Mr Suzuki probably didn’t envisage their oil boiler GSXRs still being ridden around 30 years after production, we’ve got two here, a near stock N model with some period upgrades, Ohlins, Akropovic… and a bitsa, M frame, ZX7 front end, JMC swinger, Nitron, Akro, etc, and then there’s this……..
Where do I start? GSXR frame, bandit engine, R1 forks, GSXR1000 swing arm, carefully created during lockdown 1 in a cellar in northern France, it’s even faster than it looks!
But, I’m getting ahead of myself, this trip stemmed from a conversation with Vero at the 24 hour race earlier this year, she had had quotes to have the house painted along with some basic repairs, the quotes were into the thousands of Euros. Now Vero has been a friend for over 30 years and hosting me for who knows how many trips, it didn’t take more than a second to say “well I’ll come and paint the house in September”. Done deal and to cap it, Sean said he would come along too, sorted some dates, booked the ferries and that takes us to the picture at the top of the page.
We’ve booked the cheaper day crossing but that means a dark ride in France. France has had a very hot summer, no rain, this changes as we arrive, typical! We elect to use the autoroute, neither of us wants to mess around through the villages, nice as the roads are, in the dark, with rain and storms threatening. Sean sets a good pace and we make good time, the odd shower, alternate stretches of wet and dry roads. Leaving the autoroute at Beaumont changes all that, the heavens open, an utter deluge of water, roads awash, rain of biblical proportions, I’ve been dryer Kayaking! We pull up at Veros and its all forgotten, food and beer await.
We crack on, do some repairs and get painting.
We take a break for a couple of days and head down to near Tours to visit Stephane.
As we left this fill up it all went a bit Pete Tong, Seans bike developed a misfire which lasted until he got home, despite changing coils, plugs, cdi and checking everything we could, dodgy fuel? Worn Carbs? Fixed now with new emulsion tubes, needles and jets and a fresh tank of good old UK fuel.
Stephane feeds and beers us and then says “we will visit my cave and drink wine”, of course! Tours, the surrounding region and the Loire valley are home to many Troglodyte caves of varying sizes and uses, no self respecting household is without one, Sean and I contemplate how many GSXRs we could fit inside, a lot, is the conclusion.
I have a day out with Nick, heading over to St Suzanne, west of Le Mans, stunning day of weather, roads and views.
Two weeks disappears and it’s an early ride to the ferry, riding into fog banks at autoroute speeds aint no fun I can assure you, the bike has a cough and a splutter just outside the port, same symptoms as Sean’s, but clears and doesn’t repeat itself for the rest of the journey, thankfully.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, gota love 1127cc’s of Suzuki, cheers Vero / Sean / Nick, here’s to another 30 years, at least…..