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Old 4th May 2015, 10:57   #1
v12
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Default Godzilla! My monster from Japan. Kawasaki Z800, now with HP Corse Hydroform

I am sorry to disappoint you if you expected a Nissan Skyline in this thread. I know the title is very misleading - its not the real Godzilla (a Skyline). But nevertheless, it will not disappoint you since it is as a monster in its own way. Every motorcycle enthusiast (or I should say most) name their bikes or cars. I was among the very few who never cared to name any of my bikes. But since this bike was very special to me - my first ever superbike - I had to name it.

One look at the Z800 and the only thing that comes to your mind is - Humongous!! Add to that - its Black and Green. It looks very much like a Monster. And where did it originate from? Yes, you are right!! Japan! Hmmm ... Now where have I heard such a story - of a monster from Japan.

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Godzilla!

So guys, sit back and watch as the Godzilla story unfolds. For starters, this is just one pic of the bike and a much needed Prologue to the whole story.

Frankly speaking I really don't know where to start with - but in simple and plain words - my dream of owning a superbike has finally come true. A dream of ...hmmm I don't really know, say 18-20 years - finally came true when I booked my first superbike on 1st Feb 2015. Just like everyone, I have a couple of dream bikes - MV Agusta F4, Honda CBR954RR and the Yamaha R1 being on top of the list. Although they continue to remain the bikes of my dream - the Z800 is one major step forward in that direction.

Background (Warning : Skip this post if you dont want to know my boring story )
I could skip the Prologue and introduce to Godzilla - but the Prologue is where it all started. My 2-wheeler story goes back to the days when my dad used to own a scooter (a Bajaj or a Vijay Super) - this was in the early 80's. He would take us for a ride in our locality - with me standing on the foot board, holding the handle. Those were the days when as kids we could stand in front of the seat and get a perfect wind-in-the-hair experience. It was so much fun I remember - I would honk even at the speed breakers thinking they would disappear and make way for us.

Cycling Days
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My actual experience on a 2-wheeler started when my parents got me a cycle. I remember it was a medium sized BMX with those balancing wheels. Although I was scared to try it out, my dad and my elder brother ensured that I get over my fear and practiced and learnt riding it. As we grew up, we got bigger cycles - my elder brother loved those racing cycles and I preferred the MTB ones. So I got a Hero Ranger and my bro got a Concorde Pro cycle (then known as Bend Handle cycle).

Those were the years - We would go for early morning rides to the beach, drag our cycles on the sand and then ride along the shore. We even played Motocross racing wherever there was construction work - jumping over piles of mud / debris, falling down, getting hurt, dusting our butts off and getting back on the seat for the next lap. I don't know how many of you would remember but "Follow the Leader" was another popular game with cycling kids.


Scootering Days
Godzilla! My monster from Japan. Kawasaki Z800, now with HP Corse Hydroform-kinetic.jpg
It was during this time that Kinetic Honda launched their CVT/electric start scooter in India - the Kinetic Honda DX. The launch of the Ki-Ho was as epic as that of the Maruti 800. It was an instant hit in the entire country - boys, girls, old and young. Imagine - no tension of kick starting for the ladies and old people, no worry about gear changes in traffic. All controls are within your hands itself, so your legs are free to relax. With storage space under the seat and in the front panel, a fuel gauge - what more can you ask for. And a few years later, in 1989/90, my dad purchased a brand new Kinetic Honda DX for himself.

The Ki-Ho was a very simple and easy to ride scooter. Heck, it was even simpler to ride than a cycle. All you had to do was sit and accelerate and brake whenever required. if you knew to balance and ride a cycle - a Ki-Ho was no big deal (as long as your legs could reach the ground). So my dad decided to teach us the Ki-Ho. It didn't take us long to learn it and at the age of 14-15, we could ride it as well as anyone else. Of course we learnt riding on empty stretches of road, where there was no human / vehicular traffic. We would also ride it only within the locality and not in traffic (remember those days there was not much traffic). We were taught strictly to be very responsible while riding. We continued riding the Ki-Ho till we got our Driving License and even beyond that until 1997. During this period we sold and bought a new Ki-Ho every 3-years. My last Ki-Ho was an aqua marine one which was my first ever modified Ki-Ho. I remember that I had carried out some unique mods on it - removing the spare wheel and putting a grab rail, fixing an LED tail light behind the seat, removing all the Ki-Ho stickers and putting Honda font stickers, fork gaiters on the mirror stalks to make it look beefy. I really miss those days.

Racing Days
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It was 1997 - and it was time enough to sell the Ki-Ho and go for a new one. The only factor to consider was "what color next". So my brother and me were discussing with my dad "what color next? We had a black, blue, white and the unique aqua marine - what next". My dads next question really stunned me - "Don't you want to go for a geared bike? Are you not bored of the scooter?" My dads friend was selling off his 1994 Suzuki Shogun and my decided to pick this bike for me to learn on. I must appreciate his choice (a Shogun for a starter). Its only when I read the reviews of the Shogun that I realized that it was a killer bike - nicknamed The Boss. A Bike which could beat the King (the RX100). The bike was not in a very good condition - but my dad got it fixed and it was as good as a new one. I loved the Shogun - it sounded mad, it had an equally maddening pickup. I enjoyed riding it a lot and I did so for 2 months when some niggles started cropping up and we decided to sell it and go for a brand new motorcycle. The superbike craze had not set in yet.

