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Discussion Starter #161
I could use a Gopro...there are mountain roads which go through tunnels around Fuji.
I'll see what I can do next summer. The Skyline toll roads over mountains there have to be seen to be believed...:grin2:

Around here the roads aren't very inspiring as it's mostly flat. Rice paddy fields, and suchlike. :p
 

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You've done a fantastic job on this build. Thanks for documenting and sharing with us.

And yes get some video. Love to see it.
 

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Discussion Starter #164
Thanks guys. Running out of things to do to her as I don't want to do anything internally to the engine, nor fit things I don't feel the need for like a quick shifter, steering damper of slipper clutch. Anybody here after a JTR slipper clutch? :D

I am thinking of having a swing arm made here in Japan by https://www.facebook.com/SUPER-BUILD-Maximum-372641872853487/ next year, but that'll be another long term project if so. Will need to go visit them in the spring and see what they suggest, then go from there. DHC has said he'd like one too, although there are two different types of HRC exhaust used between our bikes.

About 10 years ago for work we made some DVD's of the tuning car scene in Japan, which took years of work collectively (www.NeweraMedia.com - homepage). The longest & most costly being editing. Knowing how much goes into making something of quality, it kinda put me off making videos ever again...
I'm sure it's easier these days with Go Pro cameras, etc. I'll probably just strap one to my helmet, or play around setting it up in a tunnel both directions, etc. to make a short video. Something through twisty mountain roads will be nice, the way this bike steers is especially nice. Summer is best though, too damn cold otherwise.

I fitted a tow bar & Mototote on the back of our recently restored Hiace camper yesterday afternoon and tried a bike on it for size. Seems fine with the Husky on, so the SP should be possible to carry too, once I raise the leaf springs at the rear a touch. Would be nice to drive to the mountains, camp for the night then ride all day, it's a long way there & back from here otherwise.
I'll try it on there sometime and see. The SP is now hiding under a couple of covers in a corner.

 

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Hi Miguel, I would be interested in hearing about the swingarm proposals you are considering having made in japan, I had a custom hrc look arm made in the uk which was sold on to repsol Craig which he has yet to unveil! Unfortunately it would not work with the ladybird hrc replica so it had to go. I've got a couple of pics of mine now at 75% so would like to post up. But I'm an idiot. How do you rate the mr mirrors?
 

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Discussion Starter #166 (Edited)
Hi Adam,

MR mirrors are the best there is - truly excellent quality, beauty & design. I would have nothing else on a sports bike for road use.

I'be been talking with someone from Super Build on Facebook, but only in English.
I don't need to write Japanese for my work, so I can't. But I speak Japanese.
I've sent them the above recent pics of my bike and let them know when the shaken is done after February & the weather's warmer I'll go over and show them the bike, see some of their work and discuss the swing arm I'd like them to build...

Making an arm to clear an existing exhaust design that's fitted shouldn't be a problem & in addition they've said the could make it to include a chain guard. I wanted it to have a hugger too, but it seems that may be difficult for them, although we do know a man who can!
See, the Duckmeister has also expressed an interest in having an arm built for his SP which has a Ladybird HRC. The only thing is, an MR type hugger scratches the alloy beneath it...

Another downside they've explained is that it'll not be possible to anodise it....
Of course if Makis' current experiences work well with the arm he'll soon be having anodised, we could have our Super Build arms sent to Greece for him to arrange re-finishing. He'll be a kinda self-elected guinea pig here. >:)

You know he'll probably end up wanting one too, so we might need to hatch a plan to help make that a possibility too...



I'd like it to incorporate an underslung caliper carrier of course and Ti64 spindles. I may be selling mine if the new arm has a quick release endurance style'd spindle, with brackets at the back for a stand...

Anyways, just playing with ideas in my head at the moment. I can speak with them in Japanese when I meet and discuss all the finer points. My current Complete Racer's original HRC Akrapovic exhaust touches the original SP2 swing arm (It's chaffered off the offending section without marking the exhaust itself :laugh:), but I'd like something closer to nsr500v's swing arm original design, really...



Hopefully we can ask him nicely to send us some clear detail pics from his complete Racer over winter? Perhaps later some measurements?
If this replacement arm clears my exhaust (Which is same as his), it'll clear a Ladybird HRC no problem, which doesn't touch a standard swing arm of course.

