Missing Captains - Where Are They Now?

wjb

Nitrous
Joined
Dec 16, 2019
Messages
1,048
Location
California Central Coast
Ride
2008 Rocket III Touring
A story:

Rode Mufasa to Texas RAA in 2019. Had fun, got home to find scratches and a generally ruined paint job from luggage choice.

Pulled the bike apart, painted it, powder coated the wheels, and never put it back together completely (rear wheel needs bearings and mounting, that's it): a conscious decision to force me to stay off it as I neared military retirement to avoid getting a benefit ending felonious speeding ticket. That 1 year off met COVID, and my retirement got pushed 18 months, which ended up extending my riding hiatus to about 2.5 years, well, that is, until June 25th 2022....

Having retired from the military and going on RAA West 2022, I was faced with the prospect of putting Mufasa back together (only about 2 hours of work lol) and riding that wild animal on another long trip with my rusty skills and with every likelihood of fscking up my paint work, driving my Mini, or buying a new bike, buying a new bike won the day.

The bikes in consideration were a short list... Superduke 1290 GT, H2 SX, ZX-14R, or the new revised Busa. Then, I found a youngling I wasn't aware existed.... The Z H2. 170hp/87ft-lb, at the wheel stock, all the rider aids in existence, and far more comfortable than all others up for consideration...SOLD. Should I want to raise power it's trivial....30 minute ride to Nels shop and ride away with 210whp/100ft-lb 30 minutes later for a measly $299....lmao.

Walked in at 930 AM, found it, a 0 mile 2021 left over marked down $1500, rode out on my new bike by 1130 AM with a 4 year end to end warranty and lifetime engine warranty.

I don't much give a crap about what's faster straight line anymore...I'll still play, but I feel like I flew VERY close to the sun on Mufasa, multiple times, and I'm done tempting fate with 180+mph shots in the mountains.

In all honesty, the Z H2 is a better fit for me. Corners better, stops better, it's faster than anything less than a 230whp rocket, no heat issues whatsoever, has a lockup/slipper clutch, up/down blipping QS, corner TC, corner ABS, LAUNCH CONTROL..., antiwheelie (yay full throttle 2nd gear riiiiips), and in a full tuck it's more stable at high speed than Mufasa.

I still love R3s (04-16s). I don't regret anything I did to Mufasa, I learned a TON modifying it then riding the piss out of it. It 100% made me a better rider to tame the beast without rider aids. Tracking the D955i taught me when I'm practiced and apply myself, I'm a faster rider than the D955i or Mufasa are bikes, and that calmed my riding a lot. Catching and passing a "faster" rider on a brand new Panigale on the track and keeping him behind me helped, but also showed me I'm probably riding at 9.9/10ths of what the D955i can do when I started dragging pegs mid corner while hanging off....insane looking back on it considering I was on BT016 tires haha.

That said, for those who can tolerate the seat height and riding position of a Z H2, that want a bike that works with you instead of against you, will smoke any stock engine rocket (and most of the built ones) of any year at drags, rolls, or cornering, yet has better manners at all speeds, and has the same torque-all-the-time top gear roll on ability and tries to pull your arms off feel....test ride a Z H2. It is, in my opinion the better bike from top to bottom (expected from 20 years of innovation and a more expensive bike).

Triumph lost me when the R3R/GT didn't include launch control. Didn't reduce weight lower than Mufasa. Didn't change geometry beyond Mufasa. Didn't deliver 200hp at the crank. They took every excuse I could make to justify buying one and pissed it away. I am not their target audience, I embrace that now instead of being upset by it.

EDIT: Oh yeah, and why I left the forums...I don't like the changes that occured around early 2019 so rather than continually getting banned for previously acceptable behavior I left. Meh.
Nice write up/review! Kawasaki has always been high on my list because of their reputation for powerful bikes.
Be safe and enjoy!
 

leatal

Turbocharged
Joined
Mar 11, 2015
Messages
806
Location
Dothan, Alabama
Ride
2014 Roadster, 2020 Rocket GT
A story:

Rode Mufasa to Texas RAA in 2019. Had fun, got home to find scratches and a generally ruined paint job from luggage choice.

Pulled the bike apart, painted it, powder coated the wheels, and never put it back together completely (rear wheel needs bearings and mounting, that's it): a conscious decision to force me to stay off it as I neared military retirement to avoid getting a benefit ending felonious speeding ticket. That 1 year off met COVID, and my retirement got pushed 18 months, which ended up extending my riding hiatus to about 2.5 years, well, that is, until June 25th 2022....

Having retired from the military and going on RAA West 2022, I was faced with the prospect of putting Mufasa back together (only about 2 hours of work lol) and riding that wild animal on another long trip with my rusty skills and with every likelihood of fscking up my paint work, driving my Mini, or buying a new bike, buying a new bike won the day.

The bikes in consideration were a short list... Superduke 1290 GT, H2 SX, ZX-14R, or the new revised Busa. Then, I found a youngling I wasn't aware existed.... The Z H2. 170hp/87ft-lb, at the wheel stock, all the rider aids in existence, and far more comfortable than all others up for consideration...SOLD. Should I want to raise power it's trivial....30 minute ride to Nels shop and ride away with 210whp/100ft-lb 30 minutes later for a measly $299....lmao.

Walked in at 930 AM, found it, a 0 mile 2021 left over marked down $1500, rode out on my new bike by 1130 AM with a 4 year end to end warranty and lifetime engine warranty.

I don't much give a crap about what's faster straight line anymore...I'll still play, but I feel like I flew VERY close to the sun on Mufasa, multiple times, and I'm done tempting fate with 180+mph shots in the mountains.

