The Pirate & The Falcon

I wasn’t planning on riding today, but around about 3:00pm I couldn’t stand it anymore and told myself that productivity is overrated anyway, might as well do something fun. And the funnest thing for me? Putting miles on a motorcycle odometer. Besides, I really felt like going out for chicken strips. The Pirate’s strips are mighty fatty, still. I need to give the Arr Arr her much needed workout after being tortured for 600 break-in miles. Damn, the girl is fast. No, not fast. Quick. Freaking quicker than greased lightning sliding down a grounded…. ah, never mind, I’m getting way too uh… redneck here. She’s quick. Where the Hayabusa had arm-stretching acceleration, this puppy will launch you into space. Case in point: I was rollin’ down the Interstate, sitting bolt upright, one hand on the throttle… the other (including broken pinky) resting sedately on my upper left thigh… You know, the standard sportbike poser riding position. Yeah… I do it, too. *shameful nod* What can I say? It’s comfy. I like to add a little twist and ride side saddle, as is proper for a southern lady. 😀 Anyhoo, so I’m rollin’ down the big road, and some dude in a cage paces me for a little too long in the left lane, so I give it a little of the ol’ twisty of the right wrist as I am accustomed, and I almost fall off the back. Holy shit! That’s what I mean. She’s quick. And that was in ‘Sport’ mode. Another example: I’m coming down an onramp, by the time I’m at the bottom and have a glance at my speedo, I’m up to 112 mph. Holy shit! That took way less effort than I remember. Snick. Snick. Blinker. Snick. WTF?!? I’m still in break-in, didn’t even get close to 9K RPM. Better slow my silly self back down. Gotta watch this beast. Deceptive. I thought I wasn’t going all THAT fast.

So, I’m doing my usual loop. I have to reference this; like a ‘Before’ and ‘After’ comparison… Hayabusa vs. S1000RR. The Fat Lady vs. The Thin Mint (that’s what I would have called it, had I gotten it in Acid Green). That 90-degree right-hander? 10 mph faster than the ‘Busa. Didn’t even feel the need to hang off. Just went around that thing like I was in a sweeper curve, well not quite, but damn if I felt like I was pulling G’s like I was on the ‘Busa. Nada. As a matter of fact, I kept my reference points all the same… all my ‘Busa lines through familiar territory… they were all too tight. In the 90-degree right-hander I had my tires sticking to the very inside of the white line. I thought to myself that this isn’t going to work or I’ll risk banging my head on the guard rail. Intellectually I knew this would happen, but emotionally I was not really prepared for how this made me feel. Yes, every one told me the ‘Busa was a bus. What did they know? I became a master of wrestling my sexy Fatty through the curves, which ultimately led to her demise. The one time I could have put that knee down, I didn’t bring my pucks and dragged pipe. Go figure… all my favorite curves, they ain’t shit. So I went from loving to hang off to ‘what’s the point here?’. Now, it is blatantly obvious that I cannot ride this machine even close to the point of having to hang off (not around here anyway) without doubling or even tripling the speed limit. Not gonna happen. The days of Redneck Racing practice are over. *sigh*

The brakes are freakin’ phenomenal. No wonder I could never get comfortable with braking late, banging it down a gear or two, then throwing it in. I can do it now. Not really all that smooth about it, since I gave up trying a while ago… around the same time I sleazeballed the third corner up on US17 or was it GA348? I learned that I (and The Fat Lady) felt most comfortable having the entry speed right waaaay early. Then I still went wide, but it didn’t feel as such. Mike asked me once (during our suspension setup pow-wows) if the bike felt like it was going wide. I answered that question with a convinced ‘no’. I really thought that’s how I picked my lines. Does my little adage make sense now? “When dancing with a Fat Lady you’ll go in early and you’ll come out late.” That’s where that came from. I was comfortable with that though. I adapted to the bike without even realizing it. But what do I know? Or what did I know then? Nada. When going through the same Hayabusa lines with the S1000RR all of a sudden I find myself stuck to the white line (in the rights) and the yellow (in the lefts). Hmmmm…. so now I’m doing mid-corner corrections to reduce lean angle. ROFL What the hell! So, it follows that girly’s going to do another go-around, this time, picking NEW lines. And what do we find out? That which we intellectually already knew: The pirate knows her way around a corner. No more mid-corner corrections, no more hanging off, smooth as hell, braking later, harder, banging down gears… it’s all kind of easy now… at least in what passes for curves around these parts.

What about straight line stability? The thing positively defies the laws of physics. With those rake and trail numbers you would think the Pirate be a little unsure of herself laying some drag down the boulevard. Wrong again. I don’t know how they pulled this off, but this thing feels as stable as The Fat Lady did (tested up to 131 mph; digital readouts are awesome, no more tick mark guessing required) and gets there in a hurry! Good gawd! Did I mention she’s quick?

I think I died and went to heaven. How can Busa Girl have her cake and eat it, too? This is quite impossible. Leave it to the Germans though to pull it off.

