So it has been a busy week in da Bling King’s Shop – thanks to all the cuzzies that have supported us!
But one thing that sticks in mind after chatting to all these customers is the strange thought pattern that has developed in the Souff Effrecan Dual Purpose bike riders. For some reason they absolutely begrudge having to upgrade their bike, the general consensus when you read ‘Forums’ is that the bike should have come with all the goodies already!
Let me draw you a comparison, I had a customer in with a BMW S1000RR last week. Now the S1000RR is arguably one of the best superbikes on the planet (suck on that ZX10’ers). However my cuzzy wanted to do track days and the occasional Regional Race. He immediately recognized that he would have to prep the bike for this purpose……why buddies, why? Simple he was going to ride it outside of the average purpose it was built for, So he threw R43K at upgrading it.
The suspension had to be upgraded, track fairings, quick shifter and tronic upgrade, crash protection, zorst, new rubber, etc etc. I had a GSXR750 in the previous week for the same upgrades, just for track use. These Superbike riders recognize the upgrades that are needed and spend the money with a smile.
Why are these upgrades needed? Well these bikes (as with ALL bikes) are built overseas for an average of 85 Kgs, riding average. Now I have been overseas a lot, I have ridden in Europe, Isle of Man, USA and one thing I discovered is that the ‘average’ there (which the bike is built for) and our averages are worlds apart. Everywhere we rode, the locals think we have a hair up our butts because we want to be faster than everything else.
Here in good old RSA we whack the shoe shine out of everything we ride, we are faster, more aggressive, and heavier in most cases and our road conditions are harder on the machinery. Then we want to go out and do track days and stuff with the bikes as well, doing that with a standard bike will harm it! Let me give you an example. I raced a GSXR1000 for a year in Regionals, as an experiment, I raced on the same oil the whole year – s*** you not! It was running on Liqui Moly Racing10W60 Fully Synthetic.
After the years racing, the oil went for an assay at the labs where they can tell you the colour of the underpants (brown mostly) you wore under your leathers!
The results showed that there was no degradation of the oil whatsoever (Boooyaa Liqui Moly) and there were no metal filings evident. Signifying no engine wear even under those conditions. The only thing they found was evidence of fuel wash-by in the oil, this puzzled me? The oke in the white coat said the answer was very easy; The bike was designed for sport riding. I had been riding it BTTW the whole time, wide-hand open. The ECU could not cope so automatically over-fueled the motor to compensate, hence the wash-by the rings of petrol. The bike was a freak, naturally faster than most, so I didn’t put a ‘fish n chips’ in it to help the fuelling…..lesson learnt. If it had been any other oil, she would have popped, according to the oke with the horn-rimmed glasses!
Okay, so we’ve established the mindset of the Superbike rider. Now we come to the Dual Sport bike rider, and I am not singling anyone out here. Be it GS, Triumph, Yamaha, KTM, it is the same with all. They just don’t get why they have to spend money upgrading their bikes?
The Forums are full of it, (don’t let me get started on Forums……) Riders bitching because they have to upgrade their suspension, do performance mods, put crash bars on, etc etc. All these Manne reckon the bike should have come out with it already dammit!
Dudes and Dudettes, the answer to that is very very simple, you are riding it outside of the spec it was built for! Remember the 85Kgs along a leafy country lane in Sussex?
Here we get Fanie and Sannie Van Der Backaxle who collectively weigh more than the GVM of the bike they are on. Now because Fanie is a good old Saffa who dops Klippies and coke and smokes Texan Plain, he posts on the Voetsek Forum that he can ride up Sani Pass quicker than you can braai a Texan steak! Sommer two up met Sannie on the back my chinas! What happens, Fanie breezes up there, jus laaik he did on his XR500 he rode when Mugabe was still only a shoplifter. Until……(I love the last four corners of Sani) he gets to the last four turns and discovers he ain’t Batman, Superman or Skalk Burger and he klaps a big rock, moers off, throwing Sannie in the Lesotho dust! Now because he is bulletproof, he can’t be wrong, so he blames the suspension of his Yamaha SuperTen because that was the reason him and Skattie are not going to see happy spanky till Sannies’ bruises heal, jirra!
What they should have done is upgrade the suspension for a start. Wilbers build the rear shock in Germany to the rider and pillion weight specific, so it can take both their fat asses without pitching them into the stof! Then they should have done the front end with the Wilbers Progressive springs that cater for the extra load and the high speed compression that our dirt roads produce. They should have put Wunderlich crash bars on, then he wouldn’t be spending his braai meat money on the silly excess he is having to shell out because his fairings are all buggered. Are we getting the picture?
We all try and ride our Duallies like MX bikes, hey I am more guilty than most, but then again I have got R150K’s worth of extras on my GS Adventure!
Accept it that is you ride an Adventure bike, you will be wise to get yourself sorted with the right suspension, the right protection and the right rubber for the purpose (and I don’t mean for the chick you meet at Teazers!)
Accept that if you by an F800GS, doing the front spring upgrade with the Wilbers Progressive springs is an industry standard. The Triumph Explorer is the same, but save singling out certain brands and models, most bikes need their bouncy stuff worked on before you go tackle Sani, or Baviaans or Die Hel. You don’t want to have an unpleasant ride, you want to come back, not like Fanie.
Rather spend the money on the upgrades and know your bike will survive a loss of talent on the dirt, because there is one rule of dirt riding……you are going to get up close and personal with the S.A. terra firma at some stage. If you have the right gear, maybe not………..