An estranged return to the Multistrada
After travelling to the opposite side of the world and the exact opposite of the Australian Solstice, after some 1,000 Miles on a Jap bike around various bits of the UK, and almost a weeks worth of broken sleep I finally felt like I might be up for a bit of a ride on the Multi again. Jet lag is a killer. Both off the bike, and definitely potentially on the bike. It just does this thing to you where your eyeballs go dry, your lids droop and become unbelievably heavy and without warning it can be incredibly important to be vertical suddenly. Not good conditions for riding 1200cc of Italian-two-wheeled-madness. But having learnt this lesson at some cost to myself last year, I decided I’d leave it a couple of days before I got back on board. So I polished the black ghost instead.
Well I sort of sprayed silicone spray around about the place and then half heartedly waved a clean cloth at it, from a distance, with about as much effort as a sloth. The effects of jet lag are somewhat combatted by a little trick a friend taught me called Hydralyte. It’s the stuff you take when you have had serious diarrhoea or gastro and all it does it fill you back up with electrolytes. This worked a treat on the way over where I slept through the timezone jump, but on the way back it is way harder as you lose a full day. Anyway, a week later almost and I feel almost human.
See also: Riding Naked around Loch Lommond
- a Kevlar hoodie
- a great set of Kevlar jeans with removable CE armour
- the best iPhone case/system I have ever found
and to top it off the Sargent Performance Seat I had ordered from AMC back in April/May had been hand-made for my exact requirements and had arrived the day I left for Scotland. Good timing! That was quickly installed (hint: remove the post from the stock seat before installing a Sargent on the MTS) and my new under-pillion-seat store filled up with the tool kit and a torch making room for wet pants in the original storage and I just had to get out on the beast and go for a burn. Question is, out my way, where to go? Distance is a strange thing, especially after flying tens of thousands of miles around the world. I could ride for an hour to get out in the real good bits, or just burn up a few kays squirting around the place, but I really needed to sit flat on it on the freeway to see how the Ducati-arse factor has been lessened. Now look, I know many peeps out there have no issues with the stock seat, even the gel seat or performance seat from DP, but I have all of those and nothing compares to the Sargent. Nothing. Ever. Period. Best seat you can get. I learnt this by purchasing one for my Hyper and never looking back, except on one tiny detail. The piping. I never liked the piping on the Hyper seat I ordered. So I did a full custom order for a Sargent Carbon FX seat with no piping and black top stitching. Front and rear. It fitted perfectly after a bit of wriggling the front slots around and I couldn’t be happier. As for the ride? Exactly what I had expected. What ever magic hoodickys are in that gel foam that Sargent use, it’s miraculous. Literally zero seat fatigue or flat-arse-syndrome over the course of an hour up the highway, and same back again. I know I can sit on the MTS all day long on the freeway and not be bothered by it ever again. The way it is contoured also gives you room to pull forward in a more motard fashion or push back in cruiser mode. Not that I ever two-up but the passenger seat looks the bomb too. Much more padding and space for a second arse should you have one to put there. What did strike me upside the head on first setting off on the MTS, was the immense power I had forgotten about. Riding the gizzer around the UK had been awesome fun, so easy to access and ride all of its power in a typical reliable Japanese production way, that I had forgot just how much grunt was available in Sport mode on the black ghost. It actually frightened the shit out of me. I pulled accidental power wheelies off the lights, and could feel the front shocks fully extending while wrapping it up on the merge ramp out to Ringwood. Geez this thing has some grunt. This is how accidents happen I realised quickly and thoughtfully (imagine that) used the technology so readily available to me on this incredible beast of a bike, and popped it back into Urban mode. Down to 100bhp and a much friendly torque curve, I was much happier (and safer) with my ham fisted throttle action – still able to give it plenty but not feel quite so overwhelmed by all that torque. Technology can haz its place on motorbikes after all. I had also played with my bar position a little before I left, actually I tried to install the Grand Turismo bar risers before I left, and found that the throttle and brake cables aren’t long enough so had to ditch that idea, but in the process pushed the bars forward just a tiny bit to see if that improved the riding position for me. It didn’t. So on return from a dashing visit out to the new Peter Stevens mega-store in Ringwood, I pulled them back again and feel like I have it just about right for now. Pity about those bar risers though, I really think they could go up just that extra 10mm, thems the breaks having monkey arms I guess. I took it out again for a squirt into the city this morning to catch up with Big Steve for brekky and I’m satisfied with the bars for now, the seat feels magic, now if we could just get that dam key to work properly…. Until the next adventure folks, stay upright.