I asked them for examples of SP2 swing arms they've done and they sent me these pics below.

This may also work out well for any people interested as a group buy where a collective discount could be negotiated with Super Build to make a number fo arms, although the labour's not reduced in any way so maybe they can't necessarily do that. We'll find out when I visit, I suppose.
Won't be cheap, but less expensive than other avenues I think. Not sure if it'll need to be made from an original SP2 arm, or built from scratch but that's to be discussed with them. But we may be onto a winning idea here...







 

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im just curious whats the advantage of this super build swingarm? from my understanding the sp2 OEM arm is about as good as its going to get on a relatively OEM motor bike and the sp2 arm is already cosmetically much more pleasing than the sp1. I see the price of all these Harris, Spondon swingers but i cant seem to find the value for ($2750+).....it basically limits your exhaust options, looks "OK" at best and provides marginally better (if at all) tensile strength over the SP2 swingarm (then it costs about as much as another good bike). Steering damper is more of a safety thing, but if you have one slap it on too, I have experienced a tank slapper on my SP1 and it was bloody terrifying. I also dont think it needs one (but i dont "need" 90% of the stuff on my bike anyways). QS have been proven to damage the RC tranny as explained to me by Roger Ditchfield, and im usually granny shifting anyways.

that same $ could be used to have a much greater effect on the bike, reduce the rotating mass on the motor (lightweight stator, Clutch basket), perhaps some ported heads etc from Roger ditchfield, his stuff is just as reliable as OEM.


Miguel I have rode a sp2 with a slipper clutch, thats a really nice modification something you should really consider installing. It makes the bike much more pleasurable to ride at a brisk pace but leaves enough of the engine-braking to keep things interesting. They are really easy to install and since you already have it you might as well. I didnt think the SP2 could sound any better downshifting (but it does and its brilliant).

I can honestly say thats one of my favorite high-end RC51 mods, I run a yoyodyne slipper myself and will be soon producing the lightweight clutch baskets.

hope your doing well buddy, Hiace camper looks awesome.

P.S. I also have a mototote, i like it for my smaller bike but idk if id put my darling SP2 on that thing. I dont wanna say its "rickety" but the RC51 is a pig in the 1st place and my worst nightmare is to see my bike barreling down the highway behind me at 70mph haha.
 

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Discussion Starter #168
As an alternative thought, I could ride the SP2 to Motegi's Honda Collection hall armed with some decent camera gear, take some good pics and share them with Super Build and see if they could make something very similar to this...



I was able to get very close to it before (below), I'm sure they wouldn't mind if I wanted to make a replica arm and needed some decent detail pics. :grin2:







 

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Discussion Starter #169 (Edited)
im just curious whats the advantage of this super build swingarm?.... see below)

Miguel I have rode a sp2 with a slipper clutch, thats a really nice modification something you should really consider installing. It makes the bike much more pleasurable to ride at a brisk pace but leaves enough of the engine-braking to keep things interesting. They are really easy to install and since you already have it you might as well. I didnt think the SP2 could sound any better downshifting (but it does and its brilliant).

I can honestly say thats one of my favorite high-end RC51 mods, I run a yoyodyne slipper myself and will be soon producing the lightweight clutch baskets.

hope your doing well buddy, Hiace camper looks awesome.

P.S. I also have a mototote, i like it for my smaller bike but idk if id put my darling SP2 on that thing. I dont wanna say its "rickety" but the RC51 is a pig in the 1st place and my worst nightmare is to see my bike barreling down the highway behind me at 70mph haha.
Thanks RC-DEVIL.

