Eight days down the line and our 650 V-strom is nearing her first service call by Suzuki at 600 miles. It’s strange that motorcycles still follow this archaic procedure when car manufacturers have dispensed with the ‘first service’ altogether and settle for regular well spaced service intervals instead.
Not to worry – the wee bike has behaved with impeccable manners since we picked her up in Edinburgh and I doubt if she will get any more than an oil and filter change when she makes the long run back there to keep her service history on course and warranty in order.
It wasn’t all rain in the past week and I did manage a mainly dry run up the coast road from Oban to Ballachulish and through the Pass of Glen Coe leading to Rannoch Moor followed by a coffee at the biker’s haunt of the Green Welly before the last fifty miles or so to Oban and home to the Isle of Luing.
I had a quick look towards Kinlochleven as I approached the village of Glen Coe and thought it might be an interesting ride to do with ‘H’ come the weekend.
But not today and pushed on towards the Pass – scene of the MacDonald’s massacre by Clan Campbell in the distant past and where I was to walk and climb many of the adjacent hills and glens once the snow lay deep and sometimes crisp and even twixt Christmas and New Year before my knees gave up on me.
Roadworks slowed progress today – but only briefly —
and with summer visitors mainly gone till next year I found room in a handy lay-by and clicked the rushing waters at the top of the Pass —
Out on the Moor itself where I have ridden trials bikes in my day – the waters weren’t exactly rushing but forming lochans with no end as even a careless step or two off the main road to take photos had me stumbling knee-deep into the unforgiving morass.
The last word from Kieran at the Saltire Suzuki shop was ‘not to exceed 6000rpm unless I needed a bit extra to complete an overtake safely. But – with 6000 in 5th hitting the national ‘A’ road speed limit at 60mph and 6th reaching all of 80mph at 6000rpm – running in isn’t proving to be much of a chore on the V-strom.
Once the first service is done and she is declared ‘good to go’ – with the redline at 10000rpm she will be a whole new ballgame.
So – why with fifty five years and more between them – does she remind me of the race-tuned BSA 650cc Gold Flash I ran as a daft teenager such a long time ago 🙂