Owner's Review First Impressions


Well-known member
-This bike lives up to all the hype, PERIOD. I am very, very impressed. There's been a void I haven't been able to fill since I sold my Alta. The Varg more than fills it. It is better in every way--ergos, quality, power, range, brakes, suspension, etc... Very pleased.
-While waiting for my pre-order one of my local dealers (shout out to Monarch Powersports) received two bikes and offered to rent them to me for a day.
-My plan was to get an early ride up in the mountains, then charge and go hit the desert to get a good feel for how the bike did in two of the common areas I ride. I was very fortunate to have an opportunity to do this.
-It's tough to put into words but the bike tracks very well and almost feels like it "floats" on top of the terrain effortlessly.
-Turning is special. For some reason I had a tendency of sitting more than usual and subconsciously didn't feel the need to stick my foot out as much. Odd.
-Weight--As cliché as it is, you don't feel the weight when in motion. Aside from lifting it onto the stand, the only other place I could tell this is a 260lb bike was in aggressive downhill braking situations.

Stark Phone:
-I've always been on the fence about the use of a phone with a dirt bike. My personal preference would be a small LCD next to the buttons to give you a state of charge % and mode #. But I understand that Stark has more plans as they roll out additional features on the phone.
-With the bike off, the phone will not stay charged. You must remember to separately power it off or it'll be dead the next time you go ride. Kinda annoying.
-The evening before my ride I played around with the app, configuring some modes. Unfortunately when I installed the phone on the bike the morning of my ride all the modes were overwritten with what was already on the bike. Bummer. Would have been nice to know that was going to happen or have a way to save them independently of the bike.
-The other features were a bit gimmicky. I didn't find the trip feature to be particularly useful as it resets every time you stop.
-I wish the display page had a trip meter. That would be very useful for offroad use.
-The "regen" bar is pretty worthless. Even with regen set to 100%, the bar would only illuminate like 1/4 when regenning down large hills.
-I found the mode adjustment when out in the field (even with your glove off) to be too sensitive to adjust.
-Seems like an experienced UX engineer could really improve this user experience.

-I weigh ~190 lbs in street clothes.
-The bikes I road were both configured with the stiffest configurable suspension settings. I will say this is very, very stiff. On the show room floor it was hard to even get any movement out of them; even jumping up and down on the bike.
-In the mountain single track I only used about 1/3rd of the travel. Throughout the ride I progressively turned the clickers out and that seemed to help a bit. But the suspension still had a very difficult time handling the small chop. In all honesty, I was a but disappointed as I expected more out of this KYB suspension. A revalve for enduro conditions will likely be required to get the comfort I need (in addition to configuring the suspension with lighter springs).
-I will say the suspension did better in my afternoon ride when the speeds were higher out in the desert.
-The suspension on my trusty YZ450FX is just about perfect (for stock suspension). I do 40% mountain single track, 40% high speed desert, and 20% moto. It is the perfect balance to check all those boxes without too much of a compromise. I believe the front springs are 4.5N/mm and a rear shock rate is 56N/mm. With that in mind, I'm going to configure my Varg order to come equipped with spring rates for (75-80/80-85 kg) which is 56N/mm shock and 4.8N/mm fork. In theory I could mimic the shim stack in my FX to get a very similar feel out of the Varg.

- Kickstand is WAY too short. Very clear this was an afterthought. Not a chance that it could support the bike out in mother nature. I've been told by Stark that a fix is in the works. I also think it's a bit weird how the kickstand partially retracts from the spring tension when you unload it.
- The sprocket guard randomly cracked on me. Very odd. Never dropped the bike. Maybe it's not a coincidence that all other manufacturers use plastic for this application and not thin metal.

80 HP:
-For mountain single track I narrowed in on 45 HP and 60% engine braking. This still provided plenty of power to loft the front wheel and 60% engine braking seemed to be equivalent to 2 stroke engine braking. At the end of the ride I setup another mode right next to this one that had 45 HP and 100% engine braking. I found it quite fun to cycle between these two modes and used the 100% mode on the downhill portions to assist with the heavy braking.
-In the desert I settled on 55 HP and 60% engine braking. Anything more than this was excessive.
-Just for kicks and giggles at the end of my ride I set it to 80 HP and ran it up and down the dirt road a few times. Talk about insane. It's tough to wipe that smile off your face but I really don't see a practical application of that much power out in the dirt.
-IMHO save yourself $1K, 60HP is more than sufficient.

-The Varg has the best footpegs in the industry. Love them.
-I found the seat to be very hard. Perhaps it breaks in though so I'll reserve my judgement.
-This bike has the best ergos in the business. It took very little time to get comfortable. The only exception to this is that I found the hinge on my left side Tech 7 boot would periodically get hung up on the lower frame guard.
-LHRB is a game changer. I had an opportunity to ride a Varg set up with the LHRB in the morning and one with a standard footbrake in the afternoon. Hands down I preferred the LHRB. I am already use to a LHRB as I use the Rekluse one on my FX but the one on the Varg is about 2x more powerful which is nice. IMHO the only downside is a bit more fatigue in sustained downhill situations.

-My morning single track ride was 35 miles. I started at 95% SOC and ended at 18%. Towards the end of the ride I had some range anxiety but managed to make it just fine (not sure how much a factor turning the regen up to 100% was or not). This route had several thousands of feet elevation change throughout.
-In the desert I did a 25 mile loop, several hill climbs, about 3 miles up and down the road at 80HP, then let my 11yr old son ride it around the staging area for another 7 miles. Started with 90% SOC and ended with 15%. Not bad.
-It seems like the bike hangs out around 20% longer than any other part of the charge for some reason. I wanted to run it dead at the end but ran out of daylight. I wanted to experience what the "limp mode" felt like once it hit 10% LOL.
-It seems like it has similar range to my Alta (maybe 5% more) but the big difference is the amount of power on tap throughout.

Is 35 miles enough? Typical rides are 40-60 miles for me so it would take some adjusting. Could it be my only bike? Probably not. But my time on the Varg was magical. I just loved it. At this point I'm still planning on moving forward with my pre-order. Can't wait to ride it again!

Varg Sprocket.jpg




Active member
I agree on all your points.

The sidestand i like the one i had on my Honda TLR 200... the bike is as wide as it is high when on the sidestand :)

After hearing about the great suspension all the time i was a little surprised how stiff it felt, but it was the first ride...
I noticed it first when i loaded the bike in my van, i use MotoCinch and i lean over the bike to put them on the right footpeg... normally the bike (my CRF) drops a few cm, but the Varg didnt move at all...
I'll check sag before my next ride, didnt do that just now.

Phone is a gimmick i think.. my thoughts
- wouldnt leave it in the bike if i were to use it as a real phone with my accounts on it... too easy to steal
- wont use it for anything but the Varg app if i leave it with the bike... not very useful at all then
- the app is just a piece of software using bluetooth, just replace the phone with a minimal display and let people use their already existing phone to configure stuff.
- the phone is dual sim with a data-only t-mobile card in it (2GB per month it looks like)
- had a flat after my first day riding, so i thought i use the "spare parts" option in the app. you end up on the homepage, which is currently still very slow and buggy and does not seem very optimized for the screen size of the phone. i ordered on my pc.

But finally...


100% would buy again, so much fun.
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