The New V-Twin Beast
With Winter drawing in, frosty mornings, and my GPZ500 not entirely making it through its MOT test, I was offered a bike from a mate at a price I couldn’t refuse.
So I took the GPZ off the road last week in favour of my new sensible Winter bike:
Yes, it’s a Honda VTR Firestorm. 1000cc of filthy great V-twin hairy-chested bastardness!
It wasn’t without pain – very shortly after buying the bike, before I’d had a chance to get it up to speed, I had what I thought was a sudden box full of neutrals. After pulling over, and walking a long way back down the road, I found the chain:
I’ve never seen a chain break on the roller pin before! Luckily it went straight off the back of the sprocket, rather than through my leg, or the engine, or the head of anyone behind me…
A new chain sorted that out, and I got my first taste of a big twin.
It’s a bit like riding a horse! It sort of gallops along lazily. It’ll plod along sounding like Mr T on a treadmill, but then you look down and you’re in three figure speeds!
It’s very strange.
It only revs to about 9,500, but will just saunter up to the limiter in any gear at any time in a constant barrage of power – and I’m talking from 2000 rpm here! It just doesn’t feel or sound like it’s getting there quickly, but it bloody well is!
In fact, I did read that when it was released, it was the fastest ever bike 0-60mph. I’d believe it.
There’s not much up the top end, and it’ll run out of steam over 140mph – but maybe that will be a bit safer for my licence!
And it sounds like The Devil! The vibrations from the twin Micron race cans would even terrify Jenna Haze or Stoya. Proper porno power! I feel like I should have more chest hair and a medallion!
So that brings me to the handling.
Well, it’s December, and around freezing most of the time – and then towards the end of the week, it rained.
It was hard to say much about the handling, because it’s on damned Pirelli Super Corsas with less tread than a Mumbai taxi! The bike pretty much tried to murder me at every opportunity!
The first I knew was pulling onto the road one morning in the rain, letting off the throttle gently and weaving like a hooker walking down the aisle!
I visited several bike shops on Saturday, all of who pissed themselves laughing at my when I said what tyres the bike sat outside on the icy road was wearing!
Thankfully, the last one was where I swapped them for a brand new pair of Pirelli Angel GT’s.
Anyone will no I’m a massive fan of the Angel ST. They’re flawless. Knee-down from cold on the roads, good for Summer, Winter, snow, track days… I’m on my 4th or 5th set on my ZX9R. The GT is supposed to be the same, but with more wet grip and even longer lasting!
Instantly, without even having had a chance to scrub them in properly, they’re better. Loads of confidence and stability, and I’ve been able to have a bit of a play already. The steering is much slower than the Super Corsas, but I’ll soon get used to that.
I never wanted a V-twin before, but now I seem to have got one, I’m starting to see why so many absolutely love them!
All I need now is some warm, dry roads to scrape my knees on it!