The Busa ReportPosted: May 14, 2009
I find another two Hayabusa deals on CycleTrader.com, I’m not really all that enthusiastic about it, since a> it’s not quite time yet financially and b> the last offered deal was squelched by the dealer, no reason given. However, one can speculate what happened here. They made an offer they weren’t willing to do, and somebody down the line said: “Nononono. Not gonna happen!” I tell hubby, we should check these next two out, just to cover the bases. He says, that we should just go with the original deal at Smith Power Sports in Hayesville, NC. It’s a decent price, they were straight forward in their offer. And I don’t think you’ll find much better. So, he calls. I suck at this sort of thing and I really am not a phone person, I like face-to-face communication way better. Then there’s that whole woman-and-mechanic or woman-and-cars thing. They think all we know is where the gas goes, so they think they can try some stuff they wouldn’t otherwise pull out of their bag of tricks…. But I digress. I hear Joe talking to them on the phone, and I have to leave the room. I feel ‘pukey’. I opt for pacing back and forth in the bathroom, pretending I’m fussing with my ‘personal getup’. I can’t think. OMG! Holy hell, it’s happening? I want it to happen, but I don’t. But I really do. Talk about mixed emotions. It’s too soon. Not soon enough. The dream is within grasping distance and here I am getting cold feet? Wow! I didn’t feel this nauseated on my wedding day. I deduce from that little fact that I actually love and respect the Hayabusa more than my first husband. Ha! She’s definitely better looking, is more refined around the middle, doesn’t drive like a Granny, and doesn’t grind gears when shifting. If my ex were a motorcycle, he’d be… never mind. I’m nervous. That’s what I’m trying to say. Freaked out, in fact. Borderline freaked out. Freaking out comes later. I finally come back out of the bathroom, because not knowing is killing me. Hubby sits on the couch all smug around the edges. I inquire, he says, he’ll call back. He has to see if he’s got a white one. (Oh, here we go again… just like the last deal that was ‘too good to be true’.) I’m crestfallen, so that tells me that I really aren’t having mixed emotions, I definitely want this. Early or not. I pace some more and drill hubby with questions. He just about had it with my caged animal behavior. Not 15 minutes later, Fred calls back. They got a white one and it’s ours if we want it, since somebody didn’t show with their down payment, as they had promised. Joe puts a grand down. Several phone calls later, we have a white 2009 Hayabusa waiting in its crate and a Scorpio alarm on order, which they are going to install for me; and an appointment to take possession of it on Tuesday, which is one of Joe’s regular days off.
I’m riding to work to get my schedule. I could call, but usually they’re too busy and only give you the first day you have to be there. I don’t want to risk that. I need to know, and I can’t just ask: “What about Tuesday?” It wouldn’t look good, if I have to call in sick. I had already made up my mind that I would. I talk a good game. I have planned calling in sick on more occasions than I can remember, I’ve never actually done it. I always show up, even when I am sick. I’m such a hoser. So, I ride into work, say hi to the boss woman and go look at the schedule. Good gawd, dude! I have to work on Tuesday! 10-6! What the heck?!? OMG! No, no way. I’m not gonna wait ANOTHER week. I’m calling in sick! And that is my FINAL answer. Of course, I can’t keep my mouth shut, I’m telling the boss woman about landing a deal on a bike, and putting money down so they’d hold it for us. DOH! Dummy! Can’t call in with the swine flu on Tuesday and then pull up on a brand new ‘busa on Wednesday. I always could take the hog, but I know myself… I’ve said too much, so I leave before I mess things up more for myself. I get home and pace around in the dining room, formulating a believable plan for Project ‘Calling in Busa….. I mean Sick’, Project ‘Calling In Sick’. Yeah, I’m that weird. I have to K.I.S.S. it…. Keep it simple, stupid. A lie is only good when it’s simple. I pace, and then decide I can’t do it and just ask for the darn day off instead. I call the lead tech. She doesn’t answer neither the home phone nor her cell, but she never does, at least not when I try to call. I guess it’s back to calling in sick. I spend the next 24 hours or so on the Inet, preoccupied with all things ‘busa. I do not sleep well.
