Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Honeymoon Report

When you buy a new motorcycle you go through three stages just like in your love life.  At first you fall in love, everything is just beautiful, maybe it's the color, maybe it's the shape or even the sound, you are blind to the imperfections, you are in love and all is rosy.

Then you go through the honeymoon phase where you now live together and have to accept each other, nothing can go wrong, you love everything and are together all the time, always touching, feeling each other, there might be a few hiccups, the rosy moments can turn blue but all is still covered by love.

After a while the honeymoon is over and now you have to accept the fact that there might be some dark moments, moments when you might hate each other and everything turns black, but now you have to live with the good and the bad as you are now stuck for the duration of the loan.

I'm happy to have gone through the first stage, it was a long courtship but we finally got together.  Now the honeymoon phase starts and we can finally go places together and enjoy each other.  I took her out on Saturday to meet my friends for the first time with a little apprehension, you never know how they going to react to your new love.

I had organized to meet at the Brass Ring Cafe in Hopewell where my friends would be waiting to have lunch and then we would take a ride to the Van Sant Airport in Pennsylvania, a local hangout for bikers. It wasn't going to be a long ride, just long enough to get accustomed to each other.

I have to say she's very comfortable, a little tall but since she's light on her feet I can handle her well.  The exceptionally compact 1199cc parallel twin with a unique 270° crank makes wonderful sounds. The combination offers excellent torque and traction and the engine mass is kept low for excellent handling.  The narrow 2-cylinder inline engine is slim and compact with two engine maps.  "Touring" for when you just want to enjoy the scenery, give her throttle and she gently pulls away in no rush, smoothness is her character. "Sport" when you want to be rough and play dirty.  I was surprised the first time I put her in "Sport" mode how she completely changed, give her a little throttle and she throws you back, you get propelled like you were shot out of a canon, no apologies, just a brute force from low rpm's all the way to the red line. It's a "Jekyll and Hyde" feeling, two distinct personalities.

I arrive at the Cafe with her and the guys are bowing to us, they are instantly in love with her, the looks, the sound, how skinny and light she is, we both felt the love.  My brother asks me to go around so he can film it with his Iphone and that's when I ran into her twin sister, different color but just as beautiful.  I wave and she comes over to join the party.

I had originally fallen in love and picked the "Raven" back in September 2010.  After about two months I changed my mind after some members of the family suggested the "Impact Blue" was nicer.  I reluctantly changed my order but I had instructed the dealer that I did not want to fall out of line and if changing the color was going to affect delivery than forget it since I loved them both. I'm not sure what happened but something was lost in the translation. Two weeks ago the dealer finally called to tell me my "Raven" Super Ténéré had arrived.  I was surprised but the "Raven" had been my first love after all.  They are both beautiful but I definitely prefer the "Raven" and would not change a thing on her.

L to R - Yous trully, Paul (my brother), Wayne, Jack, Duke and Jeff

After lunch we head to the airport crossing into Pennsylvania in Frenchtown.  I am finally able to open her a little, the twin downdraft fuel injection throttle delivering acceleration with precise throttle response.  She glides through the air taking the twisty part of route 32 with an unbelievable lightness.   Compared to my previous love, she's nimble and I feel I have complete control over her.  I throw her left and right and she responds with complete confidence.  We arrive at the airport and I decide to test how good her traction really is.

I take her on the grass and give her a little twist on the throttle.  Her 3-position Traction Control lets me get on the gas with confidence, I give her a little more throttle and I finally feel her wheels spin just a little, her brain regulating the ignition timing and fuel injection based on wheel spin, she pulls away with hardly a complaint.  I didn't turn the traction control off, she's too new for me to get rough with her. Three modes are available to match my riding style.

She has both an Antilock Braking System (ABS) and Unified Braking System. With the Unified Braking System, squeezing the front brake alone also provides some rear-wheel braking; pressing the rear brake first overrides the Unififed Braking System for traditional separate front and rear braking action.  I didn't have the courage to test her ABS but the unified braking system works extremely well allowing the use of the front brake with confidence.  I accelerated and then braked hard on the long road leading to the airport and she responded by slowing down like someone had dropped an anchor behind us with nary a fuss.

With an adjustable seat and windshield, her body components helping protect the legs against cold weather, her side mounted radiator extracting the engine heat through the side vents, the grooved foot pegs with rubber cushions which provide excellent comfort while sitting while letting the rider’s boots contact the metal foot peg surface when standing to tackle more technical riding conditions, I feel comfortable we will have a long relationship and will travel together on many new adventures.

