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Killa's biking history *Part 9*

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killa
Won't Shut Up



Joined: 18 Oct 2004
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PostPosted: 10:12 - 02 Jul 2012    Post subject: Killa's biking history *Part 9* Reply with quote

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8

The Suzuki TL1000R is not just a bike for me, itís a dream come true.
About ten years ago I saw a promotional photo of one and my jaw just dropped at the sight of it. Whatís more, the thing sounded like nothing else I had heard before and as Iíve always been a petrol head, itís the kind of sound that makes your hairs stand on end and your heart race.

http://i1190.photobucket.com/albums/z451/SV_KB/suzuki-tl-1000-r-03.jpg

Throughout my biking years Iíve spotted the odd one thundering past me, leaving everything in its wake a little shaken. When I had bought the first ZX7R, there was a guy on a yellow and black tiller who took the same commute on my way home from work. The noise of it was just beautiful and I imagined myself owning one of them one day, until this time, insurance had been an issue due to my ďbad boyĒ attitude of the past.

I was just as excited about owning this bike as I was stepping up to a 125 when I was 17.
Summer 2011 had come around and I was searching the adís for a potential. It to be as standard as possible, the factory black and yellow colours from that photo, anything else would have to be a consideration.
All of the rumours about these bikes came back to haunt me though. Itís one of those bikes even my old man, who isnít into bikes, had heard about. The immense torque, the steering damper requirement, the unconventional suspension and the sheer weight and size of the thing.
I had a lot of this kind of thing in the run up to buying the ZX7R and I was pleasantly surprised when that bike became what it was in my hands.

A low mileage example popped up, clean, tidy, unmolested and looked pretty perfect. A genuine reason for sale (a house move) and all the paper work included.

http://i1190.photobucket.com/albums/z451/SV_KB/243319_10150605824300533_4590719_o.jpg

http://i1190.photobucket.com/albums/z451/SV_KB/242200_10150605824445533_2237811_o.jpg

The only thing that threw up a red light was the six previous owners. It really, honestly, hadnít seen rain, I just knew it. But then it also has the reputation for a bike that seeís less rain than a Ducati. More on that later.

When I arrived at the house the bike stood proud outside the front of the house, just for the showing. A quick inspection before knocking on the door and I could see the bike was spot on, the black metallic paint gleaming in the sun and the infamous TL1000R slapped on the side.

http://i1190.photobucket.com/albums/z451/SV_KB/242820_10150624207650533_4119295_o.jpg

Butterflies.

The guy started the bike when he came outside, if had the money on me there and then, I would have literally thrown it all of it at his face and taken the bike. Being 28 years old I couldnít really allow myself to do that and had to settle for being a little more reserved, nodding at him slowly, trying to hide the teenager inside me who wanted to ride this bike until the wheels fell off.

The nerves came hard at the end of the week when I picked up the bike, I would be riding the bike back for around 30-40miles, so I was hoping that it wasnít going to be too much of a beast to tame. Money was passed over, keys changed hands, the guys face said it all, he was parting with a great machine. I said my goodbyes, kicked it into first and set off gingerly from the house.
As I rumbled windows through the quaint Cotswold village, what a surprise the engine was, smooth as silk in the low RPM and the delivery was beautiful.
So all that really left between now and home was cornering.
In the first 15 minutes of riding, the few bends I had taken literally took no effort at all, the response time of the countering was awesome and because of the engine, my confidence gained momentum fast. It didnít take me long before I was committing to a corner and realised that the accuracy of the handling far outweighed any fears I had previously, this bike didnít just feel planted, it felt computer controlled at times.

http://i1190.photobucket.com/albums/z451/SV_KB/472661_10151731195840533_1373148329_o.jpg

Now riding the TL1000R like this, i.e on the way home from buying it, is pretty much the perfect way to ride and enjoy all of its qualities. A little power when needs be to keep the engine happy, enjoying the superb frame and suspension work of Suzuki. What I didnít realise is that at any given time, I could have got all happy handed and unleashed what feels like an event, rather than simply accelerating.
The ZX7R is not a sloppy bike, it can push you to your limits and reward you when you get it right, the same goes for the TLR but with the Suzuki, if you push it, it will make you feel like the weak mortal you really are.

http://i1190.photobucket.com/albums/z451/SV_KB/257340_10150624208140533_4303618_o.jpg

I was enjoying the last of the country roads before it gets all pedestrian like, I decided to have a feel what power was sat in this frame. There was a red Citroen 2CV in front, in no hurry at all (I donít think hurry is an option in a 2CV), a perfect time to overtake.
Feeling through the bike where the revs are sat, I stayed conscious of the slightly smaller rev range on the TLR compared to the Kwak and kept in mind this thing is a big twin. I dropped it down a cog and gave it the beans. By the time I had thought about having a quick look at revs, the engine reached peak and licked the end of the red range, Iím past the 2CV in less than two seconds and now approaching a corner at 80mph. I keep it here, turn in and the bike takes the bend like Iím being controlled by the hand of a god. That was all too easy and the straight after that bend was a distant memory after eating the section at 100+mph. I pulled over into a lay-by just to have a look around and admire the thing and caught a glimpse of the dazed looked of the Citroen driver and passenger as they trundled past.

