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Old 20th July 2021, 22:38   #1
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Default Miss.Isle : My Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R

WHEN DO DREAMS EXPIRE?


Dreams.

An interesting topic. All of us dream when we sleep, well, I guess most of us do. And some of us dream when we are most wide awake, defining what we think and do every moment of our days.

One of my dreams dates back to way back when. A short, curly haired school boy in the early ’90s. My school bag covering my shorts, a lunch basket in one hand, a football in another. I used to take the school’s back gate on the way back home just to get a glimpse of a fancy Green Superbike parked inside a house. Everyday I used to be excited to see that bike. Then one fine day, I did not. and that made me sad. I guess the owner moved out. Who knows!

A few years later, all of us kids were loaded up in the back seat of Pappa’s Fiat. Amma in the front seat, listening to some old Hindi songs. We were driving down Bangalore’s famous Brigade road when I saw a Blue Superbike parked on the side. It’s long haired owner sitting on the bike speaking to a friend. Amma asked me to tell him that it’s a Nice bike, so I put my head out, gathered the courage and screamed!!

“NICE BIKE!!”

I remember the guy smiling and saying “Thank you!” when Pappa drove off.

A few more years later, now a pimple faced teenager in Pre Uni, my brother’s friend had imported a Honda CBR 600 F4i. The year was 1999 (22 years ago!). I had gone with my brother to have a look at this fancy new bike. It had come in a box. from Dubai! Black in colour with a splash of orange. My jaw dropped. I ended up writing a letter to myself, mentioning how I had fallen in love with this new “babe” in town. ha! Teenage! This friend ended up dropping me to my tuition class once on that bike and then a few years later insisted I ride that bike around the block too. Those two events happening a few years apart.

I remember every superbike I ever encountered in my life. The ones that blew past me when I was riding my Royal Enfield. The ones that came in to the same garage where I took my RD350. The ones that were parked outside coffee shops on weekends. Every single moment, reminded me of the school boy staring at the green bike parked inside that house.

These bikes were SO out of reach, that it didn’t make any sense to aspire. But dreams are strange.

In November 2013, Triumph made an entry to India. Of course, I went to the showroom to see the British beauties. And there she was. My new obsession.

Miss.Isle : My Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R-daytona.png

Now an earning adult. 30 years old. Married. I could afford it if I wanted to (Bank loan and all) but, priorities. So the next few years, this was the target. A seemingly achievable dream. A superbike of my own. I sat on my hands and continued finding excuses as to why I should wait. I gifted myself a test ride of this bike for one of my birthdays. The dream was almost real. Almost.

in 2015, I decided that the financial burden of a new Triumph Daytona was not something I was ready for. I was sitting on my hands for way too long. So the Ninja 650 came in to my life. Life was good. I loved that bike and used her every day. But I still wanted a Daytona. So 2 years later after about 20000kms on this Ninja, I sold her to a friend. I had to save and buy the Daytona. I was getting too old for riding a super committed Motorcycle and it was about damn time! And then, Triumph decided to pull the plug on the Daytonas. YEah, Life is like that.

So here I was, No Ninja, No Daytona. But I had some money, so I hoped, that one day, the Daytonas will be back and I will be ready.

2 years went by, that money was spent and I started saving again. Time was ticking.

Fast forward.. 36 years old. The last two years spent thinking and over thinking about what next. I had a few friends I would call when on my way to work and just have these long conversations about what I would buy next. “Maybe I should forget about the superbike and just buy a tourer dude!” “Maybe the 790 duke, it’s going to come right?” “How about a used superbike da? But the way these fools revvvv at stand still, fried valves. No?” I was beginning to lose it.

One evening, speaking to a friend on my drive back, we were speaking about a new bike that was open for Pre-launch booking. It was a motorcycle I had put on my list but in the back of my mind had thought I’d never buy because of the price. Then while speaking to this friend, while he was egging me on to “Jesssst book it man!”, the same bike from a previous model year, went past me. Was it a sign?

