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Kawasaki Z250SL or Z650, That Is The Question

Blog date 17th February 2019

Today was a good day on my Kawasaki Z250SL. I sometimes don't even realise how badly I need a ride until I climb on the bike, twist the throttle and set off. As I hit the first bends a feeling of immense joy courses through my whole body. This joy pushes out any cares and worries that have settled within me the past week.
I honestly feel that with the amount of pressure and upset I have had this past year with my daughter's illness and my sister's sadness after her bereavement I would have gone loopy without my bike. I certainly would be a lot sadder and a lot more stressed without it.

I know I have said it before many times but it still is so true for me, my bike is my therapy. 

Today was one of the days when you and the bike are one. You corner like a pro, your gears changes are slick and you ride it like you stole it. I carved up my favourite roads and the faster I got to go the more thrilled I was. The Kawasaki Z250SL is an absolute joy to ride. A little hooligan that has me enamoured.  

After meeting up with Ren at Orrell Motorcycle Centre I go inside to look at the bikes. I stroke the Kawasaki Z650. I really think it's a beautiful looking bike. Ren knows I like them a lot and he says he can see me with one one day. 

Hmmm I am tempted if finances allowed but the weight of the bike would always be a worry. Now I know people call them light bikes and maybe to many they are but for me it's heavy and as I get older I am getting weaker not stronger. 

But I just love that neat exhaust tucked under the bike and look at the fatter back pillion seat and ooohhh the fatter bike tyre. I love fat tyres I do. I would surely get more camping and luggage on the 650. HMMMM.

Sharon has a beaming smile sat on a white Kawasaki Z650
The Kawasaki Z650. It sure is pretty. 

Back onto the bikes and we ride through Roach Bridge, one of my favourite routes. Some tight twists and turns but also places to get the speed up and all packed into a pretty package with views. There is even a little bridge across the weir. 

Ren is pushing on some so I push on too. I am keeping up so yeah it's a good ride day. I am just feeling so good on the bike today. It takes me a long time to gel with a bike so would I really want to change it now when I'm finally feeling totally at ease with the  Z250SL?  Hmmmmm. 

We are enjoying the ride and all was well until I turn a left and something horrific appears before me.
A 30 Mph Sign.
No no no nooooo!!!!!!
Why, why, why, whhhyyyy?????
No houses, it used to be a national speed limit. Oh for goodness sake, roll off the throttle and tottle along. Spoiling all my fun.

Fortunately Ren then finds some more great back roads around Osbaldeston and Pleasington. We alternate between pottering to stare at all the lovely houses with their big garages just perfect for lots of bikes, and getting a move on for thrills. 
Then it happens again another 30 speed limit in the middle of nowhere.  

Hmmm I guess I don't need a 650cc, not around here anyhow if the speed limits keep tumbling down. I'm no speed freak but this is actually annoying. It's like I understand the need for limits in busy towns etc but it now seems to be excessive. No matter where you are you just can't hazard a guess to what your speed should be because a sudden random speed restriction can pop up anywhere. 

Annoying as the limits are they don't ruin my mood. I'm just so happy riding my bike.

We call into Rivington Barn and I spot the lovely Julie. She recently passed her Mod 2 so her very own beautiful Kawasaki Z650cc will be close by. We have a chat about the awesome feeling of getting your full bike licence and those first few rides on your big bike. Well of course Julie's bike is a much bigger bike than my big bike and she is in love with it. 

Julie is only small like me and as she has had her Z650 lowered she very kindly lets me sit on it for size. Julie's Kawasaki Z650 is a beauty. It feels height wise the same as mine. Sat on it wiggling it side to side the weight is well balanced and manageable. However  trying to paddle it backwards while sat astride the bike is when the weight difference becomes apparent. I'm not going anywhere. Hmmm. 

I climb onto mine and paddle it back. I can't push it backwards over a blockpaving ridge but I can manoeuvre it about so I can then ride it forward over the ridge. Now if I was on the 125cc I could push it backwards over the ridge. On the 250 cc I can manoeuvre around the ridge. On a 650cc would I have been stuck? Hmmm. 

