Fast Bikes - - LONGTERMERS -

THIS MONTH I HAVE MOSTLY BEEN… “Get­ting pro­tected...”

Ilove a good wheelie (who doesn’t?), but the Aprilia was mak­ing me look silly ev­ery time I tried to pull a 12 o’clocker in front of friends and fam­ily. I was scratch­ing my head won­der­ing what the hell was go­ing on. It was as if there was a de­lay in the fu­elling, which meant the ini­tial hoist­ing of the front wheel was as if it was on strike, and then there’d be an overly harsh rush of power that proved a right pig to con­trol. I did a bit of re­search on­line and it turned out I wasn’t the only one with this trait. The ad­vice was to al­ter the map­ping mode se­lected.

If you fol­low my col­umn then you’ll re­mem­ber that I switched it from sport to race mode, be­cause it made for a smoother ride in town – there seemed to be much less back­lash when you let off the throt­tle and the pick-up wasn’t so ag­gres­sive. Any­way, by do­ing so it also made the bike an arse to wheelie, as it turns out. So hav­ing learned what my prob­lem was, I soon tweaked things back and went out for a day long stint of get­ting it up. It’s funny how touch­ing a few but­tons can make such a dif­fer­ence on a bike, but that’s the na­ture of to­day’s tech­nol­ogy.

Not ev­ery mo­tor­cy­cle’s as high-tech as the RSV4, but it’s get­ting that way. I’m not one for read­ing in­struc­tion man­u­als and all that malarkey; I just want to go and ride my bike. But its pays nowa­days to learn the po­ten­tial of what you’ve got. When I bought this Aprilia I was drawn to it be­cause of its looks, its mo­tor, and its awe­some ex­haust note. But I in­her­ited all the tech that came with, and there’s some pretty cool stuff in the ar­se­nal. I just haven’t had the time or in­cli­na­tion to study it in-depth… that’s a job for the win­ter months when the roads are all crappy. That’s not quite the case just yet, as the weather’s been pretty rea­son­able these past few weeks, with the tem­per­a­ture up in the high teens.

I’ve been mak­ing the most of that, blast­ing around here and there at ev­ery chance. I love this bike, and the more miles I ride it, the more I fall for it. It’s awe­some. Es­pe­cially now it’s been kit­ted with bits like my Gi­amoto rearsets and Austin Rac­ing ex­haust. The lat­est load of bolt-ons come in the form of R&G Rac­ing pro­tec­tion. Those guys make some cool pro­tec­tion for the RSV4, and I’m fond of the engine case cov­ers, that come with their of­fi­cial BSB ap­proved stamp which makes the bike look that bit more trick. I’ve also fit­ted bar ends and both the front and rear axles are now guarded by the brand’s spin­dle bob­bins. I’m not one for rid­ing half-heart­edly, but get­ting this lot on-board has made me feel hap­pier to give it the berries next time I’m on track. I hope I can squeeze one more day in be­fore the snow ar­rives.

Clive made a re­turn trip to Croft. Mostly on the back wheel. R&G’s got Clive’s ’bar... ...swingarm... ... and forks pro­tected.

Clive and his mis­sus out for a Sunday stroll.

‘Does my thumb look big in this?’

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