The A 59ers


 GSX 750W INAZUMA

aka SUZUN the SUZUKI

The best kept secret in the biking world is how MCN described this bike when it first hit the market. Now a little dated and not many really considered as having enough grunt .... a mere 750 I hear you sneer. Well you twist the throttle on one and see your face break into a smile . This is a mean business bike.!! Low enough for women and gutsy enough for men with a decent sized tank on it that see's you returning a good 200 mile two up, unless of course you open it up and then it just drinks the fuel.

Engine block is the same as the Bandit but there the similarity ends because believe you me there aint  many Bandit parts to fit it, and genuine Suzuki parts are an arm and whole head never mind the leg !! it is a naked retro and as such can make a really classy streetfighter, but for me it is my "silver dream machine" it suits being naked and is like the sniper hiding away in the bush...incognito... until you turn that key and it blows yer socks off,!!!!

Having said that this bike does what it says on the tin or tank "Pure Motorcycle Concept" it do say and it do it soooo nice too, a true workhorse with a buck or three in it, you have to be just a tad careful with the "wicked " throttle. A lot of folk have looked at my SUZUN the SUZUKI with scorn until they see just what it will do. They are becoming something of a rarity and it seems a great shame they are no longer made, my opinion is they are very underated and those that own them like them, parting with them for a bigger bike then two weeks down the line saying awwww I wish I 'd never got rid of my GSX 750 .

INAZUMA means Lightening in Japanese ..they have a few good ideas do these Japanese......this is one of 'em.

For a mid range smallish bike this will do whatever your little heart desires.....and then some..it is a good second bike after your learners.main thing with it is you can ENJOY it. Load it up fill it up and f*** off !!!!

SPECIFICATIONS

4 CYLINDER IN LINE air cooled ENGINE 400 / 600/750 /1200 cc versions were made from 1998 - 2002 with the 400 sold only in Japan. Chain driven. Grey Import . Weight 443lbs. Wet clutch .Wheelbase 1470mm.

COMMENTS

 Does benefit from a bigger back tyre and is heavy when fully loaded  with fuel.

 

 
 
 

HONDA X4 1300

MEAN N MOODY

 

"I probably won't need you tonight, dear," said the gentleman to his wife as he stared lasciviously at Honda's remarkable X4, throttle hand twitching. Yes, he was smitten, and no, she didn't think he was being particularly funny. Odd thing is, I don't think he was trying to be.

What is the X4? If there has to be a class title, maybe "power cruiser" would be the name at the head of the attendance column. Members of the class are relatively few: Yamaha's V-Max - the class bully - is the oldest and toughest of the group, Honda's own Magna VF750C is a charter member, there's Suzuki's V-twin Marauder, and um, maybe Triumph's Speed Triple. That's about it; a select schoolyard gang indeed.............SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO..........

 
 

What is the X 4 ? well now that is like saying what is a steak, do you like 'em runnin red or crispy black? The Honda Exhibiton 4 is a hell of a beast in bike's clothing, it could be anything you want it to be. for sure it grabs your bollox and send shockwaves thru your anus when you red line it , believe me it is AWESOME and then some!! A power cruiser , a muscle bike a sodding raging bull or a sleek black cat mmmm it is all of this and quite a beasty on the quiet.Honda originally called it the Exhibiton 4 but soon it became the X4  and it suits you sir if you like having wrist breaking power at the slightest twist ot the throttle. 

 

    

Introducing it into the US this bike was drag racer insipired and looks and power combine to make it very attractive -- with a bit of V Max look and a lump of a CBR 1000 engine refined ? yes refined to produce 88.9lb-ft of torque !!! you have to think about where you would LIKE it to go before you unleash the tear jerking power ..it will blow your dentures out of your gob if you forgot the glue... the fastest thing from 0 -60 mph it sure does live up to it's drag racer lineage. Tuned for the limit in Japan of a voluntary 100mph the low down grunt will yank your arms out so yes there is a reason for the deep cut seat !!!  Oh yes and it doesn't do slow ............at all well.

In the past the Japanese designers have spoken about creating machine profiles in the shape of hunting animals crouched for action, the X4 is hunkered down ready to spring , yeah , a big black shape like the Hound of the Baskervilles waiting to devour the unsuspecting fool that throws a leg over it.

 A bit like the rodeo broncs this bike means to maim you should you dare not respect it. yeah it makes your boxers grap your bollox and shoot up your arse to hide.

