This section is about the bikes I've owned.
(Don't forget to check out the reviews section)

I currently have two bikes

Kawasaki ZX10R
Early Impressions
These are my early impressions of the new ZX10R after just two months in the saddle. Despite what is says on paper it definitely feels lighter than my old gixxer, it also feels quite a bit smaller. The first thing to get my attention was the lovely raspy sound from the standard twin end cans and the noise from the air-box it certainly sounds the business. On the move the seating area feels smaller than the gixxer despite the tank on the ten being much smaller. The bars seems a bit further away but nevertheless very comfortable. The feeling of lightness continues to make itself known as it tips into bends quicker than the big gixxer. Throttle response is sharper as are the brakes. There's something about this bike that encourages you to be naughty. The best way to describe it is "I shouldn't be sitting on it, it should be sitting on my shoulder tempting me to do bad things".
After a few miles I felt at home on the bike and started experimenting with lean angles and roundabout entry speeds on the 507, I found myself going in faster and harder at each roundabout. This bike is very flickable and noticed a slight vibration from the tank area at about 3,000 rpm. Did I mention the brakes? They are awesome with plenty of feel and they are not bedded in yet. I thought the suspension was really good and the front end is just brilliant albeit a little soft. I will probably experiment with the settings a little later.
The lights are excellent and when I put on main beam it was like daylight, all I needed was a cockerel to crow to complete the picture. I thought the clocks were brilliant and very easy to read. Throughout the session I couldn't stop giggling, it's quite intoxicating. I love it.

I have now fitted a double bubble screen and hugger, they are probably the most sensible and useful after market products available, I've also fitted some really loud Micro Race cans. I am now waiting for my K+N air filter and Power Commander to arrive then it will be spending some dyno time. I'll post the results here.

As promised, I've fitted the K+N filter and Power Commander then spent the day with Chis down at Road and Track Dyno in Aylesbury. I am well pleasd with the results.

Check out the Technical Section "A Day in Dynotopia" and also "Fitting a power Commander".

I've also fitted a Tail Tidy, very simple, light and quite a brilliant design.

Calsberg don't make motorcycles but if they did it would be a Kawasaki ZX10R"

I am well pleased.

Suzuki Katana
Check out the Extreme Makeover on the Technical Section

This was most definitely an impulse buy and I was drawn by the colour. OK it's an old teapot but for it's age it's in pretty good nick and it certainly turns heads.

When I first got it, it wasn't very nice to ride, in fact it was a right dog. The clutch was impossible. When I got it home the first thing I did was fix the clutch. This meant stripping it down, all the panels had to come off. The cable had seized and the actuating mechanism inside the clutch housing as also worn. It got worseÖ..the front sprocket had two teeth missing and two others worn right down. The rear sprocket didn't have teeth it had hooks. It was that worn.

With the clutch and sprockets sorted the bike rode much better but it sprang a leak. The seams had come apart which meant a new tank was needed. I got one off ebay for just 25 pounds and got it shipped to that lovely man Derek who painted it for me.

A brief history
The GSX600F was introduced at the 1987 Paris Bike Show, Salon Intrenational Du Motorcycle, in November 1987. It was introduced as a sports tourer. It featured a 16-valve twin cam engine, a 6-speed gearbox, a double cradle frame, twin Black finished exhausts, 17-inch White finished 6-spoke alloy wheels, twin front single rear disc brakes, integrated fairing and side panel design, monoshock rear suspension, two-part seat with the driver's seat stepped apart.

Overall Length: 2 135 mm (84.1 in) Overall Width: 745 mm (29.3 in)
Overall Height: 1 195 mm (47.0 i.) Wheelbase: 1 470 mm (57.9 in)
Ground Clearance: 120 mm (4.7 in) Seat Height: 785 mm (30.9 in)
Dry Weight: 208 kg (458 lbs)
Engine type: 599 cc air/oil-cooled inline-four, 16 valves, DOHC, TSCC, SACS. 80 hp (58,7 kW)/ 10.500 rpm, 55,2 Nm/ 9.500 rpm. 6-speed.

Last but not least is my GS500.
I have a confession to make, I like ridding my GS500, it's different to my 10R (not arf) which is a half decent bike to do some stunts on. To be honest, if you can't wheelie a GSX R1000 or ZX10R you should hand your licence into the nearest police station and ask them to rip it up.
The GS is also fairly useful to get you knee down on but it's a tad snatchy on the throttle. It's not the best for rolling stoppies but nevertheless a pleasing one can be achieved fairly easily.

The GS500 is a pretty bike and it's quite low so I can get both feet down. I've already dusted a few Power Rangers's on it but I'm sensible enough to know the limitations of its handling. Actually it's not too bad. All it takes is an enthusiastic run to get the tyres warm then just pick your favourite roundabout and slap the bitch over to scrape your knee. You be amazed how easy it is to get your kneedown on the GS500.