I gotta work 3-9. But I decide to call work to see if I can’t get this Tuesday business settled. I tell her that I need Tuesday off because I need to pick up my new bike in North Carolina. Plain and simple. She says she can’t promise anything, but she’ll try and figure something out. More pacing. I’m feeling pukey again. I should have called in sick instead…. Good gawd! Why am I doing this to myself??? I get to work, and for six hours I can’t concentrate, because there is no news yet. Do I have to work or don’t I? I have to do most things I touch twice. My head is not in the game. And time must be nearing the event horizon of a black hole, because it’s slowing WAAAAAAY DOWN! This was the longest day at work I EVER had to ENDURE! Holy cow! I’m in pain. And I still can’t think straight. My boss finally tells me she’ll work my shift. I love that woman. Jumping up and down while telling her how important this whole ordeal is and how the scheduling was Joe’s fault must have done the trick. I want to slam hug her, but I settle for ‘You guys rock!’ instead. I’m out of there. I gotta go home and do what? 14 hours and counting…. Instead of doing stuff I need to be doing I hang out online again, making myself absolutely miserable looking for a set of torque wrenches and a set of axle and frame sliders. Ah, screw this, it’s giving me a headache. I go to bed. Sleep doesn’t come. Instead I lay there staring at the ceiling, figuratively. I actually keep my eyes closed and hope that the boredom that sure is to set in soon will knock me out. Not so. I’m starting to feel pukey again. Then excited. I recognize it for what it is. An adrenaline junkie lives for this. I’m in flight-or-fight mode. I don’t think I slept much that night. I spent most of my time visualizing the first time I get on that bike and take off and ride it. I’m scared, emotionally. Intellectually I know better, but that doesn’t help, does it? The night dragged on for a looooooong while.
The day has arrived. I think I may have slept an hour or two. Not good. I’m not well rested and that means I won’t be operating at peak performance and that can lead to scratched paint. Gawd, I need to get those frame sliders. We pack the gear in the car and head out, a fashionable 45 minutes late. Joe is driving. He’s driving me insane. He’s soooooooo freakin’ chipper in the mornings. Shut up, you ‘hole! My body’s still in overdrive. The closer we get, the more mouth-watering the experience becomes. I’m about to vomit. I can feel it inside. I gotta go pee again. Geez. This couldn’t possibly be fear?!? Holy Helena! Fear? FTW?!? A little anxiety? Check. Excitement? Definitely! Fear? I hope not. Ridiculous. The last 20 miles I say nothing. After hitting the twisties in the Prius and getting a preview of what is to come, I tell Joe, that he’ll probably have to ride it home. I don’t think I can do it. Only I don’t word it like that. But damn! These roads are clean, little traffic, the camber is favorable, and in good repair. What a waste of a mountain road! My former enthusiasm for curvy asphalt seems dampened. I’m almost saddened by the notion. Anyway, I ride in silence. Joe says something to the effect that I don’t look so good, and offers to ride it through the mountains if I want him to. I have to save face and reply that I’ll think about it. He says that I need to make up my mind before we leave, because he needs the 18 miles himself to acclimatize to the bike if that’s what I wanted him to do. I suffer in silence. This is a man-thing I think. I’m doing a man thing. I keep it mostly inside and just drop hints here and there. I’ve been doing this all morning. The pukey feeling never left me, I’m going on 24 hours of my body being stuck in chemical adrenaline overload. This can’t be healthy. My former bravado is gone. I’m done talking the talk, I’m considering giving up walking the walk, too. I can’t do this. What in the world are you thinking? You’re such a n00b! You’re gonna kill yourself, you silly goose. We reach our destination and I’m too shaky to stand. I get out of the car. Oh. It’s just ‘shaky on the inside’ rather than real shaky-on-the-outside. I can walk. Good. We go into the dealership. My nerves are still shot, but I’ll keep that from showing. I hope. We look around a bit, dang this place is huge! And they got a road made out of linoleum tiles, center line, intersections, everything. I amuse myself by staying in my lane and cornering properly. I’m a dork. But I’m starting to feel a bit better. Joe walks up to the guy at the parts counter and announces that he’s here for his wife’s Hayabusa. OMG! I put my mental turn signal on and turn right at the next linoleum intersection and pretend that I’m really interested in a new lid, since that’s where I ended up. OMG! The attention. They are all very friendly peeps, I find out. I’m starting to calm. 30 minutes later, I’m not pukey anymore. Am cool, calm, and collected and am actually starting to enjoy myself looking