News 21 Jan 2009

The Go: From the fence

It only truly occurred to me yesterday – I’m a self confessed motorcycle fanatic.

Yamaha's 2009 YZF-R1

Yamaha's 2009 YZF-R1

It only truly occurred to me yesterday – I’m a self confessed motorcycle fanatic. The moment I realised was when I was sitting on the hill at Eastern Creek’s Turn 2, watching a bunch of moto-journalists cut laps aboard the all-new Yamaha R1.

You see, it was supposed to be me doing the testing for AMCN, although my surgery late last year meant that I had to forfeit testing one of the most anticipated and groundbreaking bikes ever, handing the testing duties over to deputy editor Matt Shields.

But for some reason I was still excited to go out and watch the boys, braving the 40 degree heat just to watch their progress and witness the bike first hand. Bench racing in the pit area was just as entertaining as watching them ride, although the entire time I was envious that I had missed out on the opportunity to participate in the world launch.

I had originally planned on going out to the track in the morning to watch a session or two, and then coming home and getting some work done. Well, throw the plan of work out the window – I ended up out there until the day wrapped up!

Sometimes it’s good to be put in a situation where you can’t ride for a while. It’s not fun, don’t get me wrong, but it refreshes your outlook on the sport and makes you realise how much you enjoy climbing aboard the bike and pushing yourself.

In fact, since getting surgery in December I’ve been to the track six times, just watching friends ride and waiting for the time to come when I can ride again myself. I haven’t been at the track for any specific reason. I’ve just been going because I can’t stay away.

In between my regular excursions to the track you could find me watching countless racing videos or television shows, and even searching You Tube to get my daily fix of motorcycle action. I’ve even started playing my favourite Playstation 3 games (MotoGP ’08 and MX vs ATV Untamed) while I’ve been on the sidelines.

My surgeon gave me a date that I can ride again during a visit today, with February 26 being the 10 week mark that will see me back behind the handlebars. And guess what? It’s about that time that we’ll have the new R1 for our full test. A coincidence? Maybe, but not likely.

We have plenty of great road and dirt bikes to test this year here at Moto Online, and this time off the bike has reenergised me to the point where I just can’t wait to test and write about as many bikes possible in 2009.

It’s going to be a good year for Moto Online, you can bet that. There’s a good chance you’ll be seeing me on the road, at the track or in the dirt once I get the OK to ride again!