So the day started out with a plan. Vote early and then go to Avengers (as it was starting to get hard to avoid spoilers – even Miss 9 tried to spoil it and she doesn’t even know the story!)
But of course that isn’t entirely how it went. Voting was over with almost no wait and I decided to catch the midday movie as that showing had the giant screen. So I had about 3 hours to kill.
Aimlessly riding about, changing my mind every other minute, I ended up sitting at the desk of the Kawasaki salesman asking him how much trade in on the Ninja to get a new Ninja. So they took a look at it.
And overall they thought it was in good shape with one concern. A sort of rattle at high rpm that I hadn’t really identified as a concern. They listed a couple of things it might be (from tensioners to something deep in the engine) but we’re happy to spend a half hour to check it out in case it was something simple. Though they couldn’t do it straight away they could certainly do it today.
So two problems. I couldn’t hang around all day, I did have a movie to get to. And they had already handed out the loaner bikes.
I must have made a good impression on the salesman. He poked about in the second hand bikes and selected one to loan me.
A VFR800. A 2008ish VFR mostly stock with Staintune pipes.
I was worried that I would get quite attached to this. I felt I had somehow won the loan bike lottery. I had so many good memories from my one and this would be the first sixth generation I had ridden since hitting the roo.
So I started up and headed out.
The first thing I noticed was the aggressive seating position. I’ve just spent six months on the Ninja which is quite upright.
The next thing I noticed was the loud noise from the pipes. I had kept mine stock the entire time so it was different to hear this bike.
The most interesting thing I noticed was that it seemed really sluggish. I would open the throttle and not much would happen and it would rev up to the VTEC and get louder but didn’t really seem to get going.
This was the single factor that had me sitting there thinking “Wow, I’ve moved past this bike.” The Daytona and the Ninja have similar power (about 100kW) to the VFR’s 80. The Daytona was significantly lighter but the Ninja is a similar weight and from memory the torque is similar for all. The Daytona feels like it gets away a lot quicker than the Ninja, but both feel like they leave the VFR far behind.
I felt kinda disappointed. I sort of wanted to feel that passion I had for the VFR again. I was also thinking now I’m stuck with 1000cc up from now on. Would I want to go backwards?
On the positive it was a case of thinking that I really did make a good choice with the Ninja. And I was already thinking that any way. The most recent jaunt to Newcastle was good fun on the way home and the ride up Wisemans since was great.
Eventually it was time to return the VFR. And it was without any lingering doubt that I returned the keys and asked after the Ninja.
I will have to call back as I am unclear what they did, but the rattle is gone and they have no qualms about taking the bike as trade. I think a sticky tensioner, probably a symptom of having sat for so long before I got it. I will wait until they call back with an offer though I really am not sure I am able to any offer up.
I rode home – instantly happy on the Ninja. I realise part of that is familiarity but I twisted the throttle and left the afternoon traffic behind thinking how much fun this was.
Oh and Avengers was good. Worth seeing, funny in parts. Not the greatest movie ever, but a finish to the whole saga.