Kawasaki ZZR1400: rescue, rebuild & rejuvenation, Hampshire.
mono motorcycles & vehicle security enjoy diversity. When the owner of a Kawasaki ZZR1400 contacted us with a true dilemma, we were more than happy to help.
The story began with a plaintive cry from Surrey that Mark Abbotts beloved ‘Betty’ had died! Daniel Morris, proprietor of mono motorcycles & vehicle security asked a few probing questions & as a telephone diagnosis was impossible, we agreed to collect her on route from another engagement.
On Sunday 28th January mono motorcycles & vehicle security arrived in Ascot to see if a diagnosis was possible. When the ZZR1400 was turned over, the sound was tantamount to thunder! Daniel Morris’ initial comments were that he felt it could be a plug which had been “blown out”, however, this was only a best case scenario. The worst case, was it could have snapped the crank or conrod & that would mean a new engine or major rebuild.
Mark Abbotts was noticeably concerned by the prospect of his beloved Betty being truly gone, but mono motorcycles & vehicle security reassured him that we would investigate & keep keep him abreast of the situation as it unravelled.
No one could have foreseen what was to come next. No, it was not a plug. Upon investigation & with the engine out of the ZZR1400, it transpired that a exhaust valve stem had broken on cylinder two & in the process it had turned itself sideways & with the immense force of such a powerful engine it had caused extensive damage to the piston & head. The engine was beyond reasonable repair, unfortunately she was dead.
Once the news was delivered to Mark Abbotts, he had to make a choice. Was it time for a new motorcycle? or was he going to resurrect Betty? We will let Mark himself fill in the next part of the story & the outcome in his own words.
“Once again Daniel Morris has excelled himself, on Wednesday the 24th of Jan my ZZR decided to drop an exhaust valve, I turned to mono motorcycles for help in what was a very hectic time for Daniel and Katy with their current work load and the move to new premises.
Daniel and Katy drove over a 100 miles round trip to collect my bike so it could be taken back for assessment, once the final diagnosis was in and the news was a new engine was needed I had some thinking to do.
After considering all my options I decided to have a new motor fitted.
Within 48 hours of making this decision we had most of the new components in place to get my bike back on the road.
Daniel’s approach to this saga has been nothing less than exceptional, I have been kept up to date and in the loop throughout the whole process with photos and messages of things that have been done and issues found along the way.
Today (16/02/2018) I received a fully restored, fully detailed bike just 24 days after the breakdown, I cannot thank Daniel enough for his commitment to getting this sorted for me, my bike is my main form of transport to work and a passion I cannot do without.
A MASSIVE thank you Daniel, you have a customer for life.”
Following Mark’s experience of bringing Betty back to life, we interviewed him to find out a little more about his passion for motorcycles & why he chose to rebuild her.
Q: What made you choose the ZZR1400 in the first place?
A: “I wanted a bike with lots of power as I had always had smaller capacity bike and wasn’t really looking at the ZZR at first my head was telling me to get the S100RR but my back, wrists and portly belly were telling me otherwise. We stopped off at the bike shop in Aldershot just on a whim really and Betty (the ZZR) was the first bike we walked past, I instantly had to have it. ”
Q: What bikes did you have before?
A: “My former bikes consist on a Honda CG 125, Suzuki GS 500, Yamaha 600 Diversion, SV650S, ZZR600, and now the ZZR1400.”
Q: What has your riding experience been like?
A: “Most of my riding is commuting to and from work and I ride all year round and to be honest I actually enjoy riding in the rain I feel it makes me a smoother rider overall. My overall experience of motorbike riding over the last 20 years is for the most part a very positive one, I think the public are becoming more aware of bikers in general and that takes a lot of the frustration out of commuting to and from work in rush hour traffic.”
Q: What is the most miles you’ve done in a day?
A: “The most miles I have done in one single trip is Stirling in Scotland to Ascot stopping for just fuel, it’s about 430 miles and took just over 6 hours.”
Q: Have you ever toured on her?
A: “I have done two tours. One on the SV650S around Wales, Cumbria and Yorkshire over 4 days and one on the ZZR up along the west coast of Scotland covering around 2500 miles in 4 days, the ZZR was faultless, a trip I would love to do again sometime.”
Q: How did you feel when you thought she was gone?
A: “When I was sat on the side of the A3 in the rain with nothing but the faint glow of the hazard lights shining through my visor I can honestly say I was close to tears. All the time spent servicing, cleaning and giving her everything she needed and more, it sounds crazy to think of a bike as a close part of your life but when you spend as much time on her as I did then that’s just how I felt. I had three options at this point. 1: stay with the bike and wait for the breakdown. 2: leave the bike at the side of the road and walk to the nearest services. 3: push the bike 1.8 mile to the services, as leaving the bike by the side of the A3 was NOT an option! I got pushing. I never want to push a bike that far again!”
Q: What made you want to rebuild her?
A: “I had several options as far as what to do with the bike. 1: sell it on as none runner. 2: strip it and sell it as individual parts. 3: buy another bike. 4: rebuild. After looking at all the options I quickly decided that I had to much of a bond with the bike to just let her go without trying to fix her up, after calling Dan to tell him of my plan to go ahead and rebuild we had all the component parts needed within 24 hours. I would not have been as happy walking out of my house to another bike as I felt when walking out to Big Zed.”
Q: How does it feel having got her rebuilt by mono motorcycles?
A: “I know this sounds so cliché and bikers around the world say this about other shop’s but I can’t imagine getting a better service anywhere else. The level of professionalism is amazing as is the customer interaction with phone calls and text messages with updates and photos of work done and any further issues that arise as work progresses through to completion. When I called Dan to discuss the possibility of Mono Motorcycles assessing the bike and possibly fixing her up I had recently seen on FB that you were extremely busy with work already booked in and on top of that the company move to your new premises I was worried that I would have to look elsewhere. The way that yourself and Dan responded was amazing to me, you took the bike in as an emergency case coming to my house to collect (which is a good 100 mile round trip) and from there on up to now the day you are delivering the bike back to me the dedication that has been shown the work ethic, professionalism, communication with me has been second to none, I cannot imagine getting any work done to any future bike i have anywhere else. I cannot praise you guy’s enough. I am officially the happiest man alive and it’s all down to Mono Motorcycles, thank you so much.”
As always, if you have any kind of motorcycle dilemma & or wish to book in for works at our new unit, then please call Daniel on 07899 654446 or contact us through our contact page.