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The only other geared bike that was very popular at that time was the RX100/RX135. We sold the Ki-Ho and dashed over to the Yamaha showroom. There it was - the RX135 4-speed in black - and I was bowled over. The classic look with the round lights, indicators and mirrors - I had made up my mind. The dealer however had a mind of his own - which maybe because he had to sell the RX-Z bikes also. He gave me a feature comparison of the RX and the RX-Z - benefits of the RX-Z over the RX (better quality, sporty looks, better tires, tachometer etc). My heart said RX135 and my head said RX-Z - but my head over ruled and we went with the RX-Z. It served us well for 3 years and it was time again to sell it and buy another bike. The superbike craze had not set in yet.

Cruising Days
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The other bike that I always envied was the Bullet - the bike looked classic (like an elder brother of the RX100). I asked my dad if we could go for the Bullet as the next bike. "NO" was the expected answer. And I knew the reasons very well - gears/brakes on the wrong side, weight, kick lever backfire. My dad was under the impression that I wanted a Bullet because it was a "cruiser" bike, so he suggested that I go in for the Kawasaki Eliminator. So in Jan 2002, we went ahead and purchased the Kawasaki Eliminator . To read about my experience on the Eliminator follow the below links :

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/long-t...liminator.html (Kawasaki Bajaj Eliminator.)
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/shifti...liminator.html (Sale : 2002 Kawasaki Eliminator)

It was during one of my local rides that I came across another Eliminator owner who invited me to meet him and his friends. One of his friends owned a Kawasaki ZX-9R and had got it for the meet. It was a 1999 ZX-9R in the typical Kawasaki racing green color. The bike was fitted with an aftermarket exhaust and it sounded amazing. That was the first time I had come so close to a seeing and hearing superbike. Through my dad, I also got to know another guy who had a good collection of superbikes - a Hayabusa, Blackbird, KLX650, Valkyrie. And one fine day, I got the chance to go pillion with him on his Hayabusa. The superbike passion started flaring up now.

During this time I also met up with a few Team-BHPians - Hiren Mistry, Dippy and his brother Fireblader. We would often meet up regularly and discuss our bikes and our dream bikes. Lot of names would come up - Honda CBRs, Kawasaki ZX's, Suzuki GSX's, Yamaha R1/6's and the obvious Ducati's and MV Agusta's. All we could do at that time was just dream. None of these bikes were available in India and what was available were either illegal or expensive or both. However that never stopped us from dreaming.

Thumping Days
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In 2004-2005, Royal Enfield introduced the Machismo 350 with gears/brakes on the proper side, lighter aluminum engine. Was time to now upgrade from the Eliminator. The perceptions of the older Bullets were cleared and we went and booked the Machismo 350. After a year or so - we converted the bike into a Cafe Racer. I owned the Bullet for 6 years and then decided I needed a change. Meanwhile, we had also added a Yamaha RX100 to the garage with the sole intention of building a Cafe Racer.
More on the Enfield and Yamaha RX100 story here :
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/modifi...ismo-pics.html (Where to get low/ace-cafe handlebars for Bullet + my modded Machismo pics)
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/modifi...highlight=cafe (Pictorial Progress: V12's Cafe Racer Project! Updated pics!)
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/motorb...highlight=cafe (My Enfield Cafe Racer!! Project Complete and I'm back. (Back to stock - Pg 6))
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/motorb...ack-stock.html (My Yamaha RX100 Cafe Racer modification thread! Dec 09 - back to stock!)
Although I was happy with the Enfield and the Yamaha - there was something missing in both the bikes. I was not enjoying my rides - so decided to sell both of them and buy a decent bike - Apache RTR, Karizma, Unicorn. I am so happy I decided against all of these bikes and settled for a second hand P220.

All these bikes were missing something - they had 3 cylinders less than what I wanted. So although it was fun riding it - my heart still wanted more. Every time I saw a superbike, I would go into Dream mode - "when will I have mine". But I knew the time wasn't right - superbikes were not officially available and so it was as good as impossible to get a clean one.

However post 2008, a lot of things started happening in the Superbikes community - DRI crackdown on all illegal superbikes. Maybe that was a sign of things to come - manufacturers putting pressure on the Govt to crackdown on the illegal imports because they wanted to officially enter the market.