I slept very little that night. I had to take my hands off from under me. It was finally time to take some action.

The next day, I made a few calls, asked about their cancellation policy (because I had no clue how much the final on road price would be and if I could afford it), was reassured that there was no charge if i cancel within 10 days of the launch and I made the booking. Just like that. I hadn’t sat on one, let alone ride one to know if this bike even fit me. It fit right in these past decades of dreaming, so reality should be close, right?

Then it began. A month of overthinking. How the… what the… why the.... I played and replayed all the scenarios. Here, I must say, I am super blessed to have a very supportive wife. Frankly, I know she thinks I am fool (I am), but she is fine with it. In more than one occasion, she has pushed me to “Jessst do it!” and I am thankful. This time was no different. She thought of me as a fool, was fine with it and said “do it!”

On June 8th 2019. Probably 25+ years from the time that a schoolboy started a dream of owning a Superbike, a dream came true.

Miss.Isle : My Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R-mygreen1.jpg

I finally, finally bought a Green Superbike. 2019/20 Model year Kawasaki ZX10R.

So, when do dreams expire? My decades old dream didn’t. For decades, I kept it alive. Dreams expire when you stop dreaming.

Don’t!

Day 1 and Initial Impressions!


June 8th 2019
Scheduled delivery day. I obviously had no sleep the previous month. My excitement had rubbed onto my little daughter and wife. My brother and his son picked us up, and off we went to Kawasaki. A friend joined in for the event.

The delivery experience was smooth. I had to sign a few documents, bike was kept ready under covers, a cake was arranged, the electronics were explained and off I went, followed by my fan club of little munchkins in the car.

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Miss.Isle : My Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R-del1.jpg

And immediately, I was in traffic. ��

I had mentally prepared myself for this though. This litre bike was destined to live here. So, like the humans who live here, she can choose to moan, or just get used to it. So we sat there, being stared at by other motorists.

Flash news: my zx10r is the first zx10r I have ever sat on. Ever. But it wasn’t my first bike, naturally. It wasn’t the first litre bike I have ever ridden either. Back in 2007, I had ridden a 2003 Yamaha R1, in Thailand. My brother and I had rented 2 polar opposite motorcycles to ride around in Thailand. A suzuki intruder 1800 and a Yamaha R1. That was some experience. In 2018, I had the opportunity to ride the 2018 BMW S1000rr around a race track for 5 sessions. Phew! Talk about getting hooked! Now I had my own. She was going to be touring and heading to the track. She wasn’t going to be commuting to office though. Would definitely be needing a commuter bike in the garage. More on that later.

So the first stop was the fuel bunk. Filled her up and waited for the car to catch up. Had two, young enthusiastic boys with cameras, requesting me if they could photograph the bike. I better start getting used to this, I thought.

Once my fan club in the car arrived, we headed home!

Pappa’s first reaction was “Looks like your 250.” Hmm, she is a compact motorcycle, that’s for sure. It’s tightly put together. Unlike my 250, this one announces her arrival, both in colour and sound. Less Ninja like.

The next morning, brother, friend and I took off for a breakfast ride. Put her on Low power mode, traction control in the mid setting, my rain gear and some random TShirts in a kreiga (don’t ask me why. Ok I’ll tell you why. I wanted to test the kreiga tail bag on this bike. And I’m crazy. The test was positive though.) and we were off. I was finally giving her some room to breathe free. Left the traction control on the mid setting, since it apparently doesn’t allow the front wheel to lift. Switched from Low power to Mid and then Full. The Low power mode is 70percent of the power. That’s about 140horses. �� I was comfortable with the power in all modes though. Errr because I didn’t really cross 7k rpm.

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Prior to picking up the 10, I had spent months, watching every single video on the tube, including those from Thailand, Japan, Czechoslovakia, ulambator , Tonga islands etc etc. Many of those videos complained that the zx10r is a little baby below 8k rpm. Maybe these guys live on the race track. Or have villas by the autobahn. The zx10r does 150kmph on the top gear at 7k rpm. That’s barely awake for the bike. BUT, that’s already way too fast relatively speaking. Relative to everything else on the road.