http://i1190.photobucket.com/albums/z451/SV_KB/DSC_0043.jpg

I refer to the bike now as Ďití, the thing, or Thor. Thor came about after the first few words uttered from both my girlfriend and my best mate, they both said it sounded like some sort of thunder god, so the name has stuck.
In the next couple of weeks of ownership I was out riding whenever I could. What I discovered is something of a bittersweet relationship and possibly the reason why this bike has had so many owners.
As said earlier, sometimes being a pilot on the TLR is an event, rather than just a case of riding a motorcycle. I no longer would ride in the rain if I can avoid it and I worry quite a lot about expense. It chews through rubber like a cheap Bangkok whore and itís body work is the usual over priced Japanese plastic. Aside from the expense, the performance is mega and more times than I care to remember Iíve had some cheek clenching moments because of it.

In October 2011, I binned it. Sadly it was a simple mistake of me pulling out to filter and the guy a few cars in front pulling out to park in his driveway. I tried what I could but it caught me off guard and I went down like a sack of spuds. Thankfully the repairs were minimal, though expensive.
I had a full left hand side panel and belly pan from Germany, the rest I had repaired and sprayed. The results were much better than I expected.

Iím currently planning a long trip in Europe at some point soon to really gel with the bike properly. I would say, if youíve been thinking of owning a twin and havenít, the TLR is nothing to worry about, itís a big pussy cat really, you just have to be mindful that it is no toy and does not suit for everyday riding (for most people). Iím glad Iíve owned this bike as Suzuki is most likely never to make anything like it again and big twins are not that popular.

So thatís it for now, I hope you youíve enjoyed reading this, from the 90ís until today, I will be continuing these posts when time has passed and more adventures have been had. Laughing

http://i1190.photobucket.com/albums/z451/SV_KB/468140_10151412658705533_6188998_o.jpg

Edit:- Now with Part 10 and I go back to the old school

Part 10

Killa
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Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.
Bike:- Yamaha TRX850 | Killas Biking History | Killas Gaming History | Killas autmotive history


Last edited by killa on 09:35 - 12 Apr 2018; edited 4 times in total
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keggyhander
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Joined: 30 Nov 2008
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PostPosted: 10:58 - 02 Jul 2012    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love that shot with the film negative sprocket holes.

How did you do it?
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daemonoid
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Joined: 27 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: 11:23 - 02 Jul 2012    Post subject: Reply with quote

keggyhander wrote:
I love that shot with the film negative sprocket holes.

How did you do it?


www.pixlr.com

and a couple of clicks:

http://cdn.bikechatforums.com/files/pixlr.jpg
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past: hyosung gt250r, bajaj pulsar 180, hyosung gt 125 comet
@thomasgarrard | www.straitjkt.com | www.racingseven.com
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UnspeedySam
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Joined: 26 Nov 2009
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PostPosted: 13:50 - 02 Jul 2012    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very nice post as usual. I feel a lot like this with my TRX. I know it makes just over half the power of the TL1000R, but to me it feels like a rocket ship. I'm not sure how I'm going to fare riding it every day in all weathers (as the ZZR's replacement), as it doesn't like being ridden slowly, the clutch is pretty grabby and it REALLY doesn't like it when I back off mid-corner (for traffic on a roundabout for example).
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Riding: Does an Audi estate count?
Fixing: Honda VFR750 RC36 '94 and MZ ETZ 251 '90
Gone: ZZR600 '00, TRX850 '97, RXS100 '93, JS125-6B '07, BMW R1100RS '93, Kawasaki ZX-6R-J2 '01,Honda Bros NT400 NC25 '88
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Fisty
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Joined: 11 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: 20:58 - 02 Jul 2012    Post subject: Reply with quote

We need to go over the border and scare the welsh.
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killa
Won't Shut Up



Joined: 18 Oct 2004
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PostPosted: 08:34 - 03 Jul 2012    Post subject: Reply with quote

mr_fisty wrote:
We need to go over the border and scare the welsh.


Youíre right.
And you know, thinking about it, it could have been you that i saw on my commute. Thinking
Was some time ago though, so Iím not sure.

beechbone wrote:
Very nice post as usual. I feel a lot like this with my TRX. I know it makes just over half the power of the TL1000R, but to me it feels like a rocket ship. I'm not sure how I'm going to fare riding it every day in all weathers (as the ZZR's replacement), as it doesn't like being ridden slowly, the clutch is pretty grabby and it REALLY doesn't like it when I back off mid-corner (for traffic on a roundabout for example).


Thanks Thumbs Up
Well, the way I see it with every bike is that itís not whatís down on paper but how it puts it down on the road. A friend of mine wasnít too keen on getting a CBR600F claiming that it was going to be a bit much in comparison to his DRZ400, looking at the specs.
He was pleasantly surprised by its character, it suited him well.
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Bike:- Yamaha TRX850 | Killas Biking History | Killas Gaming History | Killas autmotive history
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