Yamaha came in first with the R1, MT-01 and the Dragstar bikes. Honda and Suzuki followed with their CBR and GSX models respectively. Then came India's most favorite and the worlds most popular brand - Harley Davidson. All these manufacturers were selling their 1000cc/+ bikes which were firstly un affordable and secondly too powerful for our roads. Then came the news of Triumph coming to India with their 675cc triples - the Street and the Daytona - at a mouth watering price of 5-7 lakhs. I had made up my mind, if there was no other bike available - the Daytona would be the bike for me when Triumph enters the market. They took their own sweet time - and meanwhile Kawasaki came and launched the Ninja 650 at an affordable price. Finally when Triumph did come - the Daytona had shot the 10L price. So Daytona was out for me.

Deciding on the right bike.
From the time I saw the ZX-9R in flesh, I was in love with it - The fairing, the fat tires, the exhaust sound, the in-line 4 engine, the sporty ride position. Since then I have been drooling over these bikes. Back then I couldn't even think of buying a superbike because (1) I did not have the money and (2) even if I did, most of the bikes available were grey imports and there were no service backup. So the thought of buying one went lower down in my Bucket List. It was only when the big bikes started coming in, I started giving it a thought.

I did not have any specific budget in mind (although it was limited to around 3-5 lakhs). I was told that within this budget, the only official bikes that I could buy were the Ninja 650 or the Harley Street 750. If I was considering a 2nd hand one - it would be at least 8-10 year old CBR's, ZX-9's etc. Practicality set into my mind - a brand new practical sportsbike (Ninja 650) or a 8 year old super/sports bike? The harder I thought, the more difficult it was for me to make a decision. Putting such a large amount of your (and parents) hard earned money and compromising - no ways. Even though I would enjoy riding the Ninja 650 - my heart would always long for a superbike. So Ninja 650 was out. The only other option was a used sportsbike. I started searching online for used superbikes and found a couple of Hayabusa's (1st gen), old CBR 600's, - none of which had done >25,000 kms. Although they were old, these bikes still have a lot of life left in them. But in the end, they were old bikes. I would never know how they were maintained, whether they were legal imports, what problems would they come with etc. A new bike is a new bike - it comes with warranty, service backup etc. So a used superbike was totally ruled out.

Years passed on and I kept on hoping for the Big 4 to launch their 600cc bikes. But nothing happened. I was back to square 1 and started reconsidering the Ninja 650. Also started widening my options to include the Harley's.

Kawasaki Ninja 650R / ER-6N : I checked out a couple of reviews of the 650 and most of them were all praises for its practicality. On this side of 6 lakhs - the Ninja seemed to be the best bike I could buy. It had decent power for city commuting and enough for fast highway rides. It seemed comfortable and light as well and also pillion friendly (has a grab rail).

Harley Davidson Super Low / Iron 883 : I had checked out the Iron 883 when the Harley showroom had opened up in Bandra. I was impressed with the bike - mean looks, amazing quality and it had the typical traditional Harley burbling sound. It wasn't priced too high - but a Harley was not my type of bike. I never liked cruiser bikes so much - so even though the Harley was a good option, I ticked it off as easily as I had added it to the list.

Although these bikes were really good in their own ways - they never impressed me. And they would never also because they did not have what I really wanted - an inline 4 engine. That was my requirement. An inline 4 or nothing.
Not for its top speed - I don't ride fast. So anyone who sees me will think that the bike is in the wrong hand.
Not for its handling - I will not scrape my knees. I may not even lean more than 30 degrees on any turn.
Not for its 0-100 @ 3.7 s - A Pulsar / Enfield will definitely beat me in a 0-100.

But just for the sound - Nothing beats the sound of a 4 cylinder superbike. A parallel or a V-twin can never come close to it (although the sound of twins are melodious in their own ways).

Another year passed by and I was still left dreaming about my superbike. 2015 started off with some good news though regarding my job and the superbike scene. The options had widened a bit - Triumph was in, Kawasaki was in, Honda was planning to launch the CBR650F, Benelli launching their 600cc range etc. Since I would buy the bike on loan, I decided to increase my budget and check for my loan eligibility.

Triumph StreetTriple : Yes, I know this is a 3-cylinder bike. But lot of motorcycle magazines were all praises for the ST's 3 cylinder and compared it to many 4 cylinder sportsbikes. I read through the reviews posted by AnkurS, hifisharu and quickdraw and considered it as an option. My brother and me went to check out the Triumph range at the Jogeshwari showroom. We were met by a polite and well spoken gentleman and told him that we were here to check out the Street Triple. We also mentioned that we were not looking for anything above 8 lakhs. This is when he mentioned that if I was looking for anything under 8 lakhs - the Bonneville was the only option @ 7.06. I was shocked to hear that the price of the ST had gone upto 9.25. Nevertheless, we decided to test ride the ST - and that too a very short one. Nothing much to write about because I didnt even go above 2nd gear.
The good part about the Street was that they had a lot of aftermarket options available (without voiding warranty, I think). They also had a lot of color options - red, black, blue and white.

