GSXR performance, VFR comfort, two large ones, sorted.
For some time we’d been obsessed with the idea of getting another sportsbike. We dwelt on the reasons elsewhere: the shift to ‘adventure’ bikes and naked roadsters has meant a surfeit of used sportsbikes in a depressed market. This means value.
So for the first time ever, the concept of a summer hack looked feasable. The clincher for us was that early noughties stuff had become very affordable, and as most of you will be aware that era saw the arrival of machines so competent, that on the road they can still hang onto just about anything out there. We’re talking about the Y class of GSXR 750, its stonking 03/4 big bro, the 954 Blade , RSVR, 04 R1 and mk1 ZX10. In other words, the last generation of sportsbikes which combined a sense of onboard space with a relative lack of restrictive paraphenalia, from an era when humungous end cans only existed in futuristic nightmares (unless you opted for the RSV).
The key criteria for BikerGlory were comfort and as close to two large ones as we could possibly get. It’s strange that it’s taken someone as eminent and skilled as John McGuinness to hammer home something which seems so blatantly obvious: if you are uncomfortable, you will be slow – which kind of negates the whole point of buying a sportsbike in the first place. It’s no co-incidence that the Morecambe Marvel looks positively serene floating around the Island without troubling a kneeslider. Look at him and his lap times and then check out the others. Case rested: when it comes to sportsbikes no pain = massive gain.
However, you simply can not predict which sportsbike will suit which individual, and there is only one way to find out. It so happens that GSXRs fit me – in that I can do 150 miles without feeling like the subject of vivisection. Crucially, decent Y series bikes (2000/03) can just about be snaffled for two k. The clincher was that I have a soft spot for 750s – they really do combine the best of the thou with the fun of the 600. We found a decent one with a set of American Conti Bars along with the originals for just over 2k. Check out the pix below to see what we’re talking about: scroll through or click individually to enlarge.
You can see that the Contis really are multi adjustable – back, forwards, up, down, wider, narrower – including rotation like this > around a horizontal axis. You might also have noticed the Valter Moto plate mounted upside down to slightly lower and move back peg position. There a number of holes for peg mounting according to requirements – it’s basically rear set territory on the cheap and none the worse for it.
What we have is an incredibly stable, light and rapid bike with the comfort of a VFR 750 and engine of equal reliability. All we need now is for someone to sort out the weather.