Off to Femmoto, the women's demo/track day in Las Vegas NV. This was my second year at the event, so I knew what to expect this time around. I wasn't able and/or willing to take time off work, so I bombed across the desert late Friday and checked into the Ramada close to the speedway after 9 pm. A little traffic, a little cold, but not too bad.
Saturday morning up bright and early, out to the track to sign up for my rides. This year's dance card consisted of:
1) Kawasaki ZX-6R (last year's favorite ride)
2) Kawasaki ZX-10R (the liter version of the above)
3) Buell Ulysses
4) Aprilia RSV
5) Honda CBR
The first session was pretty cold and windy but it died down after that, making everyone happy. The rules for the novice groups were a lot stricter this year, no passing allowed on the track, which meant our first run around was much more like a stately parade than a race ... yawn! Not once did I get to open it up on the ZX-6R.
However, on the next go-round, the Femmoto staff riders managed to herd the inevitable slowpokes out of the way and I was able to get a few good laps in on the 10R. Ooooeeee, that bike is fun. When you get on the throttle on that one, it responds in a hurry. I was doing the dick showoff thing coming back to pit lane, revving the engine just to listen to it go VRRRRrrrr VRRRRRRrrr VRRRRRrrr and laughing the whole way.
The Ulysses was not much to my liking. Last year I rode a Buell Blast (250cc) which made me look like a circus bear on a bicycle & felt like a badly tuned lawn mower. So I thought I would try the larger Ulysses, which is 1200cc and is so tall I can barely tippy-toe it, and it still felt like a badly tuned lawn mower. Oh well. The Buells just aren't for me.
The Aprilia RSV is a 1000cc supersport, and seemed like a very nice bike. However, once I got on the ergos didn't fit me (riding position required me to tuck my legs up more than I think is comfortable ... not a good bike for fat chicks) and I didn't enjoy that session too much. I never felt like I was in the proper part of the powerband so it wasn't a responsive machine. Overall, an "ehhhh" ride.
Fifth and last, though, was the one bike I for-sure wanted to ride this year, and that's the Honda CRB. Ever since Honda came out with the redesigned CBR line for 2007 I've had a thing for these bikes, and I wanted to give one a bit of a workout to see if I liked it as much as I thought I did. The answer is HELL YES. I rode a 600cc, and it was comfortable and powerful and smooth as silk, a real joy to ride. It was my best ride of the day, too, I was lucky to get on the track just in front of the bottleneck (the inevitable slowpoke) so I had a mile of empty track in front of me & I could go as fast as I wanted without worrying about traffic ... it took me about three times around before I finally lapped and caught the back of the slow pack (I don't ride that fast, I don't have the skills for it) and let me tell you those three most FUN laps I did all day. Honda has those machines dialed in perfectly, and I now have a new favorite sportbike (the Kawi Ninja remains a close second.) I tell ya, if I had a spare $9,000, there'd be one of those in my garage. I can't ride it for a long time, but it sure is fun for play.