Benelli : I read about DSK getting the Benelli brand to India. Although the range and pricing seemed impressive, the Benelli (except for the TNT1130) never appealed to my heart. If it were an MV Agusta F4 - that would be something different. 2 more reasons why I struck out the Benelli from the list were (1) A.S.S - I have never heard of nor seen a DSK dealership / service center anywhere in Mumbai and (2) Benelli is more Chinese that Italian (in ownership I mean - not design).

Kawasaki Z800: The Z800 was never on my list because it was expensive and beyond my budget. But the recent 50k price cut bought it a bit closer. So I started reading djay99 and TheCelestial's ownership review and was really impressed. Read reviews on other forums. Checked out YouTube for video reviews (International as well as Indian) - and was more impressed. I posted on the Z800 thread asking for more details - showrooms, dealerships in Mumbai, price etc. The very next day a friend informed me that the Kawasaki Palm Beach showroom was holding a test ride event for their entire superbike range (Z800, Z1000, Ninja 1000, ZX-10R, ZX-14R). So went to the showroom and test rode the bike.

Honda CBR650F : I was closely following the CBR650F since the time it was reported that Honda was planning to manufacture it in India. some things I have heard from superbike owners / riders is "You ca never go wrong with Honda", "Be it a 600, 900 or a 1000 - they are very practical motorcycles even for daily use", "Maintenance wise, the Honda is the cheapest to maintain compared to the rest of the Jap bikes". Going by the specifications, it seemed to be the perfect beginners bike for many enthusiasts who were upgrading to a superbike. The power - although the same as the N650 - was enough for our roads and more usable than a 100+ bhp 600RR. The ergonomics seem to be perfect - for the rider as well as pillion. What more did I want? Obviously a <6 lakhs price tag! And if I believed that, I would be waiting for that day for the rest of my life. We all know Honda's pricing strategy - be it the Accord or the Activa - the H and the Wing badge demand a 10% premium. Also, there was no confirmed news on when they would launch the 650F.

So in the end, I did what every superbike enthusiast would do. I kept practicality aside, ignored what my mind said, started thinking of things that I could sacrifice (shopping, mobile bills, etc) and went ahead and booked by superbike on 1st Feb 2014.

Booking Experience
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It was very obvious that the Z would be the most obvious choice. Not because I loved the Z and I didn't like the others. The main reason was that the Z seemed very practical, more VFM and was Japanese. No offence against the other bikes - like I said, they are excellent in their own ways. But the Z fulfilled my main criteria - 4 cylinders.
I booked the Z from Kawasaki Palm Beach on the test ride event day itself. Vashi is a good 1-1.5 hours from my place and I did not want to do any multiple trips. So carried all the documents along with me when we went for the test ride.
We reached KPB (Kawasaki Palm Beach) at around 2 PM and there was already a huge crowd there for the test ride. My brother and me went to the Registration desk to register our names for the Z TD. We also inq3uired if they were open for bookings - and Thank God - he said Yes. Since we were not carrying any helmet, we borrowed someones helmet for a TD. The TD was not a long one - but a nice straight road - parallel to Palm Beach road. We only could ride it straight till the end and back.Waited for a few minutes and then came my turn - it was a black Z. The rider got off and handed the bike to me - I had to take a U-Turn. I was wondering if I was taking a U-turn or orbiting the earth. The Z has a large turning radius, it did feel heavy in the beginning but was manageable. I would not be able to describe the test drive experience - after riding an Enfield, any superbike ride experience would be amazing (be it a twin or a 4 cylinder). What I did notice is the bike is tall - I didnt have to worry because I am 6ft so both my legs touch the ground. My younger brother too managed to ride the bike with no problems.

After the test ride, we spoke the owner of KPB outlet - regarding the payment, delivery, service costs, etc. He was very helpful and very patient in explaining us all the details. So after having finalized the Z, the next thing was to decide on the color. There were only 2 options - Black and Black/Green. Thanks to djay99 and TheCelestial for their reviews / pics - I made the decision to go for the black Z. After making the downpayment, we were assured that the bike would be delivered to us within 30 days of the downpayment + loan amount being disbursed.

I came back home and started googling for detailed pics of the Z800 - since I could not spend much time with the bike during the test ride (it was a Sunday and the dealership was closing soon). There were only 2 colors available and the black/green was only introduced a few months ago. I saved the pics of Z800 in both colors and showed them to my family and friends. And the most popular opinion was to go for the black/green. I liked the black color but it did not look as attractive as the black/green shade. So within 2 days, I called and asked for a black/green bike to be booked instead of the black.

I was told that the waiting on the black/green may be longer since they did not have stock and all the old stock was already sold out. I thought to my self - anyways I was waiting for a month - so a few more days would be fine. Feb end came and there was no sign of my bike. I called KPB and they said they would arrange for delivery on 1st/2nd week of March. I was really excited - but as the days came near, I was told that the old stock was sold out and they are awaiting import of the new stock and I would receive delivery of my bike by March end. On 19th Feb I read about SNK Bajaj delivering around 20 Z800's in a day - And mine didnt seem anywhere near. I was told that the next batch of Z800's would arrive in the first week of April, so I kept checking Zauba. Finally I was happy to see a batch of 36 Z800's imported from Thailand on 27th March - 26 green and 10 black. I called KPB and was assured that mine would be from this batch and deliveries would start from mid-April.

