June 8th 2019
Scheduled delivery day. I obviously had no sleep the previous
night month. My excitement had rubbed onto my little Miss A. My brother and his son picked us (V, lil miss A and me), and off we went to Kawasaki. A friend joined in for the event.
The delivery experience was smooth. I had to sign a few documents, bike was kept ready under covers, a cake was arranged, the electronics were explained and off I went, followed by my fan club of little munchkins in the car.
And immediately, I was in traffic. 😐
I had mentally prepared myself for this though. This litre bike was destined to live here. So, like the humans who live here, she can choose to moan, or just get used to it. So we sat there, being stared at by other motorists.
Flash news: my zx10r is the first zx10r I have ever sat on. Ever. But it wasn’t my first bike, naturally. It wasn’t the first litre bike I have ever ridden either. Back in 2007, I had ridden a 2003 Yamaha R1, in Thailand. My brother and I had rented 2 polar opposite motorcycles to ride around in Thailand. A suzuki intruder 1800 and a Yamaha R1. That was some experience. Last year, I had the opportunity to ride the 2018 BMW S1000rr around a race track for 5 sessions. Phew! Talk about getting hooked! Now I had my own. She was going to be touring and heading to the track. She wasn’t going to be commuting to office though. I ain’t that crazy.
So the first stop was the fuel bunk. Filled her up and waited for the car to catch up. Had two, young, well mannered enthusiastic boys with cameras, requesting me if they could photograph the bike. I better start getting used to this, I thought.
Once my fan club in the car arrived, we headed home, but first…
Pappa’s first reaction was “Looks like your 250.” Hmm, she is a compact motorcycle, that’s for sure. It’s tightly put together. Unlike my 250, this one announces her arrival, both in colour and sound. Less Ninja like.
The next morning, brother, friend and I took off for a breakfast ride. Put her on Low power mode, traction control in the mid setting, my rain gear and some random TShirts in a kreiga (don’t ask me why. Ok I’ll tell you why. I wanted to test the kreiga tail bag on this bike. And I’m crazy. The test was positive though.) and we were off. I was finally giving her some room to breathe free. Left the traction control on the mid setting, since it apparently doesn’t allow the front wheel to lift. Switched from Low power to Mid and then Full. The Low power mode is 70percent of the power. That’s about 140horses. 🙄 I was comfortable with the power in all modes though. Errr because I didn’t really cross 7k rpm.
Prior to picking up the 10, I had spent months, watching every single video on the tube, including those from Thailand, Japan, Czechoslovakia, ulambator , Tonga islands etc etc. Many of those videos complained that the zx10r is a little baby below 8k rpm. Maybe these guys live on the race track. Or have villas by the autobahn. The zx10r does 150kmph on the top gear at 7k rpm. That’s barely awake for the bike. BUT, that’s already way too fast relatively speaking. Relative to everything else on the road.
She isn’t growling and yanking her chain from 2k rpm and (as I learnt eventually) becomes this big beast with purple eyes, breathing fire and spitting venom after 8k rpm. This is, in my view, a good thing. She is rideable when you want to chill and ride sedate. Very very friendly if you treat her well.
I had done about 300kms on day 1 of ownership. My lower back hurt, my neck hurt but I had an un-wipable grin. I needed to get fitter. And spend more time on the seat.
So mid week, I took off alone to a close by hill. Some twisties. But there was too much traffic and my fun was restricted. Funny changing times. On a weekday, at 6am, the place was full of self drive rental cars with noob drivers and young college kids doing a photoshoot. Decided to just head back home. Nevertheless, that un-wipable grin was back. The back pain, not so much.
The following weekend, a friend and I took off again. This time the target was to do 400kms. Charted out a small route and left home really early. But my friend had forgotten his wallet at home and we ended up leaving the city at 5am. It was a fantastic ride. Some beautiful roads and the 10 was getting more and more comfortable for me.
The 10 was surprising me with her mileage. I was getting 17-19kmpl depending on how much throttle I was using. And how I was using that throttle. With a 17ltr tank, I was looking at a fuel range of about 230-250kms. Not bad at all. While the range wasn’t a problem, the quality of fuel was. She was picky about her go-go juice.
Post this ride, I was about 240kms from the first service. Completed that the following weekend on a solo morning run. The body pain was diminishing. That un-wipable grin though..
It was time for service..
Belly full of fresh oil, a new radiator guard later, it was time for a trip.. will cover that in the next post though.
We were bonding big time. I name all my bikes, this one was no different. After every ride on the 10, I kept saying ‘bloody missile!’ and then on the way back from my solo ride, It dawned on me. “I’m gonna take care of you Miss.Isle!”
TLDR. Bought 10r, completed 1000kms in 2 weeks, service done, super happy, named 10r Miss.Isle, going for a trip next.