Saturday, August 27, 2022

The Z900rs Cafe gets Luggage.

 I got in a couple hours of quality time in the garage this morning. The Shad top case and brackets finally arrived, so I had a project to do. Supply chain issues are affecting the motorcycle accessory business these days. First some brackets were on back order, then the top cases were. Now, the side cases are on back order. I managed to get what I could now and will have to wait for the rest.

I was going to do a step by step installation write up, but there's a great video on YouTube that covers it perfectly. Thanks Kentucky Yankee..

Here's before. Almost stock. The previous owner had installed the chrome grab rails near the seat and the center stand.

Disassembly was pretty easy, just a 10mm socket and a few a T-handled hex keys.. When did the term "allen wrench" get replaced by "hex key" ???  

I unplugged a few wires, removed a factory bracket, replaced it with one supplied, used the supplied bolts, spacers, and washers. Again, the step by step video by Kentucky Yankee was exactly what I needed. The pictographic directions included with the brackets were just OK, not great.... the video helped a lot!

So now it's all set for whenever the side cases become available again. The top box is a medium sized 39 liter box.

I took it out for a short shake-down cruise this afternoon. No rattles, no noises. 

If  Sargent Cycle Products made a replacement seat for the Z900rs, and it was as comfortable as their seat that I had on my FJR, then I be all set. I have an inflatable seat pad on there now, but it's not anywhere as easy on my butt as either the C14 seat that I had on the Zx-14 or the Sargent on the FJR... Those were both truly all day seats!

I have added the ZeroGravity Sport-touring wind screen. I like it a lot. I think it pushes the air up to my upper chest without causing helmet turbulence. I still have to add the Battery Tender lead to the battery so I can just plug in rather than pull the seat to connect it. It's also needed to run the electronics in the tank bag.

I'm sure this will turn out to be a good long distance bike... after a seat improvement.

Monday, August 01, 2022

This morning, I had been shopping on line at Fleet Farm, and located a close-out item that was allegedly in stock at their store in Wausau, WI. 

The weather was perfect, upper 70s, partly cloudy skies, mild wind from the south, no rain forecast until after sunset... perfect for a ride...

I left home at noon and was back home, empty handed, exactly 7 hours later. I rode 304 miles today, made 2 gas stops, had a quick snack, and even took the long way home.

Even though they really didn't have what I was looking for, I still enjoyed the ride!

I managed to snap a few pictures along the way.

Memorial Park in Tomahawk, WI.


Some interesting yard art for sale at a funky store in Merrill, WI. I didn't see any prices.

I've seen this sign for years but never took a picture of it.

A whole bunch of logs at the Saapi yard outside of Glidden, WI. They're destined to become paper and packaging. There were several rows that size or larger.

Lastly, here's a sign you probably would never associate with Wisconsin, and it's close to home.

My timing was right on too. By 8:00 p.m. it was raining and it didn't quit until almost midnight.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Farewell My Friend

 I know I seldom add to this blog and don't often take the time to read other's blogs, but today is a day for me to document and remember...

First Day zero miles

I used to ride my motorcycles a lot more than I do these days. I used to take at least one long trip each summer, and usually put 3000 to 5000 miles on with each trip. 

2013 Hwy 6 Nevada


That all kind of stopped in the spring of 2019. That's when Nancy went into the hospital to wait for a heart transplant... We got through that.. But 2020 was not a good year for riding either. Both Nancy and I had to deal with Covid. Her case was worse, 88 days in the hospital with 21 of those days unconscious and intubated... Then there was a long, long, recovery at home. 2021 wasn't much better. 

August 2011 Sturgis and Idaho

I have managed to get out and ride some this year, but my poor zx-14 has been sitting in the garage just waiting for me to show her some attention. 

I know I posted a couple of years ago about my adventures in listing it on Craigslist. What a cluster f@#% that was. 

February 2013 waiting for Spring

Well, I tried it again this year. I had a few interested normal people reply to the ad. One wanted to come see it on a Sunday (father's day)... So I got her all wiped down and polished up. When I went to take it for a quick spin around the block. Dead battery! It wouldn't even spin up the fuel pump. So off to O'Reilly Auto Parts for a battery. Oh, the guy that wanted to see it, never bothered to show up, call, text, or email. I had a couple of other emails about it but nothing to get excited about. That changed the other day. I got a solid cash offer at a price I was OK with. The buyer had some timing issues traveling all the way up here to northern WI, so I offered to meet closer to half way.

June 2013 solo trip to Nevada

Today was the day to meet up. I believe my big Kawasaki knew what was going to happen and didn't want to leave. I was going down the driveway and was just about to the end when I was startled by traffic and I made a huge $$$ mistake! I used the front break on loose gravel... Crap... Down I went, onto the right side. The gravel did a number on her... Every right side body panel and the mirror had deep scratches. The kind that weren't going to buff out. Crap. I managed to pick up the 566 pound beast and get her back onto the side stand... Crap. I know better that to do that!! I was distracted and my mind was someplace else and when I saw the car go by instinct took over... ooops.. %@#$... 

June 2011 Tioga Pass in California

What could I do. I drove the 2 hours to meet the guy. I explained what happened and told him I'd understand if he backed out.  We reached a new agreement on a price. It was less than I was hoping for, but more than if I were to fix it and list it again and then wait for a new buyer. In order to recover the amount spent on new body panels, I'd have to be unrealistic in my price. A 13 year old sport bike with almost 64,000 miles on it is not an easy sale. For some reason, people seem to think that it's all worn out at 25,000 miles.

Headed to Nevada solo trip

This is my last picture of my 2009 Zx-14. It was taken about 2 minutes before I dropped it!!!


I took a final picture of the odometer but it didn't turn out. I put 63,499 miles on her since I bought it new on 4-22-2009. It was the best long distance motorcycle I've ever ridden. It was far more comfortable than either of the two Goldwings I've owned, and smoother than the FJR I used to have. A seat from a Connie-14 and a set of bar risers were all I needed to make it comfortable

Would I ever own another Zx-14? Absolutely!!   As Ferris Bueller said, "It's so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up."

There was some humor today. While we were waiting at the KwikTrip for the buyer to show up. I had parked next to Nancy's Rav4 and had taken off my helmet and jacket and put them in her car. I was just looking at my bike as a young man (car salesman) in a new Jeep (dealer plates) pulled in next to us. He got out and made some funny comment about me riding the Kawasaki. He obviously didn't think it was mine. He came out of the store a couple of minutes later and realized that the bike was indeed mine. He was blown away that an old, balding, grey haired, grey bearded, man would be riding such a bike. He asked all kinds of questions. He said that he used to drive a CBR1000 but everybody told him he'd kill himself on it. He thought it was so cool that an old guy like me (no disrespect intended) was still able to throw a leg over the seat and ride, and was shocked to learn that I had put all 63,499 miles on it.... Often doing 600-700 miles a day! Ah, the naivety of youth.. LOL I'm probably 3 times his age. 

I think the buyer is going to turn my bike into his track toy. He made some comments that led me to believe that he spends a lot of time doing track days. I hope my big Kawasaki will be happy with the new owner... Maybe she'll like finally getting to do what she was built for. I hope the new owner takes care of my baby.

Farewell My Friend.