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Sol Invictus Nemesis XY400 | Gassit Garage | Long Term

In stock-standard form, the Nemesis may not be everyone’s cup of Chinese tea, but that certainly hasn’t stopped the licence holders in my household making a beeline for the keys each morning. That’s because the single-cylinder runabout is a doddle to ride.

Number one son is still on his L plates, and while his eyes were firmly fixed on my modified café racer, he soon realised that it’s more of a weekend cruiser than a daily commuter. Faced with a choice of the bus or the Nemesis, he quickly learned the joys of practicality. And I’ve enjoyed the comedy value of watching a Gen Y struggle with the concept of a choke.

Mrs Ed has also taken a shine to the Nemesis. As a returning rider she has the licence and capability to ride anything I bring home from the Gassit garage, but she finds the easy handling nature of the Nemesis confidence inspiring after a few years away from the saddle.

The 20kW and 30Nm generated by the 372cc air-cooled engine are adequate for both of them. Enough to accelerate away from traffic, and avoiding those lane-wandering tin-tops in traffic. No ABS means a constant fiddle with the rear drum brake adjuster to get the feel just right for him and her.

The big winner is the rear rack. Scorned and ridiculed by the pair when they first laid eyes on it, it’s now used constantly for everything from school bags to a special plastic tub for the occasional Bunnings run.