Every stop sign is an opportunity to launch a little harder and let the two-stroke sing a little longer. Ed and his TL follow as I confuse commuters with my mutated-leaf-blower-on-crack exhaust note, my GPS giving instructions in my ear as we criss-cross the city. By the time we hit the Golden Gate bridge, my cheeks hurt from smiling.
The bike makes a remarkable visual statement. The metallic gray version I first observed in the wild was just perfect: the piping on the pleated seat, the round headlight, the dirt track-style knobbies. It made me stop and look.
The XSR is an attention seeker in the no-longer-available King Kenny paint scheme, and the mild XS650 influence is noticeable. It's not a full on retro-posing bike, but it’s also not “just a regular old motorcycle.”