I first owned the big Gixxer from March 2001 until December 2006, before that I had an R1 and even before that I owned a 1997 Honda Fireblade. I missed my Gixxer so much I've bought another one. I thought the Blade was a great bike and after reading the press it confirmed that there was very little to chose between it and the R1. That is, until I test rode an R1. It was miles better than the Blade and after a quick chat with my accountant I decided to buy the R1. Then along came the Gixxer Thou, would you believe it, it's better than the R1 in almost every department and is certainly far more stable. We are talking about near BSB performance here with 0.95bhp per Kg and a sub 10 sec quarter mile. All wrapped up in a sexy user friendly package.

I'm just 5'2" and the Gixxer is a big bike so I have to swing my bottom off the seat when I stop just to get a toe down. Lately I've been wearing some ankle boots with 3" heels and this seems to help. I don't half get some funny looks from the men though.

I also owned a Triumph Thunderbird.
I decided not to go for the Thunderbird sports model because I think Triumph lost that "retro" look on it. The standard Thunderbird looks very good but downside was that the "Sport" produced more BHP and had a six speed gearbox. So imagine my surprise when I took delivery of the T/Bird and discovered it had a Six Speed gearbox.
This is a very nice bike and greatly underestimated. That triple cylinder engine delivers lotís of torque and is very smooth.
So what's the difference in the engine between the T/Bird and the Sport? Just the Carb to engine rubbers. The T/Bird use smaller internal diameter rubbers to restrict the power and that's it. Just rubberís so Triumph can say the sport is a different bike. So I ordered carb rubberís from John Wilcox Competition Engines. A very good company. and it cost me £14 including VAT and postage. The T/Bird, Legend and Adventurer develops around 68 BHP but the Sport develops 84 BHP and by changing the cans to the Triumph after-market straight through ones the power increases to 90BHP.
Sure enough the graph showed a tad over 75bhp at the back wheel which equates into about 90bhp at the crank. Not too bad for Fourteen quid and the £25.00 for the dyno run.
This had the effect of bringing the engine up to "T/Bird Sport Stage One Spec". In other words over 20BHP extra for just 14 quid. I was told that I did not need to change the jetting but I took the bike to Cambridge Motorcycles to do a dyno run just to be sure.

Other bikes I've owned that have made an impression on me.

The Honda Fireblade:
I owned a Blade for a while and used it as a winter "hack". You may think a Blade would be no good as a winter hack, but you're wrong. It had impeccable manners (except for the few tank slappers on it) and it lasted the winter without any problems and was still like new in the spring. The only real fault is that 16" front wheel, it caused the bike to feel unstable when you steered it in slow traffic.

Kawasaki ZXR750 (L2 Model)
I don't actually own this anymore but it's still one of my favorites
This was my race bike. I know it's only a race bike but when I start fettling I just can't stop. I got the bike up and running in road trim then got an MOT.
I then swapped between race and road bike
The bike was brilliantly stable and probably a bit more fun than the Gixxer. I have crashed it on the track twice, once at 100+MPH at Pembrey and once exiting the Esses at Snetterton on a damp day.

It held up to crashing very well needed to.

In road trim.

Mr Yamaha's R1
The R1, was a great little bike even though the 2000 model has now been relegated to an also ran I defy anyone to reach itís limits on the road. During the winter the bike held up really well. This was my main worry in using the bike throughout the winter months. Another concern was the fact that this bike develops around 150BHP with about 128 of those horses going through the back wheel. Thatís a lot of horses to control on icy roads. Nevertheless, the R1ís manners were great, yes it can be a hooligan but it also knows when to behave. I miss that little bike.

Aprilia RS125
I used my "prilly" a lot. What a hoot they are. Don't let anyone tell you can't have fun on a 125 you can and heaps of it. I've managed to embarrass many a larger sportsbikes through the twisties, it handled brilliantly and looked good.
The downside was it's expensive to run and they can be a bit fragile.
It's also the only bike that I've managed to highside over the past few years. And that was a stationary highside. I had just been out for a ride and parked the bike on my drive while I opened the garage door. Just as I was about to walk away the bike's sidestand started to dig into the gravel drive and was about to topple over. In a flash I grabbed the bike and pulled it upright, however, I did this too quickly and the momentum threw me and the bike over the other side.

I've also owned a Hardly.
(Check out my Harley rebuild page)

Why the hell did I ride a Harley Davidson? Itís a bit different from the Gixxer. The truth is I donít really know.
This Sportster 800 came up for sale that had only done 5,400 miles and for a brilliant price. I did my sums and thought it might be fun. To be honest they are not. They look good but are hard work.

Some other bikes I've owned
A CG 125
Read about it's rebuild HERE
A BSA Bantam A James Villiers Scrambler CB400T