Long term update: A sporty surprise

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Before I got my hands on it, I would have classed the GTR as a full-on tourer built solely for covering large miles quickly and in comfort. But the GTR has been a pleasant surprise when it comes to sportier riding.

Taking the long way home from work recently, down some back roads I know fairly well, I was surprised at just how easy the GTR was to ride fast. The suspension coped incredibly well with the undulations and the bike’s 305kg weight as well as my weight. It’s not the quickest at changes of direction, but putting a bit more weight through the pegs and more pressure on either bar soon sees it over the other side.

My only slight apprehension with the handling so far comes down to the tyres. It comes with Bridgestone BT-021s, which have been around for knocking on 10 years and are four generations back in Bridgestone’s sports touring range. They feel okay, but nothing more. Feedback is minimal, with an overall slightly vague feeling from the front. 

The GTR has now returned from its first service, which means I’m free to explore the potential of the 1400cc, 139bhp engine. It’s a peach, but it’s also deceptive. The power is so linear and progressive it’s difficult to realise just how fast you’re accelerating until you look down at the speedo needle charging relentlessly onwards.

I’m keen to tag along with our road testers the next time they’re at Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground so I can open the GTR up without blue lights in my mirrors.

Read the latest stories causing a buzz this week in Long Term Fleet…

Liam Marsden

By Liam Marsden

Former MCN Web Producer