Hyperbike riding in : (sunny southwest Europe) recently moved to less sunny northern Europe

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The Rider’s Digest – Make it your Biking Magazine for 2015

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Unless you live in live in one the few blessed places that have nice weather all year long, chances are, you are left in need of your bike fix during the Winter.
Even if you manage to squeeze a couple of rides in between snow, rain and hail it’s always nice to have something to read by the fireplace while having a cup of coffee (or tea if that’s more your thing).

I have the solution: The Rider’s Digest has just been relaunched and the newest edition is available for free, together with all the previous digital prints.

I’m proud to be one of the contributors and edition 187 includes a feature on my Trip to Norway this past summer.

If you are tired of the biased opinions of bike journalists and their selection of “ready made” expression to describe every bike since the 90s, then TRDs is the magazine for you. Written and edited by a bunch of stubborn bikers sharing their own experiences, on their own bikes with no need to please the PR people!

Have a look and feel free to give me or the editor your feedback. We are all looking forward to bring The Rider’s Digest back to it’s former glory and your are an essential part in this plan.

Get your magazine here: The Rider’s Digest Archive (select buy and proceed to checkout, the magazine is free and you will receive the download link by email).

2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 21,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 8 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Motorcycle Live 2014: Kawasaki H2R Dyno Run and Media Presentation

Some lucky journalists had the chance to see the new H2R live on a Dyno. The bastards!

This Biker's Life

I went to the show on “Media Monday”, which gave us moto-journos access to the entire exhibition an hour before it opened to the public, which was nice. I had the new R1 all to myself; I sat on a Fireblade SP without having to wait in a queue; I was the only person on the Ducati stand. Then I heard an engine start up…

Kawasaki treated us media types to a private audience with their fearsome, supercharged, carbon-and-trellis H2R (“it’s not in fact 300 hp, it’s more”). There was a bit of a preamble to build the tension, then there was a dyno run. I had an unrestricted view as there was only about 20 of us there, so this time I shot a bit of video on the trusty Lumix.

This thing is every bit as loud as you think it is. Turn those speakers all…

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Video

[Video] Ready to Ride – Episode 2

A while back I shared a Video of a guy riding a KTM 690 Duke called “Ready to Ride – Episode 1”. Well he just commented here to let me know Episode 2 is finally available, this time with KTM Supermotos and plenty of wheelies. Enjoy!

R2R Saison 1 episode 2 : Sunday Freeride from Nickoz on Vimeo.

Thank you Kawasaki, for bringing us the Ninja H2R!

Like most people I grew in a Era where Japanese manufacturers dominated the motorcycle market. From Superbikes to Commuters, Hondas, Kawasakis, Yamahas, Suzukis, were the bikes to have!

And then slowly everything changed. I started my biking life with a ’93 Suzuki Bandit 400, then a ’97 Honda CBR1100XX Super Blackbird, followed by my beloved ’08 Kawasaki ZZR1400. Even in 2009 when I bought the ZZR I found there was a serious lack of good options coming from Japan. (I actually almost bought a BMW K1200S).

With Japan launching ever more boring bikes with dubious styling and the European manufacturers hitting the showrooms with awesomely designed bikes, with real performance and practicality (think Speed Triple, Daytona 675, S1000RR, K1200S, 1098, RC8R etc) I ended up finding myself only looking at Europe for my next bike…and I ended up buying the ’07 KTM Super Duke, followed by my most recent steed the ’11 Ducati Multistrada 1200S!

But now something may be about to change. After the launch of the utterly boring Honda NC700 (the motorcycle equivalent to a Diesel Peugeot), the crazy styled but way too heavy Kawasaki Z1000 or even the apparently very good (haven’t ridden them yet) but still budget bikes Yamaha MT09 and MT07. Kawasaki surprised everyone with the mental Ninja H2R.

Unlike the rumors it’s not a supercharged 600 with 1000cc horsepower, it’s actually a 1000cc supercharged beast that will make close to 300hp! Will it be road legal? not clear yet. Will it be cheap? Certainly not! Will I buy one? No. Do I love it? Hell yes!!

It’s mental, it makes no sense and it may even not be that good to ride, but the fact that Kawasaki went out of the way and built a passionate crazy trellis frame supercharged superbike with (yes!) wings, is what makes little kids dream of bikes and what makes us fall in love with them all over again.
Sometimes you need a little crazy to ignite the passion. And it’s been a long while since I’ve seen such a crazy and passionate design coming out of the land of Playstations.

Check the official site for more updates (news to come soon)

30th Anniversary ZZR1400 Special Edition (US & Canada only)

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Saw this on a magazine yesterday and was set and ready to start ranting about how Americans insist on ruining the ZZR. (See this: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) but you know what? After searching for some photos to post here I’m not so sure anymore!

The ZZR is too big and bulby to look good in red, it’s like a fat girl in a tight red dress…it looks like it’s trying to hard (and not doing herself any favor).

