I bought my '03 from Bellevue Kawasaki at the beginning of June. The bike is track-only; I have no use for 600s on the street: the Blackbird does my commute and sport-ride street duty. Of course, one's lithe and quick, the other ponderous and frighteningly fast. Guess which is which.
C'mon out to Pacific Raceways for a track day! Summers don't last that long around here. Just got back from an Enumclaw Suzuki day 30Jul03. While hot and something of a free-for-all, it turned out well enough. I saw two other '03s, one silver, the other black.
The '03 is fun at PR. Liter bikes will pull you on the straight, though the ZX puts surprising power to the ground. Carry a bunch more corner exit speed into Turn 2 and beyond, you'll catch up. A 20-year racing vet on an '03 Gixxer 1000 left us all for dead. Less confident guys on R1s and similar could not make it work: liter inlines on tracks are a major handful. I'll stick with the 600 awhile.
Of course, a ZX might not be the ideal bike for riding wheelies on I-5 between Shoreline and Lynnwood, the preferred venue for most idjits. Depends on your needs, I guess.
What, no mention of the red '02 that you probably passed repeatedly, DRB? I know I saw the backside of that silver one quite a few times.
I've done Spokane twice, but this was my first time at Pacific. I was pitted with my friends Andy and James (WMRRA novices, #913 & 914, on silver F2s) and they were helping me out a bit. By the end of the day I was running about 1:50, which was my goal.
Yeah, it was interesting to see the variance in rider ability. Andy is ten seconds faster than me on his old-ass beater Honda, yet I was hanging with an R1 for a few laps. I passed some people like they were on bicycles, and lots of people did the same to me. I was very pleasantly surprised at how smoothly things went down, though -- I'd been a little nervous about having a wide open track with that many people.
We got lots of onboard footage, so there ought to be a video coming soon.
Alas, Lee, the gent on the silver ’03 certainly was quick: I believe that young man’s name is Kelley. Speaking of video, a guy on a ZX-9 hanging around the Bellevue Kawasaki pit sported an interesting camera mount, though I’m not sure what footage he obtained. The ZX-9’s mount was a Lockhart, he mentioned.
Unless I’ve lost my marbles and YOU were that gent! In that heat, it’s possible. Not sure I knew my own last name about three hours in. My apologies, though, if I missed a fellow ZX guy.
On my humble black/green ’03, I did the best I could while Kelley and my host, Mike, turned 1’40” or better. The green is recycled race bodywork, the looks of which I can no longer stand, so that’ll be repainted (probably all-black) as soon as I get off my rear and prep the bodywork. They’re Sharkskinz or some such purchased with the bike (from Mike at Bellevue Kawasaki) in June.
I’m simply a regular Joe out riding a bike I find a real bite in the ass. At 230lbs with Michelin-Man, Kushitani leathers, I’m hard to miss! I have no axes to grind, leaving that to the youngins’ .
Of note to those who ride track days, Kelley reported riding to the edge and beyond on his Metzeler M1 Sportecs. He noted a few nail-biting slides out of the rear, usually powering out of Turn 4, plus front end push barreling into Turn 3. On race rubber, I faced no such problems.
There do seem to be limits on tires touted as “aggressive street/track day” by the manufacturers, after all. Bridgestone BT-012SS, Metzeler M1 Sportec, and Pirelli Diablos fall under this category. While great tires, clearly they can be defeated at near race-practice pace…?
Adrenaline Freaks this Friday! I’ll try to make it. There’s one more event left in my Metzeler/Pirellis, I think.
[}][}] Lynnwood in the house... Any time before aug 13 the silver '03 636 that passed your ass was me. Laid it down on the sulton bason road just off hwy 2. Thought I was a real bad ass, well it showed me a thing or two. Can't wait to get back out and ride.
Ware your leathers, I can't stress how fucking lucky I am to have had them on!!!!!!![}][}]
That’s a shame, Mr. Slayer. Guess we won’t be barreling around on Ben Howard Road quite so fast in the future, perhaps? (Not sure Ben Howard’s in “the Basin,” but it is an enjoyable ride with a few decent twisties. Oh, and no runoff to speak of. Did you land in the infamous pond out there? The fella who owns it fishes a Porsche or two plus at least one errant biker out of his pond every year, I heard. Blow that deceptive left, land in the drink.)
Alas, I find street sport riding totally, completely worthless. There isn’t any way to come remotely close to personal best out there in uncontrolled conditions, with cops, gravel, kids on bicycles, and cows to worry about. Everyone’s number comes up eventually, without fail. I’ve about used up my Karma Chits so thought I’d sell or park the streetbikes this year and limit the shenanigans to Pacific Raceways.
When you’re back in action, come join the fun via WMRRA, Adrenaline Freaks, CLASS, or Sullivan School. All run dates at PR in the summer. Hope to see you, best regards.
Well mr. DRB your very close to me there in mill creek. I have to take 164th every day to go north on I5. My last name is sayler by the way but most of my friends call me slayer. I would love to get back on the road but need to fix my bike, do you know where to get kawasaki stuff cheeper. Bent Bike has nothing and Cycle Barn is well Cycle Barn$$$$. I have some brand new aftermarket parts that your bike would love and I'll even bring them to you!!!
I got my full titianum race exhaust, power commander, and hyperpro steering damper 3 days after I laid it down. I make you amazing deals so that I can get back out their. Let me know. [email protected] or (425)745-1753 home (509)251-1827 cell (BEST WAY TO REACH ME) - Jason Sayler
Mr. Slayer, I shall consider your offer of interesting parts "at discount."
I'll put on my calendar to contact you sometime later the week of 8/18 about parts, depending on finances! I'm due to spend a few bucks on ZX-6R upgrades, but alas, you know how it is: more projects than money.
Hope to catch up to you soon, don't be grievously offended if I cannot. Good luck with the restoration!
Oh, new parts? I can't shine too much light on that subject, and agree with your assessments of the local shops. Mine's track-only, nearly new, and hasn't broken. I've not gone down that road yet.
Ok, so maybe i'm jumping the gun a bit but i'm posting to represent for North Bend! Yeah baby! I'm looking at a candy blue 2001, 1000 miles, totally babied. my boss owns it, and if i could ever get him to actually bring it to work with him so i could take a ride on it and get a feel for it i'm most likely gonna buy it. I test rode a 2002 yamaha YZF600R but i'm thinking i might be a little happier on this one. I'd love to hit up PR for a track day, though i think i probably missed the season this year. Do you have to have any kind of special licensing or certification to get your bike on the track there? Anyways, I'm hoping i can make the financial aspect work and get the bike, if so you'll see a lot more of me.
Mt. Vernon, excellent. Indeed there are great roads to the east, west, and especially north, all he way to the Canadian border. Just took a solo Blackbird ride out to Darrington, then north to Cascade Loop Hwy and the “scenic route” back to Arlington and points south the other day, m’self.
“When” will we get together and ride, hmm. How about we all meet at the Enumclaw Suzuki day at Pacific Raceways September 24? It should be great fun. A ZX on the street holds no candle to track riding. A group of strangers sport-riding on the street is an invitation to picking up wrecked bikes and bodies. I pity the leader of such a ride. An open track day, with ambulances, corner workers, no cops-kids-speed limits-etc. is a whole different ball game.
Hope to see you all there. I will be, with a couple buddies. They’re really great fun, and an astounding bargain at a hundred bucks for the whole day.
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