First attempt at servicing I almost totally rounded the nut in the sump off. My mate Alexa took over whist I muttered to myself. We found the oil to be thick and old, and there was half as much as there should be in the engine, which for a bike this old doesn't bode well. I went off to get a spare key cut. The fella looked a bit worried but he made one which fitted first go. It started raining on the way into town and I got a friendly line of drops in the same place on my nose, but nothing too worrying. I am going to a motorcycle breakers to search for something to make a bracket out of for my mudguard.
I got a bit lost looking for somewhere to park in the city. The geometry of the steering makes the bike a bitch to turn round. I regretted not cycling. On the way back the bike started misfiring and popping. I thought for a second I had put the wrong fuel in it. I let the engine die and noticed smoke coming out of the battery box and a smell of burnt chips. Thank god I got recovery as part of my insurance.
In about half an hour a really nice Chinese guy who said he had a chop shop in the 80s picked me up and gave me a number of a mechanic in South London. I got round to taking the cover off the battery box and noticed a melted socket on one of the coils marked TEC ZC006 TR12V. There are a few of them on ebay, so here's hoping it wont be too expensive. Some complete random stranger who noticed my plight on facebook started helping me over the net, so it's worth being part of the half billion eh! The battery, like the oil was well low, one wire was slightly exposed and an earthing wire was astray. I am not sure if I shouldn't take the bike in for a proper service just so I know what I have got.
Ran out of petrol last night in Highgate, luckily just outside my friends house so I stayed over. No light on the Speedo, which I'll have to try and fix later. We took this picture in the morning, I stood in to give a better impression of scale. It really is quite a small bike. In the morning I dropped back into town after Croissants and Coffee. I'm getting the hang of this. If people want to pass I can see them from where I am. Though I can't see shit in the pissy little mirror I can look over my shoulder easier than in my usual riding position.
I am really enjoying bouncing and chugging about. Should have got a chopper years ago. If this is what a mid life crisis is all about I am well into it. Its burning a lot of fuel in town and I am getting really hot so close to the engine, I can't tell if the engine is actually overheating or if its me! I wouldn't be surprised as its so old. I'll have to give it a bit of a checkup. Monkey boy happens to have a Z650 service manual he is posting down.
A really nice compromise between full/open face which sort of looks like a fighter pilots helmet. I would recommend shopping at Gorgeous. The prices are pretty much the same as on the net and Colin is obviously a guy who loves what he does- and gets to answer the phone "Hello Gorgeous!" every day! He sat on my bike laughing about Ebay special syndrome, he had obviously been there.
Looking on ebay just now I found my bikes twin sister! Same frame, engine and colour! She's not quite as pretty but you'd still do her!
Also a bike I remember seeing in a magazine years ago. You wouldn't forget this in a hurry!
I have been waking up at five each morning in a panic for the last few days wondering what this would be like. Everyone has been taking the piss out of my trailer hiring ideas so I bit the bullet and grabbed my leathers. We got to Gravesend about lunchtime and once we settled up the guy (Phil) delivered us back onto the A2 on his Harley. My pal Alexa followed in the car.
All my fears of bumps more or less came to nothing. With the springs under the seat I wouldn't notice it was a hard tail- yet. Don't want to speak too soon but yes, for something so low its ridable. It seems to be true that taking all the weight off the back end and the sixteen inch wheels actually make it chuckable, but I'm not going to the one to chuck it!
The style of handlebars and the sideways movement in the seat springs makes it feel a queasy bit snakey when I let go the throttle but it powers through corners great. The small front wheel gives it a bit of a helpful tip, which I hate in sports-bikes but is quite useful when sitting at wheel level.
I turned up at Blue Chalet MOTs opposite Brands Hatch and it sailed straight thru. Really nice people there with some really beautiful old Harleys. A guy there, and a few people since have guessed that the engine as a lot bigger than it is. I think its cos of the small wheels, and the overall scale of the bike making the engine look bigger. Its certainly a lot smaller than it looks in the photographs.
Tax is coming Monday. I got up to about sixty five on the way back to London which is plenty and plenty noisy. It felt fine around town though I'd like a better mirror and will look into some small indicators. I didn't grin when I rode it but once I got safely home, I haven't stopped grinning since. Its leaking a bit of oil and I need to sort the clutch a bit but I am a happy bunny.
Before I picked the bike up I grabbed a lock at a really nice shop in the Kings Road called Gorgeous Bikes. You would think being on the kings Road it would be expensive and snooty but it was neither, the guy who runs it is a real enthusiast about everything he sells. I picked up a cover there as well but its way too big. Hopefully I can change it. I have covered the bike temporarily with ripped ton bags to protect it from the South London haters, should be OK. I'll find out eh.
On Ebay at the moment a crazy long chop with a GSX750 engine. A highly individual, stylish machine. No idea how you would get the thing round corners though. You'd have to stick to roads made by the Romans or book corners well in advance.
Also, not really a bobber or a chopper if you consider the definition of either to include a hard tail, but still a stylish and very ridable custom bike nonetheless, an XJ750 with Vmax bits on ebay here
To complete the set, also in black an evil looking FJ1200 chop on ebay here