It started out at twenty below zero this morning and the snow is still three or four inches thick on my driveway. No riding this week. As promised, a second revery on a past motorcycle.
In 1980 I was visiting my local Kawasaki dealer to look into a sale Kawasaki was running on the 650cc bike. It was a solid bike and would do the job my 500cc bike was doing with ease. I walked into the dealership and there on the floor was a shiny black and gray 1000cc calling my name. I was drawn to it like a magnet, sat on it and was taken. It was gorgeous. After filling out the loan application and other paperwork I could only wait to see if I was going to be it's new owner. I got the loan, and the bike, and was on Cloud Nine.
The first epic voyage for it was a trip to the races in Loudon, New Hampshire, an 800 mile weekend in June. A brief time later I had signed on to a trip through Canada from Long Island. A friend and I rode out to Minnesota and then up around Lake Superior and back in a week. Six hundred mile days were the norm and I got to spend many hours appreciating the power of the bike. it ate up miles like a free meal and didn't leave me aching like my 500cc bike did. The trip was 3,600 miles and grueling.
I used that bike a lot in the next fifteen years I rode it with many more memorable events undertaken. I used it to win a Field Meet in the heavyweight class, a couple of Poker Run trophies and it was my partner in Timed Road Runs, something we did really well in. A Timed Road Run is basically a rally where you follow a route and maintain a strict schedule. Points are awarded by reaching unknown check points within your assigned minute. My Dad was an expert at them and could hold a perfect score all day. I wasn't that good but could do well enough to finish in the top three most times and take home a trophy.
As a commuter bike the Kawasaki excelled and I rode it approximately 8,000 miles a year. I used it several times to commute from Suffolk County to Brooklyn before I ultimately sold it. It registered 125,000 miles when it left me and I couldn't have asked for more. I downsized to a 650cc Kawasaki after that, about which more later. To this day I use the name KZ1000st on forums in its honor and I'll never forget it. Great bike and great memories.