Kawasaki ER-5: Purchased under dire circumstances in 2008 – it could almost be termed a “panic buy”. Turned out to be as reliable as all-in and even capable of cracking The Ton. There are a couple of contributors on this message board who don't like the ER-5, but each to their own. It has been described as a humdrum bike, but having experienced the “excitement” of being stranded in the middle of nowhere – for which the Yamaha was frequently responsible – give me boredom any day.
The ER-5's finish is poor (rather than terrible) and it suffers in comparison to its contemporary, the Honda CB 500 twin, which in all honesty was a better bike. Nevertheless, a decent example of an ER-5 can be picked up now with an MOT for 800 quid or less – a bargain basement price for a “sort of all right, really” vehicle.