I have owned many bikes over the years, I havenít listed all of them here but here are a few bits about some of the bikes I have owned.
My motorcycling started back in Nov 1976 when I purchased my first motorbike from Surbiton Motorcycles; it was a Kawasaki KH250 in a burgundy metallic red. It cost me a small fortune £510. It was a lovely looking bike with its 3 chrome exhaust pipes. It had a claimed 28 BHP but it had a large appetite for 2 stroke oil and petrol.
Poor fuel consumption vibration so bad you couldnít keep your feet on the foot pegs, this did make me wonder if it was worth the expense and discomfort but when you are 17 years of age you soon forget the bad bits and fall in love with the sound of the 3 pipes wailing at 8000 rpm.
I had the usual TT100s fitted but the rear tyre was soon looking a bit thin and then to top it all I holed a piston while thrashing down the A1 on my way home for 4 days leave. Yes the middle piston as usual but it was an easy fix, £10 for a piston and a plug all done with a few spanners.
I also had a Rickman top box and panniers fitted so I could carry my RAF kit when I was posted. Now this really did make the handling interesting and the demon weave would keep your speed below 75mph.
I lived at RAF Headley Court at the time I purchased the bike so the Sunday Box Hill motorcycle meeting was only a couple miles away and I loved the roads on the way from Headley village down to car park at the bottom of the hill.
I only kept the bike for 9 months, it did seem longer but it was good fun and I wish I still owned it. The registration I remember was PGF 592P, itís probably in the big scrap yard in the sky now.
I only came off it once on a foggy night at a set of traffic lights at Kew Gardens. The panniers saved the bike and the only damage was an indicator and lens. Great days.
The next bike I brought was a Honda Super dream CB250N in silver, this was an accident damaged bike that was 3 months old. It was to be recovered from the crash site by the person who brought it .Yes that was me so I arranged for a car and a trailer to pick up the bike from out in the sticks of North Yorkshire.
Not much damage well nothing serious just cosmetics so I soon had the bike on the road. The cost of the bike and the repair was about £450 not bad considering the cost was over £900 new. Yes it was heavy and in a head wind it was unbearable, it had a top speed of 85mph when conditions were good. It was cheap to run and tyres lasted ages.
About 9 months passed and I thought itís time to get my bike test out of the way, so I booked in to Northallerton test centre and passed my test at the end of January. This was the end for the Super dream. I now set my sights on a new 750. Time for some power, it was time to say goodbye to the 250N Dream.
The next one I fancied was a Suzuki GSX750ET the new 16 valve model in bright red and a claimed 80 bhp, so a quick trip to Darlington bike shop to see if I could have a look at one. Well not a chance the man said only 2 have been imported into the UK for the Bike magazines to to test and the next delivery isn't for another 2 weeks from Japan.
Disappointed but like a kid looking forward to Christmas I said ok I will have one in red but I need a good price for my Super dream. He had a look and said £780 trade in, Ok I thought not bad the new Suzuki was £1745 on the road so the deal was done. I took delivery of a gleaming red GSX750 ET in May. What a fantastic bike, Smooth, fast and comfort like I have never known, I loved every day I owned that bike it was so good two up it did 55 miles to the gallon crused all day at 80mph.
Suzuki replaced the soft rear shocks and fitted me a new seat under warranty shortly after the front wheel bearings failed and I was in a remote part of Scotland, CampbellTown and getting new bearings was going to take a week or more. My mother was very ill and I need to travel to Nottingham to see her so the 750 was traded in for an almost new GS1000ET in burgundy this was fitted with a Dunstall half race faring and drop bars. This monster was smooth and at 100bhp very very fast compared to the 750 but also very heavy.
The GS1000 was short lived I wrote this bike off after 3months when I was in a collision with a drunk driver in the west of Scotland. Nice bike but it will not missed and after 6 months in hospital and 8 operations to get me going again it didnít put me off bikes. I had an RD250 DX in my garage that needed a rebuild. I spent a year rebuilding this while I was learning to walk again. I was posted from Scotland to London then Doncaster so it was a hectic year.
The RD250 was on the road and quite a few articles came out in the Bike Magazines about tuning your RD so I spent 2 years playing with this RD and a Yamaha XS250 until I was fit enough to throw my leg over something bigger.
The Yamaha XJ650 shafts drive another great bike, no chains to worry about and pretty good performance. This bike never let me down and Deb and I covered over 30.000 miles in the early to mid-80s until one morning when an old man in a citron reversed back up the fast lane in to me. 70mph impact totalled the bike and I had another trip to hospital. Goodbye XJ registration was PRO 7W.