While I waited for the bike, I started making a list of the things that I need to buy. Broadly classified into 3 categories in the order of their importance -
  • Personal Safety
  • Motorcycle Safety
  • Other Motorcycle/Maintenance accessories


Personal Safety
The top on the list was a good helmet and riding gear. Since most of my riding (in the initial weeks/months) would be in the city only, I could buy the jacket at later stage.

1. Helmet : LS2 FF350 Atmos. After reading reviews on LS2 Helmets, I started searching for a design which would go well with the black/green color on the Z800. The one that I really liked was a black/green LS2 FF350 since it perfectly matched the bike. The only problem was that it was Out of stock. Then I came across the LS2 FF350 Atmos which reminded me of the GSX-R1000/750/600 of the late 90s - one of my favorite superbike. I was hooked on to it and even though the color did not match the Z800 - I went ahead and ordered it.
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2. Riding Gear : I am planning on the AGV Sports Solare riding jacket and Elbow/Knee protectors from Cramster. But will wait for suggestions from you before I go ahead. I went through the Riding Gear thread and found that the most popular riding gears were Alpinestar and Dainese - which were expensive. I tried out PGS and Rynox also as suggested on the thread and found the Rynox to be very very comfortable. But I will still try other brands as well before finalising.

Motorcycle Safety

1. Engine Guards : I ordered the engine guards online and am yet to fit them on the bike.
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2. Fork Protectors : Need assistance.

3. Tank Pads : Need assistance.

4. Frame Sliders - Have asked a friend to pick them up. Will be installing them once I get it.

Motorcycle Accessories
1. Paddock Stand : As you know, I do not let anyone wash my bike - I do it myself - and that too in very detail (every spoke, every cable, every nook and corner). So I will need a paddock stand. I have ordered for one and am awaiting delivery. More on this when it arrives.
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2. Spools : Need to buy.

Delivery
The delivery took a exactly 3 months. I booked the bile on 1st Feb and got it on 2nd May. The waiting period was long but I believe it was normal because the bike was a CBU. I kept getting regular updates from KPB on the arrival and delivery dates. Although the dates kept changing many times, it was not a problem for me at all.
Anyways, Mid April arrived and mid April went by - but my bike never came. It seems the bikes were still stuck at the port and had not yet reached the Pune showroom. After confirming multiple dates, a final date of 27th April was confirmed when the bike would arrive at the Pune showroom. Since it was my first superbike, I had requested the Pune dealer to let me know when the bike arrives for PDI at their showroom. I wanted to see the how my bike looked in the crate...just like u would love to see your presents in a nicely wrapped gift box. So on 27th I drove to Pune all excited hoping to see my bike. Reached there by 2 PM and waited until 4 PM .... No sign of any bike. I was then told that due to some transport issue the bike would not make it that day.I really don't know what I felt. Imagine taking a day off from your work, driving around 200 kms, spending around 4 hours each way ..just to be told that the bikes were not going to make it. I was disappointed. It won't be right on my part to blame anyone here. It could have been SNK Bajaj or the transport guys or for that matter India Kawasaki at fault. But why had I to go through this ordeal? Anyways I could not extend my stay so I drove back to Mumbai. I finally get a call from KPB on 30th Apr that the bikes have arrived and could be delivered on the same evening or anytime sooner. Due to a right schedule, I could not collect it on 30th or 1st. So we decided to collect it on the weekend.

Anyways we reached the KPB showroom today 1130 AM and was so happy to see the bike finally there.
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Collected the papers, did cake cutting and were ready to take off. We were advised to be very careful and avoid cops since the bike wasnt yet registered. We were also told to tank up because the bike was in reserve. The closest petrol pump was a HP one where there was regular petrol only available. But since the dealer said it was fine for the first time - we tanked it up. It was a 40 km ride from Vashi to my residence. It was the most happiest 40 kms of my life's journey. On the ride, I could see my mirror image among pedestrians, college students, and many youngsters. Everyone who saw the bike had a smile on their face and wanted to take pictures. People in cars gave me a Thumbs Up. I was like this till yesterday. Today I was the one getting the attention. It felt very different, it felt nice.

