Big and noisy is best

Last updated 15:10 12/12/2013
leigh fellows
CRUISING: Leigh Fellows loves getting out and about on his C109.

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Oamaru's Leigh Fellows reckons his 2008 Suzuki Boulevard C109R motorcycle is a bit "like an armchair" to ride, and it looks just as comfortable as one.

Despite only owning his ride for about three months Mr Fellows has already notched up 3000 kilometres, quite an achievement considering his short partnership with the machine.

He bought the bike from an Auckland-based seller and likes it for reasons most motorcyclists probably like their wheels.

"It's quite a heavy bike and it's just on six inches longer than a Harley. I just like it because it's big, noisy and it goes pretty good. My old 1500cc bike was good, but this one behaves itself, especially when you're going around corners.

"When you get to 100kmh you just keep riding it, that's when it gets into top gear."

The bike's size and cruising ability means it needs to be comfortable and Mr Fellows believes it's as nice to sit on as any couch you'd find in any living room.

"It's like an armchair to ride and you don't really realise how fast you're going sometimes."

The C109, powered by an 1800cc engine, is certainly a unique-looking motorcycle, with extra features such as hand guards, an alarm and space to mount a GPS unit.

At first glance it looks jet black, however on closer inspection you'll find attractive blue specks in the paintwork.

Mr Fellows hasn't had to do too much work on it, adding the hand guard himself as well as having an after-market exhaust system installed.

He hasn't seen too many of his particular model in town, but there's a few similar going around.

"There's not many C109s about, but there's quite a few M109s around. This one is the only one in Oamaru as far as I know."

The major differences between the two models as quite subtle, with the M109 having a different style of headlight and front end.

"It's beautiful to ride, it's really nice," says Mr Fellows. "I use it all the time. I go here, there and everywhere really, but it can be a bit hard to get out at times when you have other interests."

He often goes cruising with members of the Whitestone Riders and the local Ulysses Motorcycle Club and particularly enjoys the weekly twilight rides on Wednesdays.

When not riding off into the sunset so to speak, Mr Fellows has enjoyed cruises to the likes of Dunedin, Central Otago, Timaru, Winchester and the Waitaki lakes district.

While his wife accompanies him these days, he says it wasn't always that way.

"She likes it now, but she didn't like it when I first got it. We have a lot of rides together now."

With saddlebags strapped on the bike only just meets the legal requirements for width, while lengthwise, Mr Fellows can't quite fit it into his shed.

Keeping the C109 clean is also a constant battle, given how much chrome adorns it.

As far as fuel efficiency goes, the C109 isn't quite as thirsty as you'd think.

"If you stick to around 100kmh mark it will be reasonably economic. You'd get to Christchurch easily and be able to ride around for most of the day ... I don't think you'd get up to Kaikoura though."

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With only 13,000 kilometres on the clock, Mr Fellows plans to keep it for some time, though with the number of ks he's racked up, that might be sooner than later.

"I'll do 60,000km on it then probably sell it," he says.



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