My sister Kayt, Emery (her fiance), a couple or their friends and I went on a day trip from central PA to the Jersey shore this last Sunday. I rode my Sister's KZ200 while she road with Emery on his FJR. We took a test run around the area the day before. The bike I rode is nearly 30 years old, but is in excellent shape (aside from a small dent in the gas tank from the last owner tipping it over in his driveway).
Here are some pics from the trip:
Me posing on the bike - no, I didn't go riding without the helmet:
The Barnegat Lighthouse:
Emery at the top of the lighthouse:
Me behind bars:
A view from the top:
The whole gang:
My sister and I trying to avoid the wind:
Getting ready to leave:
Me getting geared up:
It was roughly 150 miles each way. The bike did well netting 68 MPG at roughly 60 MPH - pretty good considering the bike hits 8000 RPM at that speed.
I definately got a full load of practice on all kinds of conditions:
- We started out in the fog that morning when on the way to meet up with the rest of the group.
- A car ran a red light in the fog as I was making a right turn on a green. He nearly hit the van going straight through the intersection beside me. The car veered around the van and came to a stop just past the intersection. I saw it in my mirror and slipped over to the white line. I cranked the throttle to get away from the car and it pulled to the shoulder as I left it behind.
- I had to make several left turns onto busy roads from the meeting area, the diner where we ate, the gas station we filled up at and a few other areas. The station on the way back required a left turn onto a busy road from a dirt parking lot.
- At one right turn, I had to avoid a manhole cover, a pothole and a discarded wrench in my path.
- We went through a construction zone wher the pavement had been removed, exposing the grooved undercoating.
- There was roadkill all over the place.
- We had a near miss when a dirtbike darted across the road in front of our group.
- At one point we were on a stretch of road where the expansion joints were swelled up so large, they were like speed bumps. The ones on a curve were the worst.
- We crossed two sets of railroad tracks - twice.
- We crossed the hudson over a very high bridge with a metal grate section.
- It was very windy, especially on the bridges.
- We stopped off at the home of one of the group, so it got dark on the way back. The headlight on the KZ wasn't exactly the brightest. I followed Emery and Kayt, who were on the FJR.
- It started to rain a little during the night riding portion on the way back to the house.
- My main fuel supply ran out on a busy rural highway going 65 MPH requiring me to quickly flip the petc0ck over to reserve on the fly. I managed not to stall it and only dropped to 55 in the process.
- On the test ride with Kayt and Em the day before, the KZ kept mysteriously stalling on me while moving up steep hills. After the third time I figured out that the choke was a bit loose and was creeping up a bit every time I would lean to the left. Over the course of a few leans it would be at the halfway point. The hills were just too much for it to have that much choke engaged, though flats were fine. I decided to just check it every so often and push it back down it it started creeping up again rather than go right back and end the ride. I didn't have any further trouble.
- I did stall a few times during the ride when starting off, but that was just me still being inexperienced. Luckily Kayt and Em were riding behind me to keep cars from running me over those few times it happen - mostly on uphill starts.