Initial Impression
The 40 km ride also gave me a good insight on the Z800. Here are my initial impressions on the bike.
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  • Kawasaki Heavy Industries - Yes. The bike is a bit heavy. You can feel the weight in slow moving traffic.
  • The turning radius is huge. A couple of times I felt I could take a sharp turn but the sudden thud of the handlebar made me realise this is not a regular 100/200cc bike.
  • The bike felt very restricted. Maybe because its still new and has to open up. I kept the rpm levels well below the 4k range (2-3 to be precise). Speeds less than 70 kmph on 6th gear was so easy. The bike did not knock even once. But it did feel that the bike was revving too much (looked like it had used up all its power).
  • The bike was comfortable on small potholes - big ones were obviously avoided.
  • Rear view mirrors could have been slightly bigger - although they are well placed.
  • The speedometer is very distracting. I had to look everywhere once to find exactly what I was looking for (will get used to with time)
  • Average temperature was between 98 and 104.
  • I could not feel the heat on me while riding. But in traffic, the heat was very prominent. And that too only when you had a vehicle next to yours.
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  • The engine and gearbox are very smooth. Among all the bikes that I have ridden, I always found the Honda Unicorns gearbox to be the smoothest and never thought there could be anything smoother than it. The Z800s gearbox was extremely butter smooth. There is a clunk sound only when changing to first...but all other gears engage smoothly.


Finally the bike is home
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Index to updates:

Background, Booking experience and Delivery @ 0 kms

Registering the Z

Fitting the engine guards

First 100kms ride with a Z800, Z1000 and Triumph Speed Triple

First Service @ 585 kms

Fitting the rear seat cowl (Racing seat/cowl)

Kawasaki Season Opening Ride to Lonavala
300 Kms ride to Malsej Ghat with Triumph Mumbai group

250 Kms ride to Tiger Point with the Triumph Mumbai group.

Second service @ 3016 kms

The best upgrade - HP Corse Hydroform slipon

200 kms Lonavala ride with a Triumph Street Twin

300 kms to Bordi with a Speed & Street Triple.

Another 200 Kms breakfast ride to Lonavala with Triumph Mumbai

Godzilla is crowned - Windshield added

Last edited by GTO : 14th August 2016 at 22:32. Reason: Adding index as requested :)
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Old 4th May 2015, 12:14   #2
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Default re: Godzilla! My monster from Japan. Kawasaki Z800, now with HP Corse Hydroform

Congrats ! Looks like Kawa made it sure you suffer !
I should say a small sorry too I guess. I booked on 28th Feb and moved Khivraj,Kawasaki to get me the last green Z, from Pune, in India !

She looks amazing, like your history of 2 wheelers. Great read, like a history book with so much information, like a window to the past.

Godzilla is some name though ! The vehicles and and buildings should be worried I guess.

How much did you pay for the engine guards from Kawa ?

I, strongly, suggest you get yourself a jacket and a glove at the minimum. The 70kmph speed on a 230Kg machine can cause havoc to the human anatomy, especially the way it accelerates at the slightest twist of the throttle. The SPG Aspida Helios is a very reputed jacket for our weather, at a very decent price. We can only ride when we have all our anatomy in good shape.

Suggestion:

1. Fork Protectors : R&G from PRS for 3.5K

2. Tank Pads : Keiti tank pad from DSG gear between 1200 till 2000/- INR

3. Frame Sliders : Quite a few options. Puig, DMV Moto, R&G or RD Moto for around 6K to 12K INR/-

4. Spools : Same brands as above or you can look at what Flybymoto is offered, all for around 1300 - 2000K INR/-

Last edited by Sojogator : 4th May 2015 at 12:15.
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Old 4th May 2015, 12:18   #3
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Default re: Godzilla! My monster from Japan. Kawasaki Z800, now with HP Corse Hydroform

Congrats V12 !! And a very nice write up too, the chronology leading up to the purchase.
Please add an exhaust to your purchase list.
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Old 4th May 2015, 12:42   #4
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Default re: Godzilla! My monster from Japan. Kawasaki Z800, now with HP Corse Hydroform

Congrats v12!
I would also like to know how did you source the Engine guards and for how much?

I am also curious regarding your colour choice. Why did you change the colour from Black to the Green combo? Was it just because of the popular opinion?
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Old 4th May 2015, 12:56   #5
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Default re: Godzilla! My monster from Japan. Kawasaki Z800, now with HP Corse Hydroform

Hi V12,

Congratulations on the Z800, wishing you many happy rides for you and Godzilla.
I too had test ridden the Z800 last year, its large turning radius is certainly felt, but all is made up in the smoothness of the bike and soothing exhaust note.

Take care,

Regards,
Veera
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Old 4th May 2015, 15:15   #6
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Default re: Godzilla! My monster from Japan. Kawasaki Z800, now with HP Corse Hydroform

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sojogator View Post
Congrats ! Looks like Kawa made it sure you suffer !
I should say a small sorry too I guess. I booked on 28th Feb and moved Khivraj,Kawasaki to get me the last green Z, from Pune, in India !

She looks amazing, like your history of 2 wheelers. Great read, like a history book with so much information, like a window to the past.

Godzilla is some name though ! The vehicles and and buildings should be worried I guess.

How much did you pay for the engine guards from Kawa ?

I, strongly, suggest you get yourself a jacket and a glove at the minimum. The 70kmph speed on a 230Kg machine can cause havoc to the human anatomy, especially the way it accelerates at the slightest twist of the throttle. The SPG Aspida Helios is a very reputed jacket for our weather, at a very decent price. We can only ride when we have all our anatomy in good shape.

