What Kawasaki? Why?

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What Kawasaki? Why?

#1 Post by Kwackerz » Sun Feb 24, 2008 2:51 pm

It's often said that riders are creatures of habit. They'll pick a brand they like and err towards it with their bike purchases over the years. I dont know quite how true that really is nowadays, bikers have inherently changed from the old days, there's so much diversity in the various marques and models that there IS enough to tempt the hardened fan away from one make. Dunno.

For myself, Ive always loved Kawasakis since I was a nipper. bright Green racebikes clearly dominate my early memories of racebikes I'd seen on TV and no doubt leant me into the big K..
Similarly when my Step brother got his AR125, I was already well on my way!! That AR looked ace, all the right ingredients to sell Kawasaki biking to a young lad. It mirrored the bigger GPz and looked absolutely awesome. While on my apprenticeship in Chepstow, a mate bought an AR125 and we took it in turns, he'd borrow my car, I'd borrow the AR. I spent many happy months carrying on doing this and further cementing the kawasaki love affair.
Years passed and I eventually got the money and time to get my first roadbike, The desire for a kwack was still there and I found myself in Germany having just passed my DR Course with the Army, but restricted to 33bhp. :smt012 A search of the German bike trader type paper found me looking at an 1100DM Z440 somewhere near Essen. It was quite tidy and definately had the looks of a true 'Z'
A phone conversation in broken English/German saw me parting with the money and trailering home my new Ride two days later.
After 'BFGing' it (MOT) and registering it on the Army system in Germany, I was away, tearing up Autobahns as I went (but only up to 110mph.. :smt002 )
That bike saw me right for 2-3 years during which time I also bought (and sold) a KX125 crosser, again the Kawasaki brand.

After a love hate relationship with a VFR on return to UK, I was impatiently looking for a ZX6 in Green to carry on my kawasaki ownership (The Z440 ending up as racetrack spares for a mate when i bought the VFR) being impatient, when I tipped up with cash in hand to buy my ZX, the git'd sold it 5 minutes earlier and I saw the bike being wheeled into a van by the new owner. Gutted!
A stampy feet session saw me being offered a TT600 Triumph for a very respectable sum as way of an apology from the trader (I was spitting nails at that point) and I broke from my kawasaki ownership for a couple of years.
I happened upon a GPz on ebay one day at a decent price whereupon I had to have it. A week later saw me trolling up the M11 on my GPz and kawasaki ownership was on again :smt001

Currently Im sat with the GPz in the garage awaiting the time to get it ready for MOT, with a moped providing 2 wheeled fixes. I do keep searching for other Kwacks to change with the Moped, but it's promised to my eldest daughter, so it'd be wrong to sell it on..

So how'd you come by Kawasaki? Are you a dyed in the wool Kwack owner, or do you flit between brands?

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#2 Post by Samray » Mon Feb 25, 2008 7:03 pm

Certainly not a 'dyed in the wool' kwack owner but after cartwheeling a cibber to destruction I was looking for something a bit more challenging.

The GPZ happened along in the right place at the right time with a known history and seemed to fit the bill.
I was told it was slow out of the blocks and wound up to warp speed but steered and braked like an oil tanker.
That wasn't an inaccurate description until I put some decent rubber on it at which stage it became almost as happy in the twisties as the cibber ... provided you never touched the brakes.

All in all it's been fun. :smt003

Did get nostalgic one boozy evening and bought the cibbers twin sister on fleabay tho.

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#3 Post by BikerGran » Wed Mar 05, 2008 11:05 pm

I started with a little Yamaha, then a Honda Superdream, and became a Kawasaki rider through a 'committee decision' - the Honda died on the way to a Club Stand at a bike show, got trailered home, loaded everything on my tiny Yam and toddled off to the show. I needed a bike urgently as I was due to go to France with the club in 10 days and sitting around in the club marquee with a few bevvies that night I was told "What you need is a GT550"

Got home Sunday night to find hubby had bought a local paper and there were 2 Gt's in it - that never happens! The first one had a full set of givi luggage but had been despatched and was in sore need of tlc, it would have been a good buy if I'd had the time to get it fixed before France.

The second one was brought round to my house and I had a test ride - after just a couple of minutes I knew this was my bike! Just what I needed for relaxed touring in France and UK and carrying all my camping stuff, and in styling it didn't belong to any particular group, which was exactly what I wanted.
But it seemed the owner didn't really want to sell it so I tried out various other bikes - oddly, mostly Kwaks - two different types of old GPZ550, a Z750 and a Honda CB450.
None of them really did it for me and eventually I managed to persuade the owner of the 2nd GT550 to sell. The bike was collected by my son in law on the Monday, I had a quick ride Wednesday and went to France on it on Thursday. That was 8 years ago and every time I thought about changing it I couldn't find anything that suited me better so I still have the GT although now with 3 wheels.
Sadly we'll be parting company this year as I shall be riding a car engined trike in order to gain an auto box and reverse gear, otherwise I'd prolly keep it for years.
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#4 Post by Samray » Sat Mar 08, 2008 12:40 pm

Just occured to me that I had an earlier experience on a Kwak.
Did the DAS on an ER5 in 2000 and what a crock of s*** it was.
Ok, it was a school bike with the normal history of ill-treatment and doubtless cheap tyres and minimally maintained and set-up for the largest rider expected, but I wonder how many people have been put off biking for good at that stage.
I even found myself longing for the bikes I'd been used to in the 50's/60's.
The cibber I got after passing was a dream to ride after that.

