In yesterday’s post I was not so sure about the practical use of my newly acquired bike, but all doubts have vanished now that I’ve had my first ride on it. To be quite honest, it was not a gratuitous ride, but an instruction session with Holger. You see, I’ve not yet passed my motorcycle driving test. For now, I depend on these instructions to be able to ride, and looking back on the maiden voyage, this will be hard!
So, Holger met me at my carport with his driving school van and after a few half doubtful, half admiring glances at the bike (he rides a Kawasaki crotch rocket when on his own time), he rode it to a nearby commercial park while I followed in the van. That’s him on my machine vanishing into the distance in the lead photo. Talk about “jus primae noctis” … 😉
Anyway, he didn’t lay it down (and that’s enough double entendres) and we swapped drives in the commercial park. Riding around a ca. 1 km circuit, I got used to the Fat Bob. What a pull! Even considering the rev limits imposed by the break-in period, there was always an impressive amount of torque. You do everything up to 30 km/h in first gear and the low-speed maneuvers that we later tried require a deft combination of clutch, brake and sometimes a bit of throttle. Idling speed is at 1000 rpm and if you let go of the clutch, this is well above walking speed. Swinging the heavy machine around the pylons went surprisingly well, still in first gear!
Playing around in the commercial park got the motor quite hot and I perceived a burning smell. Holger assured me that my pant leg was not yet on fire and that the smell was just the assembly grease burning away. This is no bike to ride in shorts and even thin jeans raise some doubts (and possibly blisters!). On the other hand your legs are kept cozy warm. This might just extend the season a bit.
You can imagine that just about then the itch to get going on the open road got urgent with me and Holger consented. So off we went! That was the most fun part of the driving lesson. After morning rains, the skies had cleared, the canola fields were in full bloom and I’m living in a hilly region just north of the Thüringer Wald mountains. We went along some small and medium roads linked to above and I was impressed by the sound of the motorcycle and again by the torque. Roll the throttle and hold on for dear life! The forward foot controls made for a stretched-out position and you’re pressed back into the scooped seat when you accelerate. It is a quick, exciting sofa with a gnarly soundtrack!
But it was not all fun and giggles. Don’t worry, I didn’t crash, but we actually did some practical driving test simulations and went through the next bigger city, Gotha. No catastrophes, and only once did I swerve into a lane I shouldn’t have been in.
All good things must come to an end, as did this bike trip. When we put the hog away under my carport, I glimpsed Holger stroking her a bit. Could be he’s a bit envious? But he can’t have her, she’s mine now!