I can’t help it. I love Racing Motorcycles. I’ve had the bug since 1984 when I fell in love with machines designed, or modified, for Racing.
I have a history of Racing myself going back to 1990, and on and off I raced through 7 years of the 1990′s, last racing in 1999 on what was Shane Byrne’s Thundercat from the previous years British Supersport Championship (that’s how long ago it was – a Thundercat racing in Supersport!).
So after not racing for 11 years and becoming disillusioned with the lack of Return on Magazine advertising, I took a slice of our marketing budget and decided to buy a racing bike to carry the Visorvision message out to the wider public through the medium of not only racing, but shows and other events.
Personally I wanted a 1000 as I had really had a bellyful of 600′s last time I raced back in 1999. 600′s are great fun, but there was this unresolved challenge of muscling a big bike around a track. Everyone that had a 1000 would somehow instill in me the perception that they had slightly larger balls than me, and as I rode a 600, that to them I was like an annoying adolescent kid that wasn’t really in their league.
Naturally I would poke a middle finger up in their direction via the medium of the mixed grid Powerbike races, where at some point or the other during the year, there wasn’t a single 1000 at my club I hadn’t beaten! But still, when all was said and done, I still felt slightly less of a hero than the 1000 jockeys…
So, I started looking at 1000′s and mainly R1′s to be honest, as I’m a bit of a Yamaphile. My budget just flirted with the line where the ’04 R1 model was available, although they were quite rare and for my budget they weren’t coming good with spare wet shod wheels or much other essential racebike bling.
Then I saw something surprisingly good just a tickle off my radar. It was Black. All Black, and if there is something I’m soft on, it’s black racebikes (especially with black frames – think that bit is based in a 1990 YZR500 fetish) – All I had to get my head around is that it wasn’t a Yamaha, it was actually a Suzuki.
So this same good looking Gixxer popped up not once, twice, but 3 times on different forums and sales portals and the pics looked exquisite. Fresh, Black, blingy, clean. Old. Old, that was the only thing – it’s a K1/2 model so knocking on 9 years old. But, I liked the spec. Much bling, and ALL bling based on sweetening the handling, it has a totally standard engine with just a pipe – not even a PCIII.
Now, I’d rather ride a good handling slow bike than an evil handling fast one, so not being put off, I made contact. We quickly got the price to an agreeable figure for us both and I collected it from Rockingham late March.
My first little tickle out on it at Silverstone National Circuit came in April, and I wasn’t really expecting how different it would feel to my road going R1.
I have never had a bike try and wheelie on a flat stretch of road at over 130mph, but this thing did! it’s an animal. I now understand why Gixxers come with steering dampers as standard too! I always had this down as covering a major design flaw, but for sure, I appreciated that this thing needed one just to calm it down in the lairy bits, with the rest of it’s manners actually very good.
Anyway, turns out, after 11 years of waiting I can confirm my balls are just about big enough to cope with riding a 1000 on track! The bike quickly picked up the nickname the “Old Crow”. This is simply based on a combination of it’s age matched with a Crow’s tenacity and a willingness to take on anything and everything it comes across!
So, with the Old Crow now happily in the stable, Visorvision will be seen at a few race meetings and track events throughout 2010 and 2011, all being well.
Keep an eye out, and do come and say hello if you spy us in your paddock! We’ve usually got Visorvision freebees with us, and if you mention the blog, we’ll happily share some of whatever we have about! (subject to availability – free stuff goes quicker than the bike!)