Wet, wet, wet.

 

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It has been a while since I’ve had anything noteworthy to write about but today I shall talk about rain. Considering the unpredictable Highveld weather and today’s wet weather riding experience I feel I have some valuable information to share.

I’m not going to bore you by repeating a bunch of tips for wet weather riding. Let’s rather talk about rain gear instead, specifically the run-of-the-mill rain suits found in most bike shops. Firstly, let’s understand one very important fact; in my experience, all rain suits are crap. Yes, all of them. Some are great for the first week or so & then quickly loses its ability to keep water out. Some don’t even last that long. I recently acquired one which zipper disintegrated the first time I put it on. I managed to perform a quick DIY fix only for the zipper to pull apart not far down the road. There I was with rain coat flapping in the wind like a superhero cape doing my best Batman impersonation. It must have been a long and tough search for the manufacturer to find the worst zipper on earth.

I have even gone so far as to contact a local manufacturer to persuade them to produce a biker specific rain suit. Try getting an off-the-shelf rain coat that fits over your riding jacket & has sleeves long enough to reach past your elbows. It is impossible! Even the sleeves on a 4XL don’t reach further but at least it has enough volume to accommodate your riding jacket, backpack & a giraffe. They replied & said I should visit their showroom. I’ve had 2 of your products & both were shit, so I don’t think I will.

This morning I tried a different rain pant & it worked fine for a while. Any weak spot or entry point for water can & will become evident in a blizzard at about 100km/h. Freeway speeds will force water into any opening & then eventually, with a wind chill factor of -2 make its way to your testicles.

The other option for arriving at work without shriveled wet raisin balls is to drive a cage but who in their right mind would want to do that? 2+ hours to get home? I don’t think so. I did it once many years ago, & decided that it’s a very bad idea. It took me 2 hours & 45 minutes to get home when it’s usually 35 minutes on a bike.

Should anybody find a rain suit that doesn’t cost as much as my entire wardrobe & actually works, please let me know. I’m interested.

Friday beauty

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Wow, look at that gorgeous Honda; nobody said ever in the history of bikes. The Japanese giant is not known for the looks of their machines, perhaps their design dept has too many non-creative engineers or HR frown upon the use of creative drugs. Personally I have never thought of any Honda as particularly good looking. The 80’s CB models had handlebars, a long seat & a tank shaped like a shoebox while Suzuki had the iconic Katana. In the 90’s Ducati had the 916 & MV Augusta the F4, Honda had the CBR which was decorated in stripes, splashes & bright colours but nothing worth noting in the looks department.

Even the current model won’t be selling millions based on its looks. Yes, they do sell millions but I doubt that is because it is the prettiest one on the shelf. I bet it was only when the final design was presented that somebody noticed the lack of a number plate & indicators. They were added 5 mins later by the guy who empties the trash at the office.

Fast forward to 2017 & Honda is no longer the ugly duckling. The latest Honda CBR1000RR looks like it could transform into a walking, talking, laser firing robot at any second. What happens if you try reset the odometer & press the incorrect sequence of buttons? Honda says CBR will first & foremost always be a road bike, sporty yet useable unlike the competition who produce race bikes with lights & number plate holders. No spec has been released to date but expect more power than the current FireTractor & all the latest safety gizmos & gadgets like traction control & ABS.

Incidentally the FIREBLADE name came about through a misinterpreted translation from French to English for the Japanese word for lightening. Good thing it didn’t get lost in translation with the German office. “Blitz” or “Feuer Klinge” doesn’t seem to have the same ring to it. Maybe the Dutch “Bliksem Blad” has some marketing value. Introducing the 2017 Honda “Bliksem Straal”! Yes, that will do just fine.

 

 

 

Friday beauty

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Friday beauty? I’m not sure beauty is the correct word to use for this machine; it’s not beautiful as the heading might suggest. Friday brute, perhaps? It started life as Kawasaki H2R & evolved into something more savage. Friday beast? The French freaks at AD Koncept (ADK) I suspect might be heavy drug users. How else would you explain the thought of this machine? No sane or sober person would dream of it.

Recently we witnessed Keenan Sufoglu reach 400km/h on a H2R. I’d like to see him try that on this naked bike with its wide handles & upright riding position. In the H2 family this is the sumo wrestler cousin, stripped to expose its muscles. It will undoubtedly be bringing a tyre iron or crowbar into the ring. I don’t think the current king of the ring, the KTM Superduke 1290 would want a match. The Superduke might want to bring a spade to this fight. Not as a weapon but to scrape it’s pieces together once the Japanese sumo is done working it over.

Streetfighters are not meant to play by the rules & this certainly does not. This beast could be dangerous, best leave it caged & admire from a distance.

Friday beauty

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When you saw the heading “Friday beauty” you probably expected a centrefold babe caressing the saddlebags of a new cruiser. If that’s what you prefer then you can use cash to persuade a strip club “beauty” to show you her saddlebags. I much rather prefer to visit a bike shop & feast my eyes on the exotic beauties found there. Unlike your Springs stripper with the fake accent this beauty is a real import. This Italian stunner is the Ducati 1299 Panigale S Anniversario.

She is classy & exclusive so she’ll need more convincing than a few SA Rands to show you her carbon-fibre goodies. You will need deep pockets to persuade this beauty to come home with you. With the state of the South African Rand I could just as well be 10 years old again staring at a poster of a Lamborghini Countach on my bedroom wall. Make her feel uncomfortable by staring too seductively & she’ll disappear very quickly thanks to 205bhp on tap. Alone time in a dark corner will be impossible thanks to lightweight Marchesini wheels & active Ohlins suspension. Should you be lucky enough to see one in the flesh please don’t wave cash in her face, rather enjoy this beautiful photo,