Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Stuck in moto limbo

I’m in one of those sticky situations - stuck in moto limbo trying to sell a bike to buy another one. Hopefully without trading it in, so as not to lose massive wads of cash.

There are so many different ways to approach it, I decided to go for the private sale to someone who knows a bargain when they see it.
I took good photos (hopefully) and priced it fairly and squarely five hundred dollars less than any other bike the same model and chucked it up on BikeSales. Selling a bike is a major drag to be honest, if you have ever tried to sell one yourself you know I speak the truth.

The first thing is the scammers. They hit you straight away with their bullshit WebSMS messaging system, providing a legit looking gmail or outlook email address to respond with, and then they go into the spiel. It’s obvious and sleazy and just knowing it happens is enough to do my head in. Do people really fall for this shit and give out their bank details? Fucking crazy man.

The next thing, and ultimately the biggest problem, is that you can’t really ride your bike anymore. You gotta be straight up about kms (miles) on the clock and you can’t go adding to that advertised figure. I also have the problem of being close to a service, which is probably a bit off putting for many. I guess I could overstate the clock to compensate for a few upcoming rides, but I don’t feel lucky most days so I play it cautious and park the bike up and start the game.

The waiting game.
The scammers game.
The low baller game.
The not riding game.

Well that last one is not entirely true, as I do have the DRZ to nip about on, but hardly a long distance ride it is.


So I’ve been getting my kicks test riding bikes. It’s not that hard to score a test ride if you play it right, besides most companies want you to be on their bikes not someone elses. Harley have a competition going at the moment where you book a test ride on any big twin and you could win 1 of 20 trips for 2 to Daytons Bike Week.

Now that’d be cool.

So after unsuccessfully booking via the interwebs twice, I finally got a callback from Harley Australia to ask how my test ride went. It didn’t, I advised. Let’s fix that, they suggested. Agree, I agreed. And so it was I found myself making potato noises riding a very sweet 2016 Harley Davidson Breakout. And what a very sweet ride it was!

The guys were pretty laid back, the test rider casually asked if I had ridden a Harley before and I said no, unless a Buell counts, he asked what bike I was currently riding and when I told him he simply said, oh good, so you can ride. So it was without much fuss we were off and out cutting through the city, behind the Palace Theatre and out onto the Freeway.

He took an interesting and satisfying route really. Through the city, a few big ugly roundabouts, some up hill, some down, one massive lean to the left loooong merging corner shooting onto the freeway and back home again, jiggety jig. All I could think after hopping of Dizzy was how goddamned unbelievably comfortable it was. That seat was like a pillow made of angel wings.

It was deep, scultped, held me firmly in place yet felt fine to wriggle around in a bit too. Wow, this is the most comfortable bike I have ever ridden I actually thought to myself. They had fitted wide bars so the position was really laid back and low, forward controls kicking my feet out in front me my only gripe on the comfort front was the way my right leg laid across the air filter.

That might get uncomfortable after a few hours, but I honestly felt like I could just take off and head for Sydney (900kms or 450 miles) with no fuss. Sadly the bike had lame pipes and the test rider had a Night Rod Custom and as per instructions I had to sit behind him the whole way, his bike drowning out any sound emitting from my Potato whatsoever. I really liked the bike.

It didn’t feel fast to me, nor did it feel thunderously filled with Satan’s torque which I kind of expected. It was just cool. It made me feel completely fucking cool. I had my Arai XD4 lid on with a blacked out visor and I felt that invincible feeling that comes while riding a Harley. So that’s the Harley thing through and through, cool and laid back, feeling like a motherfucker. It was my first time too.

Never ridden a single cruiser in my whole life. I feel like my cherry was popped appropriately when I scraped the peg going around the first big left hander we did. Never done that before either, quite satisfying, it is I must say.

Still in moto limbo I squirted home motard style and signed up for the next ride. A Suzuki demo day… the bike, the GSX-S1000. A naked gixxer lay waiting my itchy wrist. What can I say about that bike that hasn’t already been said? It is incredible for the coin you have to part with. Boris and Boon summed it up perfectly in this video;



What they have done is taken a gixxer, worked the middle out and given it a set of big wide bars and hardly any fairing. Bugger all trickery either, ABS and that’s about it.

I fairly flogged the absolute shit out of first gear thinking I had changed as we pulled out onto the freeway, and without realising it I had hit the 100km (50 mile) limit in first gear, bike screaming like a banshee being strangled.

It hits way quick, in fact it pulls like a frustrated teenager, goes like a cut cat and it stops sufficiently well. It turns okay, but I’d really need to do some personalising to be able to really tell, the way the bars and controls were setup were way to high for me, when I’d go for a bit of front brake I’d often miss, some weird juju going on there but I’m sure it’d be easily fixed.

What can I say? I have always loved me Suzukis and if I had the coin I’m sure I’d like to play with one a whole lot more. But I’d have to get that Breakout first, that really pushed a lot of my motorcycling buttons. What should I test ride next?

 Harley are also running another comp at the moment, another test ride but this time the babies of the lot, Forty-Eight, Iron 883 and the Street 500.

Maybe I should go back... Until next time.