There she is! The beautiful, long-legged Bavarian you've been reading about and seeing in the glamor magazines. Her numbers seem to match her physical beauty. 160 hp, 500 lbs and 83 lb-ft of torque. Pure motorcycle lust and now you're meeting face-to-face. You're checking her out, getting a feel for all she has to offer when the person in charge of introductions asks if you knew about her clutchless shifting option. You didn't and now you're even more smitten by this beauty.
The Long-Legged "Bavarian"
Now it's time to take her out on a "date". The first "date" is with a group of her friends and you're under the watchful eye of her "managers". They want to make sure nothing gets out of hand. You fire her up and her voice is sweet, but a little weak. Out on the road she feels OK, not as exciting as you'd imagined and there's this annoying vibration through her handlebars. Perhaps this is the way she is at the start and it'll smooth out once you get to know her better.
The pace picks up and now you're spending quality time riding sweeping corners on country back roads. You find her cornering ability to be precise, but she's not as fun as the Italian beauty you've dated in the past or the spunky Brit that you've been spending a lot of time with lately. And what's with the vibration? It's still there!
The "Italian" Beauty: Ducati Multistrada Grantourismo
On a long stretch of pavement you have the opportunity to see how fast she really is and twist the throttle. There's a slight hesitation and then BAM! Now that's more like it, you think, and the clutchless shifting is awesome. That vibration is still there and it's annoying!
The first date is over and while you could be persuaded to go out on a second date, you realize that as beautiful as she is, she didn't make you smile and laugh out loud like your current British squeeze or get you're heart racing like the Italian did. And that damn vibration...
My "British" Squeeze: 1999 Triumph Sprint ST 955
Choosing a motorcycle based on physical appearance and given numbers is about the same as choosing a date from an online dating site. Sometimes you're pleasantly surprised and sometimes not so much. While photos, magazine and YouTube reviews help, keep in mind that the test riders have their own riding styles and biases. The only way to truly find out if you're compatible is to go for a ride. Several rides, if you can. If it's "allowed", try to spend some alone time as this is where you can see what the motorcycle is really like.
This nice thing is, you may find the motorcycle of your dreams with low milage and at a reduced price thanks to someone who purchased a motorcycle based on a desire that came from the moto "porn" magazines and online sites. They realized too late that they were incompatible and the "divorce" was quick and costly.
Have fun finding your next motorcycle, even if it takes a lot of "dates" to get the right one.
Dream Your Ride