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Lil Red Goes Green!

December 26, 2009

Now, you may be thinking I’m “going green” in the conventional sense that we think of these days, either buying a hybrid car or installing solar panels on my house. Neither of these come remotely close to the kind of green I am talking about.

Saying goodbye to "Lil Red" in Santa Rosa.

Back in October, I said goodbye to the bike pictured at left and in my banner, which I had nicknamed “Lil Red” (and part of the reason for my onscreen name, Lilredridingliz ‘though there is more to that story which I may share another time). My Kawasaki 500R was a great bike to learn and improve my riding skills on, and she took me many miles during the two-and-a-half years that I owned her (more than 11,000 miles and through several Western states). However, the summer’s adventure riding to Montana and back (nearly 2,700 miles), made me aware that I was more than ready for a bike with more power.

"Keep the rubber side down, Robert!" I had a great last ride on “Lil Red”, riding twisty Highways 1 and 128 to Highway 101, 105 miles or so from our home in Fort Bragg to Santa Rosa. We met up with soon-to-be new owner Robert and his partner at our favorite coffee spot in Santa Rosa, A’Roma Roasters, and made the sale after some tire kicking and chit chat.

I must confess to being a bit bereft at now being a rider without a bike (I actually cried on the car ride home). I comforted myself with the thought that a bike was waiting for me in the mountains of California.

With the knowledge that I had a buyer for the 500, I had been searching for another motorcycle with displacement of 600cc or above. After several discouraging days searching the ads, my partner suggested I check the Reno Craigslist offerings. During previous searches of that region, I hadn’t come up with anything close to what I was interested in owning. Scanning down through the dates this time, there was an entry made several days previous for a Kawasaki ZX600e, with an incredibly sweet price tag. A-ha! I was definitely interested; although the bike was a little older than I wanted, a 1995, it only had 6,174 miles on it! And then I clicked on the listing and found…it was Kawasaki green! My first thought when I saw the photos was, “I’ll have to paint it!”

My "green" machine arriving home in the trailer.

The bike was too good to pass up (despite its color scheme). Following several email conversations with the owner, who was out of town, the weekend after “Lil Red” went away, I went “green” when Tony made the journey to Lake Tahoe to pick up my new ride.

For weeks afterward, I worried that I couldn’t be Lilredridingliz anymore (“…but I’ve just started my blog!”), nor could I now wear my favorite red leather jacket on this bike, for fear of looking like Christmas. (“Geez, what color jacket do I need to buy now?” and “Does my gear have to match my bike? Yikes!”)

I have come to peace with all those things. So what if I am extra bright wearing my red jacket on my green machine? That just means I’m more visible on the road! And, since my name was only partially inspired by having a red bike, I can surely keep that! (Besides, its how all my online and riding buddies know me.)

Welcome to the garage, Big Green! I’m having a lot of fun with you so far. I’m awaiting spring and the return of dry corners, with many adventures yet to come!

First ride on my "green" machine!

5 Comments leave one →
  1. December 26, 2009 9:50 pm

    Congrats! Glad to hear you’re enjoying your new found friend! 🙂 She’s a beauty, BTW…even if you decided to “color” her later on 🙂

  2. December 26, 2009 9:59 pm

    Thanks, Maria! The color has actually grown on me, and the bike gets a lot of attention in town, so it’s all good!

  3. December 31, 2009 7:49 am

    Congrats on the new bike. The zz is bad ass, you’re going to tear up the twisties. And I can get down with that obnoxious green blue thing too. A little red and black in your riding gear and it could be rasta, mon.


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