She isn’t growling and yanking her chain from 2k rpm and (as I learnt eventually) becomes this big beast with purple eyes, breathing fire and spitting venom after 8k rpm. This is, in my view, a good thing. She is rideable when you want to chill and ride sedate. Very very friendly if you treat her well.
I had done about 300kms on day 1 of ownership. My lower back hurt, my neck hurt but I had an un-wipable grin. I needed to get fitter. And spend more time on the seat.

Miss.Isle : My Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R-3.jpeg

So mid week, I took off alone to a close by hill. Some twisties. But there was too much traffic and my fun was restricted. Funny changing times. On a weekday, at 6am, the place was full of self drive rental cars with noob drivers and young college kids doing a photoshoot. Decided to just head back home. Nevertheless, that un-wipable grin was back. The back pain, not so much.

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The following weekend, a friend and I took off again. This time the target was to do 400kms. Charted out a small route and left home really early. But my friend had forgotten his wallet at home and we ended up leaving the city at 5am. It was a fantastic ride. Some beautiful roads and the 10 was getting more and more comfortable for me.

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The 10 was surprising me with her mileage. I was getting 17-19kmpl depending on how much throttle I was using. And how I was using that throttle. With a 17ltr tank, I was looking at a fuel range of about 230-250kms. Not bad at all. While the range wasn’t a problem, the quality of fuel was. She was picky about her go-go juice.

Post this ride, I was about 240kms from the first service. Completed that the following weekend on a solo morning run. The body pain was diminishing. That un-wipable grin though..

Miss.Isle : My Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R-10.jpeg

It was time for service..

Miss.Isle : My Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R-11.jpg

Miss.Isle : My Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R-12.jpg

Belly full of fresh oil, a new radiator guard later, it was time for a trip.. will cover that in the next post though.

We were bonding big time. I name all my bikes, this one was no different. After every ride on the 10, I kept saying ‘bloody missile!’ and then on the way back from my solo ride, It dawned on me. “I’m gonna take care of you Miss.Isle!”

TLDR. Bought 10r, completed 1000kms in 2 weeks, service done, super happy, named 10r Miss.Isle, going for a trip next.

Last edited by GTO : 22nd July 2021 at 07:02.
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Old 21st July 2021, 02:02   #2
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Default re: Miss.Isle : My Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R

As a 32 year old who recently bought his first big bike, reading your post gave me a sense of déjŕ vu.
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Old 21st July 2021, 05:29   #3
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Default re: Miss.Isle : My Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R

Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfy View Post

WHEN DO DREAMS EXPIRE?



On June 8th 2019. Probably 25+ years from the time that a schoolboy started a dream of owning a Superbike, a dream came true.

Attachment 2181656

I finally, finally bought a Green Superbike. 2019/20 Model year Kawasaki ZX10R.

So, when do dreams expire? My decades old dream didn’t. For decades, I kept it alive. Dreams expire when you stop dreaming.

Don’t!

To be continued...
Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy!

And one superbike I know that really gets used too.

Cheers, Doc

Last edited by ebonho : 21st July 2021 at 05:31.
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Old 21st July 2021, 07:47   #4
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Default re: Miss.Isle : My Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R

What a fun and nostalgic read this was! I hope to have a similar story someday (my signature checks out)

Congrats on the bike, can’t wait for the continuation.
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Old 22nd July 2021, 07:05   #5
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Default Re: Miss.Isle : My Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Superbikes section. Thanks for sharing!

