Q: Am I mad to run a su­per­bike through the win­ter?

A: It’s not as daft as you’d think

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Garage - michael.neeves@mo­tor­cy­cle­news.com

There’s a lot to be said for park­ing-up your 200bhp su­per­bike when the sum­mer packs its case and heads down un­der. Bikes like my ZX-10R love clean, dry roads and there aren’t many of those around right now.

The last time I rode a bike through the win­ter months was my then­new Suzuki GSX-R750J in 1988. It didn’t fare too well. The shiny bits furred-up like an old ket­tle and the first-gen­er­a­tion Miche­lin A59/M59X ra­di­als were crashes wait­ing to hap­pen when­ever it rained.

Man­u­fac­tur­ers usu­ally ask for their long term test bikes back in the au­tumn, which is why I haven’t run one through the win­ter in my 14 years at MCN. But bless their lit­tle green socks, Kawasaki have let me hang on to my ZX-10R and it’s so much bet­ter to live with right now than I’d ever imag­ined.

My OCD takes a ham­mer­ing with all the dirt and crud my Kawasaki col­lects on my daily com­mute, so I have to clean it ev­ery night. I’ve aban­doned my sum­mer chain clean­ing rou­tine of a daily wipe with GT85 and use chain lube in­stead. I hate the mess it makes, but it’s a nec­es­sary evil when your bike stays wet and cold most of the time.

It’s a tes­ta­ment to the ZX-10R’S build qual­ity that it still comes up like new when I give it a proper clean at week­ends.

Even at this time of the year we get treated to the odd mild and dry day. It’s times like th­ese I get to en­joy the brain-melt­ing power of a su­per­bike on the way to work and ar­rive at the of­fice with a silly grin.

But when it’s dank and hor­ri­ble my ZX-10R, with its smooth power, trac­tion con­trol, ABS and Met­zeler Road­tec 01 sports tour­ing tyres is still a joy and above all a damn site safer than that old Sling­shot of mine.

‘When it’s win­ter my ZX-10R, with its smooth power, trac­tion con­trol and ABS is still a joy’

Win­ter rid­ing isn’t a chore, Neevesy is still hav­ing a blast

Mod­ern sports tour­ing tyres are a step above 1988 ra­di­als in terms of grip...

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