More fun riding follows and Ren pulls into a side road as we say our goodbyes before going our separate ways back to our own homes. We have to turn the bikes around to go back onto the main road. I am already off the bike so I grab the handlebars and walk it around. I wonder how that would have faired with the 650. Hmmmm. 

I ride home, finding my favourite route fairly traffic free - wahooo! I swing into the bends and give a nod to the golden setting sun on my right and the rising silvery moon on my left. Moon to the left of me, sun to the right, here I am stuck in the middle with my bike... amazing, such joy.

I arrive home as darkness descends with a big grin on my face. What a fantastic day's riding. I get my bike through my narrow gate by tilting her to one side. I heave ho her over the lip across the entrance of my shed. Could I gave done that with a 650 all by myself. Hmmmm.
OK we learn to adapt. When I first got the 250 it felt heavier than if does now. It used to take me about 5 attempts before I could get it pushed back over the lip on the shed. But we all must have a natural limit to our own strength. Hmmmmm. 

I guess ideally I need to borrow at 650 for a month or so. See if it's liveable for me. I could test ride it but I need to know I can actually live with it. But that's not going to happen in reality.

I pat my lovely little Envy goodnight as I lock it up for night. You know what I don't want another bike right now. Right now I seem to be very very fortunate in having the right bike for me at this time. A bike that gives me immense pleasure and one that thrills me. 

As I peel of my bike gear I notice the pain in my arm. My neck creaks as I bend to take off my boots. My feet burn and throb. Pain returns. It's not my bike that causes the pain it actually makes me forget it. OK sometimes I feel it still when riding but I can focus on the road ahead rather than the pain. I'm not sure what these new aches are. Is it my schwannomatosis, the menopause or my newly diagnosed hypermobility/Eds? Maybe it's just age as one thing is for sure, I am getting older and things hurt that never used to. I am acutely aware I may be running out of bike fit time. So I am so very grateful for the great ride I had today. These times are very precious. 

As I snuggle into bed I ponder the 650cc question. Do I want one because it's the expected course, the bigger the better mentality. I don't think so, I've never been one to follow expected courses. I know I love the look of the Kawasaki Z650, as I said I really like the small tucked away exhaust. 

I have also noticed that there are times now when I do ask the Z250SL for a bit extra and she has already given her all. Now these times are rare, most of the time, surprisingly for its size Envy is rarely found lacking. Motorways just fine, around town is great, through the bends it's amazing.  Hills, that is where she sometimes runs out of ccs. So yes in an ideal world a few more ccs might be what I want but those ccs come with the price of extra weight. It is an imperfect world. My aches beg the question can my body take extra strain. Hmmm.
As I close my eyes and recall today's ride I have to admit today was pretty close to perfect and I love my Envy to the moon and back even if in reality she not got enough rocket power to get us there. 

650cc hmmm maybe one day but not yet my friend not yet...and maybe never???

Envy the green Z250SL set against night skies and the illuminated garden
Envy might not get me to the moon but she has taken me to Scotland and Spain. That will do girl, that will do.

If you'd like to share your 2 wheeled dilemma contact

Reader's Comments

Pocketpete said :-
Omg big bike envy. Been there struggled with it on many levels. I think I've managed to banish it to the distant past and I've settled into the 500x as a reasonable bike. One of the worse things is going into bike shops such as millennium and seeing the big bikes. It's just not right for the soul.

Especially when I think that 650 royal enfield looks lovely. Oh it's not that expensive.

Or even oh i like that Harley with the black shiny wheels oh it's only 14grand....

But really they only go on the same roads and the same speeds stuck in the same traffic. So why bother changing.

You will still see the moon and sun.

My advice is to get a helmet communication system and chat to ren as drive along. I'm sure it will change riding forever.

'The moon embracing the sun' as the old Chinese goes.

