Screen Time

A mate at work had a pair of extra Quad Lock brackets he was happy to let go for cheap. There wasn’t anywhere spare on the clip ons that would let me fit the handlebar mount he had, and I wasn’t going to entertain the mirror stalk mount. Partly aesthetics, partly practicality and partly security to have it hanging out there in the breeze. It got me interested in the brand and I looked into the stem mount, but it would not fit on the hex stem that is common to Ninjas.

That was about six months ago. Now the other day, I was poking about on a Ninja 1000 discussion board when someone suggested a 1” ball stem mount they used, something specifically designed for the hex stem mount on Kawasaki. Something off eBay. They combined this item with a RAM 1” ball adjustable short arm. Then lastly, a Quad Lock 1” ball mount. I thought, I have one of those arms from my old Sony Actioncam set up. A search in eBay turned up a few of these stem mounts, so I’ve ordered one. I guess it will be a couple of weeks before it turns up.

In the meantime, I looked through the Quad Lock website (again). I bought the 1” ball mount and the case for my phone (with the “poncho” – a water proof cover). I also bought the car mount, I figured I could use it as well. The Quad Lock gear turned up within a couple of days. I’d barely had time to dig out the RAM arm. Fitted perfectly. Roughing it out, it looks like it should sit really nicely between the bar risers. I’ll just have to make sure I can access the ignition.

The case fits very nicely on the phone. It’s very slim and is less protection than my current Otterbox (another recommended brand), but I think it will be okay. The poncho slips on easily and looks to provide good weather protection. And the TouchID works through it as well.

So back to the mounting. The stem part arrived within a couple of weeks. Not bad I thought, as it came from the UK. It’s pretty simple. A 1″ ball with a hex driven bolt down the middle. There is a hex shaped nut on the other end. This has some petals coming from it and along the shaft is a washer (?) that expands the petal. Slide the shaft into the hole in the stem bolt. Tighten the hex bolt and the nut moves up the shaft. This pushes the petals against the washer, which forces them outwards and they grab the shaft of the slot. Done.

Then, connect the RAM arm and the Quad Lock mount and adjust to the desired angle. Job complete.

I haven’t had a test run, so will have to report on it separately.

Portrait mode
And Landscape.

Of course, the next step is to get power to the mount.

Well I may have something on that. Turns out there is a pair of connectors just under the left front fairing that have been provided for the factory heated handgrips. If they aren’t fitted (not fitted on my bike) there is a convenient, factory switched (so no battery drain) power supply right near the front of the bike. And would you believe Amazon has more goodies….

Like this dual USB and voltmeter. From what I’ve seen, people mount this into the dash on the bike. “Simply” cut a round hole in the plastic. I have seen a handlebar one that’s similar, but then I end up back in the same problem I had with the Quad Lock!

I swear, it’s not all because of the MotoGP trip planning!

A fun interlude

So you know that myth about that rider who replaced his after market tail tidy with the OEM one….

Well I’m that rider.

Yes, I went out, paid for the OEM tail and had it installed.

2 reasons

1 – when riding in wet or other muck, the tail of the bike, including the brake light, the top box, pillion seat and my back, get covered in muck. Sick of that.

2 – when installing the Givi bracket, it came with a part that fit around this OEM tail, but NOT with the aftermarket tail that it came with. While reports from other Ninja riders has been that this is unnecessary, I’ve felt cautious about overloading my topbox without it.

And a little niggly thought was that in case some pedantic policeman wants to defect the bike. But as I’ve never seen that happen, I am not sure it would. The first two reasons were enough for me to go ahead. And to be honest, it doesn’t look completely bad. It’s a lot slimmer than the one that was on the Daytona. That was like a barn door on the back of the bike.

But, that ‘s not the fun interlude. As the loaner, I was given the keys to a 2020 Z900. A little 950cc naked bike. This was a lot of fun, with a sporty engine, short gearing and very nimble.

