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Old 10-03-2007, 11:48 AM   #1
Anubis1974
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So, I had my first ride last night. I had purchased an old 78 Kawasaki z650. It's a nice bike and is very sound (mechanicly). As I was preparing to leave I realized that I had to negotiate an obstacle that wasn't covered in the MSF course (which I took a month and a half ago). My obstacle was a steep driveway meeting one of those roads that has a big hump in the middle to allow for drainage into the ditch. I was a little nervous with people watching, the obstacle and the fact that I hadn't ridden in a while. After a little less than clean start I was off. My biggest issue was shifting and finding the new bike's friction zone. The route I took had the least traffic, yet had plenty of red lights at which to practice finding the zone and shifting. Once I was almost home, I had a bit of a small scare. I accidentally hit the back brake in a turn (and locked the back tire). Thankfully it was low speed and it wasn't a sharp turn, so I didn't fall. I learned these two lessons:

Plan your route. The route I took was not the route I normally took. There was construction I didn't know about.
Start Small. The bike I learned on was just under 500 CCs. The bike I was originally after was a 750 CC Kawasaki Vulcan. I ended up with a 650 CC Kawasaki and was surprised at the weight. Thankfully it's not a problem, but the Vulcan may have been.


I plan to preactice this weekend in an abandoned parking lot.
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Old 10-03-2007, 01:41 PM   #2
seruzawa
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Well done. Now you see why we recommend small light bikes for beginners. A lot of weight complicates everything. Still, a KZ650 isn't a very heavy bike. Imagine if you bought a Honda VTX1800. Or the BossHoss that the AirHawk recommends to everyone.

The KZ650 has a drum rear brake. Drum brakes are not linear and can lock with less pressure than one might normally think. Make sure that the pedal has an inch or so of free play. You adjust the play with the knob/nut on the drum lever.
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Old 10-03-2007, 02:00 PM   #3
Anubis1974
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Thankfully I was smart enought not to buy one of those.

Thanks for the tip on the rear brake. I hadn't even thought of that. I will look at that tonight.
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