25/02/2019 11:16:17 UTC
Upt'North said :-
Sharon, I think it's a bit rich saying "you love your fat tyre", Ren's got feelings you know.
It's a long while since I've ridden a "smaller" bike but I do like the planted feel that a bit more size provides. But I know I've said it before, I say I know I've said it before, is a 250 a small motorcycle, I think not, and as for PP and Eds 500's who decided they weren't good sized bikes.
We are all drawn and seduced by the media to want bigger and better things, 60 inch TV's etc, but do they really enhance our lives or just help us feel more connected to this barmy modern world.
You enjoy your 250 and if anyone calls it small let your fat tyre sort them out.
25/02/2019 13:26:47 UTC
Rod said :-
Sharon, I am having a similar Dilemma! But with myself I have other doubts, Is it the bike or is it the ageing process?

When I purchased the Suzuki Inazuma 250F it seemed to tick all of the boxes, now 18 months on I have some serious doubts.

Between six and nine months ago I was feeling that the bike was restricting my riding and at that point if the opportunity to sell had arisen I would have sold the bike.
But was it the bike or am I just getting old, and yearning for the good old days or bikes I have owned in the past?

So is the bike fast enough?
Yes, 99% of the time it is fast enough.

Is the bike uncomfortable for distance?
No, the bike is the most comfortable bike I have owned.

Is the fuel tank range rubbish for touring?
No, The fuel range is well over 200miles even towing a trailer.

So, What is the problem (if there is one)?

The bike is fast enough most of the time, but it is not powerful enough. The bike has very disappointing overtaking ability, and at normal road speeds I find that the bike revs much higher than I am comfortable with.
I have tried to get around these issues by riding on roads where I enjoy riding the bike, which are small 'A' roads and 'B' roads.
But this is restricting my riding! My normal annual mileage is between 5500 and 6000 miles, but I am now covering fewer than 3000 miles a year.

Am I ready for another bike?

The K1600GT???

This bike would do everything I asked of it, but it is very heavy, very expensive, and very thirsty. I sold my big touring bike almost 7years ago partially because of the weight!

Am I a cc snob?

I have done the 'Ren' list of bike requirements, 125 economy, performance of a 1000cc plus sports bike luggage capacity of a Goldwing ect, but all bikes are a compromise.
Do I need two bikes? This is not really an option as I do not have the space.

So Sharon, what I will say is if you go for the 650 you will find it very difficult to go back to a 250.

I still love riding the 250, but not to go any distance on at Motorway speeds, and definitely not two up!!!

25/02/2019 14:09:34 UTC
Borsuk said :-
I trained for my test on a Z 650. Nice bike, accelerates like hell if you really wind out the throttle (compared to a 125 that is), which I only did on my way back from my test to catch up with the rest of the group. Not that I deliberately let a load of cars get between them and me just before joining the dual carriage way.
Looking at the photo of you on the 650 Sharon you must have legs all the way up to your neck as my heels are only millimetres nearer the ground than yours and I am on the balls of my feet like you, I think that´s due to my weight pulling the bike down more. So you are a long legged hobbit.


"My advice is to get a helmet communication system and chat to ren as drive along. I'm sure it will change riding forever."

You realise Ren will hate you forever for this suggestion and you might have to find a new mechanic, I think you will find "The foot kicking the arse" is a more appropriate Chinese symbolism. :-).
25/02/2019 15:00:25 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Upt'North - Always have a spare tyre with you, you never know when you might need it.

As for a comms system. Ermmmm. No.
26/02/2019 08:59:36 UTC
Sharon said :-
the only time I really want to talk to Ren on a ride is when I want to say I need a wee. I just have to wait until a red traffic light to pass on the info so we manage. We both appreciate the just me time of being on the bike alone in our own helmets.

I dont think I will ever see sexy fat tyres in quite the same way now.

I think what you say ..
"Sharon, what I will say is if you go for the 650 you will find it very difficult to go back to a 250."
Is very true. I was only saying myself the other day that what you never had you never miss. So I am aware that once you go bigger you could very easily lose the love for the small. The need to make a small light big bike, sort all our problems.

I am no long legged hobbit. I wish. No what you see there is Daytona boots with the hidden 2 inch heels. I really need 4 inches then I really could touch the ground.

26/02/2019 09:47:39 UTC
Ian Soady said :-
I confess I miss the urge of the 955i Tiger, however the only real advantage it had was being able to overtake with a mere twist of the wrist. However, what I didn't like was its weight. As time went on and I became progressively more feeble, a tall heavy motorcycle just didn't make me enthusiastic about getting it out to go for a ride. Fine once on the road; much less so when shuffling it about on the drive or getting in / out of a tight parking space. And let's face it, you have to do these every time you go out.

