'Interesting' Ride Out

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'Interesting' Ride Out

Post  GazzyG on Mon Apr 29 2013, 12:17

So, met up with my cousin and a couple of his pals yesterday for a blat around the South Leicestershire roads.

I was on the Cat.
My cousin on his GPX750R.
One of his friends on an R6.
And finally, another friend on his BMW S1000RR.

I'll statr by saying the bike isn't feeling 100% atm; I believe the inlet rubbers weren't put on properly at its last service, so it's making quite a throaty intake roar (which they all thought sounded incredible, haha) and it's not making it's full-power, which made keeping up with them 'interesting' to say the least.

We rode from Wigston down to Husbands Bosworth, then across to Rugby via Lutterworth. Then back across Leicestershire to Rockingham, before up and into Wigston again. All roads that I am UNfamiliar with, however, the weather was good, cagers not causing too much trouble. Plenty of people giving us a bit of room to get by, so I thanked them all with a friendly wave and a blast of exhaust noise.

The Cat being poorly put me at a disadvantage; it still had its top-end power, but no mid-range, so I had to stay in lower gears a lot of the time. If the others shot past a car, then sometimes I'd get stuck behind as I'd have to change down a gear first. Booking the Cat in tomorrow at the place that serviced it (LenManchester in Melton Mowbray). I'm assuming they'll be happy to put it right.

Some thoughts on the other bikes I was riding with.

The GPX750R (an old Ninja for those that don't know) I know very well, as it was my bike before I got the Cat, then passed it on to my cousin. It has weak brakes and skinny tyres which don't inspire confidence, but it has a mighty torque-laden engine. I'm sure if the Cat was in 100% health then it could match, maybe beat the GPX in an all out sprint, but at any given moment the Kwak can call upon more torques and lunge forward while the Cat has to wait to get into its stride.

The R6. This is the ~130bhp version, one of the newer ones, though all power-commandered and exhaust system etc'd up. Goes very well indeed. Rarely saw more than the back of him as he'd take off everytime there was a clear stretch, haha.

Finally, the S1000RR, second edition 2012 MY. I have a friend who works at BMW Motorrad. He's ridden more S1000RRs than most people have had hot dinners. He's mentioned time and again how ballistically fast they are. This is the first time I've had the pleasure to have a good look around, sit on and ride-out alongside one. He wasn't lying. The thing is an absolute weapon. We got stuck behind the others at some lights. Cue traffic light grand-prix on a stretch of empty dual-carriageway.

I nailed it in first, second and third, throttle to the stop. He casually loped away, short-shifting with terrifying nonchalance at half revs.

An utterly mental bike that threatens to wheely off the power alone in the first four gears, until the sophisticated onboard electronics notice and bring the wheel back down. Would love to have a go on one.

That said, to me a bike is a toy, nothing more. I could never justify spending £14k on a bike, no matter how awesome a tool it may be...

Things to work on for next ride-out:

Gain confidence leaning into the bends. The Cat is more capable than I; at one point, we went round a fast corner near Gartree Prison, on the way out towards Rockingham. I braked hard on the straight, leant in, but the corner tightened and I was still drifting towards the outside of the corner and hence a field. Was tempted to dab at the rear brakes, but forced myself to lean in more and the bike went round smoothly after that. Gotta realise the Cat has modern tyres and suspension and can go round the bends easier than the GPX with its bicycle tires, lol.

Likewise, though the Cat is a better handler than the Ninja, I shall endeavour not to match brakes with the S1000RR. That thing stops like you've hit a brick wall.

Keep up with observation. In a pack, it's easy to fcus on the bikes in front of you, chasing them and neglecting your lifesavers etc. Bad idea. Keep up with the observation, it's drilled into you for a reason.

Finally, don't be a numpty and try to turn around in a muddy lay-by. Walking pace, feathering the clutch, to turn around. Front wheel in a patch of mud at maybe 1-2mph. Away from me she slides. Thank god for crash bungs, eh? No damage at all, save to my dignity.

Looking forward to the next ride-out. Hoping it'll be on roads I know, to give me a little more confidence, as well as the Cat getting all her smooth grunt back.

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Re: 'Interesting' Ride Out

Post  YZFJohn on Mon Apr 29 2013, 13:18

Sounds like a good rideout Gazz. Eventful rideout where noone or machinery gets hurt are the most memorable.

Won't make this long but sounds like on the bends you need to practice counter steering, should help. I sometimes use the back brake gently to knock off a few mile an hour when required, but do it in a panic and it will have you off.

Was on a rideout myself yesterday round Grantham, Melton mowbray, Market Harborough.........

Keep practicing and hopefully we will see you on a Forum rideout.
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Re: 'Interesting' Ride Out

Post  Roll The Bones on Mon Apr 29 2013, 20:21

I know the A5199 quite well now as that's the route I take off the A14 to Leicester to pick-up/take my daughter at Uni. Some of the surface is a bit suspect and a nice hidden dip on one part.

The snow was still lying on the verge in places when I went back a few weeks ago and got a nice piece of paper from Leicester City Council! Mad I now have some nice photos of my car.

More ride outs = more confidence and ride at your own speed.
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Re: 'Interesting' Ride Out

Post  greencat on Tue Apr 30 2013, 23:43

Wot an excellent post! great

Always nice to hear about others days out and their experiences.
Sounds like you had a good blat.
As John says I hope to see you on one of our ride-outs sometime.

Chris

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Re: 'Interesting' Ride Out

Post  GazzyG on Wed May 01 2013, 13:19

Thanks guys!

Certainly enjoyed it and found it an eye opener - rarely get to ride with other people.

Would definitely be up for a forum ride out, that'd be sweet. wink thumb up
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