My cousin-in-law posted this on Facebook. Funny how the proliferation of bikes is a common theme. Few people are happy with just one, probably because one bike can’t do it all and if you love to ride you probably want to ride in as many different circumstances as possible.
I’ve posted several times on bikes that have caught my eye and after realizing that there is math to support this I’m going to do it again!
Based on the bikes I’ve sat on at various shows over the winter these are the ones that felt special or stood out for me. Given a chance I’d love to test ride them.
A big, naked Kawasaki Z1000
I wanted to love the Triumph Street Triple, or the Suzuki Gladius, but they felt on the small side. I was also keen to try the Yamaha FZ-09, and while it fit ok it didn’t offer much in the way of an emotional charge.
As far as naked bikes go there was only one that felt special, and that was the Kawasaki Z1000. The big, newly re-engineered Kawasaki has a kind of bonkers ode-to-Japanese-anime look that really gets to me. That it also fit me nicely and offered an astounding openness (the dash all but disappears into the fairing), made it a love at first sight experience. I’m still a few years away from a litre bike, but when I’m ready, this one is on the short list.
A need for speed
I went to shows this winter thinking I’m all about the adventure bike, but they aren’t what got me going. Sure, sitting on the big Ewan McGregor adventure BMW felt grand, but it didn’t really get me excited. I’ve always been a sports car goof, I guess I’m the same way about bikes.
What surprised me was sitting on the Suzuki Hayabusa. This was another big bike that felt like it was proportioned right for me (6’3″ 230lbs). The mystical reputation of this speed machine as well as its visual presence surprised me. It isn’t a rational response (the BMW was much more sensible, which is saying something), but sitting on the ‘Busa felt special.
That sport bike appeal rocked me again when I sat on the Kawasaki ZX-14R. With Testarosa strakes over the air intakes and the way you fall into the bike, it quickened my pulse. Once again, not a rational decision, but the emotion couldn’t be denied.
I still want to expand my riding repertoire beyond sports bikes, but as the weather starts to warm up and the Ninja looks at me from the garage, I find myself not wanting to give it up for some blatting adventure bike that feels like it’s on stilts. I intend to find my way to a day or two of off-road training because it’s a good way to better understand the physics of riding, but that feels like a rational choice, what I want to do is get some track time in.
In the future I may have a couple of three bikes in the garage. I hope I’ll love each one in a different way, but it looks like the sport bike may have a special place in my heart. I guess I’m going to have to come to terms with being a big guy with a sports bike addiction.