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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys....great site! As I stated in my subject line, I rode my first Boss ever last Friday and was overwhelmed. I have always thought one would be nice to own but, I had no idea just how impressive these bikes are. I WANT ONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have a few newbie questions about these bikes so don't laugh or be offended.....I'm trying to learn.

1. I still don't have the models straight. There appears to be a 350 c.i. and a 502 c.i. and each with different H.P. ratings. I've had a little trouble understanding which model (ZZ?) goes with which engine and H.P. ratings. I was told that the bike I rode was a 350 but don't know if it was 355 h.p. or 385 h.p. The engine seemed to have a bigger cam than normal, but I don't know what's normal for these bikes. Can someone explain the models that match the h.p. and engine sizes?

2. I've heard that the Big Block gets bad gas mileage (8 - 12 mpg) while the small block gets better (20 - 30 mpg). Now I'm not opposed to paying for gas for play time, but this might affect a long trip dramatically. How much gas do these bikes hold?....and has this been your experience?

3. I've also heard that the larger size of the big block increases torquing of the engine which makes the bike fight a little in turns...especially when powering thought a corner. I LIKE more power....but I'm not sure about an engine that always wants to throw the bike around. Honestly, The difference in cost may be my determining factor here.

4. I understand that the larger block weighs more. The bike is already very heavy. Does a couple hundred pounds more make that much difference?

5. How many miles can I expect these High Performance engines to run before they need a rebuild? You guys seem to be getting quite a few with no troubles.

6. If you break down on the road and need a dealer, what do you do? What if the only solution to getting you back on the road is to use any mechanic available. If he had to open her up will this void any warranty that may be left on the bike?

This is Wednesday and ever since Friday, that ride is just about all I've had on mind. I ride a VTX 1800 and for a 2 cylinder, it's pretty strong. But, it's nothing like the Boss.

I know that opinions vary, but I would like to here what you guys think.

Thanks
 

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Ricky,

The engines are the ZZ4 350ci (comes at 355 or 385 hp) and the ZZ502 which comes at 502hp :lol:

Not sure about the 502, but my ZZ4 / 385hp gets about 24 to 25 if I behave :shock:

Have not ridden a big block, but it is only about 200 pounds heavier.... :?

The Chevy is as about bullet proof as you can get.... 8)

If you break down, stop at the nearest GM dealer if it's engine related......
otherwise get familiar with the bike and dig in :lol:

They are not for everyone, my personal opinion is that you need to be somewhat of a motorhead and shade tree mechanic to really enjoy them.

Enjoy.......

im
 

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First off, welcome to the Boss Hoss Family. It's obvious...you're hooked and will be an owner sooner or later.

Grumpy answered many of your questions so I'll just throw a few thoughts at you.

My 502 get's 16-18 MPG "if I behave" to quote Grumpy. The tank hold's 8.5 gallons, but you can buy a reserve tank (2.5 gallons) that installs under the passenger seat, where the storage compartment is. Most people that I have spoken to prefer the storage space. Getting gas is fun most of the time anyway...you usually have to beat the onlookers off with a stick just to get out of the gas station.

In the turns the big block doesn't "fight you" so much, but it takes some getting used to. It is subtle, but when you are in a sweeping right turn with no throttle then you give it some gas, it will torque the bike into a steeper lean angle...again, this is subtle. It's just enough to startle you the first few times you do it. I take a ride through the blue ridge parkway at least once a year and it is fine.

I have ridden the small and big blocks and I don't notice much of a difference in the feel of the bikes. Obviously, this is subjective and others may disagree. A close friend of mine here in Richmond, VA rode a 2001 small block with stock wheels and tires for two years then had a big block built with the 18" wheels and tires. He tells me the big block feels better than his small block did. It may be the wheels/tires, who knows? I have about 28,000 miles on my 502 and I have never had it on it's side. I have a gravel driveway that is 800' long as well and the bike does fine.

I personally know of one small block bike that currently has 160,000 miles on it. Boston Nichols lives here in VA and runs a series of bike shows. He rides his bike, with a trailer and his wife on the back, everywhere.