But the thing is it is not bright red and I kind of like the gun metal and gold colored details. So I hate myself for saying it but, maybe, just maybe… I like it.

I’d have to see it live to make a final decision, but I don’t think that is going to happen has only 330 are going to be made and none for the European market.

What do you think? Is it awful, beautiful…or like me you’re having trouble deciding?

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Oh, yes the details…basically it’s a ABS equipped standard ZZR 1400 and the extra 300$ only give you a different paint scheme to celebrate the 30 years of the original Ninja 900. (In the US the ZZR1400 is a ZX14R and is also called a Ninja, unlike the European versions). So no performance upgrades or bling stuff.

The End of a Cycle

If you love bikes take a friendly advice: never buy an expensive riding jacket with giant letters across the chest stating the brand of your current bike. You’ll either look like a twat with the wrong brand when you change you’re bike or you’ll have to replace a perfectly good jacket!
Unless your a brand fan boy and plan on sticking with the same manufacturer forever…in that case, please do buy all the merchandising!

Having said that…I do have a set KTM boxer shorts… and BMW riding trousers (although I never had a BMW) and this blog is named ZZR1400 when I don’t even have a Kawasaki anymore, so you’d be excused for ignoring my advice.

What I mean with all this is that having sold the Kawasaki (and with the KTM for sale) this blog ceases to make sense (not that it ever did make much…) so I’m “announcing” a new blog for the all the upcoming adventures, rides, purchases and all the other random semi-interesting things I, at times, decide to post.

My new blog is: MULTIPLE ROAD DISORDER

And if you don’t follow me on twitter (or haven’t already guessed) my new bike is a very red 2011 Ducati Multistrada 1200S

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How I came to buy such an expensive (by my standards) piece of Italian flair is a matter for one of my first posts on the new blog so make sure to subscribe!

ZZR1400.WORDPRESS.COM will continue online, I will continue to reply to all comments and may even post occasionally if any ZZR related subject appears, but for now MULTIPLE ROAD DISORDER is my new home.

Triple border

Another prolonged weekend and another short tour of the Netherlands and neighborhood, this time heading southwest to Maastricht and the Belgium, Germany border.

We stayed in a hotel in a service station on the Belgium/Germany border, which meant that from Maastricht to the hotel we went trough the Netherlands, Germany and then Belgium, all within 50km!
Certainly a common thing for anyone living in the centre of Europe, but coming from Portugal, whenever we want to ride to another country we have to ride 200km to Spain, then another 800km to get to France and if we want to get to Italy it’s another 1000km!

Old town Maastricht is pretty nice, although getting there isn’t easy, it has got to be one of the most confusing cities to drive in that I’ve ever been to (the road works didn’t help).

A word of advice though, don’t park your bike under a tree in Maastricht, apparently some of the pigeon’s eggs are suicidal! This was what I had expecting me when returning to the bike…

I can assure you, it's not easy to clean...

I can assure you, it’s not easy to clean…

From here we headed to the Eifel region in Germany and I must say I love Germany more and more every time I go there. No speed limits on motorways, wonderful back roads, stunning scenery, lot’s of biker friendly hang out spots and (with the exception of a considerable fraction of the cafe waitresses, very nice people!)

In total about 1000km, in 3 days on the Super Duke. Again, it is possible to tour on it, but massively uncomfortable and this will be the last tour on it.

I’ve decided to put it up for sale also, to find more funds for the new bike. I love the bike and am gutted to see it go has I would really love to keep it has a track bike but the fact is I don’t have the time or the means for it, so for now it’s going.
Maybe I’ll buy another one someday.

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New bike shortlist!

In a money no object kind of way this would be my current shortlist of possible replacements for the ZZR.

As it stands most of this are just hypothetical considerations, but within this bunch should be my next touring bike, the bets are on, give it a guess!

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Sold!

Yes, it’s gone, the ZZR has been sold!

Just when I had decided to ship it to the Netherlands two guys called me and one of them ended up buying it.

So last Thursday after a 4am start in Amsterdam, a flight to Lisbon, a Bus to Torres Vedras, a bike ride to Porto, a train to Lisbon and another Bus to Torres Vedras I arrived at 1am with the bike sold and delivered to the new owner! An exhausting day but well worth it because it gave me the opportunity for a final 300km blast on the big Z before giving it away.

One Last Ride on the ZZR

One Last Ride on the ZZR

From all the bikes I’ve owned this was the one I kept for longer (5 years and 45.000km) and on my final ride on it I just felt like I wanted to come back to the Netherlands and buy another one!
It’s an absolutely amazing bike and I will miss it dearly.

Now it’s time to find a replacement for it here in The Netherlands and I’ve got a pretty good idea of what it will be…but more on that later.

I’ll end this post with some of the photos of Muni, the ZZR 1400.

P.S – On aside note, my mate’s K1200S has also been sold this week, so it’s “new” bike time allround.

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