The super tourer rider

Published: 09 December 2001

Super Blackbird rider Smith likens the Bulldog to " a great commuter bike, but with style, " and thinks Yamaha has copied elements from a Buell and Monster.

He says: " I’m impressed with how it stands out against all the other bikes in the car park, too. "

He notes it looks bigger in the flesh than in photos, then disappears for a spin. His return brings an outpouring of observations.

" The speedo binnacle is efficient, I like the upright riding position, it’s correct for the style, and I like the slightly wide bars, which give plenty of leverage.

" I’m a bit of a long distance mile-monster and though I like the seat-to-footrest-to-bar ratio, I don’t like the lack of movement allowed as you sit in rather than on the bike.

" The position of the choke lever is poor, but I do like the power delivery. The five-speed gearbox works well, with good ratios and a smooth action. "

He stops for a moment to gather his thoughts before another barrage of comments.

" It’s a pity there’s no fuel gauge and the suspension is a bit underdamped.

" There are some plus points, though. The brakes are good, and the mirrors work for a change.

" It’s quirky, like a BMW R1150R, but that looks and feels like you get more for your cash. I’m still not sure about this. Would I buy one. Erm, maybe. "

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