I have always rev matched down changes since beginning riding (including when braking hard) and don't "back it in", when coming into corners, so I don't really feel the need for a slipper clutch, really. I actually enjoy the rev matching, it's a much more symphonic way to ride for me and makes the experience all the more enjoyable. I like using revs and keeping it on the boil when using the bike on an open twisty road and so there's lots of direct engine braking but it's smoothly applied, when correctly rev matched. Will a slipper clutch in this context be any use for my riding? I don't see how really as it won't really be used. Shit, even when pulling up to a light and changing down I rev match. I like it smooth like butter on any bike. :D

Yeah, I'm just dreaming of how I'll use a Mototote. I haven't even hitched the Husky on. Just loaded it, saw how it sat and what the extra width was, took some pics and wheeled it off again yesterday. I think it looks cool too, thanks! :D

Last time they weighed my SP2 with the standard exhaust on and after doing the sums I worked out it would weigh around 195 kg with all fluids and half a tank of fuel. The Husky is 70 kilos less than that and a lot less leverage on the rear part of the Hiace's chassis. It'll probably be fine as it's a ladder structure under the Hiace, but really - the Husky's more fun on Japan's tight twisty mountain roads anyways, it's in it's element there - so I don't really seriously plan to use the Hiace to transport the SP to any extend, it was more of a daydream than reality thoughts. I may put it on and see how it goes and then.... we'll see, eh! One step at a time.
 

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The rc at motegi swingarm is almost identical to the one I had built, I had it built using the original sp1 arm front casting which obviously didn't have the curved indent to take the hrc exhaust.

Shaan I think you answered your own question, my swingarm did not improve the handling it just looked different in a factory sort of way.
 

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Discussion Starter #171
The VTR SP2's painfully anal bi-annual inspection was completed last month. Changing tyres & balancing wheels takes time, but nobody will risk damaging the carbon rims, so I learnt and do all my own changes a couple of years ago - it's not that difficult once you know how...



I re-sleeved one of the silencers & re-packed them, then spent hours making new brackets to make the silencers sit nice and close to the tail cowl. Also found a thin rubber strip that works with original Akra carbon fibre silencer brackets. Much better.



Changed the oil, washed, waxed & even cleaned off burnt rubber (from my boot!) off the exhaust (The titanium will soon turn blue again).



Also fitted some Rizoma bar ends. Just finishes it off nicely.



I finished by taking it into town to fill the fuel tank.



I hadn't ridden it since a month ago and getting back on it soon becomes familiar. It feels a lot lighter than I expect, each time now (weighs 195kg).



I've had it 11 years now, it's very close to as perfect as I plan to get it. Now just riding, when I get a chance.



 

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Discussion Starter #172
A few more pics:













Without lights on:



..and with (but brake light not lit).

 

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Every time you get into details on that bike of yours I get goose bumps. Full marks to you man! Is that 195 kg curb/fully fueled?:surprise:
 

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Discussion Starter #175
Thanks Guys!
@budoka - Not fully fueled, about half a tank, roughly, but of course with coolant and full oil capacity and even a puncture repair kit in the luggage compartment. It feels light the moment you move off on it, which I believe is primarily down to the carbon wheels.

Now it's all ready to use with new tires, etc. I want to see if I can take a day out in July to go up to the mountains and ride for a day before we go to Europe for our summer break.
If I get it organised in time, I could take a Go-Pro perhaps.

Been mulling doing that for a while, but after working on 3 DVD documentaries years ago, I developed a dislike for the time consuming nature of making videos!
 

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Discussion Starter #176 (Edited)
im just curious whats the advantage of this super build swingarm? from my understanding the sp2 OEM arm is about as good as its going to get on a relatively OEM motor bike and the sp2 arm is already cosmetically much more pleasing than the sp1. I see the price of all these Harris, Spondon swingers but i cant seem to find the value for ($2750+).....it basically limits your exhaust options, looks "OK" at best and provides marginally better (if at all) tensile strength over the SP2 swingarm (then it costs about as much as another good bike). Steering damper is more of a safety thing, but if you have one slap it on too, I have experienced a tank slapper on my SP1 and it was bloody terrifying. I also dont think it needs one (but i dont "need" 90% of the stuff on my bike anyways). QS have been proven to damage the RC tranny as explained to me by Roger Ditchfield, and im usually granny shifting anyways.

that same $ could be used to have a much greater effect on the bike, reduce the rotating mass on the motor (lightweight stator, Clutch basket), perhaps some ported heads etc from Roger ditchfield, his stuff is just as reliable as OEM.


Miguel I have rode a sp2 with a slipper clutch, thats a really nice modification something you should really consider installing. It makes the bike much more pleasurable to ride at a brisk pace but leaves enough of the engine-braking to keep things interesting. They are really easy to install and since you already have it you might as well. I didnt think the SP2 could sound any better downshifting (but it does and its brilliant).

