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My name is Rob, American living in Belgium since 2010. Married to a French speaking Belgian, 2nd kid on the way.

This makes bike number 9, and my first 'dreambike' purchase. Started on a ninja 250, and ran the gamut to a fully race prepped 900rr, to nearly dying on a Gsxr750. Did I mention how many were stolen? I hate thieves!

I'm too young to have a midlife crisis, but not having a motorcycle license started to be an itch I couldn't tolerate any longer so I repassed here in Belgium. Too many responsibilities to be like it was before, but at least that meant I could chase after something I was just as happy looking at in the garage as riding down the road....and practicality didn't matter.

Enter my dreambike, a 2000 SP1 owned by a former Yamaha & KTM suspension instructor in Germany.

Mods:
Power commander
Leo Vince slip inscrit with header wrap
SS lines + wavy rotors
GPR steering damper
Carbon fibre clutch cover, ram air intake, air box, and rear hugger
Brembo master cylinder

The only things left to do:
Dyno tune (feels a bit rich down low)
Get a set of OE. Fairings in the sweet black and grey (when am I ever going to find a stock gas tank or the 2k to be.bothered)
Race magnesium rims (don't have 3k laying around)
If possible I wouldn't mind a full Hindle hi-mount system....

The former owner was also a triathlete and exactly my size. I never felt a bike with such a flawless suspension setup and (at least for now) can't see the need for Ohlins, but I'm sure many will disagree.

If anyone could point me to the best deals online in Europe for gear and parts I'd appreciate it.

All the best, Rob
 

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Welcome aboard, bike has some nice goodies on it. :)

Now tell us about that death defying story with your old 750...
 

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Now tell us about that death defying story with your old 750...
It's a long story....in short it is how chance can quickly humble an arrogant young guy rather quickly. Bike number 5, roughly 100k miles of riding under my belt. New bike, 21st birthday, fresh back from vacation and celebrating with family.

Got a work call to drive from Orlando to Miami on a beautiful morning and figured why not take the new bike instead of the gas guzzler truck.

One idiot driver, two used up Pirelli race tires, a moments distraction as i checked my blind spot after passing, a handful too much brake, and it was all she wrote. 70 mph into a trailer doing 20-30.

Right leg almost cutoff at the hip from hitting the trailer, left femur compound spiral fractured removing parts of my quad. All the rest was 'secondary' injuries: collapsed lung, broken ribs, shoulders, hands, feet worn down to the Bone, nerve & brain damage.

The next 4 weeks was a living hell of surgery after surgery continuously opening the same wounds to battle a blood infection from the shattered leg. I ripped Staples out trying to stand up the first week when I realized they wanted to amputate. They said being a triathlete was the only thing that saved me...but surgery 6 is where I gave up. Crying at my dad until they finally found a pain killer that worked, one that worked a little too well.

I never thought I would wreck seriously. I never thought I'd willingly give up life. I never thought a moment could completely change your life. I'll never be a competitive triathlete, but I still remember that hospital bed, and can't believe that God or luck or whatever you call it, saved me and even saw fit to make me a husband and a father, let alone all the other amazing experiences I have had since.

Be safe everyone, be aware of what you are putting on the line. I know it's a passion, and life isn't worth living without passion. But everything should be balanced, and motorcycles are just one passion amongst many for me. I suspect I'll soon be like the older guys I used to respect and strictly be a track rider. I still can't believe of all the stupid things I did, how innocent the accident was...and how easily it could happen again. But of course no one ever thinks it will be them.

All the best,

Rob
 

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That's a tough story to imagine. :(

Glad you lived through it and came out smiling on the other side. Good for you, becoming a father with another on the way. These tiny humans change out lives forever the day they're born, often in the best ways. A different chapter, but as we're finding - they grow up so fast! In another 10 years our daughter will be an adult. We wonder how fast the first 8 years went. Blink and we miss the special moments...

Your story is a reminder to us all: Never, ever ride beyond one's abilities on the road, treat all other road users as a potential danger and above all, never panic on a bike in a given situation.

Ride safe & enjoy!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
A thing like that you analyze over and over....it was the highway and fresh back from vacation so I was totally relaxed....not speeding... or riding above my limits. Just noticed on my return leg that the Pirelli Diablos were worn enough to need replacing, always felt they were 'greasy' at street temps.

My two learning lessons were to never take the eye off the road (you shouldn't ever NEED to check your blind spot) and indeed the danger of panic braking. Once the front tire broke loose I was toast....ABS is/was a serious consideration for me and something I'd like to have in the near future.

I can't wait for Papa to have a little girl :) I can only pretend to be able to imagine what it's like to have one grow up on you.

Rob
 

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I'm sure you've thought about it countless times and agonized on "what if I'd reacted differently?" Not sure how this might seem to you, but thought I'd share what I know and what's saved me several times.

I'm not one for wanting a bike with ABS (not sure I'll ever get a bike again more powerful than the SP2, really), but can see the attractions of ABS or even traction control on 2 wheels...

I had a crazy driver do an emergency stop in front of the SP2 late one night on a dry highway some years ago (when I still had standard brakes), with the intention of causing an accident.
The back wheel came off the ground, but the front didn't lock up. No drama there.

I don't know if the effects have worn off (probably!), but when I was younger and riding daily in the UK I used to practice emergency stops (though I used to check behind first) & tipping the bike fast into corners, even when changing lanes (Rather than gently leaning it into a manouvere) & did this at most opportunities when I would remember, so that in a given situation where I'd have to avoid something suddenly, I'd instinctively know how much to pull on the brakes & not panic and lock them up.
I still do these things from time to time. We need to be absolutely comfortable with braking as hard as necessary, but stay in control to remain safe.

