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Gentleman rider

How did you end up with this bike?

I have always loved classic bikes and this is a neo classic. It was made in 2013, but I was not the first owner. Someone else had bought it brand new, but after doing 2,000km they wanted to upgrade and I was in line for a good bargain that I couldn’t pass up.

What do you love about it?

The classic design. I am not at all into modern bikes, which I feel lack character. It’s like girls, I’m attracted to a certain type of girl not just any girl and for me, the classic bikes are just irresistible.

When I got it, I made a few changes to make it look even more retro such as the diamond patterned grips and the bar end side-mirrors.

It’s the best of both worlds with a modern 350 cc engine, which has twin spark electronic ignition, but underling also is a carburettor that I recently got to make use of when I got electronic problems recently. The bike is not as fast without the electronics, but at least it can still move under its own power.

Anything you don’t like about it?

It’s a bit on the heavy side, tipping the scales at 185kg and the 350cc only gives me 120 horsepower, so it’s a bit slow. I upgraded the air filter, fitted an aftermarket exhaust and different jets or the carburettor, so now it is significantly livelier than the standard bike.

I wouldn’t call it a café racer in the strictest sense of the word; café racers were traditionally fast bikes having 750cc engines in the 70s. I still have a few ideas to customise it further and make it lighter, not only to improve the performance, but the silhouette as well. Also it’s a road bike, so not well suited for off road situations, especially when it has rained. It’s like riding on eggs.

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