How one changes
12 months ago I had just gotten the ZZR12 and was starting to get real quick. At least on the roads I knew.
Then something changed.
Jess and I had just returned from a weekend at the coast. The trip back had been horrid. Both of us where terribly sore riding the bike. It was a scorching 40deg day. And all in all it was shit. As such all we wanted to do was to get home, so I oushed that bike as hard as I could all the way back from Ulludulla. We did make it home in record time.
But the whole experience left me wondering where the hell I was with the whole riding thing. I was riding way too hard on a bike that neither myself or Jess where comfortable on. So I made a big change. It was time to try the whole cruiser thing.
But I’m not stupid. The simple fact is; if I’m going to ride a cruiser – it may as well be the biggest, baddest one I could get. So it really came down to the Suzuki M109R and the Triumph Rocket III. After riding both I could barely seperate them. But the 109 won on price and pillion comfort.
The big change happened 10 months ago.
So, whats the verdict?
Simple; I’m never going back. I’ve certainly slowed down. The simple fact is that such a low slung bike just doesnt have the cornering clearence to ride quick through the twisties – but what a smooth ride it is. And that is what I’ve really come to enjoy about my riding. The Smoooooothness. Take any set of twisties. All the sports riders go hooting off to scrape their knee sliders and hammer as hard as they can. And good luck to them. But I can still head up the same stretch of road and have a blast. What I love the most is to set a reasonable (hehe) pace and to run from corner to corner as smoother as possible. No ultra hard braking, no made smashing of the gears. Just a constant smoother run. Touching down the pegs at the perfect apex on each corner then a quick tip into the next corner to reapeat again. A good run of a dozen corners like that is fan-fucking-tastic. Then to see the exit of the last corner and then really twist on the throttle and feel 400-odd kilos of bike want to stand up on one wheel and bolt! Spectactular!!
And that is what has really changed about my riding. I’ve always said to the learners: Dont practise for Speed, practise for smooth. And then the speed will come. And its true. But regardless is a good long run of sheer smoothness that lets me know that I’ve had a good run and that I am riding well. And I’m enjoying it way more than I ever did trying to push it hard.
And a good reminder of that came recently. We had an Intro Track Day at Marulan. The day was a roaring sucess, no doubt. But it did remind me of how hard and stressful I find rind a sports bike hard (and I’m really not that quick). I reckon if its that hard and stressful it aint going to be enjoyable. And if it isnt enjoyable, why do it??
Anyway.. after rambling and rambling – i hope you get the point. I’ve come to find that going white-knuckle fast just isnt my thing. Going quick, yet smooth, and a big finish – thats what gets my rocks off!!