It’s been a flat-out weekend where I haven’t really had time to do much of anything constructive.
No wait…Gav Gill and I took the Kawasaki Versys 1000 out for a run on Saturday morning.
It’s a hell of a bike. I’ve always been a huge fan of Kawasaki motors. They always seem to be incredible performers, and the Versys lives up to the expectation. It’s an in-line four, so you’d expect it to have some sting, but it’s a very far cry from the type of pant-soilling rort offered by the big Ninjas, and that’s one of the things that makes it so enjoyable. It’s still a weapon-and-a-half, but it’s just so damn manageable. There’s a thumb switch that allows selecting either ‘F’ for ‘full power’ of ‘L’ for ‘not quite full power’ (the paperwork says ‘L’ gives 75 per cent pants pooer – sorry HORSEPOWER). The low-power setting made it very manageable on dirt roads, and the surprisingly good suspension made the bike a superb fun machine on choppy backroads or less-than-freeway standard riding.
For once I didn’t take any pics on the ride with Gav. I just wanted to enjoy a morning’s ride without having to work.
Gav was on his TDM900, and when we swapped I was reminded what a frigging great bike THAT is as well.
Speaking of Gav, I was talking to him about Longest Day while we were munching on a pie overlooking the river at Lawrence. He was a little non-committal about whether or not he’ll be riding on that day. I’ve already said I won’t be riding for the distance. I’ve all but decided that what I will do is be on the headland at Sawtell for sunrise, then head west as usual. This year though, I’ll ride to the clock, not the speedo, and I’ll be sticking to speed limit. My intention is to make a leisurely run out to Narrabri for lunch, then head back to be home by sunset. If I’m not at Narrabri by lunchtime, I’ll turn around from wherever I am when the clock says I’m halfway through the day.
Narrabri and back in one day will still be a big ride, even at legal, sightseeing speeds, so I’ll feel as though I’ve kept the spirit of the ride alive for another year. This will be Longest Day 9. Crikey.
I’ve been way too busy with work to get much riding in this last week, but someone who’s clearly not as busy as me is Karen Ramsay. She also seems to be a dab hand with Photoshop. I still haven’t stopped chuckling at the e-mail she sent over, and she was good enough to let me post it. Just to put you in the picture, here’s an ad for the Honda Dominator Tony Kirby made for Honda in 1994…
Here’s Karen’s version of the ad…
I have a fairly intense couple of weeks coming up, including a few days with the BMW GS Safari Enduro in Victoria. I’ll try and sniggle away a few images for the blogs.
Let me know if you’d like to form a crew for Longest Day. It’ll be very, very leisurely, and you’re welcome to do as much or as little of it as you want (it’s the same route we rode for The Caper).