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Hello everyone

Posted: Mon May 01, 2017 10:15 am
by Crimson
I live near London, and the old XJ I recently acquired is my third bike. I started riding a very long time ago (2003), and stopped almost as soon as I began, as 3 small bikes I owned were stolen in the space of a year! In those days I lived IN London. That's London for you.. It was a bike theft hotspot even then. Anyway, life got in the way of getting my full bike licence for a very long time after that! In the UK it's quite an involved process, but I just kept procrastinating, until I eventually got around to it in 2015. I first bought an old CG125 - an absolutely great bike that's just a bit too short on power to be safe on British roads. Then a Kawasaki ER5. Modified and rode the hell out of it - did 10K miles on that thing in one year, and for the UK that's really quite a lot. However it didn't satisfy all my expectations. Unlike the CG, it's a nightmare to work on, and the quality is poor. A complicated engine that really needs lots of servicing, built inside a bike that makes it very difficult to get access to it, especially as it gets older. A major theme with me and bikes is that they aren't just riding tools. They're learning tools. As I don't know anything about engines, and don't have a tech background, it was an achievement for me to learn to do basic things adjust the valve clearances, as well as things like split the engine. Also, when I goofed up my carburettor, it was a good learning experience fixing it. Those sorts of things give you a sense of achievement. Unfortunately, with bikes like the ER5, with water cooling and a presumption of dealer servicing (and possibly built-in obsolescence or lifespan), you only learn about things when they go wrong.

Happy with my XJ600S so far, as it's shown a glimmer of hope that I might be able to continue on my learning path about engines and motorcycles. Even though it's an older bike, its components and finish are of sufficient quality to not be rotted enough to merit Plus Gas for everything, or to risk shearing things. You can even reach the spark plugs without a specialist tool on this bike! I hope to do some long-distance touring on my XJ, once I'm satisfied I've got it running like clockwork and know it inside and out. Nice to meet you all.

Re: Hello everyone

Posted: Mon May 01, 2017 10:40 am
by radare
Hello, Crimson. Thank you for the proper introduction. Welcome to XJR.

Re: Hello everyone

Posted: Mon May 01, 2017 11:37 am
by mikee112
Hi Crimson, Welcome to the forum :)

Re: Hello everyone

Posted: Mon May 01, 2017 3:09 pm
by Crimson
Thank you both.

Re: Hello everyone

Posted: Mon May 01, 2017 3:37 pm
by TonyKZ1
Hello and welcome to the site! :thumbsup: