Stepping back in time
I stepped back in time this weekend for a long ride with some friends. No, it wasn't seeing faces separated by weeks and months of interference from work or families, but via a motorcycle. I rode the 919 on what will most likely be it's last long adventure. Sort of a farewell tour through a few states and 500+ miles of super-slab, back country twisties, a trip to a KY beach, and even some semi-offroading.
I've been riding the Tuono all last week and for the first time since then, jumped back on the 9er for this trip. Despite only being 5 years in difference it was like stepping back in time; handling, power, even just the feel of the bike felt old compared to the Tuono.
The mechanically linked clutch and brakes felt ancient and required work to operate. The ride was less smooth, the cornering less capable, the feel overall was antiquated. The feeling I had going from the Tuono back to the 9er was nearly the same feeling I had when riding my old '80 CB900 after buying the 919, the newer bike being so much of an upgrade in every way.
I still have a soft spot for my 919 as it's taken me on plenty of long journeys away from home and we share some great memories, but damn, it was so different even just after a week.
It's not hard for me to admit that the 919 was never the perfect bike, as I've done so plenty of times, but it was the perfect bike for me at the time and for a long one. Strange that a bike that felt so good for so long, now feels so old and so inferior to what my first choice on riding has become.
In the next few weeks I will be returning it to stock and though I'm sad to admit, I will be selling it; already with a couple prospective buyers. After which I will be back in the market for yet another bike again, revisiting an old interest in the dual-sport category. Late model KLR's with low miles can be had for cheap, and now that I've got an Italian beauty for fun, I need a workhorse of a bike to take me on the camping and back country riding adventures I enjoy doing.
Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.