I can honestly say thats one of my favorite high-end RC51 mods, I run a yoyodyne slipper myself and will be soon producing the lightweight clutch baskets.

hope your doing well buddy, Hiace camper looks awesome.

P.S. I also have a mototote, i like it for my smaller bike but idk if id put my darling SP2 on that thing. I dont wanna say its "rickety" but the RC51 is a pig in the 1st place and my worst nightmare is to see my bike barreling down the highway behind me at 70mph haha.
Sorry for the long delay replying in more detail to this @RC-DEVIL...

Yep, I'm in no rush to get a Super Build swing arm. I scratched mine with a paddock stand and don't like that. Also the HRC exhaust has touched and worn away an unseen section behind it on the swing arm (This system wasn't designed for use with this swing arm). So it's more for cosmetic reasons than anything else that I am considering it, but I still have to go to see them in Saitama (which will be a day's trip on highways - which I kinda prefer not to do!) and see what they can offer. Really, the damage to the original swinger isn't that much, I've lived with it a long time. Only I know it's there, or rather - did! >:)
I don't think I'll ever want to fit another exhaust, unless I badly damage this one - which would be a very big accident. Difficult to damage it if the bike only slides down the road. Cans are still repleacable with new in such an event..

What I'm about to discuss in NO WAY represents as an attack against those who choose to use steering dampers or slipper clutches, etc. I completely respect other people's choices. These are just my personal choices - OK!!
:grin2:

Steering dampers:
In 11 years and some 55,000km with this SP2, I still haven't ever had a tank slapper on this bike (nor any other road bike). I don't tend to ride slowly. Granted the geometry has changed on the SP2, especially since 6 years ago when I fitted the Maxton GP7 shock & they re-worked the original forks (Which makes them slightly shorter than standard I think). It steered quicker than before as a result but has never felt dangerous in any way to me. Occasionally the bars wobble a little, say when accelerating hard in 2nd gear whilst the front is light and hits a mild bump, but to me this is just communication where there's not a lot of weight over the front. My other bikes do the same, the Husky being worst at it (bars can wobble when riding at speed over bumpy roads, but it always lands smoothly when the front comes up - I don't do wheelies on the SP at all, too fast for those antics on the road). These small wobbles on bars have never been scary or reduced my confidence on any road bike, it happens a lot off road too.
My previous (Standard suspension) CBR954 had an Ohlins steering damper fitted by the previous owner. It didn't do anything for me. I value quick flickability, so anything that reduces that even a little, isn't for me since it's about cost over benefits.

Slipper Clutches:
I saw a used slipper clutch for sale a few months ago that will fit a Husky 450SMR and considered buying it, but didn't. I also have a JTR slipper here that I bought some time ago when I found one for sale used in Japan & could fit to the SP, but I don't think I will... I think I'd rather sell it sometime, when I get around to it...

Why? - After some 33 years of riding, it's 2nd nature to rev-matching for down changes - even when braking hard. I just don't think about it. To unlearn this would seem kinda alien to me as I enjoy it as part of riding bikes. It's mechanically created music!
Rev-matching is just a part of being mechanically sympathetic and a large capacity V-twin offers decent engine braking - I dont mind using it when appropriate. When I see people riding bikes like ours and not rev matching, it kinda makes me wince a little (Get it really wrong and you can lose rear traction)! :frown2:

It's the same for me in manual sports cars. I heel & toe whilst double de-clutching down changes (Which is the old style of heel & toe from the days before Synchromesh was invented), since I understand how gearboxes work. It prevents said synchromesh from wearing out (can't do this on bikes, of course - only rev matching since neutral cannot be selected with the clutch released between gears & there are no synchros, anyways!).
I wouldn't like a modern car that automatically rev matches for me, nor would I want to drive a paddle-shift that does the manual work for me.
That to me would detract from my enjoyment of driving.

