Man down

Before we get on to the most embarrassing of opening reports for 2012, let me set the scene of my motorcycle life so far.

Biking kicked off for me when I took my test back in 2009. I served my initial time on two – wheels parading the streets of Lincoln on an ER – 5 and I loved every second of it. It made me realise what biking was all about. The freedom, the ability to wind on the throttle and interact with the surroundings was like nothing I d ever experienced in a car. I was a new man. To the unenlightened, this will mean nothing, but to us bikers it ll make sense. It was like finding my new best friend.

Since then, time s flown and I ve ridden a good few bikes, but that relationship I had with the ER – 5 was special. Something about it stuck with me ever since those first few heady days. I ve always had a sweetspot for those middleweight Kawasakis that seem capable of tackling everything you throw at them, which is why I am so happy to have got my hands on the new ER – 6f.

Right from the off I ve got no problem in saying that this incarnation of the Kwacker is so much better than the ER – 5 I once had, but it still features those attractive family traits that I came to love in 2009.

Things you notice first off are the dash, this is much better than on the old bike and even features an economy readout plus a miles – to – empty readout which is very handy indeed.

The seat is good too, for this bike there s a two – piece seat and the suspension can be described as plush with a feel that far outweighs what you might expect on a middleweight like this.

Build quality is also very good – far more in line with a top – line motorbike than you might be expecting.

Throughout the day of the photoshoot, my love affair with the Kawasaki grew more and more and it stepped up another level when we got out into the twisties to rattle through some bends.

For all its many strengths. I did find one weakness with the ER – 6f and it came about when I had a bit of a moment and found myself hurtling down a grass bank – the bike clearly doesn t do off – road very well. Nor do I, for that matter, as I quickly found out.

Before I knew it, I was on my arse and the bike was laying in a ditch next to me.

Fortunately, my crash wasn t too bad and I escaped the incident with no more than a few bruises, achy ribs and a big dint in my pride. It was a lucky escape. The Kawasaki was a bit bashed up, but nothing serious.

Of course, the ribbing (pun intended) has been merciless at MSL Towers but I can at least go some way to assuring you, dear reader, that the Richa clothing and Scorpion helmet I am wearing at the moment are quality protective clothing.

As my contrite opening missives here will now attest to.