Yours truly from Tony's Go Pro - rain, rain go away......
The ride went surprisingly well with no anxious moments and all our rain gear did its job with no leaks. I gave my Cordura gear a wash recently with Nikwax Tech Wash and TX.Direct Wash-in and those two products do a great job of rejuvenating riding gear. I've used Tech Wash previously on hiking jackets etc but never previously used the two products in combination. Don't know how long it will last but extremely impressed.
Great for Cordura/Gore-Tex-type riding gear
Tony (Yamaha Tracer) and Jim (Honda ST 1300) at the coffee stop
On Tuesday, it was an early start to the city of Hamilton 160 km away for a routine service and new tyres. The last 2 sets of tyres on the Suzuki have been Metzler Roadtec 01's. On both occasions, useful life has been about 11,000 km. Whilst there is still some reasonable tread left on both tyres, the front 01 goes out of shape and the bike tends to drop in rather than roll into tight corners. False economy to wring every last km out of such critical bits of equipment so both always get changed at the same time.
Metzler Roadtec 01 front tyre at ~11000 km
Metzler Roadtec 01 rear tyre at ~11000 km - kept its shape quite well
Even with the front tyre going out of shape, they're a superb tyre and grip well in all conditions from torrential rain to a trackday in hot conditions. I would have happily replaced them with an identical set but more on that in a minute.
Arriving at Boyd Motorcycles, they were waiting for me and the bike was whisked off into the service bay pretty much as soon as I got off it. Great staff who try and get me back on the road as soon as possible as they know it's just over 2 hours to get home. Only had time for a quick peek in their showroom as a friend was picking me up rather than hanging about at the dealer, However, I liked the BMW R9T cafe racer in the photo below. Not sure how comfortable it would be on a long haul though.
BMW R9 Cafe Racer in the foreground
The service and new tyres took about 4 hours which was pretty good. The replacements are the new Michelin Road 5's, the successor to the PR3's and 4's which I've previously used on various bikes and liked; especially wet weather performance. The switch away from the Metzlers is pure curiosity.
Having been been released relatively recently, the pricing is still pretty sharp, presumably to gain market share. There's a host of technical differences compared with both their predecessors as well as the Roadtec 01. The most obvious visual difference is that the design more resembles their pure sport tyres than the PR3's and 4's with a high crown and a tread pattern which stops a long way short of the tyre edge - see below.
Michelin Road 5 front tyre
Michelin Road 5 rear tyre
Although the Suzuki came with 50 profile tyres, I've gone for 55 profile again for quicker turn-in and a bigger contact patch when leaned over. Michelin's marketing department are a bit vague on expected tyre life compared with its predecessors but from experience, they speak with forked tongue anyway. The claim was that PR4's lasted 20% longer than PR3's but from personal experience, there was absolutely no difference.
It's far too early to make any objective comments about performance, not wanting to skate along on my arse on the delivery trip home. That will have to wait until they are properly scrubbed in. If they are as good as the Metzler 01's, last for a minimum of 10,000 km and are trustworthy at pace in the wet, I'll be a happy camper!
The ride home was one of those which are truly good for the soul. No time constraints, beautifully warm and because it was late afternoon, very little traffic on the road. New tyres meant not treating the road like a personal race track whch meant that I could chill and enjoy the spectacular views along 50 km of coast road. Arriving in Coromandel at sunset, I pulled up at the wharf which is just a few hundred metres from our home on the ridge in the following photo.
Sunset on Coromandel town wharf
Aren't days like this what we live for? Good for the soul indeed and out fishing in the boat tomorrow. This retirement business isn't too bad at all!