An Affair to Remember… Farewell, Lord of Speed.
by Lee Meyer
I have been putting off the bike storage thing hoping for a last late fall ride. Now that it is almost Thanksgiving and there is snow and ice everywhere, reality is setting in. That last ride will not happen. The frigid ice storm is upon us once again. There is nothing we can do about it, so today I fired the beast up and rode it onto a trailer for the trip to my storage garage. What a bummer. About once a month I will go over to visit my bike this winter, peel the cover off and fire it up. While the engine warms I’ll stand back, give it a look and admire it’s exceptional coolness while muttering some obscenities about this nasty climate.
This has been a tough fall for me, and I am sure it will be a difficult winter. I’ve been doing quite a bit of thinking lately, and I’ve decided some changes are in order both professionally and personally. For reasons having to do more with forward growth and learning, other than financial, I am now employed at a different South Minneapolis shop. I am looking forward to the future at my new location with its new challenges and things to learn. I have also decided to sell my bike.
In 1993, when the first Kawasaki ZX-11D came out, I just had to have one. My wallet, however, told me to get screwed. The dream bike had to wait. A year later, a friend bought a ’94 model. Man, was it cool. I seethed with envy. I still couldn’t afford one, new or used. Unfortunately, my friend crashed his new ZX with only 900 miles on the clock. The front end was shot, forks actually broken, wheel bent, etc. My buddy got his bell rung pretty good too, but wasn’t permanently damaged. It turned out he did not have full coverage insurance on the bike; he did not have the means to fix the bike, and he would never feel comfortable on it again, anyway. The deal was made. I could afford a wrecked ZX11. My dream bike. It was a mess, but it was mine.
Several months later I ran into some financial problems, and the toys had to go. I had to eat. I recovered enough to buy a 1989 ZX-10 — the closest I could come to the Almighty Lord of Speed without killing my recently recovered wallet. I rode that Kawasaki for about a year. In late winter ’95 – ’96, a guy I knew with a nice 1993 ZX-11D stopped by. He needed some cash and had decided to sell the bike to a dealer, cheap. I told him to hold his horses for a couple of hours and called my bank. Mr. Banker said sure, and the next day I again had my dream bike. Life was good.
Now, two years and thousands of miles and dollars have gone by the big Kawasaki. It is still going strong and wearing better brakes, forks, shock, pipe, etc. The time has come to let go and put what seems like a member of my family up for sale. It’s not for the money this time, but another member of the family needs some attention. My 1964 Plymouth dragster hasn’t seen a quarter mile track since the early seventies. It’s time to put new life into the beast and return it to the strip. The ZX-11 is complete and in need of nothing but large amounts of open road and plenty of premium fuel to drink.
Sooner or later Kawasaki will build a ZX-12 that will be so wicked and scary that I’ll be standing in line to buy one. Until then, if you or anyone you know has a GS1100E Suzuki that’s not too nice for sale, give me a call.
Enough mindless rambling. Next time we will actually try to fix something here at the Rocket Doctor’s. See ya.