East Coast Meet Report June 19th 2010.
Jay and Stef.
KZ1000R East Coast Meet report, Here are the pics and summary of how the day went.
For me it started on Friday. With my riding pal Alain Bohec (The Harley Davidson buddy),
we trailered our bikes to Rutland VT and arrived at 3:30 pm.
We got in contact with Jay Blanchard from the Central Vermont Motorcycles (CVM) dealership.
We then had a small briefing to discuss setup for Saturday and then we immediately head out to do
the new proposed loop.
The loop that includes a section of the Route 17 gap, very well known for the incredible switchbacks.
The route is very technical. Jay Blanchard from CVM warned me that there has been heavy rain during
the week and there might be spots of sand-earth scattered on pavement.
On our way to the switchbacks on Route 100, we stopped at a waterfall to take a few nice pictures.
During our stop we met a green ZRX rider who was trying to understand what my bike was,
like what is the idea of mimicking a ZRX paint scheme on an old KZ.
I Told him the KZ1000R is the father of the ZRX. His mouth fell open. We had a nice talk and he was
coming from the switchback on Route 17 and said the pavement was very clean, only a few bad bumps.
Once riding on the switchbacks of Route 17, the incompatibility of a KZ and my friend’s Harley
was evident,if he was going to participate during the official ride, he’d be the sweeper of the bunch.
Most of the time, after “detwisting” a few curves, I had to stop and wait for my buddy to show up.
It’s not that I was driving furiously fast, it’s just that this type of bike is a canyon carver in its
own time and detwisting curves is what it’s good at; Getting out of a curve with your tach
needle set at approximately 5500 rpm and throttle open wide, up shifting the necessary gears at 9000,
prepare entry for a curve, brake hard – downshift, turn while getting back the revs of the engine to
approximately 5500 rpm for the next exit. This was KZ1000R heaven and Harley hell. Near end of ride,
Alain’s Harley clunked out (spark problem) and finished the route on the trailer, too bad,
his riding weekend was shot. Then again, it was already decided that he would not follow the
tribute ride for tomorrow. That got us sitting in a restaurant at 9:30 pm, called Jay Davidson
who was now in his hometown of Rutland and gathered for pizza and beer.
Saturday, At 8:00 am , I was already at CVM under the tent preparing the KZ for exposition;
the green service stand is a must as is the rearview mirror removal.
Quick clean of yesterday’s accumulated dust, setup a table, layout all the magazines and sales
brochure and other multiple copies of info graphics that I prepared and ready to give to the
keen eye. I was ready!
8:30 am, Bob Lecicero arrives on a beautiful naked Ducati, immediately, you can see he’s a rider, doing
track days and accumulating many miles every year.
He assumed positively that I was Stephane and we shook hands.
He’s very interested to get his knowledge sharp on covering the event of this famed motorcycle tribute.
So I went through the whole story of the Lawson Replica in 1982, the Superbike Replica in 1983,
how they were limited editions in North America and the raison d’être of these replicas and so on.
He also got interested on how I got my hands on one and the modifications done to it.
During this time Jay arrives with his KZ1000R2 and we put them side by side.
So on one hand a close to complete stock KZ1000R2 and a modified KZ1000R2 (as per the Dressed to
the Tenth Stage One article of 1982 Cycle Guide).
Bob continued on questioning Jay on his KZ1000R and why he owns one. At around ninish some people
started to arrive with camera in hands and started to photograph the bikes and hang around with us
and share enthusiasm. A bit later, two Kawasaki riders arrive, one with a 2002 green ZRX1200 and
the other with a 2004 orange Z1000. Seeing them trying to spot a parking area, Jay and I, waved
them to park under the tent and have them all parked side by side, Daryl, the ZRX owner was hesitant,
saying his ZRX was not worthy of being beside a model bike that Eddy raced! Also in the parking was a
1984 Ninja 900 (the one that Tom Cruise rode in the famous Top Gun movie).
He too was invited to align his motorcycle and it made a nice genealogy of Kawasaki sport bikes
covering from 1983 to 2004.
