An 1100km romance with an S1000R

This particular S1000R is the top of the line 2016 model with all the factory options and around 1200km on the odometer. On first impression, it is a little odd looking with a left headlight looking like a boxer that’s taken a few too many right hooks. But everything, as oddly placed and proportioned as it is, has a place and a function. What shall we call this oddball?…

Being a techno wonder on the electronics front with ABS, semi-active suspension, angle-sensitive traction control, cruise control and many gadgets to keep you out of all sorts of trouble then it really ought to be called…Super Safety Bike!

Super Safety Bike is quite the companion. A true mutant wonder! It makes giants of meager mortals that’s for sure. Indeed, it’s level of safetiness is quite puctifying!

Surprisingly torquey! The sauerkraut/sausage lovechild is lower geared than an RR and very flexible on/off throttle. Gotta love the off throttle burbling farts too πŸ˜€

Goes like a missile! About as much wind protection too! 150+ hp of modern acceleration trying to relocate your head between your shoulderblades is more than enough to fight without the speed generated wind thrown in. I may get used to it or a may get shorter or thinner and more streamlined like a bird…mmm…

Oh yeah, the meat in the sandwich!

Cons:

  • Wind protection sucks.
  • Tight bend for the knees compared to say an MT10 or SuperDukeR.
  • Bit too efficient. Feels like it leaves some feeling out of the braking equation. A shame as it has remarkable stopping precision straight up or leaned over.
  • Virtually no storage or real estate for bags.
  • A face that only a mother could love. Oh, and that udder (exhaust box)!

Pros:

  • Ease of use. Really is remote control lightning!
  • Blistering acceleration.
  • Stable braking. Though lacks finger on the fishing line type feel.
  • Great looking standard wheels.
  • The active suspension is wondrous. Switch for intended use. No tools or notebooks!

🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 4/5

Could I live with one? You bet.

Could I live with it as my only bike? Probably not as I tend to carry the kitchen sink touring.


Right, let’s get to the riding experience shall we.

I’ll have all you know that I’m a safety rider these days. I just received my gold licence. Yes, no infringements for three plus years! And to prove it, I’ve decided to celebrate this auspicious occasion by taking a very safe bike for a ride for a couple of days!

1st date is in the dark and everything other than the looks of the illuminating bits is impressive. Oh, and the turning circle sucks but it sure is a pussy-cat around town. Let’s see how I feel when I wake up in the morning :p


How about some touring?

Day 1

Rainy 4am start for the Super Safety Bike. It wasn’t complaining because it enjoys safety challenges.

Seems Super Safety Bike isn’t so popular with the hyperguys at the service areas 😦

After some hard slog through Chuo rain Super Safety Bike brought me in for some refreshments. Just to be safe n all.

Early to the meet up and the rain had slowed down my wingmen so thought I’d knick inside for a bite… Fried chicken in ramen at 7am. Pure gold after 30minutes in cold driving rain.

And then there were four. No apocalypse to be had but we let the tarmac in the twisties know that we were there πŸ˜‰

The valleys and their snaking roads brought out the best in Super Safety Bike!

Finally made it to that night’s base were Tony took some great photos. Cheers T.

We mosied on up the hill for a soak in the hot springs and a good feed at the accompanying restaurant.

On the way back we stumbled upon a vixen of the night!

With a magic hand…

Super Safety Bike posted a most safe average speed πŸ™‚

Day 2

Starting the day and the jockeys were on the ball and the weather was a chilly 14deg but fine and promising for a good day out.
Super Safety Bike was still on the out with the cool bikes.

Still looking for friends? If it stopped running away so fast, it might have been able to join the cool kids. πŸ˜‰

Really noticed the benefit of soft settings on the active suspension on the bumpy goat tracks and the smooth throttle response on tight bumpy inclined hair pins.

And then there were the brakes. The odd surprise pucker-inducing corner showed the brakes to be very capable and the chassis unflappable under heavy braking, even when leaned over. However, the lever didn’t let on much what the front tyre was doing unfortunately.

Mid morning of the 2nd day and the road warriors gathered for drinks. Super Safety Bike is starting to make some friends as the unyielding seat and tightish knee angle is starting to make me want to stop more often.

Up on the road through Amo Touge stopped by one of the several waterfalls, it is an attractive ride. But this is a flattering angle…

By the end of the day, Super Safety Bike had found some friends willing to look past its hideous bean and enjoyed a great run through the nether regions of Japan.

Farewell Super Safety Bike

How will it go returning to the urban rental riders it usually pairs with?… Good luck Super Safety Bike. You are a phenomenal machine and a quite unexpected king maker.


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