I know, right? Immediate interest.
I have had a moment of epiphany. All my life I’ve judged bikes by their aesthetics. How they look and sound. Over the last month or so I’ve completely changed my criteria. What about a bike that does bike things? Goes like stink, brakes, leans right over in corners?
I was looking at the Suzuki SV650. It’s not pretty.
It’s a 650cc V twin, so it has lots of torque and grunt. It’s water cooled and fuel injected so no messing about. And the best thing about the ugliness is, it’s occurred to me that while you are doing the death-or-glory business, you’ll never know what it looks like!
Also, being a V twin, just by changing over the exhaust you get a glorious sound.
I was all set on getting rid of my bikes and buying one of these. They are quite old now, and were budget to start with, so you can get a good one for £1,800.
Then I stumbled across a review saying the standard dismissal of them as scaled down TL1000S’ wasn’t entirely true.
Really? What’s a Tl1000S?
OK, it’s got a bikini (half) fairing. And it remains ugly. But with added plastic ugliness.
But what does it do?
Here is someone opening one up. Don’t worry it wont take up many seconds of your life.
That’s actually the TL1000R, the sanitised and sanity-ised version of the TL1000S.
But you get the picture.
I was reading up on the original, TL1000S, beast, Suzuki’s snub of the Ducati V Twin sports bikes, on Motorcycle News:
“The Suzuki TL1000S is a motorcycle which has become the Freddie Kreuger of biking.”
“will always retain the ability to scare the pants off you occasionally.”
“The rear end starts moving, plus the front end of the TL1000S is liable to flap about as the sheer grunt lifts the front wheel. Result; one scared rider, and possible excursions into the scenery.”
“barnstorming motor, even today, with 125bhp ready to kick your arse within two seconds of opening the throttle fully.”
Obviously this all sounds like a hoot. But I discounted it as they said the insurance was group 16 out of 17. Just so I could say “You’ll never believe what they wanted for insurance!” I did a mock quote.
£155 p/a, fully comp, parked on the road.
The bikes are only £200 dearer than the SV650, the insurance is £20 more, and they are ridiculously scary fun. It’s a no-brainer.
Apparently when they first came out they immediately gained a reputation for tankslapper crashes and one person died.Supposedly they sorted that out with steering dampers and better mapping of the fuel injection But they are still referred to as Widow Makers. In fact, you can google “V twin widow maker” if you forget the bike’s name. The bright side being, they are cheap as chips to buy! And possibly not as lethal as reputed. Possibly. More on that story later. Maybe.
So now I just have to sort my pretty bike and my winter hack out. The W650 was running fine when I put it away for the Winter, come to polish, MOT and sell it and the bugger is only running on one cylinder. Well, 1½, maybe. Bastard. Changed the plugs, pulled the carb jets and cleaned them, checked the floats, changed the petrol… buggered if I know.
Which is another factor in my complete about face. I want a bike to just get on and thrash. I’m through with dicking about with them. It was a bad habit I was forced into when I was too poor to have an option. Screw that.
Anywho, that’s my latest obsession.
In other news the saxing is really coming on now I’ve got a decent one to practise on. And I have a blow most days at work.
Also my fitness is slowly getting back up to scratch. I did a fair fast (by current standards) 10 mile run, then backed off a bit for fear of injury, yesterday did a half marathon (13.1 miles) at a slow pace. It wasn’t easy, but I’m not broke today, and that’s about all that counts.
Right, best get to bed. I’m getting 5 days/ 6 days every week, but the start times mean I’m getting up at 04.00- 06.00, by the time I get in and sit down I just want to sleep. I was so tired yesterday I was actually considering giving up running altogether. I sucked it up and did a half instead, but it was a genuine choice. Rest (from running) today, small one tomorrow. If I could focus my chi enough to do small runs most days I’d soon be fighting fit. Ho hum.