Not quite all the converted, some quietly contented
I thoroughly miss my Z1000SX, and continue to do so.
The V 650 is a compromise for me and one made out of necessity.
The wife (and almost every other insurance company agreed) that after my accident I have to take a break from litre bikes!
Having said all that, I'm happy to admit the V MK3 is better than expected and still gives me plenty of smiles per miles
She's more hard work to ride, especially fast but in a good way. The 1049cc engine in the SX was so linear smooth and had so much useable grunt that changing gears just became a formality. 3rd was good for anything from 30mph town riding to 80mph motorway cruising, although nice, you become lazy as a rider.
The little V can still provide fun in the Twisties but there's virtually no grunt below 4k revs so you have to work the bike more and hence think about your gear selection in advance. It's teaching me how to 'ride' again and become more engaged with the bike, which I'm loving, but wouldn't necessarily admit.
Went for a ride last week and I was riding the smallest capacity bike by far, the next was an MT09 then a couple of 1200 BMW's and finally a 1300 Yamaha! Although clearly lacking in straight line speed, I was never left behind and more than able to hold my own in the bends, I'd even argue that I had more fun working my V than they did cruising around on their bigger bikes!
I've also spent the day out with the wife riding pillion (and neither of us are at our 'fighting weight' lol). I didn't have any problems or wish for any more on the motorway, it was kind of nice being content sitting at legal(ish) speeds, and didn't feel the need to go faster!
That kind of brings me to my final point, I've witnessed litre bikes pull away from the lights ahead of me and intially jealous that I couldn't keep pace. However, suddenly realised that used to be me, and sometimes faster, accepting the fact was hard but I quickly took comfort in the fact that I cannot launch myself into the stratosphere anyone, a kind of license saving and potential life saving safety net.
Im still fast, just not ballistically fast anymore and for now, that's ok.
I've no doubt that I'll return to litre bikes one day, probably even an SX but I will return with a refreshed idea of what it means to actually ride my bike and engage with it. Hopefully with a refound sense of self preservation too!
Sounds a bit biblical, sorry.
Put simply, I'm a litre bike rider with the experience to back it up, I'm just not riding one right now. And do you know what, it's more than just ok, I'm actually enjoying it!!