I have never broken down, but I would do what Grumpy said if I did.

Get your checkbook out and do the deal. I guarantee that IF you wait to buy one, you will kick yourself that you didn't do it sooner.

Bill Taylor
 

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Rick, You must be my twin brother. I rode one in 03' at Sturgis. First time ever. Before I left Sturgis I bought one from a guy I meet at a gas station. Then this summer I bought my wife a trike 385 hp, then at a tennessee rally this summer I traded mine off for a new 05' 385. People think I'm crazy...I just think I'm having fun. Go for it....you've already been bitten .. you might as well buy one before you get sick !!!!!!!!! They aren't that complicated.......Yahoooooooooeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!! another Boss rider on the way...................Steve :D :) 8)
 

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Ricky,

Bill did a great job in describing the 502 for ya. I switched over to the big block about a year ago and think it is just as easy to ride as the small block. I'm hooked on the 502. The only time I really notice the extra 200 lbs is when you are lifting off the kick stand but that is not a big deal.

The first time I saw a Boss Hoss was in Daytona about 3 years ago and it was definitley a :shock: experience. After I rode my first one it was :D !
Go ahead and get r done!!! You won't regret it. Most fun you can have with your clothes on! :cop2:

Chris
 

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Ricky,

I am on my 5th Boss right now and I have had both small and big blocks. I never noticed any difference in the wieght nor much as far as extra heat. My biggest problem with the big block is fuel mileage. We ride alot of miles and sometimes where there is not alot of gas around. It kind of makes your butt pucker when your guage shows empty and the odometer shows 130 miles and you don't have a clue as to where the next gas is. I do not want to push.

But there is nothing more outrageous than a big block bike and that is why we own them. If it fits your riding style go for it. Right now I have a small block with the cam kit. I guess when I get old and do not ride as much I will get another big block. Since I am only 57 I have a while.

Go for it,
Bill
 

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Steve,

You don't have a twin brother..........they destroyed the mold shortly after you were born in order to protect the rest of mankind :lol:

You had a chance to smoke that 300 a bit ??? Gonna porbably have to hang a couple bottles on there to break it loose :?

We might have to buzz over this winter and have a few hot toddies.

Tim
 

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your first ride

Yoooo! I remember mine like it was yesterday. (feb, '01)

I had never had a ride on a Boss, but NEW I had to have the BIG BLOCK. So I went from a Valk to my 502 and have never looked back.

I have about 38K miles of trouble free riding on mine. I rode mine to Daytona from Atl. ga. I rode it to DC, Chicago Il. Penn. etc.

I LOVE the 502, it gets about 18mpg on the rode at 80+ mph. It can, and does light the tire from 65mph........can you say FUN!!!!

I bought mine from Mtn. Boss Hoss and they have been a great dealer.
Check them out if you want something more than stock.

Sell the VTX as you will never ride it again after you get the Boss.
Go to My Picture gallery to see the 502 in action.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
This just ain't right!!!!! I should have never taken that demo ride. That thing got under my skin and the itch is quickly turning into a rash. To top it off, I'm having to enjoy that bike vicariously though your posts and everyday I check to see what exciting posts I might find here. You guys aren't posting enough. I've got to feel that throttle again.

I'm doubling up on the payments for my VTX....got to pay it off first. :( I keep finding deals for 2002 and 2003 model boss's and can't take advantage of them. This sucks........BUT SOOOON! I can see it already....I've having VISIONS! :D
 

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Rick, there is an old Dale Carnegie principle out there that I'll share with you. If you want to make things happen, put some pressure on yourself to do it. In other words, stop talking about it and just do it. The other guys are right, sell the VTX, it will just take up space and collect dust. I'm sure you'll let us know when you make a deal, right? :D :D
 

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Rick,
I saw these babies back around 1995 and since then knew it was just a matter of time. I finally begged, borrowed and stole to get my first one last spring ( 03 385 ). I still can't wipe that stupid grin off my face! My only mistake is taking a 502 out a little after that. Well, here I go again!!!!

