Looking back over my photos it was apparent that I didn’t take that many photos of my early years out on the bike. It’s a good thing that I have learnt how to stop, take photos, and smell the roses. A bit.
Below is a brief history of bikes I’ve owned over the years.
2014 Kawasaki ZX14R – details – current
2005 Honda ST1300 – current
Following a couple of overseas motorcycle tours I wanted something more appropriate for the two of us to do more touring around Australia on without the need to sell my much loved ZX14R.
After riding a number of options within our price range we settled on the ST1300 as our entrée into the world travelling more than just weekend jaunts two-up. We picked this bike up fairly reasonably and want to set it up for us to tour comfortably on but at the same time I don’t want to over invest in it as it may be a transition bike.
1994 Honda VFR750 – current
Purchased as a box of bits after it had an unfortunate coming together with a wall on a double right hand apex corner.
It required a lot of work to fix it up and put back together. There was a fair bit of work needed on the fairing panels and in the end I just rattle can painted them matt black. The pain is far from perfect but it just adds to its character. The tank and a few of the centre panels were fine so I left them their original red colour.
I have thought of selling it a few times but it’s a fun little bike and makes all the right noises … the top end whine of the cam driven top end and the V4 burble through aftermarket can. Awesome. I just can’t sell this bike which is now affectionately known as ‘redback’ after the redback spider which has a black body with a red stripe and is fairly venomous and found everywhere here.
2008 Kawasaki ZX14 – details
I remeber the first time I rode the ZX14. It was an awesome bike, huge power and torque. It was really a hyper-sports-tourer. We shared over 240,000km before its demise but in that time we covered a lot of territory in Australia and had many adventures, and gathered many stories.
2001 – Honda CBR1100XX Blackbird
This was a great bike and even though they haven’t been made now for 10 years they would still make a great entry bike to the world of open road big bore blasters. Big, comfortable, and fast.
Unfortunately it came to an untimely end when a van went through a Give Way sign – didn’t do me any good either … just quietly. This led to a few years hiatus from riding while I recovered.
Late 1980’s Kawasaki GPz900R
I remember when the mighty GPz900R hit the market back in the early 80’s. I dreamt that one day I would own one. This one was a bit rough when I got it and quickly went down hill after I hit a kangaroo one night while out riding. It ended up with a rough patch job to keep me on the road as I was at university at the time with limited funds.
1988 Suzuki RGV250
Being on limited funds I swapped the broken CBR1000 for the little RGV as I needed wheels. This was no sports tourer, it was horrible to pillion on, it was horrible to tour on. But point it at a windy road and hang on, all it’s short comings would disappear. This was a fun little bike to ride.
1984 Honda CBR1000FH
I bought this as a repairable write off, as a project bike. These were early days of fully enclosed fairings.
1981 Kawasaki GPZ550
This was my first ‘big’ bike and I owned for over 10 years. While it wasn’t that fast in a straight line it would keep most people honest in the corners. However, I’m sure that I’m remembering that with youthful memories and compared to today’s bike it is slow and wobbly. However I loved my GPz and we shared lots of great memories.
1983 Honda MVX250
This was an odd little V3 250cc 2 stroke that I had for a short time, it had 2 cylinders facing forward and one at the back sitting vertically. They used to have trouble with the back cylinder overheating and seizing, but I never had it that long. I only came across a few old photos of it recently as I was scanning in some old negatives.
1980 Honda CB250N
Growing up on the farm I never saw the point of roadbikes and certainly didn’t anticipate ever owning one. The mighty little Super Hawk, landed in my lap and was my first road bike back in the ’80s. As it turned out … I’ve not owned another trail bike since.
1980 Kawasaki KE125
While I had been riding motorcycles for a number of years as a kid around the farm the little Kawasaki KE125 was the first bike that I bought. As I lived out of town I was able to get a special permit to ride to and from work before I was legally old enough to ride on the road. The KE125 was my primary transport.