Goodbye to My Kawasaki ZR-7

So I sold my Kawasaki ZR-7 this evening to an eastern european fellow who looked to be in his late teens or early twenties. I have a little bit of sadness at the sale, but to be honest I am not nearly as torn about it as I thought I was going to be. For months now, over the winter I had been debating whether to keep my first motorcycle; the motorcycle that sort of saved my sanity during one of the toughest emotional periods of my entire life. 

My wife in her infinite wisdom sort of convinced me that it probably made sense to sell it. I was always choosing to ride my new BMW over the Kawi whenever I went out and really the girl deserves better justice than to sit in my garage. The first ten years of her life were spent mostly in some guy's garage. She needed better.

So I threw the bike up on Craigslist and had a few takers. All said and done I think the bike probably made its way to a good home. The guy who bought it seemed extremely excited about the bike. I could just hear the excitement in his voice and while his friends who came along didn't seem quite so excited I could sort of tell that this guy found the type of bike that fit his personality. I did also get a vibe however that he may not have actually had a motorcycle license since we ended up chatting about the MSF courses. 

Regardless though I think the bike has found a good home. Someone who will put some miles on her. I have an empty spot in my garage now that is is very much motorcycle sized.........

Post Mortem: Kawasaki Demo Day

Had a blast at the Kawasaki Demo Day yesterday. The crowd was pretty full because the weather was poor on Saturday. Kawasaki had about thirty bikes there to demo. I signed up for the Versys and the KLR 650 since I am currently most interested in a dual sport at the moment. I wanted to get a ride on the Contours, but it was booked up until the late afternoon and I didn't want to wait that long to ride it. The day was already long enough as it was. 

The demo ride was about 20-25 minutes long and first up was the Versys. After the ride I have to say I enjoyed it a lot. It has a very standard seating position and a sporty overall feel. Ergonomics were great on it, but I can't say I was a huge fan of the instrument panel. Personally I think the dual speedo/tach is the most perfect of designs since everything can be very easily read at a glance. The Versys however had an analog tach with a digital speedo. I am not sure if it was just my newness to the bike or not, but I just couldn't make my mind click with it. Granted I only rode for 20 minutes. One other minor gripe was the positioning of the foot pegs. They were set so far forward that I had to put my feed on the ground behind them. All just a minor annoyance that has more to do with my personal habits more than anything else. Overall though I could see myself owning this bike. It is a perfect size for someone who is 5'8" like me and has the bones to do longer trips. 

The second ride of the day was on a KLR 650. Having demo'd the BMW F 800GS last fall I was prepared to try and handle a bike that was too tall for me. To my surprise however I was able to get both feet on the ground, although tip-toed. Everything about this bike surprised me quite a bit. It is only a single cylinder engine, but it had plenty of "git-up" in it. It won't be winning any speed races, but it cruised along about about 70 mph very easily and I was able to mostly hang with the other cruisers in the group ride. The bike setup was also a very standard riding position that was incredibly comfortable. The KLR is definitely more of a dual sport than the Versys and it showed in its suspension. It is a very tall bike that rides high. I can see how people take this thing across the country. The only minor gripe I had with it was that the turn signal indicator was a single light for both signals. There was one instance on the demo ride where we had to make a right and then left very quickly and I wasn't quite sure which way my blinker was going.  Overall though super appealing and I came away a little more interested in it than perhaps the Versys. 

With the riding position so upright on these bikes and both having fairly high suspensions hoping back onto my ZR-7 at the end of the day sort of felt like getting onto a toy cycle. Bike ZR-7 isn't small by any means, but it is comparatively small to a bunch of these other bikes.