Friday, May 15, 2015


I get the FZR cleaned and prepped to my satisfaction, attaching the upper and lower fairing a little more solidly.  I confirm it has no oil leaks and everything else, brakes, chain, sprockets, all appear to be in good order.  I feel comfortable that at least nothing on the exterior of the machine will attempt to kill me.  I try not to think about hidden internal horrors.  After passing tech, the decision is made to turn a few laps in practice.

The high-strung she-devil does not disappoint.  Keep the motor on the boil with the revs over 10k and it is a fast and willing accomplice.  Let the revs drop and the thing is boggy and slow.  Very much like a two-stroke, cornering speed will be the key.  There is no mid-range torque available at corner apex to make up for a slow entry.  The chassis proves itself to be remarkably well set-up and even my ham-fisted, herky jerky riding style does not upset it, and despite being about 25 pounds heavier than my EX, it feels lighter.  I enjoy a handful of tentative laps getting to know the bike.  It's like running your hands over a woman's body for the first time, so much to discover, but do it in a gentle way or it might scratch your eyes out.

I exit the track knowing there is much left to learn.  The machine is truly above my current abilities.  I am not wired yet for the type of cornering speeds it is fully capable of.  The bike is so composed in the corners I confuse that for a lack of feedback and slow down as a result.  The problem being, I am not pushing it hard enough to get any feedback, or heat in the tires for that matter.

Where the EX500 screams and protests each corner, twists itself up into knots, slides, shakes and generally lets me know how unhappy it truly is, the FZR begins gently cooing, "Faster, harder.  I want it.  Show me what kind of man you really are."

And maybe someday I will.  When the Viagra kicks in.

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