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Hoisted on the motard. 9/23/2007

A buddy advertised his supermotard for sale last week.  I read the ad in a local bike forum, and gave him a call.  We negotiated somewhat on the price, but didn’t really come to any sort of firm conclusion.  Then he said he’d send the bike over, so that I could use it for an extended test ride, before making up my mind.  He had an ulterior motive in doing this.  All my riding buddies know that I can find something to love about a bike.  Any bike.  Anyone lending me a bike for more than a week can usually expect a call from me asking, “how much?”  This has resulted in me having more bikes than some people have pairs of shoes.  My buddy also had the problem of a naggy wife lecturing him about the “why do you need to have so many bikes?’ thing.  Fortunately, I don’t have this problem now.  Unfortunately, someone has also told me that I will, in future, only be allowed to have 6 motorcycles in my possession at any one time, irrespective of (running) condition.

So he sends it over last night, and I parked it..well…shoehorned it in really, in and amongst the other bikes now decorating the driveway.  I looked it over for about 3 minutes, and walked away.  This morning, I decided to ride it in to work, just to get a feel for it.  I got on the bike, noting the reasonable seat height.  Strange for a supermotard, until I realised how saggy the suspension was.  This did not bode well.

I pulled out onto the street, and neglected to note that there was sand on the corner.  First supermotard surprise, the saggy suspension actually played in its favour.  I felt the rear wheel skid out, and the bike shook its tail a little, and came back into line.  I crossed over into the main road, and headed for the overpass.  Supermotard surprise number two.  This thing could change lanes faster than I could sneeze.  Insane lean angle, due to the high off the ground engine, and a weird center of gravity caused by the plastic fuel tank.

I then got on the highway proper, and proceeded to do my lane split thing, as I do every morning when riding in to work.  Supermotard surprise (well, not much of a surprise, I knew this one already) number 3.  Lanesplitting was a breeze, due to the very upright seating position, and wide handlebars located above the height of standard car mirrors.

I was beginning to think this bike wasn’t so bad after all.  Until I whacked the throttle open.  Supermotards are known for their hooligan like behaviour on the road.  Wheelies, stoppies, and general anti social behaviour are the norm.  Not this one.  This one was slow.  So slow that I wanted to get off and see if the throttle cable was broken.  So slow that I thought the bus behind me was going to run me over and turn me into pizza.

I came into the parking lot at work, and stood there a moment, looking over the bike with a critical eye.  Did some mental calculations.  Eyed certain dimensions.  And a thought formed in my head.

Anyone got a 450 engine going spare?