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Discussion: Bashbro1ís Personal Evaluation of the NEW Miken Ultra II Advance bat

Posted Discussion
Jan. 31, 2007
bashbro1
Men's 60
266 posts
Bashbro1ís Personal Evaluation of the NEW Miken Ultra II Advance bat
Caveat: My evaluation is strictly intuitive and not scientific in nature.

Performance:
After hitting with the MSUA (i.e. Miken Sports Ultra II Advanced) for several weeks now up here in the inclement Pacific North West region, I do firmly believe that Mikenís all New Ultra II Advanced bat is NOT based off the former U2. The MSUA Itís not just the original MSU2 by adding the newly engineered security/ergonomic polished aluminum end knob, along with the pretty new graphics that indicates this bat is an ďAdvanced Integrated TechnologyĒ or AIT whatever that suppose to mean. Too me personally, it feels like, looks like, sounds like, and launches the ball @ much lower trajectory angle than its predecessor the MSU2, which are all characteristics of the current Miken Freak Plus model. I believe the MSUA is based off the MSFP model more so than the original Ultra II. Furthermore, what was very surprising to me is there is some vibration back to the hands with the ball is struck outside of the center of percussion which is about ~5.9 inches down from the end cap on this bat.

Bad Vibrations:
The original U2 had no vibration with off center hits as we all came to expect with all Miken bats over recent years. I will say whatís in favor of the MSUA it that it does drive the ball hard (i.e. wicked line drives) to the fences with superior batted-ball-speed than any other bat out their today including the Senior Combat DaBomb which is an excellent stick in itís own right. The Senior Combat has a better feel to it in my opinion and still has the traditional knob but doesnít generate the batted-ball-speed the Advanced does but maybe good enough for our play.

DaKnob:
I do have a problem with the new MSUA knob, as itís very wide and slippery. If you donít drape your pinky over the end of the knob youíll end up shorting the length leverage of the bat, of which power hitters donít like to do of course. Your choices are to either butt your bottom hand up to the knob or actually grab the knob with your bottom hand. I used some hockey stick tape over the glimmering knob and with a slight build up and that did give me a more secure grip feeling during the swing. ASA may not like my end tape job but so what, smart seniors donít play ASA anymore!

Durability:
I did managed break my first MSUA bat after just ~450 Ė500 hits. During the bp session we used only brand new balls just freshly out of the wrapper ďTrump Blue Stitch USSSA Distance ballsĒ which are not marked with COR or ball compression but I believe they are rated @47 COR and 500 compression, good light balls never the less. The ambient temperatures were typical between 38 to 42 degrees during bp. The composite bat manufactures typically claim that the composite materials can be used at lower temps than other materials like aluminum, but I still think thereís a definite risk for structural failure to happen even with graphite & Kevlar materials when itís in the 30 to 40 degree range.

Summation:
I believe that Miken may have to go back to the drawing board and fix some of the MSUAís problems like the vibration, revamp the end knob, and add some durability with out sacrificing performance and in fact maybe increase the performance. Otherwise, the other bats like the Senior Combat DaBomb will take the lead in senior softball bat purchases, which is not a bad thing in our free enterprise economy where itís the survival of the fittest.

Bashbro1 (Playing for W. E. Ruth 60ís out of Kent, WA in 2007)
Jan. 31, 2007
5-RBIS
Men's 65
12 posts
Art
Appreciate your evaluation of the New Ultra. I have one coming soon. I know you evaluation is ''intuitive and not scientific'' as you stated. But let me ask this. With the average weather in your area at 46 degrees for the month of Jan., in your opinion, would the bat have preformed better at, let say 60 degrees or 70 degrees.

Would viabration have been less of an issue in warmer weather?

Once again thanks for the imput.
How about another evaluation in late spring early summer.
Could be interesting.

Jan. 31, 2007
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Hey Bash.
How's the weather up north?
Thanks for the precis on the new Ultra 2.
I hit it one BP in Fairfield with Anthony and Ron Joseph
of Kelly Sports and I like the handle but it didn't feel
as end loaded as the old ones I have.
Jan. 31, 2007
MaverickAH
59 posts
Nice evenhanded review. The only critique I would make with it is the temp involved. At 40 degrees those 500 comp balls were probably closes to 700 comp! That's going to severely reduce the durability of any bat!
Jan. 31, 2007
mad dog
Men's 60
3932 posts
einstein,aren't the older u-2's suppsed to be balanced?at least thats why the u-1's were recalled so they could come out with a balanced bat and not an endloaded one(as per ASA).i guess they also made them just a tad thicker so there would be less flex,but the balanceing of them was the main point.so how could they be endloaded???
Jan. 31, 2007
bashbro1
Men's 60
266 posts
Gentleman. Thanks to all of you who responded back with the kind remarks regarding my input on the NEW Ultra II Advanced. Yes, I would have to agree, that a fairer test of the MSUA would be under better conditions and I hope to be able to do that in a few months living up here in the PNW tundra.

Bashbro1 (Iíll be in Winter Haven with W.E. Ruth 60ís for the TOC if anyone wants to chat face to face). See my web site below if youíd like a preview of my face. LOL

My web page: http://bashbro1nwseniorsoftball.com/
Feb. 1, 2007
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2650 posts
Nice looking website!
I'll be at the TOC, playing with Team Combat 55's. However we will be competing with the 50 Major Plus teams since we were the only 55 Major Plus team to accept their invitation. Hopefully we will be playing at the same fields as the 60's to we can talk.

Bruce
Feb. 1, 2007
Contrails
5 posts
I have a Miken Ultra ll Advanced and have no problems with it or the handle or the performance. The durability question is still open for discussion as it is brand new. II have had 9 Miken Ultra ll bats and they all broke after about 6 to 9 months of play. I would not think the Advanced would be any better according to the information I have got from Miken. they say the MFG process it the same as the Ultra ll the handle is the only difference.

I did let another person hit two balls with it right out of the wrapper and he hit both of them out of the park. I am personaly very pleased with the new Advanced bat.
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