Robert Crane's site

My little place on the Interweb

I was never really interested in motorbikes as a child and I don't know of anyone in my immediate family that was either so I don't really know where the interest came from.

It most likely stems from going out to Tyttenhanger Green with Phil LIttle and his mates who all rode bikes


Below are the various bikes I have owned throughout the years. As this is written (Oct 2011) I still own three bikes although one is a non-runner (the KTM)!


From (15) March 2011-present

With the demise of the reliable Zx636, it was time for a new bike and after the brief departure from Kawaski's with the KTM, I decided to go back to what I knew and what I liked.

As a new ZX6R was just about to be released, I approached a couple of companies, one on the Isle of Man and the other near Southampton.

With a very small margin of dfference I decided to buy from a local dealer hence I became the first purchaser from the new Kawasaki franchise run by Jason Griffiths in Castletown.


Now came the arduous and extremely boring job of running it in so it could have its first service before I went away - only some 10 days away!

There are only so many roads on the Island and even working out the longest coastal route there is, it took about 10 laps of the Island to reach 600 miles!

Serviced and ready to go, I left the Island on 29th March for the first trip away on my new toy.



From: (17) March 2003-present


The first non-Kawasaki bike I ever bought.

Up until this bike, everyone had been a Kawasaki




From (19) April 2002 - March 2011

Officially identified as a Zx600-A1p, I purchased this on 19th April 2002 from MotorcylesPlus in High Wycombe. I part-exchanged my ZXr750 for £2695 and paid £4000.


This bike took me on a number of journeys and was transferred from London to the Isle of Man when I moved in December 2007, although it followed later when the weather improved around April 2008.


It's penultimate journey was to the Outer Hebrides in July & August 2010. During this trip, it performed adequately but on the return journey from Glen Coe to Dumfries and Galloway where I was helping to Celebrate Rod Pettigrew's 50th birthday, the gear linkages jammed and I had to complete the journey using only 3rd & 4th gears. Luckily, ? in ? managed to collect and fix it before I had to ride it home but it was getting old now and I didn't want any more breakdowns on my journeys away.


Its final journey was another trip to Westport and Ennis in September followed by South Wales...



KMX 125 - 1997

From 1997-2010


My first KMX had been such a great bike but was ageing and I needed a run-around for the Isle of Man so I retired it there and therefore needed a replacement for London. Another KMX sounded ideal!


However, this one was to take nearly a year to run-in as I broke my leg in September 1997 while I was riding it home one evening.




My first big GREEN Kawaskai. After all, what other colour should a Kawasaki be?


KMX 125

From: 1992-present

After getting rid of my KE175, I still needed a small run-around for London and to use to commute. One of the mechanics at Powerhouse, Richard, had one of these and let me take it for a ride. I immediately liked it and bought one!


In 1997 I moved this bike to my new house in the Isle of Man where it still lives although is definitely showing the signs of wear!



A different colour again - Blue this time!



From: (16) November 1985 - 1989/90

Cost: £3199.00

Reg: C209 BYK

Mileage: c 27000

A change of style - from the J2 to a race-replica styled bike.

Now this really did handle completely differently to the previous 1000.




From: (27th) April 1982-????

After only passing my bike test on January 7th, in April I went from a 175cc to a 1000cc Bike.

Can't do that today!




From: May 1981 - c1992

Cost: £600.00

Reg: JYH 635W

Mileage: c21000


This was the first motorbike I ever bought.

Learned to ride and passed ACU/RAC off-road test before taking old-style road test where a man walks around a square block & jumps out in front of you.

Originally bought to help my brother, Brian, pass his road test but I liked it so much, I kept it for myself!


I bought this from Harvey Owen in Walworth road, SE17. The original agreement was that they would deliver it to a training site near St Pancras station on the Saturday I was booked to take my first lesson with the RAC/ACU instructors.

On the Friday night, I went down to complete payment and ensure everything was OK for the weekend only to be told they could no longer deliver it in time for the start of my course. Great!

So, having never riden a motorbike before in my life, I was given about 30 minutes instruction in the back yard and side road leading to the shop before I set off alone in the Friday evening rush-hour traffic of London.

Now, I had already passed my car test some years earlier so I knew how to drive and the rules of the road but negotiating the Elephant and Castle and then Waterloo bridge roundabout was not really playing fair, was it?

Somehow, I made it back to my flat and locked it up against a drainpipe of the neighbouring block of flats.