Having said all of that it is a very smooth quiet ride and has the feeling of never giving up ..whatever you ask of it...not without a couple of if's and but's... one of which is it is VERY thirsty and the other you need a small Japanese type pillion person unless you alter the seat and the pegs. the wheelbase is a bit long ( 1.650.mm) so cornering at low speed is frightening until you get used to it . It doesn't feel heavy or clumsy once it's moving but it has no center stand and if it went over look for at least 5 big lads to help pick it up.!!!

A good way to describe this powerful beast would be to say if Mad Max went to finishing school this bike would be his ride.

SPECIFICATIONS

Liquid cooled DOHC in line four 1284 cc weight 594 lbs 4 x Carbs Humungous stainless double exhausts like huge trumpets . Chain driven. Cooling system liquid.

COMMENTS

Very thirsty refill every 100 miles light on tank not very reliable. Very heavy . Pillion pegs very high might need seat filling a couple of inches to save knee strain. Ride is so smooth and quiet . Large exhausts very expensive. Clunky Honda gearbox is a bit off putting. Would have benefitted from a shaft drive. Imported so headlight is on all the time.

 
 
 
 
 

 YAMAHA XV 535 VIRAGO

THE ANGRY WOMAN ?

 The Virago is one of the nicest factory customs on the market,with huge finnings on the cylinders making it look a lot bigger than it really is. With a weight of 400lbs it is easy enough for the vertically challenged to touch the ground and move it about. This is why it is so popular with women riders and men who just want a smallish bike to hack about on. It is a looker and is often mistaken for it's big brother the 1000 to be fair they are virtually the same and often the 535 is the better of the two.

Pullback bars and stacked pipes bobbed rear mudguard and forks that are straight from Easyrider all make this a very attractive machine, the chrome spoked wheels are a pain in the arse to keep clean but if you own a cruiser it's part of the image, spending hours polishing "your baby". !!

Why this gentle middleweight cruiser should be given the name of a Virago --which literally translated from the Greek means an angry woman--is beyond me unless it is to do with the fast changes this bike can make through the gears. It does not seem to deserve this name but then it is quite catchy . The 535 cc Vtwin pumps out 44bhp at 7500rpm, not enough to tear your arms out but plenty in a headwind of 80mph. It can shift when needs be and I have had one Dave Barker take me out at 104mph when he had just had his 535 dynojetted so don't be fooled into thinking this bike won't pick it's feet up , cos it will !!!!

Unlike most cruisers this has plenty of ground clearance and you don't need to stand on the kerb to mount up, it is a pocket rocket on the QT and a faie bit underestimated. The Virago has a well deserved reputation for being reliable in all weathers, with a low centre of gravity and easy handling it is a big hit with lady riders.But there is a downside the pillion seat is not that generous so make sure your pillion has a small bum!!!!

It is unique in being one of the few smaller cruiser-style motorcycles available with a shaft drive instead of a chain or belt final drive system, this model was discontinued in 2001 and the STAR series took over from it.  Its heavily-chromed body styling is also distinctive. the azureblue colourway as standard is another feature of the Virago. For sure this small cruiser is a bit of a bruiser !!!!!

SPECIFICATIONS

V twin four stroke engine also 125/ 400/750/1100. single disc front brake expanding back brake, weight 401.2 lbs, seat height 28 inches 5 speed gearbox , air cooled system.

COMMENTS

There is nothing to dislike about this pocket rocket , problems incurred with set up of valves not easy to adjust without a dyno but otherwise good all round solid individual.

 
 
 
 
 
 

NORMA'S CLASSIC KAWASAKI ZEPHYR 750 

 

 
 

Based on the old air cooled GPz 750 ( which was a cracker I know 'cos I had one ) this 8 valve 4 cylinder 738cc lump is reasonably punchy in its midrange. Which is where you want the power in a retro bike. Making its peak torque around 7000rpm which is enough to scare you all the way to 120 mph with a claimed 75bhp.

It is comfortable to ride and has excellent front brakes which do cause the forks to dive a bit... if you anchor on so it is much better to not grab too much of it in one go !! The bike is based aorund the original Z1 with the paintwork and the extra chromed parts all giving it that 70's look, the Classic is the one to have in the green Z1 trim it looks great, most bikers who know their stuff will argue that the Z1 is the one you should have bought for that bit more coin, however this suits the lady rider to a tee.

THE Zephyr needs a dry sunny day to go riding if you want to keep it looking pristine and holding it's value. A good blast in the salt on a winter's day out will ruin it. But having said that otherwise this bike is pretty much bullet -proof mechanically so it does make a cheap commuter. Seat height is only 780mm so well suited to the inside leg on most lady riders.

