Friday, July 17, 2009

More lust in my bones!

Yeah, I'm sort of repeating myself here. This is reminiscent of my FIRST blog post, from @ 2 years ago. That was when I first saw the Yamaha FJR1300A in Black and was ready to switch my allegiance from Honda for the first time in years.

(Click on the title above to get the full article at Motorcyclist Magazine)
SPIED: 2010 Honda VFR1200
No racer-rep, the new model will be a supersport-touring V-4!
By Aaron Frank
Photography by Brenda Priddy & Co.

2010 Honda VFR1200

These are the first-ever photographs of the long-awaited, next-generation Honda VFR, shown here undergoing hot-weather testing at an undisclosed location in the American Southwest. Continuing its evolution as an all-around, GT-style sport-touring machine (rather than an aggressive, MotoGP-derived race replica, as earlier rumors hinted), this new-from-the-rims-up VFR looks bigger and brawnier than ever before. This suggests a return to CBR1100XX Blackbird-level speed and stamina, capable of challenging the BMW K1300S, Suzuki GSX1300R Hayabusa and Kawasaki ZX-14 for the supersport-touring crown.

So, Honda has finally done it and brought out a "big boy" VFR. The 1200T is up from the 800cc displacement of my last bike and hp is rumored to be in the 200hp range.

I'll admit, some of the bodywork looks a bit heavy and clunky. The bike will debut this Fall, at the October motorcycle show in Tokyo. We'll have a better look at it then.

MCN is calling it the most high tech bike on the planet. The VFR 1200T is rumored to have all sorts of cool tech to improve gas mileage and make it lighter and faster.

As for me, I plan to try to start saving again. No reason why I can't have both a cruiser and a sport-touring bike, right?

A low, slow wave,

Joe Rocket

Monday, July 13, 2009

Ain't nothin' to bitch about!

Wow! After at least a month without riding, we finally had some dry weather and, more importantly, the free time to enjoy it. I've been privately chastised for not writing about riding, but honestly, it's only because I hadn't ridden in so long.

This past weekend's weather (and today's) is perfect. Perfect as in a perfect 10. Sunny, dry, low humidity, warm (but not too hot). This is the calm before storm, and I hope the storm is a long way off.

We had such a good turnout for yesterday's ride that we actually split into two groups. The short ride was to Greenland, NH to see the Ultralight Fly-in. The longer ride was to Ludlow, VT to gorge ourselves on sweet corners and pretty scenery. You can guess that I fell into this latter category.

We blasted across Route 101 past Peterborough and Keene, NH and onto Route 9. I wasn't keeping track of the roads but did enjoy when the opportunities presented themselves to do some passing and to get out front, with the Beemers. Vader was leading, with Jay in close quarters. I dropped in on them like a kook at North Shore. Vader was content to lead the way and I was content to put my focus on grinding down my floorboards.

The roads in Vermont are spectacular. We had a nice mix of fast and slow sweepers and only occasionally got stuck behind some slow cagers. The opportunities to pass them were minimal and, law-abiding citizens that we are, chose to bide our time rather than to pass on the double-yellow. We were rewarded soon enough, as nervous drivers looked back on a phalanx of motorcycles and took the first exit they could find.

Despite our unofficial motto of "Ride to Eat, Eat to Ride", I was not the one who kept asking when we were stopping for lunch. We paused at Hogback Mountain long enough to take in the view and several of the other guys were ready for lunch. Vader tried to take it in stride but, as our ride leader, our happiness (and empty stomachs) were a result of his route and pace. We eventually made it to Ludlow and the Potbelly for lunch. We were 8 happy riders when we finally stopped.

Jay had been watching my progress through the tight curves and was impressed with the way I hustled the VTX through the corners. When it feels right, it just feels right. The bike and I were one. It was if I were flying over the road, kicked back and relaxed. The was no real effort involved, it was a natural thing.

It did make me yearn, somewhat, for another sport bike. I imagined how much faster I could have been riding but I'm sure I would have eventually scared (and nearly soiled) myself! Now that I think of it, we didn't see too many sport bikes out yesterday. Where were they all? Or, have they all moved up to a more comfortable ride? I have no complaints today. I am perfectly content with this bike, for this terrain.

Jay was a bit fidgety on his BMW. I think it has more to do with the age of his bike than with the age of his bones. He probably just needs a new seat, after all the miles he's put on his. Nothing like a nice firm cushion, for your tushie. It makes the ride that much more enjoyable. As my wife says, "The mind can't absorb what the seat can't endure." That's doubly true when riding. A minor discomfort can distract from the whole experience.

Anyway, it was a great day. We (Jay & I) split from the group to beat feet home and missed "the bee dance". We hopped onto 91N to 89S to Route 13 (Concord, Goffstown, Mont Vernon to home). It gave us a nice end to the ride, after blasting down the highway at illegal speeds. See? Not even a cop scare to report, except for that early one in P'boro. Traffic was heavy and he never woulda caught us anyway. Hmm. 65 in a 40? It wasn't me.

A low, slow wave,

Joe Rocket