Ride on Time!
Although we only took a brief ride on both machines, it was sufficient to realise that 20 years is a helluva’ long time in terms of dynamics and performance. Funnily enough I really loved the sound the old engine made when it was being revved hard. It was a glorious high-pitched roar that sounded like an old Sixties racing car - the sort of noise a good racing engine ought to make. But for all the gorgeous sound it produced, this never really translated into forward progress.
For certain there’s a lovely seamless power from the ‘93’s motor that builds and builds without ever reaching any kind of crescendo. Sometimes you find yourself with the throttle wound fully open waiting for the revs to catch-up. Other times you just find yourself wondering what you’re having for dinner that night, and wishing mealtime would arrive sooner. It’s quite charming in a non-threatening way and I definitely enjoyed reliving the experience. But for sheer blood-n-guts in-your-face aggression, nothing can touch the new machine.
It has that instant ‘oh-my-god-I-can’t-quite-believe-this-is-happening’ type power delivery that comes in nicely at the bottom, kicks quite hard in the midrange, and then threatens to tear off your arms and slap you with the soggy ends, right at the top. There’s power, revs, torque, revs, acceleration, wheelspin, revs and finally more power. And the smile it puts on your face takes an age to disappear.
Cost of Living
And that’s really the bottom line here. Because the biggest single improvement we have seen in dirt bikes over the past 20 years is the amount of fun they deliver for the money. In the intervening two decades dirt bikes have got faster, more powerful, quieter, lighter, easier to start, easier to stop, have improved in quality, improved in handling and in real terms (taking inflation into account) they are getting cheaper to buy every year Yes, really! In terms of bang-for-your-buck that makes them better value now than ever, with simply amazing performance available from a humble 350cc.
And you know what…? I’m glad, because as I found out when I went to get changed into my old riding kit, clearly I’m not getting any smaller…
There are many more issues of RUST Magazine for your perusal just click on the link for the full list and enjoy! https://www.rustsports.com/issues/