Saturday, 25 July 2020
By 1700 miles they had developed a squared-off profile and offered no confidence in the wet or dry, time for a change so on returning home after my last ride I proceeded to do an epic burn out against the shed door to give them a good send off, unfortunately I forgot Mrs B was on a conference call, Bob the Dog decided to join in by howling wildly, next door giving me daggers, my ma came around and told me to grow up and the bloody smoke alarm went off, deep joy. It’s never like this on YouTube!
Wednesday, 22 July 2020
I can remember seeing one at the Motorcycle Live show back in 2017, it was from a distance though as you couldn’t get near it for the throngs of people trying to get a glimpse of it. I got up close and personal with this beauty and I cannot stress the amount of exotic parts and materials that goes into making this rare and expensive machine.
As you already knew the frame, air box, swing arm wheels, bodywork, sub-frame and a thousand other parts are made of the finest finished carbon fibre I have ever seen, Ohlins suspension, Brembo brakes and a full moto-gp electronics package, every fastener is titanium, [as is the rear shock spring]. The bodywork is really cheeky with the ‘Dynamo-Rod’ fluorescent red carefully left short of the various edges to allow the carbon to show underneath.
Engine you say? Well it’s the Superquaddro [four valve] twin that pumps out a staggering 215bhp. But there’s more. Every owner also receives an aluminium flight case containing goodies which includes a full titanium race system which yield another 5 bhp. So let’s look at the figures, that’s 220bhp powering a bike that weighs 167kg!
So what price for this exclusivity? Well, there were only 500 made and they sold out before they hit the showrooms and the retail price was £72,000 pounds! Don’t worry though, I’ve done some digging and there’s a few for sale starting at £43,999 for a ‘high mileage’ 3,900 mile machine.
‘Mrs B, I’ve had an idea for an investment, it’ll be better than money in the bank......’
Friday, 17 July 2020
The standard mirrors are despatched in an instance. I dig out the Oberon bar end mirrors that were fitted to the Guzzi, [and the KTM 690 Duke and the Triumph Bonneville project and the Ducati Hypermotard and the Peaky Blinder, bloody hell! They’ve been on a few bikes these buggers!]
OEM Bar ends removed and I try and fit the Oberon’s, not so easy, the Pro-Taper bars on the FTR are a strange size, [remember they are tapered aluminium, thick wall] i sort through my stash and find a couple of thin aluminium spacers, I pre-tighten them and with a soft mallet tap them in so I can get a good fixing. Jobs a good ‘un. I really like how it’s dropped the front end down, that’s so much better.
My thoughts turn to the swing arm mounted number plate / rear indicator / mudguard assembly. It’s not pleasant, but I suppose manufacturers have to reach so many standards that it’s seen as necessary to cover the back wheel in case a stray donkey, Leeds United fan or Dominic Cummings happens to be passing and decides it may be a good idea to stick a hoof, webbed finger or piss poor excuse into the flailing spokes or chain of a powerful motorcycle.
Second brew and I’m scanning the ‘tinterweb for an alternative. There really isn’t anything out there that floats my boat or gets my groove on daddyo so I might have to make something. Or. Perhaps not. I’m liking the stealth approach. I got lost in Wales yesterday and happened to stop outside a gorsaf heddlu [Police station] to check my bearings, well, knock me down with a feather, Clever Trevor. After fourteen minutes of squinting at my phone an officer exits said fortress and asked me what I was up too, I explained I was lost and English and was pointed in the right direction with a smile and compliments about the bike.
So, do I go noisy pipe, little number plate and risk a tug or go underground? My heart says the former, two-rigid-digits, fuck you, I’d love to hear this thing on a race pipe, cat-delete and re-map, but. But. BUT. [it’s a big but] my head says that this thing is a licence loser so am I better going full on ‘who me?’ Stealth approach?
Sunday, 12 July 2020
I traded the Moto Guzzi and Srad 600 and with a little cash injection courtesy of Mrs B, sorted by some ‘creative’ financial juggling which, with hindsight, would leave Robert Maxwell gasping for breath at its sheer inventiveness I am now the proud owner of a 2019 Indian FTR 1200.
But there’s more to the story. The bike was originally purchased by a newbie, direct access geezer. After riding a small capacity Honda commuter he decided to buy an FTR. The dealer tried to persuade him that it was the wrong choice and point him in the right direction. He wasn’t having any of it, macho pride getting the better of his decision, 300 miles later he was back begging to trade it for something a little more civilised. There are NO rider aids on this machine, no six-axis traction control, no anti-wheelie or any of the other safety net features that are standard on bikes today. It’s just you and you as the rider, there’s no ‘rain mode’ to soften the power delivery, nothing to rescue you and make life easy and to be fair to the P.O. This can be an intimidating thing, 123bhp and 80+ foot of torque are serious figures and definitely not a newbie bike.
This was my first ride out on the bike, it’s totally standard and I will give my considered thoughts when I’ve ridden it for longer than the quick 150 miles that I put in on Saturday afternoon, what I will say is that on my initial ride I was braying like Donkey in the Shrek movie. stay tuned fight fans.....,,,,,.,
Saturday, 11 July 2020
Sunday, 5 July 2020
Sat in the shed Friday, Bob the Dog snoring gently at my side and drinking my second strong tea of the day, 6-Music chugging away in the background on the dab and it’s a squally, windy morning, it’s still early, a quarter-to-five in the a.m. [some habits are hard to break] 45 years of getting up early-doors to go to work and the internal body clock still kicks in and shouts ‘HELLO, TIME TO GET UP!’ So, I’m sat there and happen to glance at the calendar and notice that the m.o.t. [the annual Ministry Of Transport test for vehicles over three years old to make sure that they are safe and roadworthy for our foreign readers] had expired yesterday. Post breakfast and I call in at the village garage on my return leg of my daily Bob the Dog walk.
I’ve known these lads for what seems an eternity, three generations of the same family, I’m met with a torrent of abuse. Same as it ever was. Of course they can do my m.o.t, just drop the bike off and leave it with them, I get a bollocking for riding up in my shorts, trainers and t-shirt, ‘you should know better Bailey!’ Yada, Yada, Yada. I set to and get my chores out of the way returning late afternoon to pick up the bike. ‘It’s passed but your brake light isn’t illuminating, get it sorted’ here we go, the annual wind-up. Let me explain, I go through my bikes with a fine tooth comb before I take them in for a m.o.t. There wasn’t anything wrong with it before I took it in. They look at each other, straight faces to a man, ‘it was ok when I bought it in lads’ I reply.
I try the foot brake, no brake light, what-the-actual-fuck! I’ve literally ridden it half a mile, what could go wrong in that short ride? The brake light illuminates off the front brake lever. I kneel down and root around.It takes a second. They’ve only dropped the spring off the foot brake lever so the brake light is inoperative. I feign outrage and apologise for missing this glaring defect. They tut and look stern. I go all Otis Redding and we try to keep a straight face for at least 30 seconds before we all crack-up laughing. fucking wankers!
So, I’d like to say that’s where it end’s but after a fifty mile ride home, [suitably attired rather than the t-shirt, trainer, shorts combination from earlier] I decided that the Srad was toast, I put it on ‘a well known, internet auction site early Sunday morning and it sold four minutes later returning a healthy profit. Deep Joy. Why do I do this? It was a great bike, brilliant handling, the induction noise intoxicating and fast but I’m still searching........