at stuff and sitting on a B-King (I can’t really reach the floor, it’s too tall) while they finish prepping my baby. The time has come. They come get us, because I told them that I wanted to snap a picture of the odo before the mech takes it out on a test ride. She smiled at that, but wondered what the big deal was. I just told her that I’m weird, that it means a lot for some reason I can’t really explain. Here I am, standing in bright sun shine, squinting, while I watch my baby emerge from the dark of the shop under the guidance of one of the mechanics. It’s almost a religious experience. I feel knotted up in the midsection again, but this time it’s the good kind of adrenaline. She’s so beautiful. As she slowly emerges into the day, the bright sunshine hits her and she sparkles like that vampire dude in the ‘Twilight’ movie, Edward Cullen. The mechanic puts the kickstand down and steps away to let us ogle her and snap the ‘naught pictures’ of the odo reading 0. The first words out of my mouth were: “She purrs like a kitten.” I’m in love. Pictures don’t do her justice. What a beautiful piece of engineering, a technological marvel. She purrs, contentedly. Yeah. I’m head over heels. The mechanic interrupts my reverie with: “I’m going to take her for a test ride, about six miles or so, to make sure she runs right and everything is the way it should be.” I reply, shyness all but forgotten: “You’re not gonna ride the piss out of her?” He looks at me, almost offended and says: “I wouldn’t do that to her.” I’m satisfied, you may take her, but only because I don’t have a choice…. We go back inside, and after 10 minutes I’m getting worried…. Why isn’t he back yet? OMG! Something happened. Some ‘hole cut him off and…. Oh noes…. He returns and a dude named Redd, who really likes nekkid bikes and tells us all about his recent wreck (left turner violated his right-of-way, if I remember correctly) while he gives us the requisite tour of my new baby ‘busa. I notice with slight amusement that she’s parked facing the shop gate and that I would begin my ‘adventure’ by backing her up. Meh. I watch Redd point at various fluid reservoirs thinking to myself that I won’t remember squat. Oil, stand her up, look through the hole (he did that by himself one-handed, show-off!); clutch, brake fluid, DOT4, coolant, up to here, even when it’s not hot; CHK means you forgot to do one of the four to be able to crank her; stay in C(hicken)-Mode for 600 miles; or use the other modes but don’t go over 5,500 RPMs. Key in here, preload this; suspension adjusters that; where’s my hump?; tool kit under here; on an on. I’m fairly detached by now. If I was an anime character I’d have spiraled eyes and a little heart superimposed on my temple. Probably would be floating a few inches off the ground, too. With my hands folded in front of me, leaning at a 30 degree angle toward my object of desire. (I think I need to draw that mental image….) Anyway, to make a long story short (ooops…. too late) after the tour we go back inside, I shop while Joe and Ken finalize all the necessary paperwork. I end up in the parking lot holding two new helmets, a Scorpio alarm (which they didn’t have time to install and we opted to take care of it ourselves); a FOX Racing backpack and blue anodized aluminum swingarm spools (yeah, I color coordinated…. I’m such a girl) and no car keys. What’s taking Joe so long? I finally can’t take it anymore and schlep the gear and my giddy self around the building. There’s two people standing at the corner looking in the direction of the shop. Something hit me: OMG! Something happened! I’m gonna round this corner and I’ll be seeing my Kitten laying on its side taking a concrete nap. Don’t visualize it. If you visualize it, it will become reality. No. No! Do not want! I get to the end of the building just in time to see my man waddle walking the Fat Lady around to face her the other way. Soooooo…. That’s what they were all admiring, my husband’s superior riding skillz! Oh yeah. He’s a keeper! I can’t help it, he rides past me and I notice, that at 6”1’ and slightly overweight one tends to show crack in the sport riding position. Yup. These must be the rednecks from Augusta, Georgia. We’re back in the front parking lot. Hubby parks her (optimized for me, nice and facing the exit to the street), gets off and remarks: “You’re going to be in for one hell of a surprise”. Oh oh. What exactly does he mean by that. I’m getting suited up for the ride, and the nerves return. I sit on her for the first time, inspect the instrument panels, trying to familiarize myself with the controls. I play with the friction zone. OMG, the pegs are way up there and the foot controls are sooooo teeny and tilted forward. I notice that she wears her girth well. Maybe I shouldn’t call her fat, she’s big boned…. She has a new car smell about her. Strange. I rock her back and forth via the friction zone, and I can’t bring myself to ease the clutch out all the