Every once in a while, a reader will ask me to keep an eye out for a certain motorcycle, and I’ll help them find a bike that I may not specifically feature on the site. That’s what happened with reader George G this weekend and he was kind enough to share his success story.
A couple of weeks ago, George reached out to me because he was was looking for a mid-sized track bike. Conveniently, just a day later reader Frank S sent me a Craigslist link for a dirt cheap ZX-6R track bike in Roseville, California. Normally I would have shared it on the site but instead I sent the link directly to George. Within a couple of days he had the bike evaluated and committed to purchasing it. Yesterday, he spent about 12 hours on the road to pick it up and bring it home, and now he’s the proud owner of a new track toy! In his words:
Yesterday I drove up to Roseville, a suburb of Sacramento and picked up the green Kawasaki ZX-6R track bike. I left at 5:30 in the morning with two of my sons keeping me company. Took the 5 freeway pretty much all the way. I rented a Dodge Ram from Enterprise to bring the bike back. Road was smooth and the trip there was uneventful.
After reading the ad, I was frankly put off by the low price. The bike looked very good in the pictures, plus it came with a boxful of spares. Tires were track-used but decent, the carbs were gone through, and the clutch was freshly replaced. All this for $1,150 or best offer? Nonetheless, I texted the owner minutes after you sent me the ad. Jason, the seller, replied almost immediately. In fact, Jason has been great at getting back to me with answers.
Having absolutely zero experience in looking at track bikes and because the bike was over 400 miles away, I needed someone to lay their eyes on the bike and give me an opinion. That someone happened to be Brian “Slipdog” Roth, owner of Roth Racing MX. After looking at the bike, Brian reported that he was puzzled that the bike was still available given the low price. That was all the encouragement I needed, so I quickly contacted Jason and PayPal’d him a deposit.
I originally wanted to pick up the bike in a van. Jason measured the height of the front end which came out to be 48″. Remembering my previous trials and tribulations when I used a Ford Transit to transport my Bimota SB8R to the Quail Motorsports Gathering, I opted for a large truck. The largest truck available at the local Enterprise was a Dodge Ram SLT. I had reservations of the bike fitting completely in the bed with the tailgate securely shut, and those reservations later proved to be founded. One positive thing about this Dodge Ram was its 20 mpg fuel economy.
Jason’s son races an R3. The Kawi was Jason’s bike so that the two of them could ride together. Later on, Jason bought his son a backup R3 and would use that bike for the track, thus rendering the ZX-6R absolete. Having too many bikes, Jason wanted to find a new home for his old track bike and yours truly is its new caretaker. The bike was just as good in real life as it looked in the pics, but the sound was amazing. One quick lap around the block and we were shaking hands. [Editor’s Note: George is exhibiting excellent taste in shirts!]
Jason and I loaded up the bike and the parts – at least 6 rear sprockets, 3 or 4 sets of clip-ons, 2 spare fairings, OEM Kawi exhaust (the bike now sports a Yoshimura exhaust), seals, clutch, etc. As I feared earlier, the rear tire prevented the lift gate from shutting closed but thankfully my friend Arthur loaned me a ton of tiedowns so Jason and I were able to properly secure the green monster. Jason also gifted me some bungee cords to keep the box with spare parts secure in the bed. My sons loaded up the fairings and exhaust into the cab and off we went.
On the way back, I was taking it easy. A quick mid-day meal at Denny’s made everyone a happy camper as my sons and I continued on our way back home. Only one part of the trip made me quite uneasy. Ascending Tejon Pass, I began to worry that the incline angle combined with freeway bumps would shake the box with spare parts loose and spill them out onto the freeway and in the path of unsuspecting motorists. I pulled over several times to check on the bungee cords and the box, but everything was good and tight. We finally managed to get home and I pulled the truck into the driveway with the intention of unloading the bike next morning.
All in all, this was a very exciting start to what I hope will be a rewarding track experience. The bast part of the entire trip was able to spend the time with my kids. We talked about many things and spent time listening to music. Each one of us would call a song he wanted to hear and my middle son Dennis would play it through the Bluetooth on the truck’s radio. My kids guessed my first request before I could even open my mouth…”Hotel California” on the airwaves, my boys sitting alongside of me and a nice score in the truck bed.
I say this was a Saturday very well spent.