Otto wrote in response to an on-line conversation we were having about down-sizing. He very kindly told us the story of his bikes. Firstly, let me say that I miss my Hayabusa very, very much! I also miss to nearly the same degree, my previous bike, which was the M109 LE. Both bought new, but got shown the door for the very good reason of ushering in the Hayabusa. You could say that I am either not very attached to my metal, or you might also say that I am someone who likes to receive traumatic sequences of “goodbyes” after “Good Buys!” Either way, as you may have guessed, I have reached an age where I know there will always be another bike, (or not!) but then, it might not be the all important World Shattering Love Affair that consumes all my creative and nervous Energies. Speaking a bit like a Wanker or an Enlightened Taoist, or both, I rather couldn't care less, what the label might be, if someone else is giving it to me. My wife tells me that I go through “phases” and she'd know me better than anyone! My biking days are from the 70's, as you might have guessed. My first “real proper” bike that was mine, was the Titan 500. Before that I rode Vespas and other odd things which were always around or in the family parking lot. I liked cars too and remember very affectionately, my mother's Fiat 600, my Dad's Dodge (with wings) and also my mother's Triumph Herald coupe before it was smashed up (a deserving fate for many Triumphs I've come to realise!). (Ha, ha, well now, that’s not nice Otto! Although the Herald was never one of my favourites! Elwyn). After the Titan, my next play-thing was the awesome Triumph Bonneville 750 (T140) which was a revelation in handling compared to the poor old Titan, which had a most impressive name and sweet styling for the times. I toured much of Tasmania with it and would have kept it, had the bloke who replaced the rings bothered to check which way they should have gone in and in which pot! The impressive thing about the Titan was that it was gentlemanly, especially when it came to stopping in a hurry. It was just not going to be rushed into it! The Bonneville was Brando’s Bike. What more need one say? Well, perhaps easy starting would have been great; how about less vibration and the ability to rev beyond 5000 when you want and not when it feels like it? Ultimately, it was very light handling and to this day, due to that influence, I prefer wheels which turn just by thinking about it, rather than having to submit an application in triplicate (a la M109r!). The Boulevarde was greatly admired by me and all who came near it, especially very old ladies, who had husbands, long dead, who used to own and ride the “biggest” tank around the hood! These ladies would bail me up at shopping malls and I could not get away without first hearing their entire history from 1939-1946! The white Boulevarde LE did hit a soft spot with me though. It reminded me of my departed white Bull-Terrier. The shaft drive was built like it came of a Fiat Tractor. Altogether, it was the bike that could sink the Enterprise, given half a chance. It was quick too, with all that monster torque! Enter the Hayabusa. I just knew I had to have it, end of story. It captured my imagination and more, from the moment I actually sat on one in the showroom. Bought it then and there! Not 2 years after riding out in the Boulevard, I gave it back and drove out in a black Falco Perigri. I am not exaggerating that the Hayabusa is all there is if you want a bike that can do 0-300 at will, anytime and just about anywhere. I would have one again, perhaps the generation 3. Sold Gen 2 at a good price. I would not just have the Hayabusa. A lighter bike is needed for times when the ride is just “Normal” A-B-A without the "Hyper" pre-requisite. Top on the list is a bike that handles superbly and I have tested and liked the FireBlade, GSXR1000 and also the FZ1. I'd have an Italian for the style, but not for the dynamics or necessary ownership wish-list, starting with “wish that service didn't cost $800 + parts!” and “wish I bought a Honda FireBlade instead!” or “wish that fuel tank didn't sag, and there is a solution for it eventually...!” I think in a nutshell, simplicity spells tranquillity, not just “down-sizing”....Big is not all bad though, but tight and sweet handling would do it for me just about always... Thanks Otto for your most entertaining story! I think I’ll write down some of those wonderful descriptions! (Like the “goodbyes” that follow “good buys”, and the Ducatti “wish-list”!). Well done! Keep us informed of your next bike (and the next one …!).
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