Posts Tagged ‘VN900’

So I’m back on 2 wheels!

Thanks to some serious encouragement by Mrs Spider I’ve got myself another motorbike, a kawasaki VN900SE. With the advent of it’s 1000th mile this weekend I thought a quick piece on it was warranted.

I’d seen the VN900SE a while ago and drooled over it’s matt black finish. I’d wanted a bit more grunt than my other bike – a 750 Honda magna, but not too much more weight and it needed to be low (I’m very conscious that as I was short changed in the leg department it’s always useful to be able to reach the floor when pulling up at the lights!)

Anyway I’d seen one of these roaring it’s way around Parliament square whilst on visit to London and at first thought it was a custom job, but with a little research discovered that they were a Special edition produced by kawasaki, with little tweaks to the colour cheme each year.

I must admit I baulked at the price a little bit to start with, and I was seriously considering selling up my Delica monster truck and getting a sensible eurobox car. But Mrs S campaigned hard for me to get a new bike and garage/workshop… I suspect just because she likes either drving over small cars in the truck, or having picnics in it regardless of the weather!

Anyway, after seeing a second hand one with 400 miles on the clock at a good price I followed up, narrowly missing it. Which was fortunte as it turned out as the dealer then offered me a brand spanking new one at the same price! I must admit that travelling 300 miles to collect wasn’t my preferred choice so I tried every nearby network dealer and challenged them to get close to the offer price with no joy. So having paid the deposit I set off on the trains to Aldermaston to collect my new bike from Pegasus Kawasaki.

After enduring British rail, which has not improved in the years I’ve managed to avoid it, either in ticketing (Buying 4 seperate tickets was half the price of actually getting just a ticket for the journey) or the company of passengers (loud arses and mobile users in the quiet carriage) I arrived at the dealership to immediately see my new pride and joy parked awaiting me.

After a surprisingly easy transaction (and a good talk over with the mechanic – cheers!) I was off on a brief ride home… not sure how many bikes do 320 miles on a first run? Wth plenty of stops and sticking to the guide for running it in it took a fair while. Needless to say it pissed it down, so I can’t ever claim it’s only done dry miles. Good omen though – After a fair break from bikes I got off after 8 hours and felt great!

The 600 mile service came round very quick. All of 6 days. So off to the local network dealer so I can maintain the warranty.

(A brief aside – I emailed Kawasaki to check if as the warranty book claims you have to use a kawasaki dealer to maintain the warranty. Got an increadibly carefullly worded reply, which basically says, no you don’t but you have to have Kawasaki parts used and if you try to claim on the warranty they’ll investigate whether the work was done to their spec – Basically you don’t have to but we’ll make it a sod to claim. If you want to see it email me and I will forward it on)

There upon the only hiccup so far as I gained a small leak from the the sump plug which has taken a couple of attempts to solve. A new plug and washer has cured it. At no extra cost obviously!

So now with a few miles on her, what’s she like? (Like all ships, bikes are female…)

Well, comfortable to say the least. Loves thumping along at about 60-70 but will stretch her legs if you give the grip a twist. Surprisngly agile in the bends and feels great leant over, the sacrificial metal on the bottom of the pegs already has some scrapes! Had a run out with a friend last night (600 CBR) and felt very comfortable keeping up.

The economy is also great, and was a factor I must admit. I’m seeing between 55 and 60 mpg depending on the run. (60+ mpg on the slow ride home first day at 60 mph), and the wallet is noticing it after running the truck every day.

Parked in Richmond Square I also noticed that a lot of the bikers milling about siddled over for a good look at her as well. Something that bit different. Now be honest, who doesn’t like that?

I still think it’s a fantastic looking machine. Mrs S says “it’s very you”.. By that I think she means low, wide, reasonably powerful and devastatingly handsome. But I might be wrong.

Downsides? None really. The ride to work can get a bit wayward if I’m up early and it’s nice out. What is a 9 mile journey stretches to 30 or 40 down to the beach and back. But there are worse problems in life.

So what next? I’ve got a back rest sorted, currently being turned black by a good friend and top vehicle bodywork chap Pete (see good stuff!), enabling Mrs S to join me without being left at the lights as I pull away. And to be honest thats about it. It doesn’t need anything else!

…Although I’ve a sneaking suspicion the next service won’t be too far off!