“Sorry, mate, I didn’t see you!”
I had a courtesy bike. Yes, it took me 4 years to be confident enough to take a courtesy bike from BMW. That, doubled up with no bike being low enough. I was give a F700GS for the day.
I had a busy schedule: 8:30am, Motorrad to deliver Smoggy for his 42k service (*46k). 9:45, hair dresser, to see if I could get a style suited to helmethead. 11:30, chiropractor for my monthly cracking and therapy session. Lunch after that with my mother-in-law. Back across town to collect Smoggy. Then off to meet Jackie, my Associate.
Silver bike. Standard. Top box added just in case I take the urge to go shopping. Not likely. Twin front brake disks (highly effective). So quiet; stalled twice. Invisibility cloak, standard.
I now have another reason for owning red bikes. Silver bikes are, well, CRAP. There are so many silver cars out there now, I think people just don’t see them. They reflects the surroundings so I guess they just blend in. I seemed to blend in. I nearly got T-boned 3 times. I surely had an invisibility cloak on.
It’s amazing, the difference between the two bikes. Just as well I always position myself on the safest part of the road. I was pretty stunned at how invisible I seemed to be. To be honest, I maybe have ‘moments’ once a month on a red bike. 3 in one day, not good; I blame the silver bike.
On the bypass, I was filtering. The slip road was on the left, all traffic was at a standstill, apart from one vintage car who had managed to force his way through lane one and just kept going to lane two. That’s when I was arriving at that spot. In fairness, I was the one that was filtering, so, if there had been a collision, I guess with numerous witnesses, I would have probably have had to take the blame. I had plenty space to go round him though, he was going to a space; I used it.
The lesson? Always position for safety. Presume that no one has seen you. Ride at a speed that you can safely stop in the distance you can see to be clear and, for sure, always cover your back brake when you are filtering (tut tut…. How dare you think I wasn’t doing those things!).
As for the F700GS, it was lovely. Marginally more torque than mine, as I said, better brakes and much quieter. I don’t like the speedo. Smoggy’s is much clearer, that’s important! I love Smoggy’s growls and grunts, with the occasional fart thrown in for good measure. It all contributes why it’s handy having a bike that’s noisier. The lack of noise from the engine should have made me give it more gas, however, I was using the throttle as I would Smoggy’s. *cough* stall. Feck. Learn.
Would I swap Smoggy for a (as David would say) ‘dog-knob-red’ 700? No. I just love the way he talks to me, all the time. It just wouldn’t be the same. Smoggy has his own individual character, bell and all.
Listen to your bike; they talk to you.