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#5 Post by HowardQ » Mon Dec 21, 2009 1:33 pm

I'm cetainly not a died in the wool Kwack owner, over the years I've probably had more Hondas than anything. Over 40 odd years have had lots of bikes up to my current Falco, that I believe to be the best bike I've ever had. I have had two (running) Kwacks in the past, a KH250 and a KH350 plus and number of basket cases at around the same time, that were bought as projects, but mainly kept the others running.
In the stroker days I also had a couple of Suzukis.
When I bought the Falco 5 1/2 years ago, I had an old, (1995), CBR1000F that I kept. Had it for more than 7 years until I sold it on Saturday. Decided I would buy another bike if I got rid and (obviously!), keep the Falco. Had been looking at buying a Blackbird and or possibly a Faser Thou, then I saw this very nice ZX9R. :smt001
Later 2002 (lightweight) model, with the 12R type front and absolutely immaculate. It looked very nice.
Anyway the dealer did me a good deal on the old CBR, so I bought it and will get it delivered on January the 16th, so more comments on it when I get a chance to ride it. (see comments in different thread).
Only ever ridden the earlier heavier version, (which I liked as I like heavy bikes) and that was more comfortable than I expected for an old fart like me. Just sitting on this one, it feels quite similar, although it does certainly feel lighter, (nearly 80 lbs less, so it should). Can't wait to get it home and get it out on a dry road. It will be interesting to compare with the Falco, as the old CBR Thou and VFR were nothing like as much fun.
The 9R is about 7 or 8 kilos lighter than the Falco with 142 bhp so should be fun and have more character than the two Hondas, so will certainly be "intertesting".
Last edited by HowardQ on Mon Dec 21, 2009 8:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#6 Post by HisNibbs » Mon Dec 21, 2009 7:14 pm

I had a z500 for a season possibly two. Bought it for the Kawasaki race series and it was competetive in some other classes too. Sold it for a 250LC as that was a better bet for the national production series.
Oh I did have a pretty indestructable KH175 dirt bike for many years.
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#7 Post by BIG UN » Sat May 07, 2011 10:49 pm

its true,my first road bike back in 2000 when i passed my test was a 1998 yamaha r1.
my 2nd bike was also an r1,one of the last carbd models,both in blue and white.
guess what,my 3rd bike was a blue and white 2003 r1 lol.broke the mould with the 4th r1,2004 model in dark grey/silver.

and to this day i still root for yamaha in all bike racing as loyalty to the brand for some strange reason. :smt009

love rossi,but my fave racer was big dave jeffries,tt hero.
when i got my 98 r1 he'd just won 3 races on the r1 and the production race on cmc chesterfields r1,which sat in their showroom 2 mins away from my house.
i even followed onto the gixer1000 after him :smt004

i love all bikes tho.had to try a v twin,ducati are too unreliable and exspensive,i longed for my dream bike,the sp-1/sp-2 but hold there money like a bugger and they say you should never meet your heroes anyway lol so opted for the rsv mille 2003 model.
was scared of it as most other owners struggled with batterys,sprag clutches,starting woes,burnt out wires here and there,bad back up from dealers ect but tbh i never ever had 1 single problem with it and loved every moment.i still miss its grunt and sound.

had several gixers,srad 750,k1 gixer thou,even a yam xjr1300 and kwak zx7r.
must admit,im adoring the blade,the sound,its rep,the looks and wild shell suit colour scheme,gues its cos i remember my dads brand new at the time 92 blade from charlie freemans when i was about 18.

id love a green late model zx9r still,and still find myself scouring the trader/pistonheads for original 98/99 r1's and k1 gixer 1000's.
guess that may be were i head next.

but id still like to keep the blade,its mint and soon to be a collectors item.
still cant seem to stop rooting for yamaha tho! :smt017 bred into me now i think lol.

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#8 Post by randomsquid » Sun May 08, 2011 10:35 am

I bought my Er6 because I needed a commuter for a new job, it was pretty, it ticked the spec boxes and it was on 0%

I thought pay for it in 3 years and get 10 years fuss free motoring without any of the - will I have to mend the Guzzi this weekend again aggro. That didn't quite work out, but I still have the thing. Mostly out of bloody mindedness.

Before I went and bought a Falco I'd spent 6 months looking for a ZXR750J but all the ones I saw were either very expensive or complete sheds.

I missed out on a 750 turbo which I'm still grumpy about. Bloke at work was emigrating and selling his stuff. I heard about this and went for a natter. He was the sort of enthused and clued up that leads to big prices so I left it. I found out later he sold it for £300. Which makes me an arse and him a bastard. I hope he gets eaten by sheep.
Where ever I lay my hat.....

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#9 Post by Samray » Sun May 08, 2011 10:40 am

randomsquid wrote: I hope he gets eaten by sheep.
In spite of the cost of living, it's still popular.

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