Suggestion:

1. Fork Protectors : R&G from PRS for 3.5K

2. Tank Pads : Keiti tank pad from DSG gear between 1200 till 2000/- INR

3. Frame Sliders : Quite a few options. Puig, DMV Moto, R&G or RD Moto for around 6K to 12K INR/-

4. Spools : Same brands as above or you can look at what Flybymoto is offered, all for around 1300 - 2000K INR/-
Yes, I read through your thread about getting the last green Z800 - but I didnt know that was from Pune. And you dont have to be sorry about it at all. All is well that ends well.

I ordered the engine guards online from japan.webike.net. The actual cost of the guards was around 6000 and 4000 was the cost of the shipping and customs. So it cost me around 10000 for the engine guards which is very reasonable. I have not yet fitted the engine guards. Will be doing it this week.

Wanted to know what precautions I need to take while installing them?
Will opening the bolts result in any kind of leakages?
Does the engine case need to be removed to fit the guards or only the bolts need to be removed.

A good riding jacket is definitely on the cards. Will check out the SPG Helios ones. The Fork Protectors, Frame Sliders and Spools - I am looking to get them from US. Need to check out the US prices.

Thanks for all your help Sojogator!

Quote:
Originally Posted by alter.e.go View Post
Congrats V12 !! And a very nice write up too, the chronology leading up to the purchase.
Please add an exhaust to your purchase list.
Thanks Nev, I will add the exhaust to my list if you agree to add the bill to your list

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCelestial View Post
Congrats v12!
I would also like to know how did you source the Engine guards and for how much?

I am also curious regarding your colour choice. Why did you change the colour from Black to the Green combo? Was it just because of the popular opinion?
The color choice was purely a personal choice. Initially I booked the black one because it looked good in pics. But in reality I found the green one better looking (just a personal opinion).

The engine guards cost me around 10k total (including shipping and customs).

Quote:
Originally Posted by veerameti View Post
Hi V12,

Congratulations on the Z800, wishing you many happy rides for you and Godzilla.
I too had test ridden the Z800 last year, its large turning radius is certainly felt, but all is made up in the smoothness of the bike and soothing exhaust note.

Take care,

Regards,
Veera
Thanks Veera, Yes the turning radius is very small - but its something that will take time to get used to. When are you booking your bike?
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Old 4th May 2015, 15:25   #7
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Default re: Godzilla! My monster from Japan. Kawasaki Z800, now with HP Corse Hydroform

Quote:
Originally Posted by v12 View Post
Yes, I read through your thread about getting the last green Z800 - but I didnt know that was from Pune. And you dont have to be sorry about it at all. All is well that ends well.

I ordered the engine guards online from japan.webike.net. The actual cost of the guards was around 6000 and 4000 was the cost of the shipping and customs. So it cost me around 10000 for the engine guards which is very reasonable...

Wanted to know what precautions I need to take while installing them?
Will opening the bolts result in any kind of leakages?
Does the engine case need to be removed to fit the guards or only the bolts need to be removed.

A good riding jacket is definitely on the cards. Will check out the SPG Helios ones. The Fork Protectors, Frame Sliders and Spools - I am looking to get them from US. Need to check out the US prices.

Thanks for all your help Sojogator!
...

Well, I was just kidding. I am not at all sorry and, in fact, glad that I could somehow get hold of her on the very day I always wanted to.

Ah ! That way. That is very good price for the guards. No leaks or issues while fitting just take screws out 1 by 1 and put them back 1 by 1. That will keep everything in control. No need to remove the case. The instruction booklet is very well detailed. Just need a 10mm T wrench is what you will need, I think.

I think these stuff is mostly european as the bike is for Eu. Maybe try and get them from there. You will save some money that way.

Not a problem and have a blast
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Old 4th May 2015, 16:03   #8
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Default re: Godzilla! My monster from Japan. Kawasaki Z800, now with HP Corse Hydroform

Quote:
Originally Posted by v12 View Post
I ordered the engine guards online from japan.webike.net. The actual cost of the guards was around 6000 and 4000 was the cost of the shipping and customs. So it cost me around 10000 for the engine guards which is very reasonable. I have not yet fitted the engine guards. Will be doing it this week.
Thanks for the info. I will check it out. How did you pay the customs? To the person who delivered the package? How is the customs duty amount calculated?
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Old 4th May 2015, 16:10   #9
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Default re: Godzilla! My monster from Japan. Kawasaki Z800, now with HP Corse Hydroform

Congratulations V12, loved the whole build up to your purchase decision. The prologue is beautifully written. Your Z800 is a real stunner and i wish you many happy miles on the Godzilla ahead.
Personally, i love your colour choice. I think the black green combo looks a lot better on this mean machine. Cheers!
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Old 4th May 2015, 16:23   #10
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Originally Posted by TheCelestial View Post
Thanks for the info. I will check it out. How did you pay the customs? To the person who delivered the package? How is the customs duty amount calculated?
I paid around 1000 in customs to the EMS post guy who delivered them. Not sure how the custom duty was calculated. I guess it would be on the price of the product.

