Every bike has a Wairau moment. It’s just recognizing its past is what matters
We have had Valerie the VFR for a few weeks now. Had the few final wrinkles settled in getting to know her, last few parts arrived to finish her off and now she’s truly a part of the family. All bikes have a break in period, even second hand ones.
With my ST4S Kelly noted the moment, the very moment that I clicked into ‘in tune’ with the bike.
It was near Wairau in the South Island, hence the reason I call it the Wairau Moment, she felt that very second I clicked with my new bike…. she noticed literally the very corner I suddenly dropped into far more confidently, relaxing my position a little, leaning off the bike more. At our next stop she said ‘you just got used to this bike just back there I felt it happen’.
Had a quick hop over the hill to see a mate in Martinborough yesterday, seeing as I had the time between commitments. That moment for the VFR 1200 F arrived. As I went up the hill I realised I had done every corner without brakes and in 2nd or 3rd gear smooth and correct line taken without even consciously focussing on the lines. It was then I thought to myself ‘the Wairau moment has passed for this bike’.
Riding home I had the hill run all to myself, having passed the truck holding up all the traffic just the start of the climb up the Featherston side. For the first time with the VFR I had the twisty road all to myself, no passenger, no top box just me and the bike. Wheeeee!
I have done a few suspension tweaks to tune it to my riding style, softened the front rebound 2 clicks, now know where the single rider vs 2 up ratios on the rear hydraulic pre-load sits, got the tyre pressure sorted for how I like the bike to feel and now am used to the ABS brakes as well as the bikes engine braking traits.
What a glorious short ride this was. Only 40 minutes each way (well….80 minutes both ways but one direction was significantly shorter) but so good for the soul. Valerie and I are now fully in sync having had our Wairau Moment.
I will never be ‘fast’ by the measures of many of my riding friends with motor sport and track day experience. Nor will I ever be the guy who’s holding up the group on the bends. But yesterday’s run home was such a smooth precise and surprisingly quick ride, I can safely say Valerie is here to stay…for a very long time.
I have owned 3 bikes at once at times. It can be a bit of a bitch getting too used to one bike and losing sync with your others.
Took the SV to work a week ago while the shop fitted the VFR’s carbon pipe… nope sorry it’s on the market so anyone wanting a nicely setup street SV in NZ holler, we’ll do a deal.
Wairau Moment achieved.