On Two Wheels

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Rx’ing the REX

REX1

I bought my ZRX1200 brand-new, back in ’03. It seems like yesterday – but it was a lot longer ago than yesterday that I gave the front end a good going-over. Thank the motor gods for short-lived tires. I needed a new front meat (the rear one got replaced last fall) so the other day…

Saw The Weirdest Thing …

handi lead

Sunday evening, the wife and I went for a walk along the Blue Ridge Parkway. As we were leaving, a guy on a newish Harley rolled into the overlook parking lot. And dropped his bike. I got out to help him get it back up. That done, I got back in the car and we began…

Motorcycles Afflicted by The Car Sickness

bike air bag pic

Have you gone shopping for a new sport bike lately? Try and find one that’s not encrusted with layers of electronics . . . just like any new car. ABS and linked brakes; traction (and launch/wheelie) control. Adjustable power delivery curves via “maps.” Naturlich, electronic fuel injection. Some of them even have air bags. Throw it in the…

A Moment’s Feel of Freedom

no helmet 1

I rode my bike without wearing a helmet the other day – just to remind myself of what it felt like to live in a semi-free country. It felt damned good. Helmets are to motorcycling what clumsy prophylactics are to sex. They interfere with the experience. Limit the experience. Don’t tell me about “safety.” In the…

The Old Kaw

'73 Z1 pipes

If you’re into naval history, you probably know the story – and the significance of – HMS Dreadnought. The first big gun battleship, launched in 1906. She mounted 12 inch guns in two main turrets – giving her massive firepower compared with her contemporaries, which were thus rendered immediately obsolete and thereafter referred to as…

Doctoring the Sherpa, Part 2

sprockets

Last week, I posted an article about my 2000 Kawasaki KL250 Super Sherpa. It’s a fun little dual-sport that was jetted lean from the factory to keep Uncle off of Kawasaki’s back. Result? A sometimes frustratingly hard-starting bike. Hard on the battery, too. (This bike hasn’t got a kick-starter.) Fuel injection has fixed this issue with…

Doctoring the Sherpa

Sherpa1

You may have the same problem I’ve got. One of my bikes – a 2000 Kawasaki KL250 Super Sherpa dual sport – is a hard-starting son of a gun. Reason? It’s jetted ultra-lean. Meaning, it’s starved for gas. It’s the same issue that plagued cars back in the late ’70s/early ’80s – when cars still…

The Electric Crack Pipe

Zero lead

I never “took” drugs – but I increasingly feel as though I’m the only one who’s not on the pipe. In the June issue of Cycle World, there’s a friendly article about the Zero SR electric motorcycle. Reading it made my teeth hurt. The SR is a two-wheeled Tesla whose only redeeming feature is that…

Bikes Like They Used To Make ‘Em . . . Again!

2015-Yamaha-SR400b

People get into bikes for many reasons, but probably two of the big ones are fun – and affordability. The fun is directly proportional to the affordability, too. A bike you can buy outright eases stress. Big payments for the next several years adds stress. And stress is the mortal enemy of fun. As motorcycles…

The Test Ride . . . And How to Get One

test ride pic 1

One of the weird things about buying a new motorcycle is buying it before you’ve actually ridden it. This happens a lot with bikes. It almost never happens with a car buy – because it’s contrary to practice and what people expect. With cars, a test drive is obligatory, part of the process. In fact,…