It was time. I’ve been contemplating the move to a new set of wheels for most of the year and held back because I wanted to take a few things out. It started off with Suzuki day back at the start of May where I took out the 2015/16 Suzuki GSXR1000 for a test ride. I don’t know if it was the bike itself or the circumstance in riding in a group but it felt lifeless, somewhat dull and more than a disappointment.
Shortly after that I took out a 2008 Yamaha R1 and was taken back by how comfortable I found it. The riding position was nowhere as extreme as many make out it to be, bars are quite wide and the seat more than enough room for me and to move around on.
Shortly after that can a trip to Snowdonia, travelling with a group of Adventure riders, I held my own on some very questionable terrain and narrow mountain passes. The experience still wasn’t enough to make me want to say yes to the world of upright bikes and cumbersome all terrain monsters like the Triumph Explorer or the recently revived Honda Africa Twin.
That was all until an ad for Yamaha’s Darkside tour going to Boxhill for a day of test riding the all new Yamaha MT-10. It had to be worth a go right? Instead of wasting an entire day at a cafe, I hooked up with P&H Motorcycles in Crawley, to take one for a spin. The experience of a crossplane crankshaft really is like no other and by the end of the ride I was left in a predicament. The MT-10, not only is one beast of a machine, it’s immensely affordable. Retailing at £10,000, with a £1,000 deposit you can be walking away with one for just £119.00 a month on finance with the insurance being near enough the same for the year fully comprehensive.
But then ebay turned up a suprise. Fastlane in Tonbridge have been around longer than I have; having grown up in the street behind the workshop. I’ve been looking for a 2009 R1 in good condition for a few months and every time one local appeared that was worth looking at they were gone before I made the phone call. I wasn’t taking that chance again and so I headed over and traded up. Didn’t even fire it up, I just knew it was time, and the right one. Turns out I got more than I bargained for..
I’ll do a full rundown video in the coming weeks, but let’s just say I don’t think the guys at Fastlane knew exactly what was under the hood.
You can find all my Motovlogs, including the various bike tests on my Youtube channel.