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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Brad Gavey VS the VFR1200

When I was a part of Brad's race team and school, we had our own expression that got used often. To "Gavey" something was to destroy or otherwise damage a mechanical device. If you overtorqued a bolt and stripped some threads, you Gavey'd it. If you just finished rebuilding the motor on your racebike and blew it up on your first lap out, you Gavey'd it. Plenty of Ducati transmissions have eaten themselves and become Gavey'd. It isn't neccessarily ham-fistedness or abuse... Brad is a smooth and fast rider... it's just that he takes things beyond their limits. In a 7-round race series this year, he entered 4 different bikes... not because he had the luxury of a multi-bike race fleet, but because he couldn't keep one running for more than 2 consecutive races. And he still won a championship.

In spite of his history of mechanical molestation, everyone wants Brad to try their bike. They want to hear that their bike is the greatest he's ever ridden. I guess I'm no exception. His opinions mean a lot. He has ridden hundreds of different bikes for probably hundreds of thousands of street miles and thousands of race laps. He knows what he's talking about, and he shoots from the hip.

Yes... in spite of his history of mechanical massacre, I wanted Brad to have a ride on the VFR. I trust him not to wreck it, and I trust the big Honda's ability to take punishment. I had a rare day off work today, and an even more rare warm weather forecast, so I went out for a spin and followed Brad around for the a few hours; he on my VFR1200, and I on his 2010 ZX-10R, then his B-King.

He was quite pleased with the VFR. Here are some of his observations:

-smoothest most comfortable bike he's ever ridden

-tires are shit. Good for protecting the rim and that's about it. He was spinning the back tire all over the place. He recommends the Michelin Pilot 2CT instead.

-falls into turns. (an observation I've also made) This effect is multiplied by the squared-off profile of my worn back tire

-sounds great, looks great. Flawless fit and finish

-carries its weight well and feels lighter than it is

-great brakes, though he would like to disable the ABS

-more likely to lose his license on this than his ZX10R... never feels like it's going as fast as it really is

-plush suspension, good handling but could benefit from a heavier rear spring

-barely noticeable shaft drive... but would still prefer a chain

-feels the throttle "hunting" a bit at steady speeds

-perfect bike for a trip down the west coast.

We had fun afternoon. Brad was impressed with the VFR and I got to try some pretty cool (and fast) motorcycles.
No motorcycles were Gavey'd in the making of this video:


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