Staff bikes: Suzuki GSX-R750 - Viva el Gixer!
First rides & tests
20 October 2011 14:12
Now that's what I call a summer trip. 3397.6 miles in two weeks, on a bike designed for the track, but absolutely perfect for everything else too. From the monotonous motorways of France to the stunning switchbacks of Andorra, the city streets of Barcelona and trips to beaches in Ibiza, never once did I wish I was on another bike, nor did I suffer any aches or pains.
It's great on fuel, doing around 150 miles before the reserve light comes on. Riding the outward trip with three mates on a Blackbird and two new Multistradas, I never saw my reserve light - it was always them who had to stop to fill up first. The engine is so flexible you can do 10mph in top, or pull huge power wheelies in third.
A twiddle with a screwdriver, to soften the rebound and compression damping on the Showa suspension, took the edge off the 750s tough track settings I've been using. It's a truly great bike.
After a crossing on the Balearia fast ferry to Ibiza, I took the 750 to explore the beaches of Benirras, Playa D'en Bossa, Talamanca and Es Cana, checked out the centres of San Antonio and Ibiza Town, the stunning millionaires' pads in the hillsides, rediscovered hot water jet washes and stayed in the stunning-but-cheap The One Hotel (www.thearesorts.com), set on a cliff top overlooking Ibiza harbour.
Ibiza has the chilled-out hippy bits, family-friendly parts, the clubs and an awful square mile in San Antonio where people go to get drunk and lay on pavements. What's most surprising are all the amazing riding roads. Freshly laid grippy tarmac is popping up everywhere, even since I was there last year, and because Ibiza is so mountainous, they're nice and twisty too.
My Oxford tailpack was as useful, durable and easy to fit as ever and my Kappa tank bag, which has a usefully big map pocket, doubled up nicely as my beach 'man bag'. I stuck my TomTom Rider to my tacho with black tack (it's the new duct tape!), making it a doddle to read.
And best of all, it didn't rain once. Roll on next year...