Going to our homepage today
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Old 22nd July 2021, 09:49   #6
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Default Re: Miss.Isle : My Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R

Congrats and wishing you the best of trips, Nice Bike

Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfy View Post
She is rideable when you want to chill and ride sedate. Very very friendly if you treat her well.
My definition of a perfect motorcycle, the reason why the turbo boost in cars feels "unnatural" to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfy View Post
My lower back hurt, my neck hurt but I had an un-wipable grin.
That's the perfect definition of a motorcyclist, golden words.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfy View Post
I needed to get fitter. And spend more time on the seat.
That's what bikes(sports bikes if i can put it that way) always push you to do, they set you free but also keep you in check, in a good way

Ride On.
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Old 22nd July 2021, 09:52   #7
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Default Re: Miss.Isle : My Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R

Man. I loved this story of yours. The way you narrated it. I felt the same the day I got my pre-owned 650F and someday wish to get a big baby. Peti pack as they say. Congratulations mate!
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Old 22nd July 2021, 09:53   #8
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Default Re: Miss.Isle : My Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R

Congrats wolfy.
The storyline and experience were epic to read and more so because I could relate to it a lot myself.
I too have a history of buying bikes I have never ridden before
And the strength to dream also was lesser back in the day. But like you said build your dreams with no expiry date and you get to strive to make them come true, no matter when it is.

Wishing you many more miles with Miss.Isle.

Lacking pics though. I urge you to post more pics. I promise, no one is going to complain

Cheers
Krishna
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Old 22nd July 2021, 10:40   #9
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Default Re: Miss.Isle : My Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R

Congrats wolfy on the bike. It was like reading a love story. Beautifully written!

I'm on my own journey making a pre-owned Ducati Scrambler I got last year my own. Hope to write something even close someday!

Last edited by sandeep.k : 22nd July 2021 at 10:42.
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Old 22nd July 2021, 10:57   #10
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Default Re: Miss.Isle : My Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R

Great story, congratulations on the bike and chasing your dream. Just curious to know about the back pain issues? With the aggressive driving position how is it these days?
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Old 22nd July 2021, 13:16   #11
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Default Re: Miss.Isle : My Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R

Amazing write up. As someone in the almost same age group I can relate very well to the super bike scene in early 90s. Me and my brother used to visit MG Road (in Pune) during weekends just to look at people riding super bikes and boy it used to be exciting!
I’m sitting on the fence for quite some years for a middle weight and your post will definitely help me jumping off to the good side of it.
Wishing you many more happy miles on the Miss.Isle.

Last edited by vijay_jambu : 22nd July 2021 at 13:31.
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Old 22nd July 2021, 14:53   #12
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Default Re: Miss.Isle : My Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R

Congratulations mate, she sure is a looker. I have had the privilege of riding a ZX10r for around 300 kms on a single ride, and I had lot of fun on the bike. The grin on your face is quite understandable. Very capable machine this!!

Your writing style is also great, kept me hooked. Wish you thousands of KMs of safe riding on Miss.Isle.
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Old 22nd July 2021, 15:22   #13
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Default Re: Miss.Isle : My Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deaf2Tones View Post
As a 32 year old who recently bought his first big bike, reading your post gave me a sense of déjŕ vu.
Thank you! I am happy this post took you back! Enjoy your ride!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy!

And one superbike I know that really gets used too.

Cheers, Doc
Thank you Doc! We need to still ride together some day!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHelix0202 View Post
What a fun and nostalgic read this was! I hope to have a similar story someday (my signature checks out)

Congrats on the bike, can’t wait for the continuation.
Cheers Helix!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post

Going to our homepage today
Thank you GTO!

Quote:
Originally Posted by shancz View Post
Congrats and wishing you the best of trips, Nice Bike


My definition of a perfect motorcycle, the reason why the turbo boost in cars feels "unnatural" to me.


That's the perfect definition of a motorcyclist, golden words.


That's what bikes(sports bikes if i can put it that way) always push you to do, they set you free but also keep you in check, in a good way

Ride On.
Cheers shancz! During the one month of waiting for the bike to arrive, I did get pretty fit. 2 years later today, she still is one of the main reasons I have a fitness routine!

Oh yes, 2 years on, that grin is STILL un-wipable!