In all honesty, the Z H2 is a better fit for me. Corners better, stops better, it's faster than anything less than a 230whp rocket, no heat issues whatsoever, has a lockup/slipper clutch, up/down blipping QS, corner TC, corner ABS, LAUNCH CONTROL..., antiwheelie (yay full throttle 2nd gear riiiiips), and in a full tuck it's more stable at high speed than Mufasa.

I still love R3s (04-16s). I don't regret anything I did to Mufasa, I learned a TON modifying it then riding the piss out of it. It 100% made me a better rider to tame the beast without rider aids. Tracking the D955i taught me when I'm practiced and apply myself, I'm a faster rider than the D955i or Mufasa are bikes, and that calmed my riding a lot. Catching and passing a "faster" rider on a brand new Panigale on the track and keeping him behind me helped, but also showed me I'm probably riding at 9.9/10ths of what the D955i can do when I started dragging pegs mid corner while hanging off....insane looking back on it considering I was on BT016 tires haha.

That said, for those who can tolerate the seat height and riding position of a Z H2, that want a bike that works with you instead of against you, will smoke any stock engine rocket (and most of the built ones) of any year at drags, rolls, or cornering, yet has better manners at all speeds, and has the same torque-all-the-time top gear roll on ability and tries to pull your arms off feel....test ride a Z H2. It is, in my opinion the better bike from top to bottom (expected from 20 years of innovation and a more expensive bike).

Triumph lost me when the R3R/GT didn't include launch control. Didn't reduce weight lower than Mufasa. Didn't change geometry beyond Mufasa. Didn't deliver 200hp at the crank. They took every excuse I could make to justify buying one and pissed it away. I am not their target audience, I embrace that now instead of being upset by it.

EDIT: Oh yeah, and why I left the forums...I don't like the changes that occured around early 2019 so rather than continually getting banned for previously acceptable behavior I left. Meh.
Extremely nice to hear from you again! I always enjoyed your posts. Congratulations on your retirement. Please keep us informed on your comtinous journey with Mustafa and your new ride. I am sure you'll be exchanging parts on the new ride and squeaking every HP it can give.
 

Claviger

Aspiring Student
Joined
Jul 25, 2014
Messages
6,560
Location
Olympia Washington
Ride
'21 Z H2, '14 R3R, '02 Daytona 955i
Extremely nice to hear from you again! I always enjoyed your posts. Congratulations on your retirement. Please keep us informed on your comtinous journey with Mustafa and your new ride. I am sure you'll be exchanging parts on the new ride and squeaking every HP it can give.

Nothing feels like an R3, that's a fact, the overwhelming torque is tons of fun! The 87ftlbs of the Z H2 is misleading though. The bike pulls with more perceived torque than a Thunderbird Storm but less than a Rocket 3. It induces the same juvenile ear to ear smiles my rocket does, and you sense every mph of speed, so going 100 on it actually feels fast, unlike on a fully faired sportbike.

Thanks. I'm taking a different route with the Z than I did with Mufasa. I honestly consider it the best all-around road bike ever made in stock form so improvements must be thoughtful. Since it's forced induction and knock limited adding power gets dangerous, quickly.

Kawi cut the price of the Z by cheaping out on some things, like the rear shock, SS exhaust instead of Ti, no steering damper, etc. Some of the fixes are already addressed, Wilbers 640 already ordered, Full Titanium Kawi ZX10R OEM Exhaust ordered, etc. I want to build the Z H2 into what it would have been had Kawi budget department not intervened to bring sticker down, but do so in a way that's indistinguishable from a theoretical limited edition from Kawi themselves.

If I can cut 38lbs wet/fueled to 499lb, I'll be satisfied with weight. After the exhaust swap, I should be at 22lbs from target, well within reach.

The first major mod will be an intercooler and then steering damper at which point I'll see if it needs more ponies, I'm guessing that will be a big fat no.
 
Last edited:

leatal

Turbocharged
Joined
Mar 11, 2015
Messages
806
Location
Dothan, Alabama
Ride
2014 Roadster, 2020 Rocket GT
Nothing feels like an R3, that's a fact, the overwhelming torque is tons of fun! The 87ftlbs of the Z H2 is misleading though. The bike pulls with more perceived torque than a Thunderbird Storm but less than a Rocket 3. It induces the same juvenile ear to ear smiles my rocket does, and you sense every mph of speed, so going 100 on it actually feels fast, unlike on a fully faired sportbike.

Thanks. I'm taking a different route with the Z than I did with Mufasa. I honestly consider it the best all-around road bike ever made in stock form so improvements must be thoughtful. Since it's forced induction and knock limited adding power gets dangerous, quickly.

Kawi cut the price of the Z by cheaping out on some things, like the rear shock, SS exhaust instead of Ti, no steering damper, etc. Some of the fixes are already addressed, Wilbers 640 already ordered, Full Titanium Kawi ZX10R OEM Exhaust ordered, etc. I want to build the Z H2 into what it would have been had Kawi budget department not intervened to bring sticker down, but do so in a way that's indistinguishable from a theoretical limited edition from Kawi themselves.

If I can cut 38lbs wet/fueled to 499lb, I'll be satisfied with weight. After the exhaust swap, I should be at 22lbs from target, well within reach.

The first major mod will be an intercooler and then steering damper at which point I'll see if it needs more ponies, I'm guessing that will be a big fat no.
I would check into thr Brock exhaust folks. Saw a video of their system/tune brought the rear wheel HP to 210+. All with completely stock engine. Pretty impressive!
 
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