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The Dark Side / Adios GTR... Hello dark side.
« on: August 25, 2017, 02:12:49 pm »
A change of bike had been on my mind for a while, for various reasons.

Recent arrival of our first grand-child has made my wife look at life differently, so she won't be coming touring any more (plus she claims that looking at the back of my lid for 100's of miles isn't that great anyway), so that was one more reason to look at something different.

The real decider was me recently dropping the bike. OK, the crash bung saved the day, so no damage, and in my defence, I was parked on a slope, it was pouring with rain, and my my boot slipped as I rocked it off the centre stand. Anger and adrenaline fuelled me picking the bike up, but it was something I could have done without at 6am in the pouring rain, just before an hours ride to get a ferry.

Sure, the same thing may well have happened with a different bike, who knows. But a lighter bike would have been easier to pick up (and possibly stop falling?) and certainly easier to manoeuvre in and out of the garage at home.

So, test rode a Tiger Sport 1050. A fun bike, seemed very capable and free revving (hit the limiter quite a bit!). Bars a bit wide for my liking, chain drive (meh), but hideously expensive panniers/top box as extras.

Test rode an Aprilia Caponord 1200. Again, seemed capable, and again, bars were a bit wide, and again, chain drive. I couldn't get the cruise control to work, try as I might, and maybe it was just the particular bike I was riding, but it wasn't smooth at any constant rpm. "Horribly grumbly" is the only way I can describe it. The salesman claimed "all V-twins are like that" but I know that's BS. That bike had fuelling issues. So that put me off them.

Test rode an R1200RS. Note RS. Proper telescopic front forks. Oodles of torque. Shaft drive. Cruise control. Amazing suspension (tested on some very bumpy roads in the Fens...) Came back with a massive smile on my face, and did the deal there and then.

Because of work schedule, I can't pick it up until one evening next week, but I'm very much looking forward to it.

The pull of the dark side is indeed strong.


Paul B.

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