The Mean Green Machine

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!

ZX9R Cleehill

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…

ZX9R Rockingham


And A Deathly Roar Filled The Skies Once More…

And A Deathly Roar Filled The Skies Once More…

The motor racing season has finally started off again!  This makes me happy, after the long, dark, bleak Winter of nothing but diving soccer pansies and the odd re-run of some of last years racing!

I went to Silverstone a few weeks ago to watch the 750MC club races, and especially the first round of the Formula Vee championship – where the racing was awesome as it is every time the single-seaters are out.  I even remembered my sun screen so didn’t get burnt for once!

And of course the Moto GP season kicked off last weekend with the new regulations.

I’m a bit gutted to see that Valentino Rossi isn’t living up to his God status yet again, even finishing behind one of the satelite Ducati teams, and well below Hayden.  Personally, as much as it pains me to say it, I don’t think Rossi has ever recovered from the crash that broke his leg.  I hope he gets back to the top again, but I have to say I doubt it.

I think you’d be mad to bet against Stoner taking it again this year.  Lorenzo looks strong but he’s a horrible little cock-end, so he can pig off.

Moto 2 is as frantic as ever, with at least 6 bikes fighting for the lead, and the new Moto 3 shows the same promise – although it is sad that the two-strokes are no more…

Formula 1 is all a bit ‘meh’ just like it has been since around 1993.  They should scrap it and televise Formula Vee in its place so we can actually see some racing!

My usual problem is that only having Freeview TV, I barely get to see any racing other than the above.  Everything else is on Sky TV and other stuff that costs money.

Someone from a bike forum has recently either saved my life or ruined it.  They’ve given me a link to a website that streams all the sports channels (and more) from around the world – all for free!

It all seems to work perfectly (providing you at least have Adblocker Plus running through Firefox – it was a nightmare before!), and I now have access to, in technical terms, shitloads of racing from NASCAR to, umm… whatever obscure racing is televised.

Here’s the link for anyone that may find it of use:

The other night I watched the Bathurst 12 Hour GT race which was great, and cock full of action for an endurance event.  I shall look forward to many more such things on there!

Next I just need to get myself back out on track again…

Simoncelli Fatal Moto GP Crash – RIP Sideshow Bob

Simoncelli Fatal Moto GP Crash – RIP Sideshow Bob

I woke up late today, having missed the Moto GP race from Malaysia which was screened in the early hours of this morning, and logging onto Facebook was shocked to the core to see a lot of statuses saying that 24 year old Italian racer Marco Simoncelli was dead.

Not fully wanting to believe it, I clicked on a link to the video.  If you haven’t seen the one doing the rounds, it shows Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi battling it out.  They come around a right-hander, and just before the exit you see Simoncelli come into shot, hanging off to the right of his bike, obviously in big trouble, and he comes straight across from the left in front of Rossi and Edwards.

You see Edwards brake and try his best to tighten his line, but there’s no chance.  He hits Simoncelli directly in the back just before Rossi, alongside him, also hits him in the head…

It was quite similar to the crash which claimed the life of Shoya Tomizawa in Moto 2 last year.

I’m gutted.

This year I’ve grown to really like Simoncelli, aka Sideshow Bob.  He’s exactly the sort of character that Moto GP needed in an otherwise fairly crap year.  I was fully behind him when he had what was blatantly a ‘racing incident’ with Pedrosa, after which a few of the top riders condemned Simoncelli’s riding style.  For what?  Overtaking?  Racing?  Making the sport exciting again???

I think with him becoming the underdog after this it really sealed it for me – he was a new favourite!

And he was really funny in interviews (not just because of his ridiculously huge hair) – telling Lorenzo after he’d had a whinge that he might have to be arrested.

He also had one of those distinctive riding styles that was instantly recognisable.  He was a big lad, so against all the other jockey-sized riders it was knees and elbows all over the place – and of course he was FAST!

Without a doubt he’d have been a championship winner.

It’s a very sad day for the sport.  It’s strange how much it’s hit me, considering I don’t really know him.

My thoughts go out to his friends and family – and also to Edwards and Rossi.  I hope they can find peace with themselves through the tragedy.

I’ll miss watching you, Sideshow Bob – ride free, dude!


As mentioned, the first I knew was a Facebook status and a link to the video of the accident.

The video is… a crash video.  Sure, it’s shocking because you know someone lost their life, and being the one to hit them you can bet that Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi are having a very tough time of it.

A lot of people are instantly getting the footage banned when it shows up (hence me not bothering to try and link to it here) saying it’s disrespectful etc… but why?  There’s no disrespect in watching a great riders final moments, and I’m glad I got to see it, because otherwise I wouldn’t believe it – I just wouldn’t know all the facts.  Watch the video and you can see how tragic it was, and how unavoidable.  It was Simoncellis skill at being able to save the lowside on his knee  that took him back across the track, whereas a less skilled rider would have just been in the gravel… and ironically, safe.

If you don’t want to watch it – don’t.  But don’t tell me what I should and shouldn’t be able to see.  Censorship is NEVER a good thing.  This happened in front of millions, and if you think your crusade to stop anyone seeing it will work you’re deluding yourself.  Just don’t watch it.  It’s that simple.

I will watch it again, and I’ll feel the loss just as much.  Right now I’m raising a glass to Marco Simoncelli and toasting a great racer.