My Daytona had a service yesterday. As always I asked for their loan bike to get to work and back.
Getting a loan bike from a shop is always an interesting experience. First there is the initial curiosity of what exactly it is going to be. You know it’s going to be something small, they have to cater for learners after all.
Then you wonder what state it is in. Sure it will work and have a tank of fuel, but it’s unlikely to be in perfect shape.
So I rolled out of the shop on a mighty Ninja 300 (don’t get me going, again, on Kawasaki’s naming conventions!). First impressions are sluggish (but that’s not really fair stepping off the Daytona) and small. The distance from the seat to the ground was noticeably less than the Daytona. Strangely this made it kind of awkward later when I was filtering.
Actually, it was a pretty good little bike, and the other dramas on the day were more related to other road users. Oh and getting halfway to work and remembering that I couldn’t use the toll road on this borrowed bike and had to detour on to the slow road. However, getting back on the Daytona afterwards was like coming home again
But I’ve had some other interesting bikes over the years. Usually a very sad looking CB250 from one shop. It seemed like every time I used it something else was wrong with it. On one occasion, it was missing the side stand. This would be fine as there was also a centre stand, but some previous rider had actually managed to bend this out of shape. Made it very awkward.
It was close to my favourite loaner though and fanging it along up to 110kmh on the freeway I did always keep waiting for it die, but it never did.
One time the same shop gave me a slightly less battered GS500. This was horrible and I asked that they never let me have that one again. I would rather hoon about on their CB250
A previous shop gave me a Honda 650 Duelsville (I think that’s it’s name) I renamed it the Dullsville. Bland and boring. Great commuter (and I later met a guy who had one for just that). I think the more recent NC750 should be much better.
I’ve talked previously about the time the shop gave me a GSX1300R Hayabusa. That was interesting. This shop had earlier given me a GSXR600 when their loaner hadn’t been returned unexpectedly.
To be honest, I’ve almost ridden more different bikes through shop loan bikes than test rides! I think I’ve test ridden the
- 2013 Ducati SF848 Streetfighter
- 2004 Honda CBR600RR
- 2013 Triumph Street Triple 675R
- 2013 Suzuki GSX600R
- 2015 Honda VFR800F
(Can you see where I was shopping and ended up with the Daytona)
What different bikes have you ridden from the shop?