Yesterday, the Yamaha Powertour was in town to showcase their 2008 offering. I had signed up in advance for FZ1 and WR250X but ended up taking an R1 and the WR for a spin.
I was slated for the FZ1 but at the last minute since whoever had signed it out didn't show up, I jumped on it. Holy s***! Clutch engagement was so far out, you had to carefully dose the throttle and slip the clutch. Took some time to get use to it. Front brake were one finger only otherwise I would have been endoing at every stoplight... The bike was ludicrously fast. This is not something I would put in the hands of a newbie. In the straights the bike was just a beast that wanted to be unleashed. I never got out of 3rd gear nor did I reved passed 7k. There was no need. The bike finally became manageable in the twisties where it really showed me how much the suspension on the SV is crap. This is the kind of bike that will get you in trouble, as below 90kmph it is very touchy. Short shifting was my solution to keep myself out of trouble. I do like torque but not that much. The bike was really too much for my taste, ~100hp would be plenty for me. The bike left me with an impression that I would spend most of my time riding it in fear and not enjoying the experience. I would probably get used to the ludicrous speed but would chicken out when things go curvy a bit.
After parking the R1, I took a small break before jumping on the WR. 250cc of no power at all. First gear was unridable and the absence of tachometer got me very confuse about which gear I should be in. I resorted to ride the crap out of it waiting for the limiter to kick in. The long suspension travel was nice with the bad road we have but the awkward riding position was not attractive for me. This is the first bike in my life that I felt I could ride the crap out it and never get scared.
All in all, it was a good day, tried some bikes I was curious about. I can conclude now that I like my SV, it's powerful enough for now but next year the suspension is getting upgraded one way or another.