Jonathan rides his Suzuki Hayabusa all around New Zealand. Read on to learn a little bit about him. I decided to leave the article as written in Jonathan’s own words because I feel each story written by a rider has their personality behind it as they write it. You get a feel for what the rider is like. Enjoy!
I’ve been in New Zealand for 5 years and have been biking for 3 years now. I’d never shown any real interest in bikes until I got on one though. Back in the UK, and when I arrived in New Zealand, classic cars were my thing – three 1970s Triumphs over the years.
I booked a trip to Vietmam and knew I’d want to ride there so booked a lesson. One lesson later, I was hooked. I then met a girl with a Ninja. Vietnam was awesome on my 107cc copied Honda Win. When I got back, the girlfriend was gone but I knew bikes were my thing. I started with a Suzuki GSX250 – a fantastic machine that took me to Wellington and back, round the Coromandel and a fair few other rides.
I quickly got bored, got drunk and bought a GSXR-1000 on trademe. Loved the bike, even if the night ride back from Stratford up SH3 was a hell of an education! That bike was great and took me all over the North Island. I went the length of 90 mile beach (including the Te Paki stream), round the Coromandel, Forgotten World Highway, Wellington and all of the back roads in between.
Sadly, a lane-changer on the Auckland motorway wiped me out and wrote off the bike. Shame. It had a power commander, Yoshi muffler, was comfortable on long rides and did over 150 in first gear. Somehow, I never got a ticket – just a warning when I was “too fast to get a radar lock”.
A difficult search for a replacement eventually put me on a Hayabusa (just to have a go). I never expected to buy one but did – I love it. It is fast, comfortable, beautiful analogue dash, ugly bike (but hey – I’m riding, not looking) and actually corners and lanesplits like a breeze.
A week after I got it, a taxi knocked it over while parked and I got to upgrade the exhaust to Yoshimura Tri-Ovals – many thanks Vero. It sounds incredible and it rides perfectly. I love the way it can go from as chilled as a sloth to a bullet with half a turn on the throttle. I’ve kept up my road tripping, much of the last year with a pillion. Unfortunately, on the way back from Rotorua, I got caught and lost my license. I still did over 20’000km in the 8months I was licensed!
My only complaint, ABS isn’t great on gravel. It keeps releasing the brakes once you’re trying to stop from about 10kph. I commented to Suzuki. They sked why I bought a Hayabusa if I planned on riding on gravel?