My two (relatively) low powered 500s are ideal for now although there will no doubt be a time when even they are too much to handle and I go for something smaller and lighter. The Chinese 400s are attractive as are many of the 250s and even 125s although they may be a step too far.

But I appreciate I'm in my dotage compared to many here - although there's a refreshing lack of the "bigger is better attitude" in this place.
26/02/2019 10:39:18 UTC
CrazyFrog said :-
Well, I'm just in the process of reducing my collection from three - 2011 Jawa 350, 1995 KLE500 and 1993 MZ SilverStar 500 to just two - 2011 Jawa 350 and 2016 Jawa 350.

Having ridden the 2011 Jawa almost exclusively for the last year it ticks all my boxes. The only maintenance I've had to do is to adjust and lube the chain once, and replace the 1L or gearbox oil. That's it, no coolant to change or hours spent dismantling the bike to get at the valves because there aren't any. It's fast enough to cruise at 65mph on the motorway with enough left for a quick blast up to 75 to clear slower moving traffic, It has a full set of Givi luggage for camping trips away and on a run it'll do 60 - 65mpg which is fantastic for a basic two stroke designed in the 1940's. Bits are also stupidly cheap. A new carburetor is about £30 and a pair of rear shocks about £60 for example. Tyres are similarly cheap and easy to replace yourself which means you can get those great internet baragins without having to worry about finding somewhere to fit it.

Sure, in fantasy land, I'd like something like a W650 or one of the new 650 Enfields, but the Jawa hits 99.9% of my biking needs. I like it so much I'm buying another!

It's all about how much extra fun you think a bigger bike would give you, and whether or not you are willing to pay for it both in terms of weight, the expense of buying and the expense of running. We're all different, and only you can decide!
26/02/2019 13:40:23 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
I. Like OMG. I... I've had a look at the Jawa page. Parts = cheap. Models = basic but effective. The whole attitude is fix it yourself. But 2 stroke. Why 2 stroke. Simple, I know. But 2 stroke!! Imagine how good they'd be if they were 4 stroke options.
26/02/2019 13:57:09 UTC
Ian Soady said :-
There are......

but they're a bit more expensive than much of the competition (eg Mash)

which use much the same engine etc. I actually prefer the Mash's styling and having had a short test ride a few years ago liked the bike quite a lot.

26/02/2019 14:23:04 UTC
Ian Soady said :-
BTW Pete - why do you feel you need 2 virtually identical bikes?
26/02/2019 14:24:21 UTC
CrazyFrog said :-
I know it sounds a bit daft Ian, but one is naked with just a top box, and the other has a full fairing and full luggage. I can split the workload between the two, and if ever one of them is off the road for any reason I'm still mobile. I also like to hold a small stock of common spares for my bikes, and obviously I now only need to keep one lot of these spares....
26/02/2019 15:27:05 UTC
Ian Soady said :-
Makes (some sort of) sense....

But you realise you'll be chucked out of the thumper club now? Tar and feathers will have nothing on it.
26/02/2019 16:15:08 UTC
Upt'North said :-
Jawa, JAWA! Who'd have thought it, didn't know they were still imported and sold here.
And 4T as well Ed. Although for the money it would have to be the new Enfield, wouldn't it.
Mr.Frog you realise we want pictures.
26/02/2019 17:02:47 UTC
Pocketpete said :-
Ian - two identical bikes well similar in power but different in looks and ride. The harleys would be different.

I've had a few similar bikes in the past but they have always had different feel.

For example just been for a test ride on the new cb500x its actually quite different from mine it feels different yet I know the engines virtually identical. In fact most of its the same. But feels weird. The clutch is different so is the sound. Thinking of a test on the 650 this weekend.
26/02/2019 17:03:28 UTC
Snod said :-
Not to derail this comments section or anything but I'd love to know from CrazyFrog why an MZ Silverstar is not the most bestest perfectest bike ever? I've wanted one for ages but they make mega dosh on ebay for what they are.

