1998 Suzuki TL1000S Mar 2005 Ė July 2006

After starting to work abroad, I decided that projects werenít the way forward, and I would much rather spend the precious time I had in the UK riding not fettling with motorbikes. Thus the trusty DR750 and VFR750 went to make way for the legendary TLS, which I had lusted after for several years. Having earned itself the nickname of The Widowmaker soon after its launch, and armed with 140 horses, it was a wild and flighty ride. Whilst being ferociously fast, it could also be civilised should you choose, and with some soft luggage strapped on, and a all important grab-rail, it took me and the missus to 2 rounds of the Moto GP, firstly to Assen, Holland, in 2005, a 7 day trip, and then to Mugelo, Italy in 2006, a 10 day trip. This required the fitting of a new water pump seal on the day of departure, and a new chain and spockets near Marseilles, but was a fantastic trip. Not exactly the best tourer though, while being fine for the pilot, the pillion provision isnít quite so generous and clinging on at speed as quite hard work.

After replacing a dodgy alternator which it had when I bought it, and a water-pump seal a year later, all the TL required during my ownership was a couple of sets of tyres, and the chain and sprocket set, so was pretty much trauma free. Certainly the fastest vehicle Iíve ever owned, although the VFR had a similar top speed, the 2 couldnít really be compared, as the TL would wheelie and shake itís bars without much provocation. Sold to a little Portuguese guy, who I never heard from since, I wonder if heís still alive. I will get another one some day.....