Bob the photographer, reporter, Ducati rider, was plunged in a Kawasaki day! He was really
occupied with the camera. I was thankful and looking at him, I then realized that he would
be elected to get my extra, brand new KZ1000R.com T-Shirt! This was spontaneous and
Other various visitors came in, a group of BMWs from Montreal stopped by, they couldn’t make it to
Laconia bike week due to reservation problems, one member of that group recalled seeing
a KZ1000R event posted on a Montreal motorcyclist web site and they stopped by.
Guess we managed to educate and create hype around this rare edition of the last Kawasaki
air cooled sport bike. All in all, everybody got their share of attention, of coarse, Jay and I showing
our KZs, then the dealer had a nice grin seeing a multitude
of motorcycles turning into his parking lot, their logo on a stand-up sign and various cameras taking
pictures. Last and not the least, Bob had enough material and interesting pictures and will try
hard to have it posted in the autumn Moto Retro Illustrated magazine.
Whatever the outcome, his contribution will remain awesome. Well deserved T-Shirt! As indicated,
at 11 o’clock we called for
the ride that gathered Darrell (ZRX), Jim (Z), Bob (Duc), Jay and I.
Alain stayed back in his pickup taking pictures for as long as he could keep the tempo (2 minutes!).
The weather was a beautiful 84 degrees with a decent wind to keep us dry at stand still.
After 40 minutes riding we make a pit stop at Rochester’s Cafe then hopped back on the bikes
heading to Waitsfield where we parked again at the Easy Street Cafe.
This was the pit stop before the launch for the switchbacks on Route 17.
In the parking area was a mint 6-cylinder CBX Super Sport that got our eyes locked for a while.
Back to the ride, Bob is very knowledgeable about Route 17 and explained how and where
he intends to take pictures.
We’ll let him have a 10 minute head start so he can get ready for shooting tons of pictures.
So there we go chasing the curves and Bob asked us to do another pass followed by another again!
Any time Bob; we could do this all afternoon! There goes 50% of the ride, stopping at the
top of the mountain enjoying scenery and talk with other motorcyclists.
There were lots of motorcycles on the route. Vermont is a motorcycle playground!
Darrell For the second half of the ride, we minimized stoppings and went on for a spirited,
high pace riding. Pavement on Route 73 (Brandon Gap) was awesome, no bumps.
After riding through the Brandon Gap, Jim, Bob and Darrell took their own way home,
leaving Jay and I to cruise back into Rutland for a much earned chilled beer at the motel
and an excellent meal at the 99 restaurant.
The sounds ( Picture sounds.jpg ) My KZ1000R has a unpacked 1.5 inch baffle that provides a
civilized sound from idle to about 3500 rpm then the cavalry of the four cylinders starts to
yell out the HPs. Jay’s muffler has a 2.5 inch baffle;
a slight opening of the throttle has the horsepower’s barking at you instantly.
All this quickens the pulse. During the ride, we all put ear plugs to provide better comfort,
concentration and hearing protection.
What I also like about ear plugs is it muffles the wind buffeting in the helmet and provides a better
sound of the engine hum,
bark and wail. A fun part was when Jay and I would be in sync on the engine revs at about 5000 rpm;
the exhaust sounds would fall in sync and provide fantastic harmonics in the helmet.
That sound is intoxicating, you always need more.
I’m sure it’s above legal decibel range and sorry for all those peasants for
disturbing their peace but if they had the throttle that was in our hands they would forgive us.
Hope this report will pull in more visitors and participants on the upcoming event in June 2011.
CVM has already confirmed their availability to host the meet.
By next week Bob will post the pics and we’ll add to our Gallery
Also Bob’s Motorcycle-Vermont.com website will have more pictures too!
Thanks Everyone, Jay and Stef.