As for big bikes and going back to small bikes I consistently go back to the small stuff, more fun to ride a slow bike fast and all that. Plus I'm tight so the cheap yet long lived tyres and the better MPG always put a smile on my face!
26/02/2019 17:53:52 UTC
CrazyFrog said :-
The SilverStar is indeed a lovely bike, almost the perfect bike. That's the issue though in a way, it's so nice I'm reluctant to ride it in the rain or go away on it for the weekend or do anything other than just go out for the occasional blast. I've also owned it for about 3 or 4 years, which is a long time for me, so it's time to let somebody else have the enjoyment.

I want around the £2,000 for mine if you're interested.
27/02/2019 09:18:17 UTC
Ross said :-
Sharon, if you REALLY want a Z650 go for it, life's too short...if it doesn't work out and you end up loosing confidence or dropping it a few times you can always trade back down to something smaller. I'm guessing, weight-wise it's similar to Ren's 500 Honda (?), could you have a practice to see if you could manhandle (womenhandle?) it in and out of your garden and shed?'d give you an idea of if it's physically possible, perhaps?

What's that old saying about power corrupts and large powerful motorcycles corrupt absolutely...I may have misquoted that!
27/02/2019 10:43:57 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
I must admit the more power I have the more I'm tempted to use it. There are no roads in the UK where my 500 cannot easily and quickly achieve the posted speed limit, and more besides. As such if I wish to be a considerate road user as well as keep my licence even my lowly powered 500 seems overpowered save for the most steep hills with a fearsome headwind. Even then it still has power to spare.

I must remind Sharon about a comment from the weekend as posted above. She arrived at my house and stated the Z250SL is so nippy yet easy to ride that she'd inadvertently stretched the speed limit a touch before she reigned herself in. If it's that easy on a 250 imagine what she, and indeed the rest of us, would be like with big bikes.

By all means have a 650, 1000 and even 2.3 litre Triumph. They are all stunningly beautiful, powerful, impressive, and amazing. But where do you go to "stretch it's legs" and "open the taps"?

That blooming MZ Silver Star is in my head now. Rotax motor. The easiest cambelt in the world to change. I'd have to do something about them tubed tyres though. I bet it goes " thwump thwump thwump thwump thwump thwump..." What's the fuel consumption like CrazyFrog?
28/02/2019 21:34:12 UTC
Upt'North said :-
Ed, I hate it when you're right and you're always right! Damn.
There was some report, isn't there always, I think it was on Ducati sports models where they were downloading riding stats at service and it showed that the time bikes were using full throttle were miniscule, obvious but nevertheless interesting.
I personally love the feel of wringing the neck out of the beast upto the prevailing limits although also appreciate a little in reserve if the need arises. For relaxed all day cruising I do like the scenery flying passed at 3 to 4000 rpm.
But there is a big difference having a little in reserve for all prevailing conditions and 200 bhp that you simply cannot use.

28/02/2019 23:50:37 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
I doubt I'm always right Upt'North, it's more likely we share a few common opinions, that's all.

One of the things I like about owning a 125 and a 500 is the contrast.

The 125 can be ridden at full throttle through the open countryside without fear of breaking the speed limits or even being accused of dangerous riding. Even with many countryside lanes being reduced to 50mph around here the engine is at least being allowed to breath. It is so light and easy to ride, so manageable and yet it is still fun, the very essence of motorcycling.

Then the 500 is effortless. It wafts along at 60 with the engine thrumming comfortably, it is roomy and spacious then if the mood takes it can pick up the pace sufficient enough to thrill me, hopefully not too much to terrify me. There's always more on tap if needs be at legal speeds.

