There I was, standing in my living room, choking back a tear, watching the new owner ride away on my beloved SRAD .
My old 1996 GSXR 750WT SRAD is truly one of my lost loves.
I came across the SRAD because my wife worked at a local bike dealership and one of the salesguys had taken a yellow GSXR750WT SRAD in part exchange. It had non-standard paint and was a bit tired. It’s 2 redeaming features were that the sales guy said it wheelied well and it was cheap.
I didn’t really have the money and i’d only passed my test a few month ago, but you only live once.
One bad decision later I was riding it home.
A week later, after only having ridden it once, I left on a 1200 mile trip across Europe, heading to Assen to watch the MotoGP with 8 crazy friends.
The morning of the big adventure arrived and as the Micron race exhaust was really loud, and as it was 4.30am, i though i would do the decent thing and leave as quietly as possible. Unfortunately, the fully loaded Gixer was heavier than i expected.
I dropped it but as I tried to hold it up, pinned the throttle wide open. Not a good start, laying on it’s side bouncing off the rev limiter at 4.30am.
To be honest, the bike was probably too much for me at the time.
I nearly killed myself several times and most of the other guys too at some point but it what a trip.
I had some incredible times on that bike: I discovered track days, learnt how to get my knee down and created some truly unforgettable memories with friends.
I did some pretty stupid things too like running from the police and looking for trouble with fast cars. I guess it was going to come to an end one way or another.
I’d been running the SRAD on a shoe string so when my wife announced she was expecting our second child, I knew my beloved GSXR was going have to go.
The farewell ride reinforced my decision to sell the bike. I went out for a few hours and ended up having a dust up with a TVR Cerbera on a busy duel carriageway. Obviously I blew him away, touching 160mph in some kind of juvenile fatuous display of virility or something equally as pointless.
On the way back I got into a situation with another GSXR, which peaked with the two of us hammering along a stretch of single carriageway country road at 160mph, side by side. What an incredible assault on the senses.
I’m not saying stupid speed on a public road is big or clever. In fact, riding or driving like a twat on the road is life threateningly dangerous and moronic.
I clearly have an issue with self-control, but to me, the adrenaline rush that comes with winding the throttle wide open in second gear until you clip the rev limit at 14,000rpm where you just bang in another gear, is a kind of prophetic enlightenment. It s a kind of beautiful, hedonistic, extreme, illumination of the soul that is a pure moment.