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Thursday, 1 March 2012

Buggy Review - Peter Lynn Comp XR+

I have owned my Peter Lynn Competition XR+ for nearly 6 months now and have been lucky enough to get out with it in varying conditions regularly so have had a good opportunity to put it through its paces…

I looked into various options when hunting for a bug, including getting one shipped from the UK – the choice in Australia and my budget limited me to as what I could get. Eventually, after much research, opted for the comp XR+ - ordered it online to be shipped to Perth from Brisbane. Delivery was set to take a week to ten days.

I arrived at the depot, docket in hand, filled with anticipation that I would be collecting a large box– the bloke took the docket and wandered off into the piles of boxes saying he had seen it when it came in yesterday. After a few minutes he came back over carrying just the wheels! I explained that I thought there should be more, back he went and this time came back with a box – which was a lot smaller than I expected!

The completed bug is definitely much more than the sum of its parts, it goes together easily and looks great. The wheels all have two sets of cartridge style bearings and run as smooth as anything and keep on spinning. The headstock also has twin bearings.

The side rails are now 32mm to provide extra strength and all joints are reinforced, the down tube is adjustable for length and is fitted to the side rails with a four-bolt clamp. The seat is sturdy and features drainage holes; it can be adjusted for height by using the webbing straps and feels pretty comfy and supportive with a decent amount of padding. The true test will be when flying rather than just sat in the lounge!
The back axle is attached/removed with two bolts for transport or storage and at 40mm is thicker than on previous comp buggies, it can also be swapped for the extra wide axle for greater stability. The Comp XR+ comes with the standard size wheels, but the front fork is designed so that it can also take the midi wheel; change the front fork and you can add a set of Bigfoot’s.
The Comp XR+ comes with the new curved HD foot pegs and these are now bolted on, rather than the clips on the older models. This has eliminated a common complaint of a rattle. I was also supplied with grip tape for the pegs and have now made some foot straps.

All hardware is stainless steel, including the nuts and bolts; the bearings are cartridge style, for durability and also ease of replacement. So should be able to take sand and salt in its stride. With the solid construction, quality hardware and upgrade-ability, this should be a bug that keeps on giving and provide a great ride for years to come…

The buggy goes into the back of my car with a single car seat down and the rear axle removed (two bolts). When I arrive at Lake Walyungup it takes about 3 minutes to reassemble it. Then lift it through the gate that only opens about 50cm (to stop motorbikes tearing up the lake) and pulled it on to the lake.

Lake Walyungup is a salt lake, part of Rockingham Lakes Regional Park; it is made up off gypsum and limestone. Some areas are flooded and marshy at the end of winter but it is otherwise dry. The lake has large very flat areas and is used by model aircraft and land yachts, but also has some rougher rocky bits and clumps of sea-rush and a few small shrubby trees. I regularly fly here as it has clean winds from every direction.

This is my first experience of a kite buggy, so I have nothing to compare it with, but I have to say I do like my PL bug.

In the process of learning to kite buggy I have taken it from the nice smooth areas of the salt lake and headed “off-road” across the rocky rougher areas, around, over and through the sea-rush (which is damn spiky!). Even on the standard wheels it has gone over/through everything I have asked of it!

As my skills have progressed and my speed increased this buggy has allowed me to continue to push my limits and capabilities. I can continue to hold the power on the stronger wind days and push my speed. The ride is smooth and the buggy runs without and rattles or wobbles. The buggy feels stable and solid and even under power I have never had any issues (maybe because of my low centre of gravity!) and have adjusted the seat position and down tube to make it easier to slide.

I find the seat and position comfortable and there is some flexibility with the adjustable down tube and seat position. I find the seat supportive and it holds me in place when the kite is powered up. I can fly for a couple of hours, without any discomfort, and usually only stop for food and water so that I can keep going longer.

The buggy gets stored in my garage propped against the wall and held with a bungy – thankfully doesn’t take up to much room so we can still get both cars, all the bikes and other stuff in without any hassle.
I was never going to be able to afford a custom built buggy or a fancy race job, I wasn’t even sure how I would go with buggying, so the comp XR+ was an ideal starting point for me. If I feel the need I can get the wider rear axle, stick some bigger wheels on it, but at present the only upgrade I have added is a belly-pan and a GPS holder! In my opinion it is well made, solid, goes well and a great place to start.

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