During the winter of 1999 - 2000 I sold my Honda Fireblade and was on the lookout for something new, something better than the Honda. Many would say this was an impossible task as the Fireblade was/is such a great bike, however, I found it quite boring. Don't get me wrong it was a superb motorcycle, doing everything I asked of it in a typical efficient manner you would expect from a sports bike from the big H, however, I found it a bit bland, a bit too easy.
My previous bike, a CBR 600, was much more engaging, you had to work harder to get the best out of it, and the one before that, a Yamaha RD 350 YPVS, speaks for itself, keeping a 2 stroke on the boil is a joy.
I had managed to completely miss the NEC bike show and hadn't bought a motorcycle magazine for a few months as I was busy working and renovating a house at the time, but I had heard rumour of a new GSXR 750. A couple of friends had owned older versions and I was quite taken with the styling and Suzuki in general. I managed to get a small promo picture from a magazine, which looked great and took a trip to Andy Nobles in Scarborough, UK, our local Suzuki dealer to have a chat. The bikes wouldn't be in until mid-March but a small deposit would secure an early one, at this point, I hadn't even seen a bigger picture, but I put down a deposit and waited.
Mid-March came and so did the call it was in and being prepped ready for pickup on the 17th, I couldn't wait. The hand over went well with a full explanation of features and adjusters and off I went. Andy Nobles was a great local bike shop with knowledgable staff, sadly it is no longer there.
I took the bike straight around to my Dad's work to show him the new purchase and then promptly wheelied off down the road, unintentionally I can assure you, it had only done about 2 miles at the time.
So that was it, off on a new biking chapter on my second brand new bike, the first being an RD 125 LC when I was 17, little did I know the Suzuki would still be with me 20 years later after some great adventures.
Over the years she has put a smile on my face at every opportunity and has been very little trouble, apart from a thirst for batteries at regular intervals, which is probably down to me not riding as much as I should rather than a bike issue. She has been modified with Power Commanders, Micron Exhaust, crash bungs, tail tidy's, an undertray, shark nose rear lights, little indicators a top yoke conversion with Renthal bars, the list goes on and on. However now she is back to standard, apart from Goodridge hoses and a carbon front mudguard, but I think that is an acceptable amount of modification.
She has been touring, the first, from Scarborough, UK to the Bol D'Or with my Dad and brother in September 2000 and then since I moved to Spain in 2002 she has been on a few long weekend runs in Spain, France and the Pyrennes, Gibraltar and even over to Mallorca for a few days. My poor wife agreed to do some 2 up touring with throw-over panniers, I think we did three trips like that. The GSXR is not a touring bike but we managed and had a whole load of fun on the way.
She has done many day rides with groups of friends but is hard work, exploring the tight twisty mountain roads of the Costa Blanca, but great fun.
I managed a track day too, at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Cheste near Valencia, which was a great experience despite being surrounded by nutters.
Over the last 6 years, I have had other bikes in the garage alongside the Gixxer and she has taken the back seat a little, I even advertised her for sale a couple of times although when someone started to show interest, I couldn't go through with the sale. It was going through all of the paperwork that did it, I still have all of the original purchase docs, manuals, Suzuki magazines and even a collection of motorcycle magazines with reviews, most from after my purchase.
She goes out maybe 5 or 6 times a year at the moment, but I always come back with a big stupid grin, aching shoulders and wrists too, but the grin is enough.
I don't think I will ever sell her now.
Happy Birthday and here's to another 20 years.