In spite of this I did manage to lock up the front on my VFR (it had 6 pot calipers, which didn't really help!) on a few occasions when I was younger (we're talking 24 years ago, when I suddenly discovered a car stopped in the middle of a highway slip road in heavy rain at around 60 mph, a few days after I'd bought it for example).

Time spent as a teenager, riding on sand & dirt paid off for me back then it would seem, as fortunately what I learnt on my first bike, a Yamaha DT175 to stop a front end washing out saved me each time on larger bikes, albeit at sensible-ish road speeds.

Letting off the brakes when the front first locks, then immediately re-applying progressively, whilst stamping on the ground to remain upright just as the bike began to slide out, lead to an untidy wobble in each case, but I didn't go down. With that stationary car, I was able to let go & steer the bike to avoid the car whilst considering the slippery conditions.
Doesn't mean these technique would always work, but something worth developing, preferably off road.

Fortunately I've never locked up the SP2's front brakes. Good brakes with progressive feel are worth investing in, but most would agree the RC51's brakes are some of the best on bikes of that era. Improvement to feel can be made by fitting say a 19 x 18mm RCS Brembo master cylinder & braided lines. I'd not bother with upgrading the rotors to wavy ones, unless investing in Braketech discs or better. Lesser discs can warp if you brake hard regularly...

We're blessed with a girl & a boy, who get on well with one another (most of the time) & play together a lot. It's lovely being a papa indeed.
As you have a son, perhaps someday introduce him to bikes early so he polishes his skills well. Off road riding with protective gear on, is the best way to learn safely. Something you can do with him too if you also buy a cheap off-road bike to accompany him (& later - her too!) perhaps...
 
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Discussion Starter #11
Can't agree more with your comments, particularly the value of riding off-road and getting used to traction as a limiting (nonexistent factor). Indeed practice practice practice and I'm happy to already have the SS brembo setup :) obviously can't compare to stock but it feels very nice. The owner also said the calipers were upgraded but the paperwork in German makes my brain hurt.

For my boy, grandma unknowingly bought him his first 'moto' 3 weeks before daddy bought his own (despite the family being very against him). Thinking of your child being exposed to the same risks you exposed yourself to puts things in perspective. But I'll cross that bridge when it comes, and hopefully on a track. In any event, I'm glad it provides him an opportunity to learn how to turn a wrench. He was very excited to do all the inspections with me checking for fork seals leaks and the like.

Thanks again for your post!
 

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Can't agree more with your comments, particularly the value of riding off-road and getting used to traction as a limiting (nonexistent factor). Indeed practice practice practice and I'm happy to already have the SS brembo setup :) obviously can't compare to stock but it feels very nice. The owner also said the calipers were upgraded but the paperwork in German makes my brain hurt.

For my boy, grandma unknowingly bought him his first 'moto' 3 weeks before daddy bought his own (despite the family being very against him). Thinking of your child being exposed to the same risks you exposed yourself to puts things in perspective. But I'll cross that bridge when it comes, and hopefully on a track. In any event, I'm glad it provides him an opportunity to learn how to turn a wrench. He was very excited to do all the inspections with me checking for fork seals leaks and the like.

Thanks again for your post!
My memories of helping my dad build an engine on top of the freezer in the garage using his basic tool kit, then seeing the engine working and no longer puffing smoke out of his customer's car is something I'll never forget as a kid. I was 12. I then saw it more and more at his workshop, where I'd hang around on holidays, distract the mechanics, etc. There were no "health & safety" regulations in those days.

I have an NSR250 I've been collecting parts for the last few years and decided a few weeks ago, I'll build it with my 5 year old son - putting the main focus on his experience than getting the bike all assembled in a few days... It'll need carbs rebuilding, etc. so he'll watch a lot, but in the end - after probably a few months of assisting & watching (I won't let him handle the fresh bodywork!!), he'll have put almost the entire thing together with me, bar the engine...

I have a full 1/4 inch socket set for his hands with small stubby ratchets, etc. at the ready.

A few years ago I put up a thread here asking how member's fathers instilled a passion for bikes & tinkering. In the end it came down to the father always making sure it was fun.
This experience might be just enough to kick-start his confidence in tinkering himself, I'm hoping. I figure the investment of time and space will pay dividends, as he's pretty interested in fast machines and making stuff with his hands, but hasn't yet been inspired enough to venture into the workshop and spend hours with me. Yet ;)

I hope this idea sparks some inspiration for you & your's, hence sharing it.
 

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A few years ago I put up a thread here asking how member's fathers instilled a passion for bikes & tinkering. In the end it came down to the father always making sure it was fun.
Is there anything better than the adoration of a little boy for his father?

I come from a family of mechanics and my earliest memories were of being my dad's wrench monkey. I don't think there is any secret other than making the time (and not worrying about the time over the experience) and a bit of making it fun. But already I see that just being there with me is normally enough. From beekeeping, to working in the garden, as long as he can do what I'm doing he is happy.

Good luck with your boy and the 250. I can't wait to be in the same position, and love the idea of a 'mini' toolkit.

Rob
 

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Hey Bro welcome to the forum.....Glad you made it through the challenges and are now back on two wheels....and so is your little one :)....My wife is dead against my kid getting a small KTM 85...but it will happen this year :)....I am also based in Europe if you ride out towards Geneva just a holler...
 

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Hi. Hindle has low and high mount slipons on clearance for us. I dont see a full system anywhere, but I may send them an email
https://www.hindle.com/pdf/HindleBlowOutSale.pdf

I bought my racebike exhaust from them and love it.

I was just in Miami for a mini vacation (Coral Gables), and seeing how those crazy MF'ers drive it in no way surprises me about your accident. Damn man, I was legit scared down there. Thankfully you are still around


I agree with everyone else.. the adoration of a boy for his father is never to be f*cked with.
 
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