Well, I needed a new clutch cable and just decided to get a new bike (somewhere Kelsow* is beaming)! Maybe NSdave’s* recent purchase of the sweet DL1000 inspired me, or maybe I had “Brother Kelsow’s” mantra going through my head “only 60 easy payments, only 60 easy payments”, but I’d had my old ’98 KLR for three years now and was tired of pouring oil into its bottomless engine and struggling with cold starts (a KLR that burns oil, strange I know).
The question was, what to buy? I love the KLR, but wanted something more refined. Unfortunately, the bike I truly want is the Yamaha 660 Tenere, which is sold everywhere in the world, except – you guessed it, North America!
The boys at Shore were convinced by the powers at be at Yamaha Canada that it was coming and would be announced at AIME this year. So I waited with baited breath for October 16th to come, but noooo, a couple of minor announcements of yet more ‘decal’ updates to various models and NO baby Tenere, not even a mention!?! And this after Yamaha wowed everyone with the FZ-07 & 09, earlier this year. I was sure they were going bring the baby Tenere to NA.
Do the manufacturers not get it’s about ME!
To their credit, all the boys at Shore called to offer apologies for getting my hopes up. Even Chris the mechanic didn’t rub in the fact he won our bet (he bet Yamaha wasn’t bringing it over)! I think my pathetic expression and quivering lower lip convinced them not to make fun, cause nobody wants to see a late 40’s guy cry (I’m told the sight of middle aged man curled up in a ball weeping on the showroom floor isn’t good for business).
So that was it, I wasn’t about to wait any longer and have always thought the BMW Sertao ticked all the boxes. A ‘do-all’ bike with EFI, ABS, heated grips, and a list of other acronyms! I checked in with one of our proud sponsors Atlantic Motoplex and talked to Troy LeBlanc who I had met at an earlier Halifax Show (a truly nice guy). He mentioned that they had a Sertao in stock, which a customer had ordered but not purchased, and it already had TKC 80’s on it! It was fate or dumb luck, I’m not sure, but don’t care. We worked out the details, which included an excellent interest rate and NO payments until the spring of 2015, so it’s like ……. free (thanks Kelsow)!
It was ready whenever I was so what to do?! It was Friday and Shore just finished putting the new clutch cable on my bike, but I was desperate to get to Moncton. SWMBO was taking the kids to the city for the day on Saturday, so naturally I was thinking I can get to Moncton on the KLR by 1pm closing time, pick up the Sertao and get back before dark! Sounds reasonable, what could go wrong? Well, let me see, a 4 lane highway on an old KLR blasted by NS weather at its best, not good, but I kept repeating in my head “gotta get the Sertao, gotta get the Sertao”, while ignoring the stream of water entering the front of my boots and settling into the heel to cool me nicely. Except I didn’t need cooling (waterproof my ass!). I was certain my boots were produced by disgruntled factory workers pissed off at management. There is no other explanation.
Got to Moncton at a quarter past 1pm, but Troy and a couple of others (God bless them), stayed on to get me geared up to go. I said farewell to the ‘Ugly Beast’ and properly thanked her for all the rides. She will be missed. That said, I couldn’t wait to get going, but was considering staying at a hotel due to being soaked and tired. But then, I rode the Sertao.
I will admit I panicked when I first started to ride, as it just felt weird. But I realised that was natural since I had been on the KLR exclusively for three years. After some time on the road it became clear, this bike is comfortable and the tiny windshield actually cuts through the wind you get blasted by on the KLR. It was so good on the highway, I decided to head home. Only downside was that the owner’s manual called for revs to be no more than 5K for the first 1000K. Not to mention rolling on and off with the throttle, which they also recommended. Oh well, still better than the way up. I pulled off the highway shortly after Truro to take the 14 and the Windsor Road home, what fun! The Sertao was made for the twisty roads. Got home in the dark but safe and sound, and jumped straight into a hot shower while SWMBO and the kids admired the Sertao.
My apologies, but the day was too rushed for me to take pics, except for a brief pit-stop at the NB/NS border. I’ll post updates as to my impressions of the bike over the next few weeks. Let the ‘Farkling’ begin!
*fellow Inmates on the rideatlantic.ca website