It’s Saturday night and I’m pretty much shattered.
I’ve been in Victoria riding the ‘Tenere Tragics’. Clubby and his people from TrailZone magazine turned on a great four days of dualsporting. I was there as the guest of Yamaha, so I was with some great people and able to ride some fabulous bikes. First up was the 2014 XTZ1200 Super Tenere with electronically-adjustable suspension. What a bike. It took some time to settle into, and I was really struggling with it for the first morning. There are 84 fine-tuning suspension settings available from the left-hand switchblock, and I couldn’t find one that would let me feel comfortable and just ride the bike. Then I turned off the traction control. Suddenly it didn’t matter what suspension setting I chose, the bike was a rocket. I had a ball for the rest of the day and even got a few accusations of being tough on the bike. The rear tyre did look a little second-hand, but it must’ve been a soft one, because I don’t recall giving it a flogging. I wish I was good enough to hammer the rear tyre on a bike like that!
I rode with Yamaha’s Peter Payne and Sean ‘Geeze’ Goldhawk, and Stephen Gall, and they gave me a gentle razzing and put me on Sean’s 660 for the third day. It was a great bike as well, but I didn’t do any damage (thank goodness).
For the final day, Peter Payne offered a ride on his personal Super T. Peter’s a good rider and in his international days he was called ‘Mr Clean’. He’s the only guy I’ve ever met who can remove his helmet and his hair is still combed. His machinery and person are always immaculate, and he knows how to build a fast bike. I was drooling to ride his 1200 with the Teknik suspension, Barrett pipe and all the extra weight stripped off, but what if I got a speck of dirt on it?
Peter’s eyes shone, he gently pressed the key into my palm and said, “My precious.”
Gawd. Talk about pressure.
Of course I decked it on the bitumen. And Peter was sitting right next to me when it happened.
I missed my footing trying to turn around after Gally got us lost, and I almost managed to hold the bike up, but I couldn’t. It was softest touch on the tarmac ever, but this was The Precious!
Peter laughed it off and said not to worry about it, but then the bike turned out to be so FRIGGING awesome! I barrelled through the mountains like an out-of-control scud missile for an hour or so until Peter politely suggested I give it back.
Here’s a few pics. I’ll caption them as I can, but I drove from Melbourne back to Sydney yesterday, and from Sydney to home here overnight last night. Because of the crazy work deadline I was at my desk writing the story and sorting the images all day today, and now I’m too shagged to think straight. If I don’t put a caption on the pic you can figure it out for yourself. It’ll give you an idea of what a great ride it was.