Monday, 3 September 2012

Cafe Racer

Finally decided I needed a faster motorbike this weekend. Sure, the CBF is a really comfortable and easy to ride machine...but it's lacking something. And that something is this: excitement. Yes, it's reliable and yes, it's superbly cheap to run...but it's just so pedestrian in the pace stakes. I never thought the 80mph top speed would ever be an issue for me, but last Monday I was traversing the M5 at a steady 75mph but still feeling like I was holding up inpatient twats in cars...and something inside me just snapped: I knew I needed a faster bike. So this weekend I put my CBF up for sale and took some cash out of my savings and bought a new ride:

It's a Suzuki Goose 350. I say 'new,' but it's actually a bike from 1992 so not that new at all really. It's also quite a rare bike in the UK due to the fact that Suzuki never launched it here - all the Geese in the UK are grey imports. So I'm now a Goose owner, and my initial impressions of the bike are positive. Firstly, it goes like the clappers: 90mph is easy...I didn't want to go any faster, but I'm pretty sure it'll do more than 100. Also, it's got such a comfortable riding position - completely different to the CBF and more of a forward-leaning position, but it feels really natural. Because of this riding position, the way you can throw it around corners is incredible - I'd never be able to get the CBF around a roundabout at the same speed as I can the Goose - and the noise of the engine. Jesus! It's only a 350 but it's so throaty it could easily pass for a bigger bike.

Sadly, I have neither goggles nor bandanna

I believe that this style of bike, with the swept back handle bars and low seat, is known as a 'cafe racer,' which sounds a bit camp to me...but if that's what it's called, then who am I to argue? I suppose there is a slightly cool retro feel to the bike and the image associated to it, but I doubt I'll be buying a skin-tight leather jacket or goggles to go with it. Yet. It's not all been perfect though - I did have a problem with the engine cutting out at high speeds (not fun), and was advised by a passing mechanic that there could be a problem with the fuel line...but that's an easy thing to remedy so I'll look into it over the next few days. Once I've had more time to play around on it and get to the bottom of the niggling 'cutting out' thing, I'll try to write up a proper review. The volume of stuff online about the Suzuki Goose isn't that great to be honest, but hopefully I can change all that with a few hastily written passages of dross. Watch this space.

Went out on the piss on Saturday. Was just me and my flatmate/landlord but was quite a good laugh as we went to a really crap nightclub and took delight at watching the chavs mingle and attempt to dance after necking several pints of Blue WKD mixed with Strongbow. Seriously. Due to this endeavour, Sunday was a bit of a write off, but it wasn't all bad - I just monged out and watched Inglourious Basterds. What a film that is. I'd actually forgotten how good it was, and special mention must go to Brad Pitt's turn as Lt Aldo Raine. Quality movie and full of really memorable sequences...oh, and Mike Myers as a British General. Like I said - quality.


CageFightingBlogger said...

You're a braver man than I. No way would I expose myself to the possibilities of calamity by buying a motorbike. Went on a kid's one when I was about 7, and nearly drove it over a cliff. My mate's dad had to step out between me and the sheer drop. Oh, and, I thought Inglorious was 50/50. See review:

Tomleecee said...

I'll come up to Manchester on it at some point in the near future mate and take you for a ride if you want. Scare the shit out of us both!