Quote:
Originally Posted by akshayhonda View Post
Man. I loved this story of yours. The way you narrated it. I felt the same the day I got my pre-owned 650F and someday wish to get a big baby. Peti pack as they say. Congratulations mate!
Cheers Akshay! You will! Until then I hope you enjoy every single mile on what you got! Every bike gives us something..

Quote:
Originally Posted by krishnaprasadgg View Post
Congrats wolfy.
The storyline and experience were epic to read and more so because I could relate to it a lot myself.
I too have a history of buying bikes I have never ridden before
And the strength to dream also was lesser back in the day. But like you said build your dreams with no expiry date and you get to strive to make them come true, no matter when it is.

Wishing you many more miles with Miss.Isle.

Lacking pics though. I urge you to post more pics. I promise, no one is going to complain

Cheers
Krishna
THanks Krishna! Your R1 is yummy!
Keeping the dream alive is tough but worth it. We all go through the usual phases of life. Jobs, Dating/Marriage, Kids, Home Loans, losses etc etc.. At the end of it all, Still chasing dreams is what makes it all worthy! No Regrets!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sandeep.k View Post
Congrats wolfy on the bike. It was like reading a love story. Beautifully written!

I'm on my own journey making a pre-owned Ducati Scrambler I got last year my own. Hope to write something even close someday!
Thank you Sandeep! Enjoy the Scrambler! Haven't ridden one yet but always wanted to. That Desert Sled is Yummy eh..

Quote:
Originally Posted by clementw View Post
Great story, congratulations on the bike and chasing your dream. Just curious to know about the back pain issues? With the aggressive driving position how is it these days?
Thanks Clement! Answer Below:

Looks like I should have been a little more clear in my first post. My First post is a "Throwback" post. Since that day, Miss.Isle and me have done 13000kms, lived through a Pandemic (still are), have had another child in the family (2 now!) and a lot of idle time in the past year or so. I am so comfortable riding my 10r that my other bikes feel un-natural. The body pain initially is expected. Seat time, fitness, finding a body position on the bike that works for you, Working on your riding position helps solve all/most of the "problems" when it comes to these bikes. Yes, it isn't the most comfortable bike of choice for... anything. But cant be sitting upright and having all that fun with handling. I dunno if I answered your question, but you gotta work to get something. It is the same with these bikes.
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Old 22nd July 2021, 15:57   #14
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Default Re: Miss.Isle : My Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R

Congratulations Wolfy on your hot wheels!! Superb write-up! I also have a 10R KRT edition (pic from CSS at MMRT in 2019), not sure which part of Bangalore you're located, please do dm me if you wish to catch up on a ride sometime. Cheers!
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Old 22nd July 2021, 16:55   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vijay_jambu View Post
Amazing write up. As someone in the almost same age group I can relate very well to the super bike scene in early 90s. Me and my brother used to visit MG Road (in Pune) during weekends just to look at people riding super bikes and boy it used to be exciting!
I’m sitting on the fence for quite some years for a middle weight and your post will definitely help me jumping off to the good side of it.
Wishing you many more happy miles on the Miss.Isle.
Thanks Vijay! JESSSSST DOOOO EEEET!

Quote:
Originally Posted by AtheK View Post
Congratulations mate, she sure is a looker. I have had the privilege of riding a ZX10r for around 300 kms on a single ride, and I had lot of fun on the bike. The grin on your face is quite understandable. Very capable machine this!!

Your writing style is also great, kept me hooked. Wish you thousands of KMs of safe riding on Miss.Isle.
Thanks Athek!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shanky_1002 View Post
Congratulations Wolfy on your hot wheels!! Superb write-up! I also have a 10R KRT edition (pic from CSS at MMRT in 2019), not sure which part of Bangalore you're located, please do dm me if you wish to catch up on a ride sometime. Cheers!
Thank you Shanky! Would love to catch up on a ride. These days i steal solo runs on early morning weekdays.

Thanks to this pandemic, taking the 10 to the track is still pending. Hopefully things feel safer with covid soon enough. So far my track miles have been on my humble Duke 200 and the mad S1000rr. What a trip!
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