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Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' at netrider.net.au started by gavinl, Dec 19, 2007.

  1. I finally got my unrestricted motorcycle license on Monday, December 3 2007. The following Saturday I went down to Whitehouse Motorcycles with the intention of sitting on a few bikes and taking anything that would fit out for a test ride.

    After spending an hour talking with a sales rep, I'd sat on a Yamaha FZ1-N, along with a Triumph Sprint ST. I wasn't really comfortable on the FZ1, and the Sprint seemed a shade too small. I discussed a number of bikes, including the Kawasaki Z750, Z1000 and Triumph Street Triple (which I really had my heart set on), however I was convinced that they would all be too small. I was told I should head over to the Wodonga store and sit on the Hyabusa 1300 and TLR1000.

    After leaving the shop, I went down the road to Online Motorcycles. The sales rep suggested the BMW super-motard, which I had sat on before. The bike is definitely big enough, but I'm not a fan of the adventurer/cross-over style. He then showed me the XJR1300 sitting in the parking lot and asked me if I wanted to take it out for a ride.

    With some trepidation, I agreed. We went inside where my license was photocopied, and I signed a document that mentioned an excess of $2,000 if I were to damage the bike. We went back out to the parking lot and Phil(sales rep) said it needs more fuel, brb. I stood around looking at the bikes for 10 minutes until he came back. He eventually arrived and said: it's got a brand new front tyre, be careful on the concrete. Have fun!

    I put my helmet on and swung my leg over, pulled the clutch in, turned the key and then pressed the start button. The bike hummed quietly until I gave the slightest twist on the throttle. It didn't take much for the motor to give a solid, controlled roar.

    I stomped on the gear lever to put it into first, gently eased the clutch out and gave it a gentle coax out of the carpark into the main road, no traffic coming, slowly made my way up to the lights and waited for the green.

    Turned left into Dean St, then left again into Macauley street. By then, my confidence had grown and I felt in total control of this massive bike. I was appreciating the tight sound of the motor and the smooth clutch. I gave the throttle a little twist and was delighted at the sensation of the torque and power that responded. I made my way back to the old highway and was blessed with a green light, and took that wonderful corner at 80km/h that takes you to the new Freeway onramp.

    Turning left, and left again put me on the onramp. I twisted the throttle as much as I dared and was thrilled and scared at the sensation of sliding slowly backwards along the seat. I gripped the tank with my legs, leaned forward and glanced at the speedo, 130km/h in second and I wasn't even on the freeway yet. I eased off and enjoyed the amazing stability and balance that the bike had to offer. I stayed in the lane to get off at the next ramp and geared down without the clutch back to second, as smoothly as though I had ridden the bike all my life.

    Satisfied with the acceleration, I rode through town, taking my favourite roads and bends at paltry paces so much slower than what I felt the bike could do. It felt amazingly solid and balanced, so much easier to ride than my current LAMS compatible ride. The centre of balance, the brakes, the suspension, the acceleration. They all combined to bring me to the realisation that this is what riding is really about. All within 10 minutes of ignition.

    The only downside was that the seat refused to hold me. I had to brace myself before twisting the throttle every time. The bike would idle effortlessly at 110km/h in its 5th and final gear at 3000rpm, and it didn't matter which gear I was in, it had enough torque to ensure I would need to brace myself everytime I felt spirited to overtake.
  2. Nice one mate, maybe you should have a look at the other retro muscle.. Suzuki GSX1400 and Kawasaki ZRX1200
  3. seats can be redone to suit you...
    XJRs are an excellent choice... :cool: :grin:
  4. It's a retro bike. It's supposed to deposit the pillion on the tail light and you on the pillion seat under acceleration 'cos that's how they were :grin: .
  5. Good old fashioned grunt. A similar story to your 130kmh in second, only I was in third and around the same rpm :p

    XJR in black, is still my choice of retro in line 4's.
  6. the XJR1300 is a bike i want to have in my garage one day. did you ride the standard or the SP? i hear the standard ones are pigs with lead ballast in the bends.
  7. Read a really good comparo recently between the XJR and Suzuki's GSX1400. Both came up trumps. There wasn't much in it apparently....it just comes down to personal choice.
    Just to throw something else in the mix...have you considered the Honda CB1300 ? In the red / white colour scheme, looks very retro and if it's muscle you want, the Honda would have it in spades.
  8. I'd so love to have one of the retro Japanese musclebikes sitting in the garage one of these days. The Honda CB1300 has something of a performance advantage in that it's water-cooled but personally I'd have a hard time picking between the XJR1300 and the GSX1400. Don't care how many hp/litre some supersports may put out, in the real world sometimes there's just no substitute for displacement and simplicity :grin: .
  9. Just found that article. It's in this month's Motorcycle Trader (the 200th issue).
    Definitely worth a read if you're in the market.
  10. give the XJR water cooling and it would be on the top of my list...along with the new bandit and hornet 900 :cool:
  11. But jd, why would you when you've already got a real one :grin: ?

    Think of what a nice 1100 Kat the price of an XJR/GSX/CB could buy you.

    Yes, I do recognise reliability and spares availability issues. This is firmly tongue in cheek.
  12. My SP1 used to do 130km/h in first gear!! :)
  13. I went bike and gear shopping with my nephew on thursday. He wants a Honda VTR 250 (my suggestion) and while we were checkin' out all the shops up Lizzy street in Melb I come across a new XJR in person. Man that would be a nice bike to own!! It was on my short list a while ago until I bit the bullet on a Hornet 900.

    I'm a middle aged fart who loves naked bikes and the XJR is definitely on my list for future purchase.....unless I scrounge together enuff dosh for my dream bike

  14. The MT01's are only 17K now that the MT02 has been released
  15. Unfortunately 17 grand is still a lot more than I can scrape together on my meagre bus drivers wages.

    sigh...one day though....
  16. You'd be happy with any of the three (CB13, GSX14 and XJR13). All are big, fat, lazy boys that can turn on a fair pace if you want, and cruise all day at better than 19km/l if you want that instead. Heaps of passenger room, unbreakable engines and simple maintenance.

    I love my CB13, and liken it to owning a V8; stonking torque and a power curve that delivers from idle.

    I chose the Honda to get fuel injection and liquid cooling (plus Honda build), but miss the Suzuki's six-speed box. I think you'll find that all later model XJRs are built to the SP spec, with the basic Ohlins shocks and fork springs.

    Welcome to the world of naked roadsters. Kinda addictive...