I return to the group and park her next to the other ladies.  My brother's BMW GS1200 Adventure, two Triumph ST's, a Triumph Trophy and a BMW R1200RT. I'm sure the newcomer had lots to talk about.
We sat in the shade under the trees, watched the gliders take off and discussed the better things in life, woman and motorcycles.

We leave the airport and head home passing through the town of New Hope, the future ahead of us.

I am now working on a few additions that will enhance my Yamaha Super Ténéré and make our travels more comfortable.  I'm still enjoying my honeymoon, she's all I expected and more.


  1. Great write up George, There is nothing, and I mean nothing like the smell of a new bike. I cans ee many great adventures coming forth soon. How is the 'old" women handling it, have you moved her on, always hard to walk away from a old love with so many special memories.

    What are the extras you have planned, does the bike come standard with panniers etc?

  2. So true, I can vouch for that love. Everytime you enter the garage your eyes flow over her with love, pride and joy. Enjoy her and ride safe.

  3. George:

    Drats ! I nearly got the S10 out of my mind, and now this . . . I need some love too, so back to the dealer I go. I was content and didn't have wandering eyes, until now

    glad you are enjoying your new ride

    Riding the Wet Coast

  4. @Roger
    Thanks. I still have Goldie, probably going to sell her. I do have great memories with her.
    I didn't get the Tenere with panniers, didn't want the Yamaha, going to buy them from another company. Have a few items in my garage to install, crash bars, skid plate and a few other things. I will post.

    Thanks honey, you are the best.

    You know you want it, it's a matter of justifying it to the boss LOL

  5. Honeymoon...rough and play dirty...give her a little throttle and she throws you back, you get propelled like you were shot out of a canon, no apologies, just a brute force...
    ...this is turning into quite the bike porn! (You been hanging out with Jack R.?) :)

    It sounds like you two are getting to know one another, and the riding is sweet. I'd like to have ABS, but it's harder to find on the smaller bikes. Raven or blue, she's a beauty! Enjoy your new bike, I'm so glad she's finally here!

  6. I've been thinking really hard about ditching the KLR for the Super T. then again I'm a bike whore and like them all!! great looking bike and congrats......

  7. Nice, Kari :)

    You sure sound like a man in love, alright. I only wish my boyfriend loved me as much as it sounds like you love your new bike ;)

    Love the photo of the 5 bikes lined up next to one another.

    Can't wait to read about the rest of your romance!

  8. @Kari
    I'm just having linguistic fun :-) Jack's influence might have rubbed on me. My wife "Fats" commented above and she will tell you I have been spending more than my usual time in the garage, there's always something to clean on the new bike, you know ;-)

  9. @Fattkaw
    Thank you.
    KLR's are supposed to be super tough, I'm following a blogger that is going to Alaska on a KLR with 2 other KLR's. Originally I was looking at KLR and V-Strom as the bike to go to Alaska but then Yamaha announced the Tenere and my mind was set. The Tenere is better for long distance riding on the road with the occasional dirt road, the KLR is the opposite. The Tenere is also able to carry a heavier load.

  10. @Rachael
    You know it's a different love, but like I said, I'm in the honeymoon phase, it's barely 2 weeks, there will be a time I will get annoyed or even hate it ;-). I'm sure there are times you would rather be on your beautiful Yellow Triple as well ;-) There were 3 Triumphs in the line up, I wish you could hear the silver one, Jack changed the exhaust, it sounds amazing, best sounding Triumph I have heard.

  11. I am glad you finally took delivery of your new ride. It has been a long time coming. She certainly has kept you waiting....... just like a woman.

  12. Super Sweet! I was a little worried when you immediately wrote about the last phase. But it sounds like that may be a while, if ever, to come. She sounds quite response and enjoyable. I look forward to more reports and pictures.

  13. I agree, you sound infatuated right now. Glad you're enjoying it.

    Now I just wish my wife had switchable ignition maps and traction control modes!

  14. @Trobairitz
    Thanks. So true, woman know the art of creating anticipation ;-)

    I think the third phase will be a while, the bike is so good, very comfortable and sweet sounding but eventually just like any other guy, my eye will start wondering and looking at the "younger", oops, newer bikes ;-)

    Thanks. You so right about the wife, me too LOL

  15. Dear George:

    I figured for sure you'd have ten other rides posted by now. When I first started reading this piece, I thought for sure you were implying the honeymoon was over for some reason. Yet as I got to the end, it is apparent to me that this is your dream bike.

    Fondest regards,
    Twisted Roads

  16. @Jack
    Had a vacation with the family in Florida and then Irene decided to intervene to keep me there for a few more days, almost 2 weeks in Clearwater almost made me forget about my bride ;-)