your face doing it. Character:thumbup:
 

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SHW'MAE BUTT
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Go down the motorway on a twin or bigger and it sits smooth, go there on a thumper and it rattles your bones. Go down a B road on both and the thumper will make you smile as it punches out the bends. Its lighter slower (sometimes) but more fun, mind not to everybodies taste:blob3:
Its a bit like driving a Mini.. your not going any faster , possibly a far bit slower but its the smile it brings to your face doing it. Character:thumbup:
Second that they make you smile all day.:thumbright::thumbright:
 

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For me it is the grin factor. Right gear, yank on the throttle and there is a distinct "pin-pulled" feeling as the bike lunges forward. Accelerating out of corners is very addictive.

I also like the bottom end grunt. Flying starts are so easy and satisfying, unlike having to clutch slip on a four.

Loads of character, nimble and cheaper to maintain on a more practical front...
 

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was out on mine the day there... GREAT, fartin an bangin down the road wi a single loudish can on, it sounds liek an old army bike...as someone says above.. the smothness of a twin or a four is nice but a single does it fur me... wind on a 650 four when yer down at 30mph an ye`l get a miss kinda thing fur about 3/4 seconds then it`l start tae chug up tae a decent speed... in the single depatment.. ye have power when ye need it th esplit second ye gie it a hand:blob8:ful.................
 

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Loomesy
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If you get a dommie or something similar, make sure your first ride is down one of your most twisty and favourite lanes, and it will leave you astounded!
It shouldn't do what it can do on those skinny little tyres, then should you wish to go off roading it'll do a bit of that, it'll sit at a motorway at 80 all day, touring will leave you with a sore arse but its still do-able, and all the while will return 45-55mpg, never fail to start, every ride becomes an event and you'll have a smile on your face all the time, plus watch gsxr riders disappear in your mirrors as they clatter around on their stiffly sprung, 10000000 miles an hour waste of money....

In other words....ENJOY!!! :thumbup:
 

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I agree with most of what's been said; but I don't think they have enough power to take on fast M-way traffic, top end acceleration just isn't there and I don't find the vibes comfortable for constant high-rev cruising.:(

Stick to the A's and B's.:thumbup:
 

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Bloody furriner
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Agreed.

The dommie is pretty much out of go at 70. Less, if you've got a headwind or going uphill. It'll do 80 or even 90, but with patience.

Okay, my 15 stone aerodynamics may have something to do with that, but still. Ever tried to tuck down behind the screen of a dommie at 6'5"? Chin on the dials, feet on the passenger pegs, chest on the cross-bar? Scary stuff. ;-)
 

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yes.. i aggree as well 70 is fine,,, with a head wind it can be a hassel hittin 80 or above,,, but fur most o the time its all about the Fun gettin there.......chug chug bang fart blurb chug bang this is what mine does especialy wi ma GPR can on... blat blurb chug fart bang, bang blurp fart bang chug fart bang blurb man is this the buisness ,, jist wit the doctor oredered,, as bikes are supposed tae be like.. cheap an cheerful an the workin mans iron horse...................bang chug fart blurb:thumbup:
 

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As ELO once said, It's A Living Thing! No other type of Motorcycle is quite so visceral. All the fun you need, and still legal in Gestapo Britain.
 

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Bloody furriner
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Indeed. Having a blast on the backroads at 50-60 mph all day, the twistier the merrier, thoroughly enjoying life (mostly :roll:) within the speed limits, harassing guys on gixxers busy with their 3rd turn-in this corner, you know the type. ;-)

The fun in a thumper is that it's light, it hasn't got too much power, and what it has you can pretty much let rip unashamedly, most of the time.
 