I think I would like to "have a go" on a 200bhp bike. For the experience, for the craich, to understand what it feels like, to know. Having ridden 140bhp machines it is odd to reach the speed limit and find there is still a LOT LOT LOT more to come. 100mph comes and goes like 40 comes and goes on a 125. Well, that what I'm guessing at least. Even having ridden these bikes at the end of it I did not find myself hankering after one.
01/03/2019 08:21:41 UTC
Tom McQ said :-
Sharon - you and Envy - it's like reading a Mills & Boon

07/03/2019 09:25:42 UTC
Glenn said :-
I have had both a left and right shoulder reconstruction over the last 2 years, causing me to sell my beloved Wee strom.
I couldn't pick my solidly built lover up, well I could but the risk of injury was....higher than I was prepared to pay.
So enter my CRF250l she is a lovely nimble girl willing and capable,but...she lacks the ability to carry myself and my gear for a week away to visit Mum, a 1000k's in the first day means I can visit Mum, and enjoy a leisurely 2 or 3 days camping holiday on the way home.
So while I wait and see about my physical capabilities after healing, and squats till I can fight gravity forever, I will still need upper body strength no matter how well my squat training goes.
I will ride my little red girl and be grateful I can.
But,all bikes are fun,there is no less value between big, small or in between.
My 150 scoot is a hoot in her own right.
There is a difference between big and small,it may only be that ability to just roll the throttle and feel that lazy, push of just plain grunt....
that shortens the distance between you and the horizon in a remarkable nanosecond.
Completely understandable desire Sharon, enjoy the struggle to choose.
Rod, you tow a trailer with a Inazuma 250?
07/03/2019 10:36:17 UTC
Borsuk said :-
Nice one Tom. I can just imagine Envy`s bosom heaving and the obligatory ripped bodice, though in this case it would be the half unlaced radiator guard.
07/03/2019 13:01:13 UTC
Rod said :-
Hi Glenn,
Yes a 250 will tow a trailer without any problems.
Points to consider are :
The speed limits 50mph on single carriageway roads, and 60mph on duel carriageways and motorways.
The weight limit for towing is 2/3rds of the bikes weight.
If you do go for a trailer, the best advice I can give is do not over inflate the tyres. I run 18psi when loaded and a lower pressure when empty. If you run higher pressures the trailer will bounce!
07/03/2019 14:59:19 UTC
Mark Collins said :-
Sharon the problem often is that the bikes we love the looks of are not always the best to have, denise found that 1 out after a brief love affair with a Kawasaki z750s.
After a few hundred miles it had taken its toll, I cant tell you exactly how many times I picked that machine up off the deck or had to manouevre it around cos I've not got enough fingers n toes.
We hunted for a new bike for a while and after trying her lowered BMW f650gs she has never looked back, she can ride it all day long and then some.
She gained enough confidence to do a certified iron butt ride and is now a member, which is something she may not have achieved on any other machine she had.
So go for what is comfy and work around it, after all most bikes will do a RTW.
07/03/2019 16:02:50 UTC
Mark Collins said :-
Sharon the problem often is that the bikes we love the looks of are not always the best to have, denise found that 1 out after a brief love affair with a Kawasaki z750s.
After a few hundred miles it had taken its toll, I cant tell you exactly how many times I picked that machine up off the deck or had to manouevre it around cos I've not got enough fingers n toes.
We hunted for a new bike for a while and after trying her lowered BMW f650gs she has never looked back, she can ride it all day long and then some.
She gained enough confidence to do a certified iron butt ride and is now a member, which is something she may not have achieved on any other machine she had.
So go for what is comfy and work around it, after all most bikes will do a RTW.

07/03/2019 16:05:32 UTC
Dave said :-
The wife and I went to pick up her new Keeway 125 - The only bike she can straddle right now. As we arrive a guy on a huge Ducati turns (his rear tyre is a foot wide) up and tells about his dual with a Norton street triple:- "He bottled it at 134MPH." No mate, I think. That was license preservation mode kicking in.

We can all wish to go quicker, but can we do it legally and can we get it round corners? What we actually need is more courses. I would take being ace over simple brute force any day.
10/03/2019 23:18:47 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
It is remarkably easy to exceed 100mph on a modern 600cc plus motorcycle. There's little skill involved. Twist the throttle, hang on and prey that nothing happens in the quarter mile (or more) in front of you. I agree, I'd rather ride well than fast.

Beware the definition of well. Some consider well to involve good observation, consideration for your safety and that of other road users, and a healthy, progressive but not fast or illegal pace. Others consider well to mean getting down that wriggly road in the shortest possible time.

