Not enough prayers to Vulcan

So, my beautiful secondhand (Thirteenth hand) Kawasaki EN500 has now been in and out of the garage on and off for six weeks.


Part of me is pleased that the problem with it is completely stumping the professional mechanics, since it means that I wasn’t just stupid and shortsighted when I couldn’t spot it on my own. Part of me, obviously, wishes that it was something incredibly simple that I just overlooked and that they could have fixed in a second.


Part of me is pleased that the problem is only apparent once the bike is hot and being ridden hard, because there’s no way I’d have spotted it in my first test ride so I’m not just stupid for buying it. Part of me wishes it’d been incredibly obvious, then I’d not have bought it and not be having this problem.


Part of me is very happy that I have a rare, beautiful, strange, old bike, with a lot of character, and that even if I sell it after a couple of months, I’ll still at least have briefly owned a fire-breathing sweetheart. Part of me wishes that I’d bought one of the fifty million 535 Viragos still pootling around the b-roads of England, because I’d not be so attached to it, or if I was attached to it, it’d be rare that I found a problem in it that I couldn’t fix.


So now, with the bike back at the garage for the fifth time, having needed a pickup, running lean – a problem which could seize up the whole engine, causing a disaster that would write off the bike, destroy the engine and probably throw the rider if the bike was in motion at the time – and with a problem in either the pulsar coil or the carburettor, I’m stuck in a conundrum.


My other bike, my trusty and beloved GZ125, isn’t starting up. Some sort of electrical fault has killed its ability to ignite, so it’s been sitting under a tarp since the day I passed my bike test, waiting for me to find the time and the energy to fix it.


My partner’s bike, which I’m also insured to ride, a sweet and nippy Suzuki VanVan, has no battery, and needs a new battery purchasing before it’ll start up.


Currently, I have literally no means of transport, other than begging pillion rides off my best friend.


How long do I wait, and how much money do I throw, before I call it a day on the EN500 and sell him as a project? Time is ticking down.

2 thoughts on “Not enough prayers to Vulcan

  1. Those faults can be very exasperating. I had a similar thing with an old GPz900 which would always breakdown a long way from home at the most inopportune times. I never had confidence to take it anywhere. It took me ages and much research to find the problem.

    The question of how long can be both an emotional one – being attached to the bike, and a financial one – can’t afford a new one. But I’ve found that sometimes you are better to cut your losses and move on as you may never trust it in the future.

    Good luck

    • I’m definitely feeling that – Both that I am really attached to the bike (I’ve loved EN500s since they were basically new, and they’re usually a little out of my price range) and that I’m not sure I’ll trust it again; Especially not since the fault shows up at speed. It’s unfortunate when it happens on a random twisty when I’m the only person on the road, but it’d be potentially lethal on a busy motorway.

      I strongly suspect you’re right about cutting my losses – It’s out at the garage for a little bit of professional help right now, but if I’m even slightly reluctant to take it for a proper run wen I get it back, it’s going up on Biketrader as a project bike. I may not make my money back off it, but I can sell it and pick up a nice little 750 Virago or an 800 ‘Trudy and no longer have this problem…

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