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a th8ink this says it all what we`re all wantin tae say,,, its a long read but if yer not doin anything fur 5 mins. this is fur you.. especially old jack...:thumbup:


Tarn not a lover of big singles, I apart from their ability to X make nice noises and, in the case of big trail bikes, their immense comfort and practicality for local journeys.
Attempt long journeys and the limitations of the engine soon become apparent. All the world and his wife go thundering past, closely followed by their entire estate packed into a removal truck. You open the throttle at 80mph to find that it is already open.
Attempt a muddy trail and the limitations of the chassis make themselves very clear. Big trail bikes are easy to ride into deep ruts but they are less than easy to ride out again.
Honda's NX650 Dominator goes quite a long way to change all that. I regard it as an honorary twin, although maybe that has got more to do with its name and the fact that Honda have put two large exhaust cans under its tail. Or maybe it's psychological, in the same way that I remain firmly convinced that the Transalp has a shaft drive.
The best thing about the Dominator is that, compared to other big trail bikes, it feels no more cumbersome than a 250, while keeping the grand luxury of a forty inch seat height and several metres of suspension travel. On this machine you could contemplate serious trail riding.
And it makes nice noises, two at a time from the unequal-length, twin stainless system. It is perfect for riding to work, zipping into town, strapping shopping to the back rack, which sits flush with the seat and so can handle quite bulky items.
Its performance is on a par with other big trailers — 90-odd sitting up, and 80-odd is often a struggle when the elements and bulky oversuits combine against the 37 horsepower bike plus the aerodynamics of a brick with large air scoops all over it. It hit 105.5mph during our top speed runs, but it was so deep into the red that it wouldn't do the engine much good to ride like that for very long. Perhaps we should try raising the gearing by a tooth or two — it is certainly flexible enough to pull it. One of the nicest features is the thump which comes in at 4500 — although the rider feels it best when he opens the throttle just above 3000 and the motor cracks on to the increasing part of the torque curve where wheelies start to get a bit exponential.
Below this speed, around 2000 to 3000rpm, it goes through a really chunky vibration period which shakes the bodywork from side to side like a terrier grappling with the first rat of the day. Honda have prepared themselves for this and have mounted the plastic on things that look like flexible rubber rawlplugs. So it all flaps about without doing itself any mischief. If rats had been developed by the Japanese, terriers would be out of business by now.
Actually it wasn't completely devoid of vibratory problems. Within a couple of weeks, both rear indicator mounts had broken. The indicator stalks are mounted on a central screw, with a little peg which presumably stops the indicator from twisting. The pegs disappeared, which may have been caused by vibration because the nuts loosened off as well, or it may have been caused by people putting bungees around the indicator stalks because the holes in the rear carrier are the wrong shape.
The only other damage it suffered was some broken rear plastic when Sarah got a bit over-enthusiastic and rear-ended Fiona. Or it could have been the other way round (that's enough of that, Editor). Otherwise the old Norton has proven itself to be eminently crashproof. Or rather, Mark proved it at Three Sisters when he turned a half-Freddie into a full Sarron on the way out of turn ten. And not a mark on it, ho ho. In its 10,000 mile career, the Dominator has probably done more miles on race tracks than it has on trails. It crossed the Pennines on a largely off-road route, and it spent a practice day at Mallory, where it wasn't the slowest machine on the track and where Mark managed to scrape the paint off the footrest hangers. ("If you can ground a big trail bike then you are either fat or clever", P. Comely, 1989, expert on big trail bikes and owner of several refrigerators).
We picked the bike up with 8,000-odd miles on the clock this year, but a close look at the sump plug revealed it to be the very same machine that we tested last year. The mechanic who serviced it must have wondered why a trail bike would come back with its sump plug lock-wired. The answer is that it had just come fourth in a hill climb immediately after two days of getting up to its waist in Yorkshire mud, racing a Trans-alp across the Cat and Fiddle and doing half a dozen laps of Oliver's Mount. All on the same tyres.
The OE Dunlops actually work very well and their wet grip is good, too. The only problem was that they showed a tendency to slide very suddenly when the bike was well banked over. I suppose that it was predictable in the sense that it was inevitable; but it was unpredictable in the sense that you never knew when.
The first test (Oct 88) proved that it was the most versatile of the big trailers, even if it was slower than the Transalp. The second test is demonstrating its versatility over a long term. It has now put 2000 more miles on to its very varied total; more race tracks, more motorways but mostly general commuting — all without incident, apart from the morning when the Honda wouldn't start. We tried all the usual things — pretending to ignore it, creeping up on it suddenly, pushing it up and down the road and then we found the cure. This involved fetching a CBR and using it to tow the Dominator to the nearest dealer. The dealer put the spark plug lead back on and all was well.
(Editor's note: quite why the Technical Editor of the most revered magazine in the UK should be unable to locate a loose HT lead is something which provided much entertainment for the rest of the week).
(Technical Editor's note: the reason is simple. Being towed down a bumpy road behind a CBR looked like being more fun than getting at the spark plug buried somewhere deep inside the Dominator. You'd need to be a gynaecologist to even contemplate changing it).
Ride comfort, handling, braking, midrange grunt are all pretty good. Pillioning isn't too bad but the extra suspension travel does some weird things to the steering. It feels nice to sit on, there are a few quality touches and, after 10,000 miles the whole thing feels free and loose. The only regular complaint is that the main tank runs out at about 95 miles.
Perhaps the best thing about it is the light, positive handling which is perfect for back roads and for heavy traffic. It has revised my opinion of big singles, but I'm not fully convinced that 37 horsepower is enough...
Source Performance Bike 1989
 

