Anyway, back to the rest of my biking life. Following the 'Blade's little tumble in the back of the van, she wouldn't start. The combined knowledge of the Facebook FireBlade owners club pretty much indicated that it was just the tilt switch, which meant I needed to take off the front fairing, detach the switch, shake it a bit and put it all back together. Sounds simple.
Despite owning the bike now for coming up to two years (blimey) this was actually the first time I've needed, or indeed wanted to take the nose off. It was also the first time I got so see some of the wiring bodgery inflicted on the bike by a previous owner. It's a mess and needs a good old fashioned tidy up if I'm being honest and it looks like it could be the first job during some winter maintenance. I did pick up a replacement set of mirrors to off ebay to replace the broken one. They're clearly cheap, but will do until I could source and OEM left.
This starting issue meant I had to delay getting my weeping fork seal sorted. The amount of fluid was so nominal that I felt it safe to ride to work this week and today I dropped it off at Conquest in Three Legged Cross to have the seal replaced. As a result, my ride home was on this. A Yamaha TDM900.
I don't know if it was the bikes age, tyres or even the screen, but this has to be the worst bike I've ever ridden, replacing the previous owner of that award, the FZ6. It was just horrid. The engine was gutless, the brakes not very sharp, the screen meant I was being buffeted around and the wind noise was terrible. It's clearly the ugliest bike I've ever seen and the riding position, although comfy, was like being on the throne. The mirrors felt so close that I felt a bit cramped, despite having what felt like five feet of space between me the the dials. This could be because I'm used to mirrors being way forward on the fairings though. All in all, I cannot really recommend the TDM as anything but winter transport. I didn't gel with it and couldn't wait to get my FireBlade back, which felt like a scalpel in comparison. Yes I know these are two different style of bikes, but they are the same age and despite this, the Blade felt six years younger that the TDM.
The surprises weren't limited to the TDM though. When I picked up the Blade, I saw this quite tidy RD500 parked outside. Never seen one in the metal before. Certainly an interesting piece of history.