way, not to mention putting my feet up on the pegs…. WAY UP on the pegs. The nausea returns. Too late now. She’s mine, but I can’t help but feel a bit overwhelmed. The mantra about not having enough experience returns with a vengeance. At this point I’m not really afraid of embarrassment, since we have the lot to ourselves. Joe finally figures my fidgeting with this and that for what it is and tells me to just go a lap in the parking lot. I think to myself: “Are you out of your mind? I have to turn right and what do I do once I get to the other end. U-turns and me are not on speaking terms at the moment.” He reads my thoughts, apparently and replies to my unspoken fears with: “I’m sure there’s an exit on the other end.” And as I look down the way he wants me to go, I spot a car entering. At least he’s right about not having to make a u-turn, but then I get to play in traffic? As I ponder the situation, still busying myself with my baby’s controls, Fred comes running out the door: “There you are! Dang it! I told those people to let me know when the customer is about to leave. I’m so sorry!” He catches up with us, informing us that he still hadn’t gotten around to his coffee break and inquired how I liked her. I told him that coming from a Harley I was a bit intimidated and couldn’t gauge how riding would translate to this monster. He just smiled and said: “You’ll be fine. Nothing’s changed. Go out there and get a feel for her. You’ll see. Nothing to it. Don’t worry yourself with finding a parking lot to do slow speed drills, just take her out there and feel it.” I decided to put my trust in him. I don’t even know if he stuck around to watch me leave. I blanked my mind and let muscle control take over, since I have a tendency to over-think EVERYTHING, I decided to just zone out, if you will. It worked. I eased out the clutch, not having to give it any gas (you don’t need it, as my hubby said), slowly but deliberately hauled in the landing gear (that took some real will power there!) slight turn of the handlebar while I’m forcing the dawgs up on the pegs, look up, look up. More gas, steady her. I inch my way to the end of the lot and come to a stop, put her in neutral and try not to faint. OMG! I don’t think I can do this. Holy Suzi! What have I done? I look back over my shoulder, Joe’s still standing by the Prius. He wants me to come back. I look at Highway 69, then back over my shoulder. Decision time. Another glance and then do the only thing I can do to avoid making that blasted maneuver. I wave my hubby to ‘come on!’, he gets in his car and I leave, enter the highway at a shallow angle and start shifting gears. OMG! I’m moving, but I’ll have to stop eventually. I can’t do this. I can’t do… wow… this is kinda neat. Hmmmm…. She feels balanced, content. She purrs. Light ahead. Ah shit. K, you can do this. Tap, tap. Front brake, a touch of rear. Hmmm. Smooth. Good. Not too grippy. Predictable. Shift, shift. Second. Look. Tap. First. Left foot down. Can’t. Both down. Wobble. Holy crap, what was that? Strange. Something’s off. Can’t put my finger on it. Light turns green. Ease off the clutch. Look up, quit starting at the nose. Something’s off. What is it. Shift. Shift. Ding! Fuel light comes on. Crap. Whatever happened to a full tank of gas? Oh yeah. Above $2.00. Exxon up ahead. My favorite type of fuel. American owned. No BS additives. It does an engine good. Turn-signal. I think this is the first time I actually used it, can’t be for certain. Into the suicide lane. Too early, a pickup truck had the same idea. We respectfully share the lane momentarily. Slow. Tap. Tap. Ride the brake, friction zone. Left, up the hill. Come to a wobbly stop at the pump. OMG! Hubby fuels for me. I get my first compliment on my new ride. Dude’s all impressed with me. He happens to be from the Augusta area originally. Cool. Small world. We shoot the breeze for a few more moments and then part ways. The exit is downhill. I’m no fan of downhill slow-speed anything. Wobble. What the heck? I pull out into traffic and it finally hits me. I finally figure out what has me so off-kilter. The front end doesn’t turn with the handlebars. Of course, it’s all bolted to the frame, the forks are just hidden in the middle. Doh! I’m a lamer. Note to self: If you can tell that is going on, you’re not looking up and ahead enough. Silly girl. Once I realize that, my stops and take-off start to resemble their former glory. Hmmm… I might just start looking like I actually know what I’m doing. I’m in the lead. I have to follow the Highway 17 signs, so I have to pay attention. Note to self: need tech mount for GPSr. I finally get to the mountainous section of the trek. I’m starting to feel a bit more comfortable on her. I’m beginning to FEEL HER. I do a few weaves to get a feel for her manners. She is well behaved. There may be hope for me yet, to make it out of this alive. Into the twisties. I take the first few corners slowly. The fat lady can