Mess about with a motorcycle and chances are you’ll create problems. Motorcycle manufacturers don’t just design and build a motorcycle then put it on sale the following week. They spend months sometimes more than a year testing, riding the thing around test tracks and on selected roads, shaking down the systems, making sure it works under all conditions.
So it’s not surprising that my latest modification (nitrous) isn’t working 100 percent straight off. It’s currently working intermittently, with some unknown electrical problems still needing to be tracked down. I really need to take it back to the workshop, but I’ve struggled to find the time between travel and other obligations. One other thing I have discovered is the need to switch off the black box under the seat after a ride – it drains electricity and flattens the battery if left alone for a few days. But, when the nitrous is working, it’s a real buzz. The massive increase in torque at the push of the horn button reminds me of a blown engine – when the turbo or superchrager comes on song. I know when the system is operational; because the engine fuel injection dash light comes on to warn about the sensor that’s being tweaked to richen the mixture. I daren’t try the button in first, but in second and third, it’s incredible – the bike pulls more like a highly tuned Suzuki Hayabusa than an old 1-liter inline four.
The front end lifts like it’s in first gear, and a huge wave of grunt propels you forward like you’ve just started a F16 jet engine with afterburner fully open. I can see how serious nitrous fans become addicted to the stuff, fitting bigger and bigger bottles so the fun lasts longer.