Wednesday, February 4, 2015

How to lose your motorcycle license in 15 mins

Howdy. This is a short story sucks, it's about a short relationship with a bike that had a short temper mostly in the throttle region.

Before this tempered Japanese inline four found me, I had a really great time with a Buell XB12X. It was a great bike and it did four ADRs with me, which is the most of any bike I’ve owned, and in fact it stands as overall, the bike that I settled on the longest.
 Four years is an eternity to me now, I update almost every year (probably not this year though, in my unemployed halcyon days). But I did grow tired of it’s agricultural ways, the Buell.

I was thinking about this the other day, how a bike that you have ridden and ridden and ridden can often be a bit worn down and it takes a ride on a new bike to really highlight that; you instantly notice how much tighter everything feels and how much snappier the throttle is, and how good the new tires feel etc.

But when it came time to move it on, I ran out of patience (no shock there) and on a whim fell for a Yamaha FZ 1S on a test ride and traded my Buell there and then. I think that was a Saturday, and by the Monday I was able to pick my new beast up after work.

I'd never owned a literbike before and it felt so tight and fast I just had to have it, clearly. Now for those readers overseas and for anyone who doesn’t know this, the FZ1S is basically an R1 in a more upright frame with wide bars.

So it’s a four pot, 16 valve screaming demon hiding in sheets clothing, all standing up and shit, taunting, you think I'm lame, we'll let me show you lame - twist me hard. I sort of knew this and was definitely taken by the smooth delivery of that instant power that is available, but I think at the time I was just stunned at how much easier it was to ride, smoothly, fast. It is a very fast bike.

And I was about to find that out the hard way.

 So I took my Buell in at lunchtime on the Monday and signed over the deal on paper and was told I could pick the bike up from four pm that day. Excellent, I’d be there straight after work. At the time I was working in the city, so I strolled down to the Yamaha Dealer on Elizabeth and jumped on my new pocket rocket and headed up out of the city down towards the Docklands and Footscray Rd.

This was a most excellent day that called for the long way home. That was all good, nice and easy at first. Effortless. After a short stretch the road opens up to five lanes of 80kms for maybe one or two kilometres.

It’s a well-known drag strip for everyone, cages, trucks, buses, bikes all screeching off at the lights treating every change like a drag race. A drag race no one was going to beat me in on my new disguised R1.

I sort of forgot that it was my first literbike, I sort of forgot that the road also slows to 60km as you hit the underpass, and half the traffic splits off left onto the freeway. So when the annoying douchebag in a Commodore cut dangerously out into the fast lane beside me I did two things.

Panicked was the first thing cause I could swear he was going to rear end me, and secondly I entered race mode. Race mode is also known as Angry mode, and both modes needed some work in reigning it in.

We both pulled up at the lights (he didn't rear end me) I took one look at the hooligan on my right with his lowered pearl white V8 Commodore throbbing hard, taunting, and I instinctively knew that we were racing and he had no chance in hell.

What I didn’t see was the Po just cresting the rise on the other side coming back into the city, and as the light switched I just snapped and let rip.

Fist full of first gear leaning over the tank and within metres I had blasted past the Commodore and the subsequent speed limit without cracking second.

Keep in mind, I am probably at this point riding my brand new bike for less than 5kms and no more than 5 mins.

I know not what it does at this point. Blood boiling, I snatch second and let rip, surprised completely by just how incredibly fast this bike is, I glance at my speedo as I back off acceleration I see numbers falling from 100 in a downward spiral just as I lift my gaze to see the Po blaze up the evening sky with their fascist red and blue blinding lights; roaring down the oncoming lane and in my mirror I see that they have promptly and effectively U bolted and are now hunting me down like a timid mouse.

I knew my gig was up, I just didn't know exactly when they pinged me. 15 mins no more, that was all I had owned this bike for,

I belly ached when they showed me the gun saying 92km in a 60 zone. Fuck, I thought. That was almost lucky.

I tried the casual hard luck total mistake brand new bike I'm an idiot plead story and it stuck like Teflon.

Not a hope in hell son. You are gone. At 25kms over any speed limit they deem that to be dangerous driving.

I wonder what they would have done to me in the back of my mind, if they captured me two or three seconds earlier than that as I was sure up in the 120 - 130 range in second gear.

I got the ticket, I requested to go to court and plead my ignorance, sure in my surety and charm that I could convince the judge it was a one-off, a first, an accident and it was a brand new bike that I misjudged.

The judge saw me coming and misjudged nothing. Hand over your license son, think on that for a month. And that was how I lost my license in 15 mins. 15 short minutes of life with a motorcycle that I now hated because it was all the bikes fault of course.

In retrospect, I know now of course it was me. I wasn’t ready for that kind of sportsbike at the time. I was too much of a hooligan. I am still am I guess but I learnt a lot more about the law and judges with general disdain for motorcyclists.

NOW, well that’s a different story, I have a way faster bike and a lot more experience under my belt.

A recipe for disaster?


I also know that I farken HATE public transport and won’t let that happen again.

Until next time, stay shiny side up.

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