I love my Z.
When I did my CBT the bike I used was a Yamaha YBR 125. Before I did my CBT I had never ridden a bike before and did not even know what each lever did. It was such an easy bike to ride and I felt so comfortable on it that by lunchtime I was out on the road with the instructor.
After my CBT I brought a YBR to practice on. After a few weeks of practising on my own I then started having lessons with Steve at Beacon Motorcycle Training in order to get my big bike licence.
The bike I rode during my lessons with Steve was a Kawasaki ER6 which, again, was such an easy bike to ride and I was happy on this. It was light enough for me to easily get it off the side stand and I did enjoy riding it.
When I passed my test I wasn’t sure whether to buy a ER6 as that was what I was used to but after looking around I ended up buying a Honda Hornet 600. For me, it was a perfect first big bike and I enjoyed riding it, it had plenty of grunt for me whilst I was a new rider and did everything I wanted it to do.
As my instructor, Steve, said, he taught me how to pass the test, I now had to learn how to ride. This I have since realised is very true.
After a couple of happy years on the Hornet I decided I wanted a bigger engined bike.
Here was where the difficulty lay. I found that bigger bikes were a lot heavier than my Hornet which, for me, I was not comfortable with. I do have difficulty getting bigger bikes off the side stand and some I cannot even get the bike upright. Being able to do this easily for me is my main priority. I sat on a lot of bikes and took a few out for a test ride but still I couldn’t find ‘the one’.
I had been looking at a Triumph Street Triple and we were out for a ride one day and came across a Triumph garage. I was looking at the demo Street Triple and was just going to ask if I could take it for a test ride when another customer beat me to it and went off on the demo bike. I asked if I could have a test ride when the bike came back and the salesman said to come back in a couple of hours.
So off we rode and we stopped at On Yer Bike, Aylesbury for a cuppa before heading back to the Triumph garage. Whilst there it always seems obligatory to have a look around the new and used bikes to see which bikes we can drool over.
I was in the showroom looking at the Kawasakis and Tony wheeled out the Z650 for me to have a look at. Tony asked me what sort of riding I liked and I replied I’ve got a Hornet 600 and I like lots of overtaking.
At which point Tony said ‘Ahh, okay then’ wheeled the Z650 back and wheeled out the Z900 that was sitting in the showroom all shiny and winking at me.
It was light enough for me to get it off the stand easily and I felt really comfortable on it and I really liked the look of it. I took it for a test ride (uh oh said the other half).
OMG it was awesome, it was so easy to ride, it’s light and nimble, it’s comfortable, the riding position is perfect, I loved it. On my way back on the test ride I was even overtaking, I was that happy and confident on it.
I got back to On Yer Bike with a huge smile on my face and bought it the one in the showroom.
My Z is the performance edition which came with a few extras namely an akroprovkic end can, seat cowl, tail tidy and screen. In part 2 next week I will tell you about the modifications I made to my Z even though it was a new bike! I thought buying a new bike would mean that I wouldn’t need to make any but it seems I was wrong.
I absolutely love riding my Z. I have had it just over two years now and have done some 12,500 miles, been on a few long weekends away in this country and to France, Germany and Belgium it is sooooo comfortable for long rides.
Proof you don’t need a bike designed for touring for long trips, buy the bike that you want because you love it and make it work for you.