test ride

All posts tagged test ride

So today it’s five years since the Death Star – as it’s been called – came home.

I celebrated by taking it to get its MoT done – another pass – along with an annual service at Jack Lilley Romford.

It has now covered 9,484 miles (2017 6,954 miles and 2016 5,516 miles).

I test rode the new Tiger 1200 XRt at the same time. Good power, much more upright riding position and all of the toys, including cruise control and heated rider and passenger seats as well as automagic suspension adjustment. On the minus side, after not too long riding it, I had a numb bum so how it would cope with a Eurothrash, I didn’t know. Oh and the small matter of it costing £17,800 with panniers and top box! Ouch! Remember that the Sprint GT was only £8,500 (£9,500 today with inflation).

So I’m hoping that with the bar risers fitted, the Death Star might have a few years’ life left in it yet. I’ll find out tomorrow when I’m planning a blast around Kent and East Sussex.

Test Ride

Well it was time for for the test ride to see if I liked the bike. So on Saturday I rode over to Metropolis Motorcycles at Vauxhall who had a black Sprint GT demo bike with 590 miles on the clock (now for sale!). The weather was perfect for a test ride: overcast and very windy with a hint of rain.

After filling in the test ride forms and copying of licences, etc, the bike was duly unlocked and pushed out of the showroom for me … when it refused to start as the battery was almost out of charge. Damn! It was shoved around to the back and into the workshop where it could be jump-started from another slave battery and so it was off at last. No luggage was fitted to the demo bike, which gave me mixed feelings in terms of a test ride.

Heading out into traffic, the riding position seemed very natural; slightly bent forward but feeling roomy. The triple sounds nice, even with the mahoosive silencer, so the bike felt good as I rode through Battersea and Wandsworth and then out onto the A3 where I could open it up.

Obviously at 128bhp at the crank, it’s way down on power compared with my ZRX1200R – which is putting out 163bhp at the rear wheel – but it was certainly brisk enough up to high cruising speeds. It was nice at those speeds to be able to look round and ride generally without straining my neck from the wind blast.

Then onto some single carriageway A-roads into Epsom to pick up “GT” for a pillion test. In view of the battery issue, I left it ticking over for a while until Fi was ready and then off we went … or we would have if it hadn’t stalled as I put it into gear. And it was dead! So GT had to help me bump start the GT which it did fairly easily once onto a slight incline. Phew!

Demo Side View

Demo Side View

Demo Front View

Demo Front View

That silencer would have to go!

Off over to Ryka’s at Box Hill to see what it was like two-up. And the answer was “great”. Lots of room for a pillion and two large grabrails to hang onto. Not much buffeting either, apparently. This particular model seemed to have a 6 speed gearbox with a few false neutrals included…

After a cuppa and a chat with Mark who’d popped over as he is also thinking of buying one, it was time to head back. Fortunately, there was no misbehaving with the battery this time!

We headed up Box Hill itself to Headley which was a great choice because of the hairpins (reminiscent of my recent Pyrenees Eurothrash): we had wondered if it would be unwieldy in very tight bends with its relatively long wheelbase, but it was absolutely fine.

Once I’d dropped Fi off I headed back out for a circuitous route back to London so I could crank it up properly joining the A3 and it hustled along really well and really easily. I did find that it actually dropped into a false neutral from 4th a couple of times which would have been a worry if I’d read of similar experiences from other owners.

My overall impression was of a grown-up, sensible machine rather than my hooligan ZRX.

So then. Back to Metropolis…

Here I go again: another bike, another blog.

A test ride has been arranged for Saturday, 22 June 2013 for me to try a Sprint GT for size following on from my Pyrenees trip a week ago when I decided to bite the bullet and blow some cash on a sports tourer for serious mileage.