If I was going to spend my days zipping about in the city, awesome. I spend most of my riding droning up the freeway or long distance travel (with some interstate riding mixed in). No screen on the Z900 means more fatigue on those rides.

But there’s other things, like I’m really not used to the mirrors being attached to the handlebars and moving, unlike all my bikes, where they are attached to the fairing. Also, you ride along and it feels like all the bike in front of you is missing…. I know, silly, but that’s how I feel.

So a naked is not for me as my main ride. A second ride though, for all those around town trips I don’t do.. ok, maybe a third after something like the Daytona. Or after something that was Learner Legal for the girls. Maybe a Z400? (hmm, now that’s back to being a second).

Bike Sale – Update 2

Well, Mr Taxman came along and said, “Hey, can I get that HECS we just loaned you back again?”

That will take up most of the money I had saved to buy the new bike, so the current bike is no longer for sale.

I am sad, because the new one had so many good things going for it.

But not too sad, as I do like riding this bike. And even with now, 28 000km, it’s still got a lot of life left in it.

I will just have to make sure I keep an ear out, and if Kawasaki announces no more Ninja 1000, I will have to jump in and secure a last one.

Bike Sale – Update

The bike hasn’t sold. We can’t agree on price. I’ve made my lowest and I’m waiting for his response. As it has been about 2 days now, he’s either hoping I’m desperate to sell (I’m not) or he’s not interested in the price (seriously, it’s a few hundred $$ difference, he could save that in a week or so).

So no sale.

It’s on the market. I’m not in a rush, but October would be nice.

Working from home?

With half the world in lockdown, and NSW having spent the last two months “working from home” today was the first day I actually got a chance to “work from home”.

I feel pretty at home on my bike, so I planned to interpret it differently and planned a long ride around some roads to the north of Sydney.

Just over the Mooney Mooney Bridge

After clearing the family out of the house, checking work emails and having some breakfast I hit the road. I intended to go up the Old Pac and then back down Wiseman’s. Leaving a little later meant that the early morning sun wasn’t quite in my eyes. But it did mean crossing many school zones on my way out of the city.

Not a bad day to be stuck working from home….. emphasis on from home 😉

I got up to the Old Pac in good time, and after a couple of laps I returned to Pie in the Sky. I wasn’t hungry I decided, but the location (top of the hill) meant I would be able to get a signal and log into work. You know, just in case anything had actually happened (it had not).

Selfie time!

I decided I didn’t really want to ride past lunch time. So I did a couple more laps and headed back home. I made it back home, and had picked up some packages (and lunch) from the shops and even eaten most of lunch before 12. The Old Pac really isn’t that far from home here. Any of the other roads and it’s an hour just to get to the start point (Wiseman’s, Putty, Nasho’s etc). Whereas the Old Pac (depending on traffic on Pennant Hills Rd) I can be halfway through a lap within an hour.

So Lockdown day 1? I think Friday I will be working from home too, and maybe a couple of days next week…. hmmm..

oooh, it’s so nice….

You might recall, back when I was shopping for bikes to replace the Daytona there were a couple of things I really wanted to get. Of course, then I got the Ninja, which had a few of them.

I wanted: longer range (tick), more upright (tick), ability to mount top box (tick), ABS (tick), LED headlights (nope). So not bad actually.

At the time I was offered the Ninja I was concerned as I had tested the 2017(?) and found it excellent, but uncomfortable. Happily that was not the case on the 2012 that I ended up with.

And now, there is this.

2020 Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX (I like this green version, more than the black/grey)

So take the engine and the rest of the stuff from the previous generations and refine it. From my perspective add the following (some of which was in earlier versions, between my 2012 and this 2020) traction control; LED headlights (in fact all lights); better economy. Good so far.

Now add electronic throttle, so they can add cruise control. Full TFT dash, and bluetooth (not sure this is a plus, lol). Refine the ride and suspension further and make everything super smooth, light and easy.

Some will say get rid of those dual “shark tooth” exhausts, but to be honest, I kinda like them, certainly compared to this can.

