February 11, 2018 at 1:27 am #15959
Wind back the clock to last March and I was the proud owner of a bog standard, if somewhat tatty, Kawasaki ZR550 Zephyr in a delightful shade of burgundy. Then I had the bright idea of turning the poor thing into a café racer in four hours flat! That deed was done (with A LOT of help!) and I now had an ice cool special on my hands. While this is great, it does mean I no longer have a hack…before the transformation, the Zephyr fulfilled that role admirably, but now it is so good that I don’t want ruin it by actually using it. That perceived need for a ‘run-around’ had not gone away…so what to do? Buy another bike of course…I love ‘biker’ logic, I really do!
I pondered long and hard over what to get next. Various candidates were considered and stalked on eBay. The worthy but dull Yamaha 600 Diversion, the cute Suzuki SV650, the Honda NC750 and the Zephyr’s much newer cousin the ZR7. I even got as far as testing a really clean ZR7 and I have to say it was a lovely bike, but it was too clean and expensive for what I wanted. Then one of my old partners in crime, Andy, sent me an eBay link…it took me to the auction for a, yep you guessed it, a Burgundy ZR550! The trouble is, in the time since I cut my original example up prices have rocketed, typical of my luck!
But this one looked straight as die, and had only 4300 miles on the clock. I thought why not and stuck in a cheeky bid, not expecting to win the auction. Fast forward a couple of days and yup I was the proud owner of ANOTHER ZR550, Oh God…
There was another thing, it was just over 200 miles away, near the Kent coast….why do I keep doing this to myself?? It is the middle winter and temperatures are in single figures, memories of a 200 mile ride in similar conditions to collect a FZ600 still linger, so it was time to round up a bike trailer! Old friend Toggsy came up with the goods, while Andy (aka Thumper) provided the tow car. I was down for fuel, food and of course the compulsory ‘light-salad’! The trip down was long but essentially uneventful, once we had raised Toggsy from his pit and hooked up the trailer. The bike was as described and we quickly had on the trailer and turned for home.
My partners in crime for the day
We took the opportunity to pop in on the superb ‘Spitfire and Hurricane Memorial Museum’ while we were in the area. They have an example of each of these aircraft, both of which could boast a combat history. This is surprisingly rare amongst the aircraft remaining from this period.
The 550 was soon back in the midlands, nestled up alongside it’s sibling. I didn’t actually have a chance to ride it once home, the whole day was taken up with getting to Kent and back!
Back home, doesn’t look too bad!
My youngest daughter has her eye on it already!
Anyway thanks to Toggs (and Ron!) and Andy for the trailer and the lift!
Museum details for those interested:February 11, 2018 at 5:09 pm #69964HippoDronesParticipant
looks bang tidy mateFebruary 11, 2018 at 7:51 pm #69965
looks bang tidy mate
It is a tidy one, but would sure stand some polishing. I have ridden it a couple of times so far. The brakes are a bit ‘draggy’ to say the least and the bike is hesitant below 5k rpm. Not sure if it is the cold, if it has a dodgy coil or perhaps a fueling issue. But happy so far for what I paidMarch 25, 2018 at 11:16 pm #69966
Brothers in Arms…June 14, 2018 at 8:32 pm #69967
Bit of an update: Well so far my time with the Kawasaki has been a bit of a frustration to say the least of it. It picked a bit of a misfire not long after I bought it, then a fork seal blew. Had to get the carbs cleaned out to cure the misfire and had new fork seals fitted too. Now the it seems the battery is knackered and I had hell’s own game getting the seat off as the attachment arrangement is truly dire. Not covered a 100 miles on it yet and all getting rather annoying.June 17, 2018 at 12:14 am #69968HippoDronesParticipant
ahh mate, that sucks!June 17, 2018 at 9:12 pm #69969
ahh mate, that sucks!
It really does. Lets see of the next couple of months yields any improvement!July 2, 2018 at 9:03 pm #69970
Well things are improving. Fitted a new battery last week and the 550 has been doing my 90 mile round trip commute…4 journeys so far and I am enjoying the Kwak at last
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