G'day Amdonim. A classic Connie eh? Can't go wrong with that.
I have an '87 Connie that I have been using as my daily commuter for almost two years now, and have to admit it is one of the best bikes I have ever owned.
I am around 6'3" to 6'2" and my weight fluxuates between 250 to 300 pounds (damned yo-yo'ing weight loss and gain) the Connie fits me perfectly. With the Corbin saddle, it is the only bike I found apart from my old CB750 that I can ride all day long with out coming down with NBS (Numb Bumm Syndrome) or a terminal case of joint lock. In that respect, it truly lives up to the touring part of its heritage. The fairing offers very good weather protection and at speed will keep you fairly dry. With light rains, I don't bother putting on my rain jacket. The only down side to the fairing and windshield is that the the wind is directed straight to the top of my helmet and while it does not cause any buffering, it can be noisy as hell. Not the bikes fault really, its just that I am a tall git whose head projects over the top of the windscreen.
As for the Sport side of its heritage, well it has the same engine as the Ninja 1000, although detuned for more torque and low end grunt, but it is bloody fast. I can cruise highways doing 140 KPH with ease and without a complaint from the engine. In fact, my bike is not happy unless it is doing at least 100 KPH. Off the line it's no slouch, and my power band really kicks in around 6500 RPM, bang thru the gears between 6500 RPM and the redline and you will quickly leave the cagers fading in your mirrors, you will also soon be in serious fine territory from the local speed tax collectors.
With the available torque, overtaking even in 6th gear is a breeze, just roll on the throttle and away you go, very rarely do I ever have to shift down. Really the only time I do that is to be a little more of a hooligan and loud when I overtake some joker in a Corvette or Porche.
Handling is spot on. For such a big and heavy bike it is very nimble and agile. Nowhere near RR standards, but still very respectable. You can confidentially throw a Connie into the twisties and enjoy yourself. At highway speeds it is rock steady and I have never found any problems. Even my old Sabre would start to shimmy a bit at 140 KPH, but not the Connie. I have had her pushing near 200 KPH and would of sworn I was only doing maybe 100, that is how steady and stable the ride is.
Now the downsides. The Connie really is bike designed to chew up vast amounts of highway miles at speed and indeed is really only happy when doing so. It is not a bike designed for town or city riding. First it is big and heavy. Secondly, heat. When stuck in stop and go city traffic, you get to watch the temperature gauge climb alarmingly close to the red zone. I find the best thing to do when at a long traffic light is to shut the engine down and let it cool off a bit. Slow riding in heat is no better, the way the fairing is designed, a fair amount of engine heat gets bled to your legs. And any speed under 100 KPH on a hot day is not sufficient to blow cool air over your rads and engine.
Also, the brakes on the first few years were single pot discs and I find them to be rather weak, and you have to watch applying the rear brakes because it will lock up if you are not careful. I believe after 92 the Connie got dual pot discs on the front, which improved its braking. Still, even under heavy emergency braking, my 87 stays stable and stops in a respectable distance, as long as I am gentle with the rear brakes.
Since the 1 gen Connies really didn't change much in their almost 20 years of production, finding parts is a breeze. All in all, I love my Connie and would not change it for anything less then a Triumph Sprint ST/GT.
Always ask why.