After purchasing the Suzuki V-Strom 650 ABS earlier this year, I have about 1,400 miles on the bike and have learned some, shall we say, unique things about the bike and motorcycle culture as a whole.
First, and most importantly, the street greeting. When passing another bike on the street (that isn’t a cruiser), it is customary to exchange a quick greeting. The greeting typically takes the form of a left-handed wave, angled downward with the palm showing. I’ve done a little research on what that means exactly and it appears there is no consistent, unifying opinion. Some say it means “peace” or “keep two-wheels down” or “stay cool” but who knows. For me, I guess I would say it is an acknowledgement of someone else who is enjoying the moment on a motorbike. Additionally, I typically respond to the wave but rarely initiate it — I don’t have enough time or street cred to do so. But this is just one of many discoveries.
I’ve learned to take the fast lane on the freeway when available — and never just cruise in the center lane, just no options incase you get into trouble. I’ve discovered one must be decisive when changing lanes — decisive means a brief snap of speed. I’ve learned how to break with two-fingers, to blip the engine while breaking and downshifting. However, something that has recently bubbled to the surface is my ability to downshift, engine break, when preparing for a stop or corner. This, above anything else, has made my riding and corning much more consistent.
Fall is just around the corner and the motorbiking season will shorten quickly. The bike has been great commuting, zipping to the store, and doing some leisurely weekend runs. Good stuff, no really, good stuff.