Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

mattb's new bike

Discussion in 'Showcase' started by mattb, Oct 11, 2009.

  1. No, I’ve not sold the SR500.

    That one’s a sickness. I call her the Black Dog. Just like Tucker’s daughter that time, “She wanna build me up tear me down” – that is, she’s a leading cause of manic depression. When she’s running well she’s fantastic, the best bike to come out of Japan, and when she’s running badly she’s hell on wheels. And even when good, she's just plain uncomfortable on the highway and she makes you feel guilty for it. It's a big country and I need some touring power!

    "Bad Black Dog! Where’s my whip?!"


    That’s QuarterWit taking it easy on her.

    So this week I bought a second bike. I never would have chosen something like this, but with the Black Dog in my life I need something reliable which can do many miles, at speed, for a good while to come. I thought I had that in the GR650, even though it's 25 years old, but then a mate decided to give up bikes. As a parting shot he offered his to me for the great price of $4k, which would mean more money from the bank. To be in debt is to serve The Man, and that is more service than I wanted so I left it. Then he said, “Seriously, just make an offer – I’d rather see a mate get a bargain!” So I said $3k, which somehow involves less psychological ties that bind me to The Man. Hoping not to offend. He went quiet, said “The rego’s due” and “so how about we make it $2750?”!

    Here she is today on my first run.


    Hornet 600, excellent condition, just had $1000 major service, 40,000 km which is low to me, 1998 which to me is a new bike. I was there the day my mate bought it and know it better than anybody after him – so no risks. For RWC needed new fluid in front brake. Comprehensive insurance at market value is $195 per year.

    It’s my first bike, in a decade of riding, which isn’t from the late 70s or early 80s, and which is made for highway miles. So I did my first ride today on it, taking back roads from Melbourne until I ended up Moama, then north to Barham and back down to Shepperton, Strathbogie etc. She ate the kms happily. My riding style is sedate and she can do that even if most owners buy her for other reasons. I just cruised along and she’s chilled. I re-fueled frequently to gauge economy, which was consistently at 19 or 20km per Litre.

    I’m not a inline-4 sports guy, but try finding me a Vulcan for $2.7k! Anyway, I figure I can make an unusual cruiser out of this (they’re all the same these days, as though imitating some ‘one true’ Platonic form of the cruiser) inspired by the stuff done in that direction to big Jap I-4s in the 70s: when I can get longer cables made I’ll put on the bars from the GR (see pic below), a tall windscreen, forward pegs, and my partner (who likes the pillion set-up otherwise) wants a generous sissy-bar, which I think will be unecessary for as soon as I’ve got more dosh, the sidecar chassis will be hooked up and a well-sprung Mad Max-style boat made for it, at which point this will be a go-anywhere touring bike, where ‘anywhere’ means especially dirt highways – I’ll see if indeed there is an inland sea on the continent (which the first settlers imagined).

    Alas for the GR650, a good and faithful servant who I assumed would continue to serve, but will now be placed on eBay. Goodbye GR!

  2. Well done mattb - the new bike looks the goods and I'm sure will look after you during your future long rides. Talk about an awesome mate, and a great deal to boot !
    Happy, safe adventures mate.
  3. I confidently predict that you will LOVE your '98 Hornet 600!!! I bought mine nearly 5 years ago with 55,000 on the clock and it now has 137,000+. With the exception of dirt roads (the little 16" front wheel HATES broken surfaces) I've done everything from fanging up and down Macquarie Pass to 1228kms in a day on it, and enjoyed every kilometre.

    If you need any info on the blue beauty, PM me :wink:.

    But please, leave it stock, it doesn't need improving :LOL:
  4. Good one mattb! (y)
    anxious to see the result of your future mods.
  5. Hornet 600's are great, definitely a bargain, i would buy that in a second. Good job, enjoy.

    That Suzuki GR is a beast!! Love it.
  6. Enjoy the trusty new steed

    Don't mind the GR, don't recall seeing one in the flesh :cool:
  7. congratulations on the new steed & happy ridings, they seem a reliable steady and sporty bike, can't ask for much more than that
  8. Thanks guys.

    Hornet, certainly had you in mind for PMs. Indeed, your high km experiences are what made me reconsider I-4s some time back, paving the way for this opportunity I guess. One thing I'd be interested to know: a recommendation for cheaper (touring / commuting) tyres. I was dismayed when I checked out prices on the web - a rear costs as more than a full set of BT45s on the SR! Yeah, I'd rather leave it all stock - teh point of this bike is to be reliable, trouble-free, however despite the current fashion I just love the feel (most importantly) and look of nice high bars. And they'll become a necessity when I put the sidecar on without leading link forks. At that point hopefully I'll also find that some car tyres fit both front and back.

    Will miss the GR. I like the look of her very much. I like her arm-chair feel even more. And getting back on it after the Hornet, I can see I'll miss the sound and feel of the twin, whether at idle or in moition. All well, I put the baffle in this morning because in the last six months I'm actually noticing the hearing loss in my right ear, and teh smooth vvvvvvv provides a nice taste of that electric bike I'll one day be proud of.

    A nice bonus is that the exhaust is high, for river crossings. Check out here for some of my inspiration for the whole outfit: the pages following on from here include a number of pics of aussie sidecars in action http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=294734&page=97 I took teh bike along a short jaunt on a dirt road along the Murray, but you;re right Hornet - that front wheel feels jittery...
  9. Nice bike Matt ,

    Would you have been at a servo up near Mansfield late yesterday arvo ??
  10. I was standing out the front of the servo at Merton for a while on the phone, mid to late afternoon. Intending to go to Alexandra I took a wrong turn and ended up at Bonnie Doon after that, but didn't get to Mansfield.... I nodded to a few bikes that went past, were you one of them?
  11. River crossings????????????????????
  12. uhuh .... I said to the guys when I got to Mansfield .. I think I just saw another netrider down the rd at the servo and I even named you LOL just from your great pics on here ... was a great day for a ride .. a group of us did an overnighter to Jamieson .
  13. :LOL: Small world! I remember seeing a female on a red CB250, was that one of your group?

    I haven't been down to Jamieson yet (I got a lot of the way there round the other way but the road was too muddy for my road bike), though toying with having a few riders out to Eildon Nat Park soon with a ride round to there in the morning. Everything feels big out there.
  14. Yes !!! That was LizzieM ..

    4 of the boys did the dirt road to Jamieson , on thier road bikes it was FUN apparently !!