Staff bikes: Suzuki GSR750 - GSR takes on the Nurburgring
Rising at 5:30am on a day off isn’t exactly what I’d call relaxing, but with the GSR already loaded up and sat waiting patiently in the garage and the Nurburgring as the finishing point for the day I was up surprisingly quick.
Meeting my Dad’s mate Dave at Peterborough services we then met my Dad somewhere on the M20 before heading to the Chunnel, so the trip could start proper. The first leg of the journey was a straight slog to the Spa Francorchamps circuit in Belgium.
The GSR wasn’t the ideal bike for the motorway slog, with my knees and derriere starting to ache. My Dad floating along in absolute comfort onboard his GS didn’t make me feel any better.
Once at Spa, we took advice from MCN’s Adam Child and set the satnav to avoid all motorways and major roads. Believe me when I say the roads in the Black Forest, around Spa and the Nurburgring are by far the best roads I’ve ridden.
Hardly any traffic, smooth tarmac with no pot holes, and hairpin after hairpin as they meander up the sides of enormous hills. Bliss.
The GSR came into it’s own on the twisties. Keeping the engine spinning proved great fun and the handling was just sublime. My Dad and Dave were probably having a more relaxing time using the torque of their machines, but I was having an excellent time hanging back and using the box. I quickly forgot about all the aches and pains.
After a day out, exploring the roads between our hotel in Kalenborn (which is a lovely, 30 minute mountain ride away from the Nurburgring but in the middle of nowhere) to the city of Koblenz on the river Rhine, we returned to attack the 13-mile long Nordschleife.
After watching some of the locals hammer round the track in ridiculously fast cars, we opted for a single lap at a relaxing pace.
Truth be told a lot of the lap seems to blur, I spent the majority of the lap looking in my mirrors making sure I wasn’t about to get rear-ended by a Porsche.
I genuinely feared for my life while negotiating the carousel. A Subaru Impreza came up the inside, tyres squealing, bodywork scraping the floor over the bumps and the driver being bounced around in his seat.
It was an experience, there’s no doubt and one I’d like to repeat – only on a bike only track day.
After the trip there were a couple of things that in hindsight I could have done to make the bike a bit more touring-friendly. Fitting a screen was obvious, but I chose not to because it would ruin the aggressive look of the bike. Another option would be a gel seat.
The standard seat is fine most of the time but travelling several hundred miles in one go with all my weight going through my arse made it pretty painful.
Also if, like me, you decide to fit a tail tidy, be prepared to get your back sprayed with road grime in wet conditions. My back was always filthy and the pillion seat and tail unit end up being a lot dirtier than the rest of the bike.
2011 Suzuki GSR750, £7,125
Fuel economy: 41mpg