move, gracefully. She is confidence inspiring. I push a little more. She does what she’s told. New tires…. Gotta take it easy… I catch up with another car (now it seems that I’m the middle of a Prius-Hayabusa sandwich.) Arrrgh. Stuck behind a car. I could pass like a squid on the soon to disappear extra uphill lane, but I decided against it. I don’t want to be another ‘hole on a crotch rocket. Besides, I have new tires and I’d rather have hubby riding my butt then some other dude, if it should come to that…. Yeah hardly. It’s probably for the better. The car helped me gauge entry speeds and curbed my ever-growing enthusiasm to put my chicken strips on a diet. 8 miles in I realize that I’m having the time of my life. All fear and worry are forgotten and I’m grinning from ear to ear. By mile 60 I’m up to my usual shenanigans. Life is good. I even let hubby ride her for about 40some miles. He can’t stand the neck strain he gets from riding that far leaned forward and his knees bent that far. I think the supersport riding position is comfy, as long as you let the wind do all the work and keep your weight off your wrists and your back properly aligned (no slouching, good posture) and the tank lends itself to napping on the interstate. j/k It almost makes it automatic to look up and ahead as you should, at least I think so. The interstate was also a big treat. I didn’t know what a suspension was until now. This trip was 30 miles further than the Helen, GA trip, and I had way less body fatigue and aches than on my sporty. Not as much vibration either. Around 4,500-5,500RPM there’s a noticeable buzz, but it’s easy to stay out of that range. She’s quiet, almost stealthy like a cat, which is a plus for me, since I don’t like loud pipes. Noise annoys, is what I think. She handles superbly. She does what you tell her to, nothing less, nothing more. She sticks to the lines like glue and there’s no manhandling required. A slight nudge is all she needs. She carves through air currents like a bullet. When we pull over in Washington, GA to switch back, a local copper shows up. I’m thinking we’re in for a two-fer, a double-header car/bike high performance award for sure. But he’s just admiring the bike and he’s totally amazed when he finds out that she’s mine. He says the line: “That’s a big bike for such a little lady like yourself.” But I don’t take offense this time. No, it’s not the badge and the gun that dampen my usual ire at those type of remarks. It’s his tone of voice. He’s in awe. He thinks it’s totally awesome that I ride ‘that beast’. Kudos from a cop. I love it. I do the speed limit all the way out of town and into the next county. Don’t want to mess it up for the next chica blowing through Washington on a ‘busa. ☺ I-20 is up ahead, I’m looking forward to what she has to offer me there. Smooth as silk. The suspension keeps everything plush. I can’t believe this is the same stretch of road that beats the poo out of me on Kittyhog (still enjoy it, but it’s more…. Rugged… more primitive in a classy, good, caveman sort of way). I open her up all the way to the end. I had to see. What a rush. I quickly decelerate, don’t really want to shell out the dough for triple digits, let alone the rise in insurance premium that is to follow. But a girl’s gotta know. No headshake at 112 (like I experienced with Kittyhog). She stayed stable and nimble as can be. C-Mode flattens the power curve throughout its range, in essence I’m running at 60% of full capability. I was curious about B (75% and full power at full throttle) and A (100%), but I resisted the urge. Give it a week. I’ll be done with break-in. ☺ I was sad when I pulled her into Kittyhog’s Bike Barn (the cover I ordered for the baby ‘busa hasn’t made it here yet, so Kittyhog’s gotta park in the car spot with her cover on. Poor thing. I think she going to feel a bit neglected. I’ll take her out on Sunday, before I give her her bath.
Couldn’t wait to ride. Did my first two mods on the babe. Attached the swingarm spools, since my front and rear stands showed up on my door step this morning and peeled all the CAUTION labels off. Followed hubby to work and made use of my favorite 90-degree left-hander again. OMG. I took that corner going 5 miles under Kittyhog’s record and I didn’t even feel the need to slide my butt over the inside edge. It’ll be a LONG time before I drag pegs on this puppy. Life indeed is good. I have noticed people passing and then pacing me. What’s up with that?!? Yeah. It’s a chick on a bike. Get over it. I still can’t help but giggle like a school girl! And that is what COURAGE is all about. =D I did mention that I have an unreasonable fear of embarrassing myself in public, right? Hopefully, knowing that will put parts of this in perspective. Forgive the spelling and the content. It’s not the best I’ve ever done, it’s probably boring and long-winded. You ladies put the pressure on and I just don’t work well under that sort of impatient expectation. LOL