 
 
 
 
 
 

With a top speed of around 135mph it is fast enough for the good all round bike that it is, when this bike rolled off the line that top speed was quite fast enough. A quarter mile acceleration in 12.4 seconds won't blow your mind but will give that feeling of kicking up a gear...... the thing does shift!!. Quite heavy at 212 kgs ( around 450 lbs ) this bike has a steel tubular frame and no front suspension adjustment.it does however have 76 bhp giving it 46ftlb of torque so let's just say for an oldie it doesn't dawdle.!!!!

SPECIFICATIONS

Model History 1992 Zephyr 750 launched in the UK Engine 8 valve in line 4. 5 gears. fuel capacity 17 litres average fuel consumption 40 mpg with a tank range of about 135 miles. Insurance group 9. Tyres 120/70/17 front 150/70/17 rear. No front suspension adjustment Rear preload.

1996 Zephyr Classic appears in Z1 paintwork, this version with wire spoked wheels and two tone paint job.

1998 Model discontinued

Other versions :-

Zephyr 750 Classic

Zephyr 1100 bigger engined brother

 

COMMENTS

It has a bit of a bad reputation for rust and not quite living up to the Z1, but all things considered this grand mid range bike is pretty much bullet proof and mechancially sound so if you find one in as good a nick as Norma's ---- bite the hand off the seller and don't tell him/her where you live ...........!!!!!

STEVO'S V N 1500 Mean Streak

 Kawasaki's Kool Kruiser  

 
 
 
 

 For sure Stevo is a fan of Kawasaki motorcycles his first big bike being the VN 800 aka the Purple Penetrator went all over the place but he did have some problems with annoying electrics and decided a new bike would rekindle the flame. Sooooo what did he get ..... well hard to tell when the love affair began with the Mean Streak.... but at the Farmyard rally 2009 he had a sit on one and the expression on his face was like a kid with too many ice-creams and not enough hands!!!!!!!!!!!

If you like the styling of this type of big cruiser then you will simply fall arse over tit in love with the Mean Streak, it does everything well and has that one element you cannot build into a bike ---- character. At some stage every biker should try a cruiser and this would be the one to convert you, like the X4 this is classed as one of the new Power Cruiser's and yes before you have to ask it does what it says on the tin !!!

On a cruiser you are supposed to sit back and cruise with the scenery drifting by , well not on this one you don't ..oh no not on your nellie, it growls at you before you put the key in and then I swear down it turns it's head and gives you that look you used to get from the men on the waltzers at the fair.........like you wanna got faster ....... well hold on tight .......... and get a decent lid with a visor that doesn't rattle or your brain will be addled by the time you get back yesssssirreee she bucks a plenty !!!!!!!! In horsey terms this would translate as "not for novice's to ride " .

Kawaski kept it  simple in building this bike -  take one big V twin and give it some welly !!!!  restyle to make the VN1500 look longer lower sleeker fitter faster more muscle firmer suspension and better brakes with lots and lots of ice cream mam --oops sorry --chrome. Bolt on some more power and ground clearance and a warning sticker ..oh no they forgot that .... heheeee you do need one . After that the bike looks preeeeeetty damn mean enough but stick some louder cans on it and add a parachute oh sorry once more .. don't want to put you off!!

The riding positon sits you into the sadlle as eveyone knows that is the best place to be, but you really need to know that this bitch has some VERY huge aggressive stopping power all you need on the front is a couple of fingers and be careful how you move them cos she don't like yer jagging her ...oh sorry once again DO NOT apply too harshly or the bike will stop and you will continue down the road on your own landing in a pile feeling like you've just been kicked in the nads by a big bull. I must stop apologiseing for this muscle bike as you will get the impression it is dangerous to ride mmmmm well let's just say it should carry a govenment warning as in START THIS AT YOUR PERIL . Seriously folks this bike has the name THE MEAN STREAK and not for nothing it's called this if ridden carelessly and by inexperienced bikers this bike WILL kill you, it has the potential to maim you badly, however if you treat it with respect and ride it with care it is the best damn thing since sex sliced bread rum n raisin ice cream and stella artois it is virtually orgasmic and will give you more pleasure than all the whores in Texas ..yeeeehaaaa. !!!

