Kawasaki Ninja H2SX SE
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Happy New Year!
Plans for this year: returning to Italy for vacation, have the suspension checked (still not satisfied), doing more touring...
Tuesday 24 March, 11,865km. Corona
Well, this Corona crisis put the world upside down for everybody, including me. I have to work at home and motorcycling isn't yet prohibited, but strongly discouraged. So I leave it be and wait for the good times to return...
Sunday 5 April, 12,110km. Season starter
Stay safe and wash your hands ;)
Sunday 26 April, 12,480km. IJsselmeer again
Very nice weather today, so a good moment to open season 2020. With Pim (gsxr1300) and Marco (s1000rr) I rode a piece of the well known IJsselmeer route. We could only go halfway because the Afsluitdijk had been closed. Still had a nice time.
Because of this Corona thing we kept our distance, especially at gasstations.
Wednesday 3 June, 12,609km. Suspension
Again very nice weather, so the same trio went again for the same route. This time a complete lap.
On a great stretch of dyke we were being followed by a motorcycle cop. People had complaint about misbehaving bikers and he wanted to keep an eye on us. Of course we behaved this time. After a couple of kilometers I had enough of him and stoppend on the verge of the road. He stopped too and started a conversation about bikes and stuff. He rode privately a ZZR1400 and had owned 5 ZZR1100's, so a Kawi lover and thus a good guy. We let hime leave first so we could misbehave the last piece of the dyke :).
On the way back we had to wait before an opened bridge on the highway which was a good opportunity to try out the launch control. Of course I had forgotten which buttons to push so I tried some combinations until I got it right. When the bridge closed again I opened the throttle as far as I dared and let the clutch go. The SX shot forwards leaving my friends behind. I glanced at the speedo and saw only 150kmh, it seemed much faster... At a second glance I saw that because of the fiddling with the buttons I had put the dash into miles in stead of kilometers, so it was pretty quick after all...
Friday 31 July, 13,000km. Oh no, not again?
Today Pim and I went to a suspension specialist to have our suspension sorted. At HK Suspension
they spent half an hour on each bike to improve the setup. Pim's bike wasn't in balance and the front had to be stiffened, my rear was too soft -as I suspected- and they fixed that too.
To my surprise they didn't charge us for the work, it seems because Pim was a good customer of theirs.
On the way home we both could feel the difference and my bike felt especially better while cornering.
Wednesday 2 September, 13,000km. Oh no, not again!
Quite hot today, still Pim and I went for yet another ride around the IJsselmeer. For us this is the only decent route to take in The Netherlands without much speedbumps, speedtraps, trafficlights and other traffic. And the scenery is nice.
A year ago we were on vacation in Italy and just now I received a speeding ticket out of Italy. And a good one too: 565 euro for doing 90kmh instead of 50kmh...
Thursday 10 September, 13,214km. ZH2
Could this be the droplet that overflows the bucket (as we say here, you might say 'straw that breakes the camel's back')? For a while now I'm pondering what my motorcycling future might look like. This year I've only done around 1200km. And I don't have the urge to do more kilometers. After 40 years of motorcycling I've seen it all and done it all. An expensive Kawasaki Ninja H2SXSE seems a bit of overkill in this situation. It's perfect for doing long and fast trips, but it seems I'm not anymore. Still I don't want to be without a bike. Yet. Maybe something smaller, cheaper, just for a quick spin now and then? The 2020 Kawasaki Ninja 650 might be a candidate? Don't like the colors of this year, maybe they're more to my liking next year...
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Sunday 10 September, 14,245km. Trip abroad
Today I went to my dealer to speak to him about my motorcycling future. Everyone overthere discouraged me to buy the Ninja 650, too slow, too boring for someone who's had H2's in his past/present. He had a demo Z-H2, and to make my collection of driven (streetlegal) H2's complete I went for a test ride. It has three modes: sport, road and rain. Of course I put it in sport mode. When I opened the throttle the Z-H2 sprinted forward like a 'normal' H2, maybe even faster... I must confess I didn't dare to open the throttle completely, so fast was the acceleration. The Z-H2 is a very good bike, suspension, comfort, fueling, everything works very fine, to say the least. Maybe my next bike will be a Z-H2??
Friday 9 October, 14,256km. End of season
Last Thursday Pim contacted me, saying that we would leave Friday for a little trip to Luxembourg. Although a little surprised, I thought we were going next Friday, I of course agreed.
After an uneventfull trip to Maastricht we had the Garmin set out an adventurous route for us to Weiswampach in Luxembourg were we knew a nice hotel. The curvy route was great and after a while we were at our destination. To find the hotel booked full. Booking.com to the rescue. With little effort I found a hotel nearby at Clervaux. Too bad a couple of roads to Clervaux were closed because of maintenance. Nevertheless we found our hotel at the city centre and it was a very good one: Hotel International
Saturday we left from that hotel to ride some great roads in the vicinity. Perfect tarmac and a lot of twists and turns as usual for Luxembourg. Great fun.
Sunday we let the Garmin do the work again to create a nice route home. And it managed to do so. Concluding a very fine long weekend.
Wednesday 9 December, 14,256km. End of Kawasaki
Cleaned the bike, removed the battery and put the bike away for the winter. Motorcycling season has ended for me. This year I did an abysmal 2400km due to mainly the Corona crap.
After riding the Z-H2 I've looked at the other powernakeds on the market. There are some interesting bikes amongs them like the Ducati Streetfighter V4 (beautiful, too expensive, too track oriented), Yamaha MT10SP (very interesting but has a too high fuel consumption) and the KTM 1290 Super Duke R. I don't think the Z-H2 is the bike for me, insane acceleration, but a bit on the heavy side. As a next bike I want one to have a lot of fun with. On the street and if possible on the track too. Enter the Super Duke.
Today I made a short test ride on one and I do like it. Seating position is very nice, handling is very good, power is very nice. Fuel consumption seems to be moderate. A bit more wind/weather protection would be nice, but there are some aftermarket windshields. Add some luggage capabilities and this might be thé bike for me. Fun, enough power, good handling, suitable for short vacations, suitable for the odd trackday... I won't change bikes this year (I think...). Kawasaki seems to be coming this fall with some new models? Let's see what they offer. My blood is still green :).
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Wednesday 16 December. For Sale
Today I traded the SX in for a KTM 1290 Super Duke R. The H2SXSE is a perfect bike for what it's made for: going very fast, very comfortable, from A to B over long distances. But as it turned out I'm hardly doing long distances anymore. Of course I went to Italy last summer, but this was a one off. In a possible future case I will use a trailer behind a car to get the bike to its destination.
The supercharged SX was a spectacular bike and I enjoyed it a lot, but I think I will have more fun with a lighter, sportier, bike like the Super Duke.
Some remaining quotes:
The dealer has the SX put up for sale. He's asking 18,000 euro for it, I got 16,000 when trading it in...
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