So it has been a busy week in da BlingÂ Kingâ€™s Shop â€“ thanks to all the cuzzies that have supported us!
But oneÂ thing that sticks in mind after chatting to all these customers is the strangeÂ thought pattern that has developed in the Souff Effrecan Dual Purpose bikeÂ riders.Â For someÂ reason they absolutely begrudge having to upgrade their bike, the general consensusÂ when you read â€˜Forumsâ€™ is that the bike should have come with all the goodiesÂ already!
Let meÂ draw you a comparison, I had a customer in with a BMW S1000RR last week. NowÂ the S1000RR is arguably one of the best superbikes on the planet (suck on thatÂ ZX10â€™ers). However my cuzzy wanted to do track days and the occasional RegionalÂ Race. He immediately recognized that he would have to prep the bike for thisÂ purposeâ€¦â€¦why buddies, why? Simple he was going to ride it outside of theÂ average purpose it was built for, So he threw R43K at upgrading it.
TheÂ suspension had to be upgraded, track fairings, quick shifter and tronicÂ upgrade, crash protection, zorst, new rubber, etc etc. I had a GSXR750 in theÂ previous week for the same upgrades, just for track use. These Superbike ridersÂ recognize the upgrades that are needed and spend the money with a smile.
Why areÂ these upgrades needed? Well these bikes (as with ALL bikes)Â areÂ built overseas for an average of 85 Kgs, riding average. Now I have beenÂ overseas a lot, I have ridden in Europe, Isle of Man, USA and one thing IÂ discovered is that the â€˜averageâ€™ there (which the bike is built for) and ourÂ averages are worlds apart. Everywhere we rode, the locals think we haveÂ a hair up our butts because we want to be faster than everything else.
Here inÂ good old RSA we whack the shoe shine out of everything we ride, we are faster,Â more aggressive, and heavier in most cases and our road conditions are harderÂ on the machinery.Â ThenÂ we want to go out and doÂ track days and stuff with the bikes as well, doing that with a standard bikeÂ will harm it!Â Let me give youÂ an example. I raced a GSXR1000 for a year in Regionals, as an experiment, IÂ raced on the same oil the whole year â€“ s*** you not! It was running on LiquiÂ Moly Racing10W60 Fully Synthetic.
AfterÂ the years racing, the oil went for an assay at the labs where they can tell youÂ the colour of the underpants (brown mostly) you wore under your leathers!
TheÂ results showed that there was no degradation of the oil whatsoever (BoooyaaÂ Liqui Moly) and there were no metal filings evident. Signifying no engine wearÂ even under those conditions. The only thing they found was evidence of fuelÂ wash-by in the oil, this puzzled me? The oke in the white coat said the answerÂ was very easy; The bike was designed for sport riding. I had been riding itÂ BTTW the whole time, wide-hand open. The ECU could not cope so automaticallyÂ over-fueled the motor to compensate, hence the wash-byÂ the rings of petrol. TheÂ bike was a freak, naturally faster than most, so I didnâ€™t put a â€˜fish n chipsâ€™Â in it to help the fuellingâ€¦..lesson learnt. If it had been any other oil, sheÂ would have popped, according to the oke with the horn-rimmed glasses!
Okay, so weâ€™ve established the mindsetÂ of the Superbike rider. Now we come to the Dual Sport bike rider, and I am notÂ singling anyone out here. Be it GS, Triumph, Yamaha, KTM, it is the same withÂ all. They just donâ€™t get why they have to spend money upgrading their bikes?
The Forums are full of it, (donâ€™t letÂ me get started on Forumsâ€¦â€¦) Riders bitching because they have to upgrade theirÂ suspension, do performance mods, put crash bars on, etc etc. All these ManneÂ reckon the bike should have come out with it already dammit!
Dudes and Dudettes, the answer to thatÂ is very very simple, you are riding it outside of the spec it was built for! RememberÂ the 85Kgs along a leafy country lane in Sussex?
Here we get Fanie and Sannie Van DerÂ Backaxle who collectively weigh more than the GVM of the bike they are on. NowÂ because Fanie is a good old Saffa who dops Klippies and coke and smokes TexanÂ Plain, he posts on the Voetsek Forum that he can ride up Sani Pass quickerÂ than you can braai a Texan steak! Sommer two up met Sannie on the back myÂ chinas! What happens, Fanie breezes up there, jus laaik he did on his XR500 heÂ rode when Mugabe was still only a shoplifter. Untilâ€¦â€¦(I love the last fourÂ corners of Sani) he gets to the last four turns and discovers he ainâ€™t Batman,Â Superman or Skalk Burger and he klaps a big rock, moers off, throwing Sannie inÂ the Lesotho dust! Now because he is bulletproof, he canâ€™t be wrong, so heÂ blames the suspension of his Yamaha SuperTen because that was the reason himÂ and Skattie are not going to see happy spanky till Sanniesâ€™ bruises heal, jirra!
What they should have done is upgradeÂ the suspension for a start. Wilbers build the rear shock in GermanyÂ to the rider andÂ pillion weight specific, so it can take both their fat asses without pitchingÂ them into the stof! Then they should have done the front end with the WilbersÂ Progressive springs that cater for the extra load and the high speedÂ compression that our dirt roads produce. They should have put Wunderlich crashÂ bars on, then he wouldnâ€™t be spending his braai meat money on the silly excessÂ he is having to shell out because his fairings are all buggered. Are we gettingÂ the picture?
We all try and ride our Duallies likeÂ MX bikes, hey I am more guilty than most, but then again I have got R150Kâ€™sÂ worth of extras on my GS Adventure!
Accept it that is you ride an AdventureÂ 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 donâ€™t meanÂ for the chick you meet at Teazers!)
Accept that if you by an F800GS, doingÂ the front spring upgrade with the Wilbers Progressive springs is an industryÂ standard. The Triumph Explorer is the same, but save singling out certainÂ brands and models, most bikes need their bouncy stuff worked on before you goÂ tackle Sani, or Baviaans or Die Hel. You donâ€™t want to have an unpleasant ride,Â you want to come back, not like Fanie.
Rather spend the money on the upgradesÂ and know your bike will survive a loss of talent on the dirt, because there isÂ one rule of dirt ridingâ€¦â€¦you are going to get up close and personal with theÂ S.A. terra firma at some stage. If you have the right gear, maybe notâ€¦â€¦â€¦..