There's always room for improvement.
11/03/2019 07:55:21 UTC
Mark Noel said :-
I share CrazyFrog's love of the Jawa 350. I have a 350 Classic, bought new from f2 Motorcycles in Wisbech two years ago (THE best bike dealer in my experience). Yes, it is essentially a 1970s machine but with sensible, incremental upgrades that make an already super machine even better for my intended purpose, i.e. gentle touring:

1 No engine oil or filter to change.

2 Fully enclosed chain.

3 Electronic ignition.

4 Kick or electric start.

5 Low revving, torquey motor that pulls like a tractor from 1500 rpm.

6 Powerful front disc brake.

7 Pumped two stroke oil, so no need to brew premix in the tank.

And then there is the light and nimble handling, fork gaiters, auto-clutch, centre and side stands, cheap spares and 76 mpg, with enough range to out-distance most so-called 'adventure bikes'. The fit, finish and quality is great too.

One day I might contribute a piece about this machine which will probably be my preferred mount on another longer ride. Unless, that is, I instead step aboard my 12 HP 125 turbo bike. Heck, imagine what it is like when you hit the power band at 9000 rpm and in no time at all you can be doing 35 miles per hour. Jeepers!
16/02/2020 16:56:33 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
I would like a Jawa 350 with a nice sensible 4 stroke. Blooming "ringa-ding ding ding" pfffft. Honda 400 single be about right.

125cc turbo? But turbo lag? No I'm thinking twin scroll supercharger for the 125. Might even manage 37mph uphill.
17/02/2020 09:06:26 UTC
Mark Noel said :-
I was very tempted by the pretty Jawa 350 OHC, which is similar to the Mash 400, with the same frame, forks and smooth Honda engine, but with improvements to the tank and side panels by Jawa, plus the extensive Jawa QC.

However, on closer inspection there are some things that I did not like: no possibility of fitting a centre stand; no proper rear mudguard (just a beak); front wheel bigger than the rear (why?); ugly exhaust with sausages in the downpipes. Folks that I have asked in the club are very pleased with the machine and, of course, f2 Motorcycles are the best dealer you will ever come across, so support will be good. If these issues are not important to you then go for it.

If a centre stand could somehow be fitted then it might yet become an option for me ... subject to the funds being released by the Head of Domestic Finance. We would have to cut back to only five course meals though, with less wine.
20/05/2020 08:56:40 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
No proper rear mudguard? You'll have to help me out here... when I google Jawa 350 OHC images I see this - as below. That seems to have a full a proper rear mudguard so I assume we're not on the same page.

Yes a centre stand would see obvious. They aren't ESSENTIAL but I sure do find them handy.

Sorry to hear about your fiscal struggles. The model as pictured sells for £4,600 at F2 according to their website. A bottle of Dom Perignon is currently about £140 so that's 33 bottles you'll have to go without. That's a lot of shampers that, probably about 10 week's worth. I have to ask, is it worth the sacrifice.

Other than that it's actually a lovely thing.
Posted Image
20/05/2020 12:11:22 UTC
Mark Noel said :-
Yes, it is indeed a luvverly looking bike and it is always sublime looks that first attract the male ....

Not having actually seen the machine in person I have watched several Youtube videos which seem to show that the rear mudguard 'beak' starts only at the tail end of the seat leaving a gap for all the road dirt to be thrown onto the rear of the engine and the toolbox.

OK this could probably be rectified with some sort of cover or replacement mudguard. As regards the differing wheel sizes f2 tell me that fitting a matching 19" back wheel causes the tyre to touch the underside of the tool box when hitting bumps. I note that on the cafe racer version front and back wheels are both 18". We'll do that then.

So some things might be sortable but the deal breaker for me is the lack of centre stand. I cannot imagine life without a centre stand which seem to be lacking on most modern machines in order not to distract from the style. Mebbee the existing downpipes could be changed to non-sausage 2-into-2 classic versions and some bracket added underneath to fit a stand but, hey, I will look at a new Velo Solex instead, they seem to offer much more fun, more performance and much less hassle. Made in Europe too, not China.
17/06/2020 09:09:00 UTC

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