I may have test ridden it now as well.

Ok, so it’s still not “pretty” but it’s so nice to ride….

And someone is interested in my bike.

I just need to come up with the difference, which is a measly $7k. Well it’s kinda tight, money wise, at the moment… but we’ll see. If you wish to donate, feel free to contact me 😉

Best thing is that I have a bike I’d like to get, where as before, there kind of wasn’t.

Kawasaki, I really appreciate that you are continuing with the sport tourer, even if all of your competitors are not. Still have no interest in those semi adventure tourer things.

So what happened this year – 2019

About Bikes

Really happy with my decision to change over.

Well the Ninja has been out and about. I’ve put almost 16,000km on her this year and sees me in to the 3rd service since I picked her up, only about this time last year. I really enjoy the bike, and have been slowly tinkering to clean her up and set her up for me (like the awesome top box). I have been to Canberra twice and Newcastle once, but apart from work or commutes, there has been little in the way of fun only rides. Still she suits me well, is much better for what I do than the Daytona.

The Daytona is missed, but would likely have seen a fraction of the kms this year. I hear that almost without being ridden the new owner has sold it to a person down in Melbourne. Hopefully they will use her more.

I also rode a VFR during the year and was totally disappointed. I guess I’m now a 100kW or more rider.

I found this a disappointing ride

I would certainly love a 2020 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 to replace this one, but I’m happy for now.

About Babes

Well I have one in High School now. A few hiccups at first, learning lessons about being responsible and planning your assignments but she seems to have settled in well, making good friends and doing well. The other is in Year 5 in 2020, which means High School too in 2022!

About Bytes

Well of course, there is the recently posted completion of BattleTech. Yay. I did enjoy that.

Lady Arano gets her throne back.

My degree is finished. I am waiting for the official results from the school, but to the best of my information, I’ve passed. I am now a fully qualified but not completely registered Primary School Teacher. Huh. That’s a bit different. (and the lack of study in no small way has contributed to the completion of Battletech!)

Just waiting for the official results

About Other Stuff

Dungeons and Dragons flashed back into my life. After a 30 year hiatus, suddenly I find myself Dungeon Master once a fortnight and ad hoc DM’ing for my daughter through an adventure. I am enjoying the distraction and my players seem to be enjoying my management. The accessibility and the ease of the current rules do help that.

And I think that’s a good summary of my year.

I am not sure where 2020 and especially 2021 will take me. I intend to slowly transition from my current employment into teaching through part time (at work) mixed with casual (at teaching) to ease into it. With the plan to switch completely in 2022. Let’s see what happens.

Why are they all Ninjas??

Been browsing the motorcycle For Sale as I ponder a possible second bike again. I’d like to pose this question to Kawasaki.

“Why are so many of your model’s called Ninja?”

Off the top of my head we have

  • H2 / H2R
  • ZX-14R
  • ZX-12R
  • ZX-10R
  • ZX-7R
  • ZX-6R
  • ZX-2R
  • Z1000
  • Z800 / Z750
  • Ninja 300 / 250

Seriously, this a sport orientated list, but some of these are very different bikes. Let’s compare with Honda

  • Fireblade = CBR1000RR (I’ve never heard the 600RR called this?)
  • Firestorm = VTR1000R, SP-1, SP-2 (also known as Superhawk I think)
  • Interceptor = VFR800
  • Cross Tourer = VFR1200X
  • etc, etc.

With a Honda, there’s no confusion, but I asked someone which bike they rode and they said a “Ninja”, it could mean anything. Normally I would expect them to mean the ZX-10R, possibly the -6R, but it could be the supercharged H2R or the learners 300!

Now they don’t call all their bikes Ninjas, we have Vulcans and Versys and others. But their whole street/sport (not cruiser or dual sport or dirt bike range) are called Ninja.

Imagine Nissan called all their 4WDs the Patrol, not the Patrol, the Murano, the Pathfinder, the X-Trail, the Qashqui, and the Dualis! You can see how confusing that is.