It was time to go for some performance again so this time I purchased a Kawasaki GPZ1100 Unitrac.I paid £1900 from S&M motorcycles Peterborough. This was in another league Fuel injection and computer controlled descent size tyres and a claimed 120bhp gave 155 mph at the twist of the throttle. In fitted nitrous oxide injection and many other mods over the years.
This was really a good bike to spend time and money on. But my collection started to grow and garage space was getting tight. I had the GPz750, RD350LC, RD350E, RS250, CL250, CB250N, Kawasaki 650 Tengi, CBX1000 SIX x 2, GPz900A6, GPZ1000RX. SR250.
Time rolled on and bikes came and went until I saw a Honda Fire Blade. Thatís it, thatís the bike for me. This was a start of a new chapter in real performance motorcycles with unbelievable speed and handling and I wanted to try it.
Honda 900RRT Fire blade. I decided I had better try one of these new blades, they had been out a couple of years and reviews were all very good. So I purchased a black & yellow RRT.
First impressions were. My god what have I brought this thing is mental I will kill myself on this. I rode this through the summer of 2002 and I had some great fun on it and I couldnít fault it. Registration M6 CBR
Kawasaki ZX12R .But and there always is one and I wanted a change Debbie was off ill and I was looking after her so I had time to spend scanning the MCN. Fatal mistake I came across the newly styled 200 mph ZX12R.
Wow I was in love so a quick phone call to a local Kawasaki dealer to see what deal I could get. The bike was £9.350 and I got £4000 on my trade in on my Blade. The following week the deal was done and I took delivery of a brand new Red ZX12R.
Running in was very painful having to restrain my right wrist but riding through winter just to clock up 1000 miles was worth it when the fine weather came. The only way to describe this is its a Missile. It was so fast 0 Ė 100 in 6 sec 160 mph in 10sec. I carried on riding the 12R for the next 3 years trying to keep pace with the way it destroyed rear tyres every 1000 miles @ £200 a go. I did see 205 mph on the speedo once but itís a secret where I did that.
You could wheelie of the throttle at 130mph, thatís what 200bhp gives you. The tank range was short especially when twisting the throttle in anger. Refills come round every 75 miles thats 22 litres of fuel the best was 130 miles before filling up. It was about this time a friend introduced me to track days, so I booked a day and took the ZX12R to CadwellPark and spent the day destroying a set of tyres. CadwellPark is not much fun on a bike with that much power and bulk. Itís all throttle and brakes brakes brakes.
The next move was to buy a Honda 900 fire blade for the track and road and has luck would have it a work colleague who was selling one. It was a nice 900RRW in red and white it needed I a bit of TLC but that I could do.
I fitted some new sticky tyres with new disks and pads I then fitted some jack up plates on the foot pegs. A new Micron exhaust was purchased from MPS and it was looking good, Cadwell here we come. I did a couple of track days @ Cadwell and quite a few road miles over the next couple of years. It really was a good all-rounder. I was watching a couple of lads go round Cadwell on RSV1000s; yet again I was hit by the thoughtÖ I wonder. Well I traded the Fire Blade.
The RSV1000 Millie was a track machine on the road it went round corners so fast, it tracked well it was wheelie prone and the power was stunning, It was just better than everything I had ridden in the past. The big thumping V twin sounded fantastic and you couldnít resist lifting the front wheel on just a sniff of throttle.
Cadwell was the place for this bike, it just loved it. On the road it seemed to do 100mph everywhere no matter how hard you tried to ride slowly. I loved it and it really did look like it belonged on the track. The poor ZX12r was now under cover not being used because I took the Millie everywhere.
A few years passed and I was suffering with my past bike injuries and riding the Millie was getting more painful so I made a decision so sell it. I do regret selling it but I couldnít ride it with out suffering for days after. The ZX12R was traded in for a GSX1400.
My bike today is this big brut of a Suzuki GSX1400 and itís a good all round touring sport bike, not for the race track. It has a good seating position and a thick seat with plenty of comfort. I rode the GSX1400 to Germany in 2005 for a ride around the Nurburg Ring. It was a great weekend and it did surprise me how well it handled, i did wear there bobs off the foot pegs though.
When I got back home from Germany I took my IAM advanced bike test and completed the bike Safe course with the Peterborough Police. My riding style is a lttle slower now and the amount of traffic on todayís roads does make every ride more of a challenge.
When it all goes wrong you can end up eating hospital food and thatís if your lucky.. I had 6 months in Glasgow Southern General Hospital, Bone grafts , skin grafts plus all the pain associated with a broken femur and 8 compound fractures below the knee. Then followed the hard work, 18 months learning to walk again.I never fullly recovered from this accident it left me with a short leg and a may other joint problems that get worse as the years go by. But i still enjoy riding.
Thanks for looking
Copyright Kent Royce © 2013.
Over 37 years on two wheels