Saturday, 17 September 2011

Sylvie has gone to Motorbike Hospital and Jayne becomes a Vicar!

Sylvie was knocked over and damaged recently while she was parked up outside my place of work. So the Insurance companies have taken over in dealing with the repairs. So far it looks like she is going to be away for a while and I am greatly missing my beautiful girly bike.

While it is hard to take photos that show the damage, we have managed to get a couple.

  

Luckily it was a low speed impact, and damage was minimal, but the lesson learned here is to never rely on just parking sensors alone.

In the mean time, the Insurance company have provided me with a couple of Hire bikes while Sylvie is away. 
The first was another SV, a brand new bike with just enough miles on the clock to justify the first service! She was a beautiful bike, but with the standard clip-ons was murder to ride. Strangely, she felt much smaller than Sylvie, the seat felt lower and the bike actually felt much smaller and lighter. I cannot imagine that there are that many differences between a K3 (Sylvie) and a brand new one (K9), but I did notice an aluminum rear frame. 

Jayne and not Sylvie.
The saddest part of riding her though was not the position, it was the restriction. The SV was restricted via the horrors of a throttle stop, giving the throttle about a third of a turn before it stopped. Just lovely, in a very un-lovely kind of way. If anyone out there wants to restrict their SV, I fully recommend the restricted ECU as opposed to the throttle stop way. The ECU allows full use of the throttle and allows the engine to breath fully, but electronically restricts the bike rev speed. This keeps you legal, but still allows your bike to feel like a big bike. The throttle stop prevents the engine from hitting the power band, so it is always under powered, unless you keep it in lower gears than you would normally use. Then it goes everywhere screaming, which sounds great, but looks pathetic!

The next bike delivered was a Honda CBF600 and I was expecting great things.

Castration is a terrible thing to do to a bike.
The CBF was comfortable, but felt narrow at the bars and overly top heavy. Riding it though revealed that it had been badly castrated by the throttle stop, so badly in fact that it was unable to make it up our local hill, two up, in second gear. 

The ride to Gloucester was a nightmare of struggling to keep up with Carol and Alex on the gorgeous Kawasaki ZRX1100, the Honda was simply outclassed, which is such a shame because I have always held Honda Motorcycles in such high regard. The Honda has a power band starting at about six and a half thousand revolutions of the engine, the throttle stop prevents it getting much past four thousand unless it is again ridden in low gear and thrashed like a loon. Riding the Honda is an experience that in terms of excitement I can only compare with extreme sports such Knitting, embroidery or ironing! For such a good looking bike, it has a terribly bland ride and trying to fit Sylvie's luggage was a disaster because there are so few fitting points. The grab rail is actually a pair of handles that are open ended and do not give a tie down point or easy fitting of a seat pack. Were that not bad enough, while riding it has a disturbing feel to the steering that causes the rider to have to pull the bars back from a turn because it feels like the front wheel wants to fold under the engine. In all, the Honda feels entirely underwhelming and nothing like the Suzuki SV, which is a fire breathing monster in comparison. I miss my dear Sylvie.

So while Sylvie is away I must endure the trials of boredom by Honda and frustration by Insurance Company. Now to be fair, this has very little to do with my Insurance company and I can now fully recommend CIA Insurance (although I am profoundly grateful to not have to be dealing with the incompetent MCE at the moment. God alone knows what kind of a mess they would have made of this!), who have gone out of their way to be helpful with Sylvie. They have passed Sylvie over to a company called Plantec and it is from Plantec that I have had the hire bikes. Now having never heard of Plantec, I was more than a little worried about giving them my bike. Internet feedback seemed poor and advice from trusted people in know like dear old Lozzo from the SV forum made me even more worried. However, armed with good advice from these sources, I was and am still prepared for war. So far though, Plantec have been very good, with regular weekly updates on progress with Sylvie, checking that I am happy with the hire bikes and that I am able to perform pre-ride checks. Their service has so far been very good, I just hope that this remains to be the case and that Sylvie is returned to me very soon, especially as I am not sure that I could survive a long trip on the Honda, I might die of boredom first!


So, that is the ongoing Sylvie story, I feel like I have had a limb removed while she is away, luckily Carol has been a rock and continues to be so. As for my friend who knocked Sylvie over, she continues to be my friend, I just hope that dealings with insurance companies do not mess that up, she was extremely sorry and knowing how much I love my bike, shed a tear or two with me. Bless...

Yes, Bless her. In my newly acquired official capacity as a Reverend, I can bless her, I am just not sure as what Deity, if any, I should choose to bless her with!

Burn, you sinners!

Not being the overly religious type, not really believing in God and not liking religion makes it hard to be a Vicar in this modern world, but I do not see why only men who wear dresses (and possibly harm children) are allowed to perform such duties! After all, I am very well educated woman, I have an excellent vocabulary (although it is littered with filthy words and vile terms!) and I am able to listen to people while providing a kind and sympathetic ear. 

Now I feel that I have to explain my actions a little, after all I would not want you thinking that I am something of a hypocrite. I have a very strong and profound belief in something very dear. It is not in a deity, for in truth I am not sure that there is room in our universe for such a being, however my faith if you want to call it that is in something far more tangible. My faith dear reader is in you. I have faith that you as a human being are capable of many great things and many great acts of kindness and courage. If you take away the spooky stuff from religion, you are left with a moral code, if you remove the political nastiness from that moral code, you are left with some pretty basic good stuff. Be nice to each other, don't murder each other and enjoy life.

So ladies and gentlemen of my flock, this is my sermon to you.

Go forth and enjoy your lives, show kindness to those about you, hug those you care for, do something that promotes human rights and most of all, watch out when reversing your car near my bike!

Bless you, now go and have some great sex with someone of the same or opposite gender to yourself!

Love each other and listen to lots of brutal black metal!