1977 Kawasaki KZ400, Part 3

I finished the oil and filter change at approximately 11:00 am Tuesday morning, about an hour after I’d promised Michael I’d get to his house. There, we loaded our bikes into his truck and headed out to Rogers, Arkansas for the start of the Ozark Mountain Scramble. We had agreed about three weeks earlier to use his truck because it’s a 550 mile haul, the bikes aren’t especially comfortable for interstate cruising, and one of the bikes (mine) hadn’t been sufficiently tested to be considered even vaguely reliable.

View from Tilly, AR

The Scramble was three days of riding the curvy, scenic, and surprisingly clean roads of Arkansas’ northwest quadrant. The Ozarks may not count as mountains by the standards of the American West, but what they lack in altitude they make up for in density of twisting roads that are lightly traveled.

The Scramble was also three days of all sorts of things going wrong — all but the crashes being an expected outcome of the rules. ($1000 total cost of the bike and preparation, 1980 or older, 750cc and smaller) To iterate:

I’m sure I’ve left out other mechanical hijinks, but I think this backs up my take on the Ozark Mountain Scramble’s theme: worn out old bikes, resuscitated cheaply and made rideable, but not so reliable as to eliminate the surprises and challenges of fixing them on the side of the road and in hotel parking lots.

Additional photos on Flickr.

by Andrew | July 18, 2012 at 12:24 am | Outside Work | No comments

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