In the year 2000 Kawasaki introduced a new bike that was based heavily on a 1970s Triumph Bonneville. It was an overhead cam 650cc vertical twin with a 360 degree firing order that provided a faithful reproduction of the vintage Triumph sound and feel. It was an extremely fun bike to cruise the back roads on during those warm Carolina evening. After enjoying it for 17 years and 29,000 miles, I decided to update it cosmetically to better reflect today’s tastes.
“Number 8” is as reliable as a new bike and it rides, handles, and brakes somewhere between a modern bike and a bike from the 1980s. It’s main appeal, though, is not performance, but the way it makes your feel when you ride it. It takes you back in time, in a very relaxing, exhilarating way, and you will receive compliments at stoplights and every time that you park it at your local hangouts. It is strikingly beautiful in person with pearlescent white paint highlighted with vintage Kawasaki green and dark blue.
The performance modifications have been limited to pod filters, Lossa Engineering pipes, and a thorough jetting to make it run perfectly. It has a little more than 50 hp but will cruise all day at 80 mph and reach 100 mph sitting straight up in the saddle. It corners with confidence and you can even drag the foot peg feelers if you’re crazy enough.
I will deliver this motorcycle anywhere east of the Mississippi river at no charge.