I had started to think about a new bike while on holiday in August 2011. My ZX636R was now nearly 9 years old and had started to give me a few problems, especially when the gear linkage siezed on the way back from the Outer Hebrides leaving me with only two gears to get from Glencoe to Dumfries!
I seemed to be amassing a collection of broken bikes - the KTM hadn't been started for over a year, the aforementioned problems with the 636, the age of my original KMX125 (1992) although I had recently sold my 2nd KTM125 through Stuart Gillespie who had had it on his garage for about 4 years!
Knowing that the only Kawasaki dealer on the Isle of Man was Padgetts, whom I wouldn't touch with a barge-pole, I was looking elsewhere, ideally around Liverpool or Lancaster area but there were no dealers to be found online. A shop in Shirley, near Southampton had been very helpful over the past few years with the 636 so I approached them initially.
However, that weekend, a full-page advert in the local free paper (the Courier) stated that Jason Griffiths, well know TT competitor and already running a motorcycle shop on the outskirts of Castletown, had now been granted a Kawasaki franchise.
Always wanting to 'shop local' but never wanting to be ripped-off, took a ride down to have a chat and see the new bike I was interested in.
After a few more calls to the shop in Shirley and a bit of calculating costs, and even though they were offering it to me a little bit cheaper than Jason the idea of only an extra £168 and no need for export documents, time-consuming exchanges of documents between the UK and IoM, it was an easy choice to make - Jason...
I called him back and eventually said "So, if I did want one, what do I do next?" to which he replied "Tell me and I'll get one ordered.."
"OK, go on then. Get me one" was my reply.
About 2 hours later, I received an email from Jason stating the order had been received and acknowledged by Kawasaki UK....
...and that was how it all started...