So by the same token I wouldn't want a clutch that masks poorly rev-matched down-changes in my riding. I'm not going to start learning how to "back my SP2 in" nor will I be racing it, so I don't need the help a slipper clutch can offer a racer looking for split second lap-time improvements on track.
If I do a down-change un-smoothly, I want to feel it instantly and thereby make sure I do perfectly the next time. :smile2:

This is a street bike for me and with kids, etc. I won't be going to the track for the foreseeable future and I will certainly not be starting racing bikes at 48 years of age. I have too much self-preservation instinct to do that.

Ported heads, engine tuning, etc Aside from the HRC exhaust, carbon airbox & PCIIIr, I don't feel the desire to tune it any more. There's enough power for me & use for road riding and my experiences of sending engine parts from Japan to UK & back for tuning have usually been ones of delays, etc (for 2-strokes).
If I do engine tuning, I tend to want to go all the way, so for example I don't just fit cams to a car engine, ECU, etc. I tend to get the whole thing blue printed and tuned by people who have decades of experience racing 'em. Then it becomes seriously good!
I know if I were to do that with the SP even a mild tune with cams, it's at risking losing reliability - although porting won't affect reliability it won't make a significant difference either.
Bike internals tuning - I save it for 2 strokes!

Hiace & Mototote



Thanks for the compliments, buddy. I tried the Mototote on a week's camping trip with the family, when I carried the Husky on the back. Was good, although the poor 2.8 Diesel was pretty stressed getting up Japan's mountain roads sometimes it coped. The Mototote itself worked well, but as the weight settled on the tow bar, the carrier angled downward slightly, so I'll have to engineer the fastener bolts a bit better so when there's a load on the structure of it, it'll still hold the Mototote horizontally.

I have to admit I liked the idea of taking the SP2 on the back, up to the mountains of Fuji and having my own home right there overnight BBQ, etc and being able to sleep well & ride fresh again the next morning, but I don't think I'll use it for carrying the SP...
Whilst I don't imagine the Mototote would fall off, I think on the Hiace the 130kg Husky, or a similar weight NSR250 (project in progress with much help from Paul @ Tyga) will always be more suited. The lighter the weight, the better!

Paul & Matt are intending to join Carlos, another friend and myself for Motegi's Moto GP (4 of us staying in the Hiace, 1 sleeping in a hammock tent!) so I'm hoping they'll bring all the custom painted MC28 bodywork with them in October so I can get on with piecing this project together. It's been in progress a couple of years - mostly collecting parts!

Might be fun seeing if we can get 5 of us on the Husky.... (NO!!! - just kidding, it would probably bend the frame!:eek:) to get to the track. We already buckled my son's CRF50 rear wheel last year using it to get Carlos & I carrying a back-pack & 2 chairs to the circuit! - hard to ride all the way forward when your knees touch the bars! We laughed & we got a lot of smiles & thumbs up (Albeit painful for the passenger's ass!). :cool:

 

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Beautiful looking bike. I can appreciate all the work you've done to it!
 

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side note! rev-matching is the best ever!
 

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Such a nice example...
When I see bikes like this with obviously a lot of time and money invested into them, it makes me wonder it would compare to the latest bikes (s1000rr, panigale, etc) in cost and terms of handling, braking.
Obviously theres nowhere near the power or all the electronics but that's what I like about my SP, they definitely have more character :)
 

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Discussion Starter #180 (Edited)
Thanks Stu! :cool:
I remember coming across the first S1000RR I'd encountered at a traffic light some 7 years ago, looking across and thinking as we sat there side by side at idle, "Hmm, mine sounds agricultural idling next to that thing!". >:)

I haven't (yet) ridden a Panigale or an S1000RR, or even had a tussle with either on mountain roads yet, but I am guessing the SP won't be too embarrassed in the real world by handling, or braking as limits are so high on the newer bikes, few people will really ride them to their full potential. Granted they've an advantage if not a layer of extra safety with things like ABS & traction + wheelie control, etc. but I've never had any of that on any bike so I have never missed it. No doubt on a track they'll have better braking and drive out of corners, but on a road you can't ride at full throttle & braking as on a circuit - that'll inevitably to lead to an accident when a corner is judged wrong, if it's not absolutely suicidal. No sane person with self-preservation instincts will ride like that.
Although I have on other bikes, the control of brakes & tire technology is so good these days I've never managed to lock the front, but did have the back wheel in the air once when braking for an emergency created by another driver. There's enough brake feel & control to allow that level of braking & so I'm happy with that. As for traction control, surely it must be a bit like cheating? Dunno - never tried it. :grin2:
I can imagine it's plenty useful in the wet, but as the accidents I had over my earlier years (in cars) have been due to lack of traction and inability to stop in slippery conditions I just don't go fast in the wet these days and I wouldn't want to ride a bike in the rain unless I was caught out. My days of commuting on a big bike rain, shine or snow are long gone now. I only ride for fun these days.

