hiding under a rock
when any motorcycle obsessed person heads to europe, you pretty much spend 50% of your time looking at bikes. which isn’t really all that different from how you spend time in the states, except that the bikes are different. some are the same bikes with different paint, some are tiny bikes that will never come state-side, and others are those bikes you see and say “why the hell isn’t that available at home?”
when i was in barcelona this time i saw my first suzuki GSR. this is a well thought-out urban warrior. it’s a midsized (650cc ish) bike with a narrow silhouette despite the fact that it’s a 4 cyl. the exhausts are stuck under the seat like last year’s race bikes to keep things narrow (race bikes have since moved their exhausts back down low again to keep them from frying your ass, which they were doing).
and the most thoughtful touch of all – the turn signal are integrated into this beefy metal exoskeleton of a bike frame instead of on stalks or mirrors. this way when you’re bike goes down (i hope you’re not on it when that happens), your signals are less likely to need replacing – finally. the instrument cluster was small and well laid out and i just fell in love with the thing. what can i say. the reviews i’ve read all say it handles really well but that the throttle is a bit wonky. so either i could tinker with it, or start looking at the aprilia shiver, which might actually come out here, but is a bit bigger (engine wise)
the shiver has a bunch of neat high tech improvements on your standard street fighter, many of em meant to make the bike a bit smaller and easier to handle, which of course sounds appealing. plus it looks mean as all hell doesn’t it? that externally mounted rear shock is so terminator. now if only it were a little smaller and more affordable. ha! guess i’ll have to wait a few years.
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