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Agreed.

The dommie is pretty much out of go at 70.
yes.. i aggree as well 70 is fine,,, with a head wind it can be a hassel hittin 80 or above,,,

I'm sort of surprised.

OK, I'm not tall, nor do I weigh 15 stone, but my Dommie would happily pull in top all the way to about 95 or so: pretty much the red-line.

Not with the oomph of first gear, but it still pulled strongly enough to comfortably pull into faster traffic and overtake....
 

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Talk about top speed on an air-cooled single is pretty academic. If you are travelling at around 70mph and open the throttle, an average repmobile will out drag you to 10 or 15mph past a Dommi/SLR/FX/FMX top speed. A Kia Picanto has about the same top speed and 70+ acceleration.

How much has traffic increased since that 21 year old road test? How much quicker is the latest Ford Focus compared to the old Escorts?

If you travel any distance on a busy motorway you just can´t open it up and swing into the outside lane, you'd be run over by cars doing 80+.
I´ve tried touring on singles... slow and uncomfortable, it'd take forever to get from the UK to the South of France while you watch pretty much everything overtake you on the open roads.

Stick to the A's and B's. And don't expect to be leading the pack on the fast A roads.
 

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The Angry Pasty Muncher
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For me it's everything from the character on and off the road to the ease of maintenance and simplicity and how easy everything is to get at on one.

And that big thump thump thump exhaust note is worth pounds
 

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For me its the minimal nature of the beast and the mid-range torque that makes twisty roads fun.
I big cylinder and 2 wheels is all you need for fun... in the 30 to 70mph range.:thumbup:
 

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If you travel any distance on a busy motorway you just can´t open it up and swing into the outside lane, you'd be run over by cars doing 80+.
I´ve tried touring on singles... slow and uncomfortable, it'd take forever to get from the UK to the South of France while you watch pretty much everything overtake you on the open roads.

Stick to the A's and B's. And don't expect to be leading the pack on the fast A roads.
I've just done a trip from Birmingham to the Lake District and back (210 miles each way, 150 of those on the M6) with passenger and luggage over the past few days and the above post is very true.

Motorway comfort limited us to 60mph (too vibey at 70), tank range to 70 odd miles per tank, seat comfort to about 10 mins. When the head wind struck it was difficult to hold 65 with the throttle fully open.

It was a blast, be doing it again soon hopefully:joker:.

On one section of M6 i managed 69mpg at 60mph over a distance of 72 miles. Of course with no fuel guage you can't tell how much is left and so can't risk extending the range too far:rolleyes:.

I also did 90ish chasing rep mobiles in the fast lane (slipstream ftw:thumb:)
 
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