P.S. It's a blast coming up to Harley guys (I've owned 3 myself) at lights, smiling and then waving goodbye!!
 

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Hey Matt (Doc),
just to change the subject a little bit. I'm curious to know how many Bosses there are in Canada. Here in Alberta, there are 4 in the Calgary area, plus Barry's demo, one in Edmonton and an older one in Grande Prairie, that we know about. Then there is Bill in Moose Jaw, and as far as we know, that's it, west of Toronto. We think there are about 20 or so in your area (Ontario), and a friend of mine said he saw one in Nova Scotia. Barry also has another new one for sale as well. That makes 30. What are your thoughts on the numbers?

Bryan
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
DOC said:
Rick,
I saw these babies back around 1995 and since then knew it was just a matter of time. I finally begged, borrowed and stole to get my first one last spring ( 03 385 ). I still can't wipe that stupid grin off my face! My only mistake is taking a 502 out a little after that. Well, here I go again!!!!

P.S. It's a blast coming up to Harley guys (I've owned 3 myself) at lights, smiling and then waving goodbye!!
Doc,

Is there that much difference in the 350/385 and the 502? I've only ridden the 385 on a demo ride.
 

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Rides

Hey guys,
First off....Bryan, in southern Ontario there is probably about 10 BHs from 355s to 502s going from Belleville through Toronto and down around the St. Catherines and London area. I've met Barry last December at the Toronto Bike show with Rick Mannone who runs the Toronto Boss Hoss dealership. I bought my '03 385 from Rick in T.O. Rick usually has an inventory of Bosses ranging from 3 to 10 or so. With Rick's help I want to start an unofficial Canadian "chapter" of BH riders. I don't want it to be anything political in nature just a group of like minded riders (like this forum) to share ideas and rides with. Something like a small HOG or BMWMOA idea. So you may be hearing from me again next season in this regard..... we'll see what pans out. Don't know what kind of weather Alberta has been experiencing lately but we're getting down near freezing soon here so I've taken the battery out of mine and it's away for the winter. I HATE THIS TIME OF YEAR!! :(

Rick, The 355 is the base motor with a mild cam. The 385 is the same moter with a higher performance cam and has a little more of that loping feel at idle like the ol' Chev hotrods. Guys, correct me if I'm wrong but because the 385 has a hotter cam that works better at higher revs the base 355 is actually the faster bike of the two. But I think more owners of smallblocks still go for the 385. I have NO complaints!! The 502 is just that...502 beautiful cubes of ear to ear grinnin' giggles. I actually thought that the 502s center of gravity felt lower and a little more stable so the extra 200 lbs felt negligible. As for more heat...dunno... I'm a Canadian and actually prefer cooler riding weather so not a major concern for me. Now if I lived in sunny FLA......... And for the extra gas consumption...... if that's much of a concern buy a Honda 400. Yeah, it will drink some gas but so does a Viper if you're stomping on it. If you will be touring a lot on the Boss then you might prefer the better mileage of the 355/385. Either way you can't go wrong. Your only regret will be why you waited so long to pull the trigger. My Boss is my 15th bike since getting my licence 23 years ago and honestly, aside from my BMW1150GS that took me to Alaska and back from Ontario this summer (16,000kms), I haven't been cranked up as much for a m/c in my life. I hope you join the rest of us and I wish you good luck!!

Cheers,
Matt
 

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Good post, Doc.

Ricky,

I have had both a 350 and now a 502. It is a matter of personal preference. Like Matt was explaining there are trade offs. I for one am very happy with the 502 experience. I use all throttle and no bottle. I can't speak for a small block with juice and can't even imagine a 502 with it. I would have probably never considered the big block for my first Boss but having ridden the 502 for a little over a year now, it would not have been a problem. It handles no different to me than my small block did. It does get hot and it does drink the petroleum at a generous rate! It's worth it. People get to admire my bike a little more often! He he!

Chris
 
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