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Thread: Ageing biker goes left field

  1. #1
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    Ageing biker goes left field

    I started riding in 1964 and I guess you get a bit blasé about new bikes after all that time. However, I’ve just ridden a bike which was a complete eye-opener – a genuine thrill!

    I’m 72 this year and the second part of my strategy to keep riding for as long as I can is to get a light bike which suits my 5’ 7” height (bloody hell, I’m shrinking). Still want performance though. Without being long-winded about it, the two bikes which fit my criteria have both technical and emotional appeal. They are the 765 Street Triple R or RS and the Duke 790.

    If I can draw a non-PC analogy going back to my late teens or early 20’s, the Triple is equivalent to the smooth, sophisticated chick you meet at the pub. A touch expensive, reliable and predictable in many ways, but will deliver the goods - a "safe" option. Then there is the slightly dodgy chick, a bit rough and wild, maybe a tad unreliable but delivers a performance in spades. Not the sort that you’d take home to meet Mum but we’ve either fantasised about the latter type or experienced it at first hand. That’s the KTM. (Can’t believe I’ve just written that paragraph but you get the drift).

    The upshot was that I took a Duke 790 demonstrator out on the Waikato back roads this week and was taken completely by surprise with respect to how bloody fantastic it was. Absolutely fit for purpose with respect to what I need in a bike at this stage. The fact that dealer principal Greg Boyd had chucked on some Battlax RS 10’s made it even more impressive. Not really a suitable everyday road tyre but bloody brilliant on a hot, dry day. No wonder they call the bike “The Scalpel”

    The upshot is that the Suzuki GSX-S 1000 goes after 3 and a bit years of ownership and I pick up a brand new Duke 790 next week. 169 kg, 435 degree “big bang” motor, lean sensitive traction control and ABS, launch control, adjustable wheelie control, track, sport, road and wet weather modes, quick shifter, slipper clutch, steering damper – motorcycle porn for a techo. What’s not to like?

    A full review in due course……
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  2. #2
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    Nice one Geoff, and at least it is a new bike with some semblance of not having all its rear end missing
    Cheers

    Merv

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by merv View Post
    Nice one Geoff, and at least it is a new bike with some semblance of not having all its rear end missing
    Thanks Merv! It's a fairly practical bike with great ergonomics and I can tour on it with reasonably minimalist luggage. In road mode, it's fairly docile in town traffic but in sport mode, it gets a bit sensitive and skittery. I can live with that. It's a really good example of power to weight ratio and not needing massive horsepower to "make progress"!

  4. #4
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    Hi Geoff

    I like your analogy there - Makes sense to me and reflects my thoughts on my MV Rivale 800. Although your machine has a touch more practicality about it. It's funny how bikes can still have such an effect on us isn't it? Your piece made me reflect on this too as you do tend to become jaded as the years go by. The joy you experience when something comes along which blows your mind is ruddy marvellous.

    I look forward to making it up to your part of the world to catch up and have a look-see at the mighty scalpel mate.

    Good on you for choosing the slightly more wacky option. As you say - It keeps you young and the aim is surely to die young after as long a time as possible.

    Navy Boy

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Navy Boy View Post
    Hi Geoff

    I like your analogy there - Makes sense to me and reflects my thoughts on my MV Rivale 800. Although your machine has a touch more practicality about it. It's funny how bikes can still have such an effect on us isn't it? Your piece made me reflect on this too as you do tend to become jaded as the years go by. The joy you experience when something comes along which blows your mind is ruddy marvellous.

    I look forward to making it up to your part of the world to catch up and have a look-see at the mighty scalpel mate.

    Good on you for choosing the slightly more wacky option. As you say - It keeps you young and the aim is surely to die young after as long a time as possible.

    Hi Lee,

    Thanks mate - something a bit "edgy" can be quite a tonic eh? Modern bikes, excepting the odd lemon, are pretty much universally good and the risk is for them to be "same old, same old". The joy you mention is really tangible and as you say, it's ruddy marvellous. Didn't get that with the Suzuki, did get it with the 675 Triple.

    Yep, stepping outside the box and not taking the "safe" option is a risk worth taking now and then, just as you did with your MV's. Your last sentence says it all . Look forward to catching up before to long!

  6. #6
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    This is relevant to my interests. I have over the last year test ridden a bunch of bikes. Harleys, Triumphs, Yamahas and basically nothing has come close to the Street Triple in what I use a bike for, and the thrills it gives. Having said that if there is a demo 790 around I will take one for a hoon. I was kind of tempted by the Z900RS retro (in that green with the white stripe) but honestly if I am spending that much money I would likely buy an actual old bike (plus my CB750 is running again).