Quote:
Originally Posted by abhii176 View Post
Congratulations V12, loved the whole build up to your purchase decision. The prologue is beautifully written. Your Z800 is a real stunner and i wish you many happy miles on the Godzilla ahead.
Personally, i love your colour choice. I think the black green combo looks a lot better on this mean machine. Cheers!
Thanks Abhi! I too love this color a lot - would have preferred if there were more colors offered. Will be posting more detailed pics post registration.
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Old 4th May 2015, 16:27   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by v12 View Post
Thanks Veera, Yes the turning radius is very small - but its something that will take time to get used to. When are you booking your bike?
Hi V12,

I got a Tiger 800XCx last month ,

Regards,
Veera
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Old 4th May 2015, 17:43   #12
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Default re: Godzilla! My monster from Japan. Kawasaki Z800, now with HP Corse Hydroform

Congrats V12. Enjoyed reading your story (partially though ) and green looks dashing.

The engine is super smooth and i faced no problems when i had to fill fuel from a small town on Blr-Hyd highway recently. Though it is recommended to fill 95+ RON, i did not see any issues with 89RON.

Refer manual to install engine guards. Its pretty easy and takes about 20-30Min to install. Ensure not to over tighten them as this may damage threads.

Rs 1000 as custom duty on engine guards is cool since here in bangalore i had to pay 32-40% depending on custom officers mood.

What is OTR price in mumbai? Is 50K price cut still valid?

Cheers and ride safe.

Edit: 3 Months waiting seem to be a bit more considering that kawasaki is importing z800 in good numbers.

Last edited by djay99 : 4th May 2015 at 17:46.
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Old 4th May 2015, 18:11   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djay99 View Post
...
The engine is super smooth and i faced no problems when i had to fill fuel from a small town on Blr-Hyd highway recently. Though it is recommended to fill 95+ RON, i did not see any issues with 89RON.
...
Rs 1000 as custom duty on engine guards is cool since here in bangalore i had to pay 32-40% depending on custom officers mood.

...
Edit: 3 Months waiting seem to be a bit more considering that kawasaki is importing z800 in good numbers.
That is great news. I was wondering how do we do long hauls and refill at decent fuel stations. Does not look like a problem anymore @djay99 sir

Sounds much more systematic regarding customs in Mumbai and that is how it should be instead of calling people to their place to manipulate and get some bribe out of buyers.

There was quite a backlog when I got mine. Too many bookings all over the country and not enough Zs. The 50K trick has worked for Kawasaki big time. Now they can provide poor service to even more people and play around with their dream machines.

Have seen 3 Zs (1 Z1000 and a couple Z800s) excluding mine near my home, on my way to or back from office in the last 4 days.
*Feeling like Pulsar*
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Old 4th May 2015, 18:30   #14
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Hey V12. Finally you have it. It looks big and angry. Have lots and lots of fun on it. Hope to see you soon as I stay in versova too. Ride hard but be super safe. Awesome stuff!
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Old 4th May 2015, 18:35   #15
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Originally Posted by Sojogator View Post
That is great news. I was wondering how do we do long hauls and refill at decent fuel stations. Does not look like a problem anymore @djay99 sir
Pls don't call me sir
I was worried when refueling from town petrol station as i was worried about kerosene mixed petrol and not RON. A little kerosene mixed with 105 RON is way more dangerous than say lower RON fuel. I asked them repeatedly if they have mixed kerosene with petrol (just think about condition of this country).

Filled 500 Rs petrol and thought of filling later near Hyderabad.
There was no difference in engine's behavior and i was back at triple digit speeds in no time.
I enjoyed riding Z800 on Blr-Hyd trip more than the short breakfast rides we had. That's when i started to think about a Tiger, R1200 (No kawasaki this time) for their sheer touring ability. I was perfectly allright after 600KM trip except a little neck pain because of windblast and cross winds.

Quote:
Sounds much more systematic regarding customs in Mumbai and that is how it should be instead of calling people to their place to manipulate and get some bribe out of buyers.
Yes that's how it should be. Rule book says motorcycle part should be charged 29% duty on Assessable value. Rule book does not clearly say how to arrive at this assessable value and this is where customs officer start playing their tricks. Situation is pathetic IMO.

Quote:
There was quite a backlog when I got mine. Too many bookings all over the country and not enough Zs. The 50K trick has worked for Kawasaki big time. Now they can provide poor service to even more people and play around with their dream machines.
Good that you got it on time else khivraj guys would have messed up delivery time lines and might have delivered by your next birthday .
Heard their quality of service is coming down day by day. They are good to sell/service Auto (3 wheeler bajaj auto) and nothing else.

Quote:
Have seen 3 Zs (1 Z1000 and a couple Z800s) excluding mine near my home, on my way to or back from office in the last 4 days.
*Feeling like Pulsar*
Is there a price drop on Z1000 and N1000?
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