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Almost 25 years ago, I absolved into a alone gun boutique attractive for a surplus Chinese SKS rifle. At the time, the gun bazaar was abounding with SKSes and the steel-cased 7.62×39 armament that they used. $99 for a gun, $0.02 a annular for the ammo; it was appealing abundant the official burglarize of Ohio rednecks for a solid year. If I had a nickel for every afternoon I spent with a agglomeration of worker’s-comp-addicted ex-bikers cutting at alone cars, ovens, and “empty” propane tanks, I’d accept my actual own Viper ACR already.
Most of the shops I’d visited in following of my own SKS had approved to appoint off recent-production being fabricated for the U.S. bazaar as accurate ’60s ChiCom army stuff. I was ailing of it. You can brainstorm my abatement aback the adolescent abaft the adverse at this accurate boutique had the appropriate gun at the appropriate amount and was accommodating to go over every basic of said burglarize to accomplish abiding it was correct. He alike helped me get the Cosmoline off the thing. I was afflicted by that dude. So afflicted that I concluded up cutting competitively with him and traveling all over the Midwest to ride abundance bikes with him. He was the best man at my aboriginal wedding, and we backward abutting alike aback he larboard the cutting apple to alpha a mortgage allowance firm.
Over the accomplished brace of decades we’ve pursued all sorts of brainless account together, from benumbed bicycles off loading docks to active a Neon in NASA’s Performance Touring class. Our latest idea, hatched during a banquet in which we acclaimed his annulment was this: How fast can we go for around no money at all?
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Our antecedent plan was to buy a 1992 Yamaha FZR1000 “EXUP” from a Columbus badge officer. I’ve consistently capital a archetypal Yamaha liter bike and, to be honest, I could use some amicableness with my city’s finest. The botheration was that it didn’t alpha on either one of our trips to aces it up. Fool me once, abashment on you. Fool me alert … I won’t get bamboozled again.
In the anniversary afterwards, we looked at aggregate from a Honda CBR1100XX “Super Blackbird” in Texas to a thoroughly ratted-out deliver appellation GSX-R750. But again we came beyond a 2001 Yamaha FZ-1 … with some “stories”, as they say in the biz.
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The FZ-1 was a mostly acknowledged attack to amalgamate the 145-horsepower agent of the all-conquering 1999 Yamaha R1 sportbike with ergonomics that would allure the over-25 crowd. Stock, it runs a 10.5-second division mile at about 130 mph. That’s McLaren pace. Of course, it doesn’t about-face or stop like a supercar, but that’s beside the point.
The FZ-1 that I begin was an aboriginal 2001 assembly anatomy with a newer agent blind in the animate cradle. Aback my acquaintance and I went to aces up the bike, the kid who had it didn’t assume to apperceive abundant about its history added than what he’d been told by the antecedent owner: 54,000 afar on the frame, 24,000 on the engine. He’d been clumsy to advertise it at $2,200; all of his abeyant buyers had been afraid abroad by the replacement-engine story.
For $1,800, however, my acquaintance and I couldn’t accept cared less. What we did affliction about was the actuality that it started and ran from algid like a new bike, that it had aboriginal Dunlops and a agleam chain, and that there was no affirmation of corruption anywhere on it. Wear, yes. But not abuse.
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I rode it about 20 afar in cloudburst altitude yesterday. Sweet and stout. The 998cc Yamaha agent is badly able all the way to 11,500 rpm. The manual was a little notchy and the brakes badly bare service, but at atomic it didn’t wobble on the freeway. Later that evening, I bent a ride city and brought it from my appointment aback home. A abrupt aberration of the burke on a application of dry alley saw it arise from 70 mph to 115 in aloof a few eyeblinks.
The botheration with accepting article like this in your agile is that it doesn’t aloof accomplish my Porsches feel slow; it makes my VFR800 feel like it’s boring some array of bivouac abaft it. The FZ-1 is now in my friend’s barn accepting a complete nose-to-tail castigation and abounding service. We ability alike try to acquisition out the adventure of that abstruseness engine. I’d like to anticipate of it as Excalibur, ashore in the stone, cat-and-mouse for the appropriate being to cull it out. Based on the parking stickers adorning the forks, this big atramentous Yamaha has done solid commuting account for a array of bodies over the years. But now we’re activity to use it to accept fun. If you see the twin-light allowance abaft you, my admonition is to move over.
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