Thursday, April 10, 2008


If it doesn't get nice here soon, I'm going to FLIP OUT!

Okay, I realize that when men come from the "funny farm" they don't arrive in a short bus. More likely an ambulance. But I saw this in Nova Scotia last summer and still think it's funny. Funnier than an ambulance.

So who's daft now? Go ask Pat Joller in California.

A low, slow wave on a Thursday morning, on the way to a wet weekend...

Joe Rocket

Monday, April 7, 2008

Slooooow start!


I feel listless, tired and uninspired. I've got little to say, for once! The slow start to the season is bringing me down. Last week, we had a small taste of what it means to ride again and then nothing at all this past weekend, due mostly to the temps, the drizzle and familial obligations. Ah yes! The never-ending battle between the "real world" (family, yard work, chores, etc.) and the open road (smooth roads, fast curves, scenic by-ways, flirtatious bar wenches). Come on! Permit me just a few indulgences!

On a whim, I stopped at the Yamaha dealer tonight on the way home from work, to see if they had the FJR 1300. I just wanted to SEE it. Our local shop is small and has limited inventory and I almost didn't go the 1/4 mile out of my way, on the assumption that they would not have this bike in stock. Well, they did. It was there, all glossy, shiny black in it's newness. The side (hard) bags were not on yet and they had a sold sign on it. Boo! Hiss.

After I raped it with my eyes, the sales guy asked me if I needed anything. A towel for the drool, I suppose (or Crumpet's spanky hanky!). To my happy surprise, it was not sold, the sign was there to protect it from errant feet and the inevitable scuff marks. He pulled it forward for me and I carefully swung a leg over it. Aahh! You know that moment of relief, when you get to sit after standing for a long while? This was like that. A nearly audible sigh escaped my lips.

Wow. Very nice. I didn't bother to ask the kid to run through the specs. I saw most of these online and know this is a killer bike. It looks big, in person, bigger than I expected. I was surprised by the protruding dual, stainless steel exhaust cans. I suppose they are hidden when the hard bags are in place. But, after having a bike with underseat exhaust, anything else looks like ancient history. I wonder how far you can lean this thing? I'd like to see that test in a bike mag!

It has a low seat that I can easily touch down (flat-footed) from, given my 30" inseam. Shorter guys will need smaller bikes, sorry. I would guess this bike is good for riders 5'10" and above.

I felt guilty and didn't tarry. I didn't want to fall in love with it, even though it was too late for that. I just had to "steal a kiss" and be on my way. Perhaps if I were in a better place and could take the hit on my new bike, I'd trade. I don't know. Now I feel all mixed up inside.

I want comfort on my trip this year but I think that I may have the slowest bike in our little foursome. I miss the speed that I got out of my VFR, which was reasonably quick, for a middleweight sport/tourer. Yes, it was a bit uncomfortable on long trips, but this bike is different. Big, roomy, comfortable, adjustable seat, power adjustable windscreen, 1300cc of inline four power, all 145 horses and ABS to haul them to a halt. Fast. Black. Naughty. God, I feel dirty! Like I just cheated on my bike with another bike. This is the bike my mother warned me about...

More to come, and many sleepless nights as I ponder the possibilities. Yes, Pinkie, I called you for a reason. Time to upgrade to a nice,(almost)new VTX 1300. It's been ridden slowly (sort of) and well-cared for. Call me.

A low, slow wave,

Joe Rocket