@Spwho had a Panigale before if not an S1000RR as well and I think I remember him mentioning the Panigale was too highly strung for him & needed to be ridden hard to get it to work well and then it was just too crazy... Perhaps he'll chime in and comment. Seems to be happier with his SP2 though!... He seems to go through bikes (& cars) at a fair rate but his RC seems to be lingering, so there may be something in this! Besides, the 'Gale is ugly! :p

One thing that puts me off these newer bikes is all that Canbus wiring & electronics though. Apparently if you just change a bulb on an S1000RR it can throw up an error code on the dash, but don't quote me on this. I guess by now people have worked up fixes for such stuff, but having worked on cars which had Logic errors from damaged wiring, I disliked it as it's not as easy to understand & put right as using a simple test light and finding a 12v electrical problem. Sometimes I've seen these newer bikes parked up and as standard they don't do a lot for me aesthetically. I prefer to see older bikes which are beautifully modified. It's something that happens perhaps more in Japan than other countries.

I sat on a Panigale on a stand at Motegi's Moto GP and it felt like quite an aggressive riding position that would be tiresome in slow town riding or traffic?
I dunno. I'd like to ride one sometime, but like a Ferrari, I like what they offer I just wouldn't aspire to own one - the maintenance and troubles wouldn't be something I'd want to have to deal with as part of ownership.
I once borrowed an F355i GTS (manual) in the UK from a friend for a day and loved the experience. I fell in love with that car that very day and understood what was special about these. I still didn't have any desire or aspiration to buy one afterward though. Some months later after all the abuse the owner gave it, the piston rings or valve seals were clearly past their best. Ouch! Not for me. Similarly, my brother's & other friends experiences of Ducati ownership hasn't left me wanting. BMW's are probably better, but they don't sound that inspiring. If anything I'd like to try an Aprilia RSV4 Factory, but still no inkling to want to own one myself.

The SP offers me a riding experience that I always enjoy, sounds great, goes plenty quick enough for road use and handles / brakes very well too. I can ride it all day long and come home without aches and pains. Just tired from all the rush of wind past my body - ready for a good night's sleep.

All the tinkering, tuning and spending money on it has been spread over a long time, but has given me pleasure searching for, waiting, unwrapping and tinkering over time to make the bike something I find unique and beautiful.
All in all, it's cost more than I could have bought one of these modern hyper bikes for, but it was relatively painless compared to say, buying an expensive bike in one hit. I don't care to tally up what it cost as that would seem an unpleasant task.

I know they wouldn't give me the pleasure this SP has over the last 11 years. It's always nice to just stop and look at it in detail & invariably as I walk away from it when I park somewhere, I look back and love the way it looks.

I also like that Carlos and others say they can hear me coming for ages before seeing me hearing the engine sing through gear changes long before I arrive. This makes people laugh,sometimes too.
It's a unique bike now and as I'll never, ever sell it - I wonder how unique it'll be in say 20-30 years? They're not getting any more common.

I should just finish the other projects I have so all 6 can sit side by side to give a choice of what to use for each opportunity to ride. I read bike magazines sometimes and learn about the latest & greatest bikes, etc. but nothing pulls at my heart strings anything like the SP2 did for years before I got one. Maybe the new V4 Honda sports bike when it comes out?
I just don't think I want anything faster anyways, so what would be the point? I've ran out of space, time and desire for another bike. Just thankful for what I have.

I just hope my son learns to ride and look after bikes well & will do my best to instill in him (& my daughter) the passion I have for tinkering with & riding bikes. I've already promised this SP2 to him and he won't forget it now. I was the one to take him on his first ride, so perhaps & hope someday he'll be the one who takes me on my last ride in this lifetime - and continue to own this SP2 through his own lifetime. That's the plan... :grin2:
 
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