 The overall impression you get from this bike is not the usual laid back cruiser feel , more of "i'm on a mission"this bike has atitude ,turns heads and looks well, mean !!! With about 289 kg to shunt around it is not a lightweight but it feels nimble in it'shandling and gives you a fun to ride feel. Kawasaki have done good here and the braking and handling are second to none, in fact the brakes are just too keen until you get used to them.The front set up comes directly from the ZX12 with six pot Tokico's and dinner plate discs giving you the stop on a sixpence performance. At the back there is a 4 pot single so it is a really awesome combination, two fingers no sliding no mucking about you just stop !!!! Just make sure you are ready for the stop 'cos if due care and attention are not taken you will dive over those bars and down the tarmac , the beast will bite back !!!!!

The entire package of the Mean Streak is about being different it does look mean it is fun to ride it is comfortable and it goes like the wind but stops when you say it is one helluva bike, the shocks even have adjustable rebound and once you get used to the length of it and the keenness of the brakes it will go forever. Stevo can vouch for this as he did the ride from Skye to home in just about 8 hrs stopping only for fuel and riding without the usual complaints of numb bum and wind swept facial. Love it or hate it is is certainly a new breed of cruiser and right now there can't be many to rival it.

SPECIFICATIONS

Engine 1470 cc liquid cooled 8 valves on the VN 1500 Mean Streak , power 72ps 5 speed gears in a double cradle frame, Suspension 43mm inverted telescopic fork and adjustable rear shocks. brakes front Dual semi floating 320mm dsics with 6 piston calipers Rear single 300mm disc. Wheelbase 1705mm seat height 700mm dry weight 289 kgs.

COMMENTS

5 Star fun factor 5 star braking 5 star comfort 4 star engine 3 star handling , it is not an easy bike to manouvere at low speed on gravel or tight corners.has a lot of chrome and is not cheap on spares, but all in all it is definateley a love it or leave kinda bike --there is no middle ground -- you would either die for one or hate it on sight, my bet is you're already cashing in the pension and selling the house  !!

THE PURPLE PENETRATOR VN 800 Mean Streak's baby brother . 

THE HONDA REBEL 250 ........ SMALL BUT PERFECTLY FORMED

 

This little motorcycle is very responsive when compared to other 250cc's in its class, its quick off the line and still has some power when cruising at 60 or 70. When traveling up hills however, sometimes a downshift is required, but this is to be expected especially with smaller bikes. This motorcycle is very light with a wet weight of only 329 lbs and the frame of the motorcycle would fit smaller riders and lady riders. Unfortunately if you are a larger guy, over 6 feet tall or so, you may find this little bike just a bit too cramped.

All in all I think this motorcycle is really nice,  in fact it was frequently one of the most sought after bikes for its ease of use and wide power band. Its very manueverable when negotiating low speed turns, and is great when crusing down the highway leaning into big sweepers. When all is said and done I think this motorcycle is one of the best you can get if you are looking for a cruiser style, reliable, fuel efficient , getting approx 65 /70 mpg.

Well suited to the smaller rider and perfect for giving confidence it is a useful bulletproof machine and certainly economical in the fuel and maintenance department.The Honda Rebel 250 is the perfect bike for you if you prefer more of a cruiser style motorcycle instead of a sportbike , - It is light weight and very easy to handle, plus its relaxed riding position allows you to cruise around all day in comfort. The Honda Rebel is powered by an air cooled 234cc V-twin engine, this engine has been around for decades and the engineers at Honda have perfected every inch of it. Unfortunately since this engine design has been around, it may look a little bit dated, which can be a plus or a minus depending on your perspective.

 

 
 

 SPECIFICATIONS

  • Wet weight: 329 lb.
  •  GVWR: 675 lb.
  • Seat height: 26.6 in.
  • Wheelbase: 57.1 in.
  • Overall length: 83.3 in.
  • Rake/trail: 30 degrees / 4.4 in.
  • Handlebar width: 32.0
  • Fuel capacity: 2.6 gal.
  • Fuel mileage: 66 mpg
  • Average range: 172 miles
  • Engine type: Air-cooled, four stroke vertical twin
  • Final drive: Chain, 33/14
  • Front suspension: 33mm stanchions, 4.6 in. travel
  • Rear suspension: Two dampers, 2.9 in. travel, adjustable for preload
  • Wheels: Wire-spoke, 1.85 x 18 in. front, 2.75 x 15 in. rear
  • COMMENTS

    This 250 is the ideal bike to ride after just passing your test, it will give confidence while getting you there with no problems or worries. It does what it says and needs little TLC just fill her up and let her rip.

     

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