The Mean Green Machine
Bikes are fast.
The Kawasaki GPZ500s I’ve been riding around on over the Winter wasn’t as much of a let-down as I’d expected, compared to my Kawasaki ZX9R. It’ll still do 0-60 in about 4 seconds – which is plenty to beat most stuff on the road, and top end of around 110mph will also match your average car.
This weekend I finally got around to stripping the wiring loom of my ZX9R, and with a bit of bodged soldering (some of it on wiring and not just my -ing thumb!!!), I got it all back together and pushed the started button.
…And nothing happened.
I angrily glared at all the beautifully re-wrapped wiring for a while, Stanley knife in hand, before coming to the conclusion that the battery was probably too flat to even turn the starter motor. I plugged the charger in and left it overnight.
I actually lost sleep in anticipation of getting up early to take it out for a shakedown run (if it started), and bounded into the garage with confidence in my mechanicing, held the starter button down and revelled in the roar of the Leo Vince Moto GP exhaust!
Even climbing onto the ZX9R it feels so much more serious than the little old GPZ. The seat is higher, bars are miles away and lower, and then you have to try three times to lift your feet up high enough to put them onto the footpegs!
This was like going from my very first TZR125 onto my first ‘big bike’ (a ZXR400). Rolling down the driveway the taught suspension was immediately apparent.
I’d done this on a rare snowless day a couple of months ago, letting the clutch out the same as I would on the GPZ and feeling the back end snaking all over like a happy dog. That was trying to kill me. So I let the clutch out far more carefully this time…
I know I’ve blogged before about how great superbikes are. About how they are so mind-bendingly fast they really – no, REALLY – shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near the public roads.
God was now in my right hand, and I’d have thanked Him if I wasn’t trying my best not to giggle like a schoolgirl.
Half expecting the electrics to cut out at a critical moment, I opened the throttle and instantly saw silly speed. Even after the GPZ this is like a whole new level of relentless, penis-shrinking power!
I didn’t even give it everything, because I didn’t want to end up on my back with the bike on top of me.
The familiar part of my brain was still there reminding me how last Summer I used to pin that throttle open and be a bit bored waiting for stuff to happen. It’s amazing how quickly your brain adapts, and soon wants another 100hp.
Going back to a smaller bike was a lot of fun. It was like back to the roots.
But then going from that and back to a full-on beast of a ZX9R?
It’s not just fun – it’s like tasting Heaven!
Now I just have to remember how to use it around the corners…