This section of my site is dedicated to our better halves! (Including a brief road test report).
Hugh's owned this machine for eighteen months, and loves it! Graduating from a GSXR 750 he enjoys the immense "bottom-end" of the motor, however I still think he misses the "flickabilty" of the Suzuki.
Fireblade Test Ride:
Honda rewrote the large-capacity sports bike book when they introduced the Fireblade in 1992. The 1000cc bikes of the day were heavy and didn't handle terribly well. The Fireblade's designer, Tadao Baba, realised that the advantage was in producing a bike that was lighter and handled better, rather than going for outright power. Therefore it was decided that the new bike would be a 900cc machine, and so the Fireblade took the world by storm. It offered racetrack handling that humbled all bar the Superbike replicas, but it offered more power and less weight than those machines. Its position in the marketplace was not challenged for several years. Yamaha's YZF750, introduced in 1993, while being the best 750 and probably better handling than the 'Blade, lived in its shadow. The 'Blade had all the statistics to beat it. It took Yamaha until 1998 to catch and pass it, with the R1.
Steve's only bought his bike a couple of months ago, and has yet to see a dry road! His previous bike (Honda Fireblade) he describes as a "moped" in comparison - very worrying!
Yamaha R1 Test Ride:
Yamaha's stated design goals for the YZF-R1 was to create a motorcycle without peers on mountain roads -- a machine that would feature 600cc-class cornering ability while offering its rider all the speed, torque and excitement of a litre-class bike. It's clear Yamaha started with a clean sheet of paper with the R1. This motorcycle simply drips with high technology. Never before has Yamaha introduced a bike with this much performance potential or attention to detail. Lightweight alloys are in use everywhere - steel components are now sculpted in aluminium or magnesium. Downsizing is in evidence throughout the machine - Yamaha engineers were able to trim over 20 pounds from the engine alone. So confident they are of this bike that they've elected to discontinue the highly-successful YZF1000 altogether
Pete's owned this from new, his previous bike (GSXR 600) he found too peaky and decided to go for this monster V-Twin. The power of the machine is awesome, however she looks a bit of a handful when the bends tighten up!
Suzuki TL1000R Test Ride.
The TLR hasn't sold as well as Suzuki would have liked, there are many reasons for this. The response to some potential plonkers having crashes just after the release of the TL1000S and blaming instability may be one of the main reasons.
Another big reason for the sales not being too fantastic is how carried away we are getting with numbers. For instance, in Yamaha adverts these days all we get bombarded with are weight and horsepower figures. We have all got a bit carried away with this and forget that on the road weight is not such a big issue. The engine is great and does not tail off at all before hitting the rev-limiter.
My Kawasaki ZX7R.
I've owned this bike from new and the ZX7 is to my mind, one of the underrated bikes of our times. It is overshadowed by the GSXR’s, TL’s and R1’s of this world. It’s one of those bargains that we’ve forgotten about. To our detriment I think. On the road the often criticised weight of the machine is not noticed, and the motor is as sweet as any Japanese multi.
Kawasaki ZX7 Test Ride:
From the moment that you sit on it, you know you're going to enjoy the ZX7. This is the racy type of seating position that most like. Head down, hands around the level of the knees, high foot rests tucking your legs up under you and that “plugged into the front-end” feeling. A lot can be said for the comfortable position of the ZX6 when you sit like this you immediately conjure up images of stuffing it up the inside of Yanagawa whilst wildly swinging the back out, doing your best Gobert impression.
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