…but I still miss my Hayabusa. I wish I could have her back. I really miss the ole girl with her sexy Pearl Splash white skirts, her deceptively sedate kitten purr and her bodacious curves. There’s nothing sexy about the S1000RR, this is the bike that speaks to my geek. I love it. I love the lines. I love its mean streak. Its purpose-built design. The tech. How well-thought out it seems to be. It even looks like it means nothing but business. Take no prisoners. All or nothing. The only proper color for the thing is Thunder Gray Metallic (aka black). It’s one awesome piece of technology. It and me are well suited for each other. So why do I still pine for my busted ‘Busa (as Stan put it in his country song)? I’m a ‘Busa girl at heart. Always will be. But I have to come to terms that my love affair with that bike is (for the time being) over. What I want and what I need are two different machines. I want my ‘Busa back. I need the S1000RR. I wish I could have both.


9 Comments on “The Pirate & The Falcon”

  1. goldiron says:

    You would not love this bike had you not made the transition from the Sportster to the ‘Busa and then the S1000RR. I am thrilled that this bike respects your skills and will allow you to grow.

    • MissBusa says:

      The Harley just ended up pissing me off… it actually, towards the end, really did hinder my progression and hence my riding confidence suffered, not to mention dropping the top-heavy, piggish vibrator three times in 7 months did NOT help at all. I’m not sure if I understand what you mean by not loving the S1000RR if I hadn’t went through the Hog then the ‘Busa… hell, the ‘Busa was rumored not to be a good choice for n00bs like myself (maybe they were right, since I only made it 11 months before I trashed the poor thing), the S1000RR seems easier to ride than the ‘Busa… maybe not as forgiving…. but I might be wrong on that count, too, because I have yet to find out if it actually has the Race ABS/DTC option for sure for sure. And I’ve been laying on them binders and even braking while leaned over… not even in the rain… hell, I did a little slippy-slide through a wet intersection in Atlanta due to oil and gasoline on the road… tech didn’t intervene then either. I’m really not trusting that at all. Maybe they forgot to put it on. LOL

      • goldiron says:

        As your riding becomes more accurate and precise, your speeds will increase without applying more throttle as compensation.

  2. john says:

    Awesome – sounds like too much fun. I went up to Alices Restaurant today and was following a slowpoke on some kind of dual purpose as he would keep switching his riding lane , i’m dying to pass him but didn’t because he seemed like a rookie , so i hung back waiting for the turn on 84 to go up the hill to Alices. I’m wondering if he’s gonna go up to Alices as well . I’m still itching to pass this dude. So i’m up fairly close waiting for my chance to pass of course. Well , as we get right up to the turnoff to 84 ( right turn ) he’s hugging that right side of the road and actually starts to take the freaking turn , And i’m like a horse at the starting gate right on his ass waiting for my chance to pass. Right there at the right turn onto hwy84 is a great spot to pass.
    So he’s initiating a right turn onto 84 and i’m on his left on my tip toes just getting ready hit the throttle and the SOB changes his mind at the very last second and from the right side of the freaking road he completely cuts me off ( right in front of me ) as he makes a left turn at the last possible f–king second. DAMN !! I LOCK the rear brake just as he narrowly misses me as he crosses right in front of me – He’s all sitting straight up in his saddle like the world revolves around him and there’s not a danger ever gona cross his path in life. He didn’t even know i had to slide sideways to avoid hitting the nutcase, He just rolled on like it was a walk in the park barefoot.
    I was sooooo pissed off – i’m talking ONE second difference – if i had been just ONE second too antzy to pass it would have been a disaster – he would have t-boned me.
    The anger translateed into some wicked twisty riding up to Alices though for me. It’s about a 5 mile climb up that twisty road to Alices …. Was an AWESOME day up there – have a video gonna post for you of a Harley i found interesting…..
    Your bike looks wicked , Have fun with it and have many safe rides..

    John

    • MissBusa says:

      All I can say to that is: “I’m so glad you know how to handle your business when sliding sideways!” I get that way, too, though. I get pissed for some reason or another and I have the best of times a few miles thereafter… not the smartest riding, but definitely fun. I couldn’t think of better anger management, even if it is… well you know… childish, immature, and totally uncalled for… but then most of the finer things in life are. 😀

      Can’t wait for the vid.

  3. Strega_Rossa says:

    Jap bikes are a dime a dozen (no offense, the majority of my rides have been rice burners). The Germans took Japanese styling and put their incredible Bavarian Motor Werks (works??) inside.

    Sounds like riding the Black Pearl is a match made in heaven. Arrr we gonna havtabe callin’ ye Jack?

    • MissBusa says:

      ROFLMAO! The Pirate be liking her rum, matey. Jackie would do nicely. Girl pirate. Hehehe… Krautrocket =D It’s Werke as in Bayerische Motoren Werke. Bavarian Motor Works works too…. arr arr! Oh, and I think Polly wants a cracker. 😉

  4. chesshirecat says:

    As always, I’m reliving some of my early days of flat trackin’ through these posts. I know, I know…it’s road riding you do…but girl…your the only person I read who writes the stuff you do…about tech thoughts, about tech set-up, about self doubts and self proclamation. ….You’re writing evokes the memories of how I learned to race flat track… (Though I have to admit, I never knew the technical terms for what I was doing…) the process and advantage of comparison, the conversations we have between ourselves and the people who help us set our bikes up. Hell, the conversations we have with ourselves as we review in our minds how the bike felt, how the turn worked…

    It’s nice reading about your learning experience…and it’s a happy thing for me you like to “share” with us…even the not so “glamorous” mishaps and mistakes…! Another fantastic read…


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