    Anyway, thanks for pointing me in a direction I might not have looked.
    In the white room, with black curtains, at the station

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by HenryDorsetCase View Post
    This is relevant to my interests. I have over the last year test ridden a bunch of bikes. Harleys, Triumphs, Yamahas and basically nothing has come close to the Street Triple in what I use a bike for, and the thrills it gives. Having said that if there is a demo 790 around I will take one for a hoon. I was kind of tempted by the Z900RS retro (in that green with the white stripe) but honestly if I am spending that much money I would likely buy an actual old bike (plus my CB750 is running again).

    Anyway, thanks for pointing me in a direction I might not have looked.
    Absolutely no argument about the 675 and if you had asked me 6 months ago where I'd end up, it would have unequivocally been the 765 Triple. However, I've had time to think, gather evidence and figure out what really meets my needs and turns me on. BTW, I've just written up my impressions in a bit more detail here: https://geoffjames.blogspot.com/2019...rs-go-bad.html . Hope you get to test ride one!

    Have been following your CB 750 rebuild. I'd like to do the same for my old Suzuki X7 which is owned by a chap just down the road from me and hasn't been on the road in 10 years. However, given that realistically, I've only got a limited amount of time before stopping riding, I'd sooner be riding than restoring!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackbird View Post
    Absolutely no argument about the 675 and if you had asked me 6 months ago where I'd end up, it would have unequivocally been the 765 Triple. However, I've had time to think, gather evidence and figure out what really meets my needs and turns me on. BTW, I've just written up my impressions in a bit more detail here: https://geoffjames.blogspot.com/2019...rs-go-bad.html . Hope you get to test ride one!

    Have been following your CB 750 rebuild. I'd like to do the same for my old Suzuki X7 which is owned by a chap just down the road from me and hasn't been on the road in 10 years. However, given that realistically, I've only got a limited amount of time before stopping riding, I'd sooner be riding than restoring!
    Christ, yes. Its actually a different hobby in fact. Playing about with stuff in the shed in winter has replaced snowboarding, and riding should have replaced tinkering in the summer. And now its autumn!
    In the white room, with black curtains, at the station

  9. #9
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    I'll look forward to reading your review on the 790 in the near future.

    I know you're no stranger to ordering stuff online, so here's an OEM parts link for you. https://www.babbittsonline.com

    They're generally very well priced compared to others. Just make sure they ship everything together.
    Nunquam Non Paratus

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Owl View Post
    I'll look forward to reading your review on the 790 in the near future.

    I know you're no stranger to ordering stuff online, so here's an OEM parts link for you. https://www.babbittsonline.com

    They're generally very well priced compared to others. Just make sure they ship everything together.
    Thanks so much Owl, that's really useful . Haven't come across them before. I've just ordered the same crash protectors that I had on the Suzuki and the same brand of fender extender. Both from the UK at reasonable shipping costs. However, when I came to order an Ermax flyscreen, the French suppliers wanted NZ$112 for freight. Thought it was only the Mafia who could extort like that! Currently looking at other freight options.

  11. #11
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    May as well enjoy your biking days Geoff, on the surface it may seem like a mildly insane choice, but to those of us who know you...it's a good fit actually

    Had to chuckle when you made reference to bike choice being akin to choosing women, I suspect this 790 has got you going a touch
    If the words I say offend you, imagine the ones I keep to myself...

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by caspernz View Post
    May as well enjoy your biking days Geoff, on the surface it may seem like a mildly insane choice, but to those of us who know you...it's a good fit actually

    Had to chuckle when you made reference to bike choice being akin to choosing women, I suspect this 790 has got you going a touch
    Thanks Rob ( I think) :-) . I have no idea where that analogy came from, it just popped into my head! It's funny you know, because I don't think that the 790 is a particularly "pretty" bike in a conventional sense but once you ride it, bloody hell I suppose that brings us back to the analogy, sigh.........

  13. #13
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    You're a Hoon! No other way to describe the situation...

    Knowing you, you'll love riding the bike as much as love riding something with the technology.

    How many more sleeps to go?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moi View Post
    You're a Hoon! No other way to describe the situation...

    Knowing you, you'll love riding the bike as much as love riding something with the technology.

    How many more sleeps to go?
    Hahaha! Thanks Mark, an old hoon perhaps. I can certainly see how it got "The Scalpel" nickname! Pick it up at Boyds on Wednesday morning. Traded in the GSX-S 1000 so anyone wanting an immaculate muscle bike with extras.......

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackbird View Post
    ... Traded in the GSX-S 1000 so anyone wanting an immaculate muscle bike with extras.......
    Does it reflect its owner?

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