A changing of the guard.

So the weekend before the Zero to Hero challenge, this was the scene outside my garage:

That’s right, Camilla went off to a new owner.  Without a track currently open on Oahu, keeping her around in track-only trim for the next 3 years would have been pretty annoying.  Walking past the race bike every day in the garage would get old, and I just couldn’t muster the energy to get all the pieces together to get her back up to street-legal specs.  The guy who has her now was planning to put her back on the street, so more power to him.  The eventual plan was to get a smaller bike to force me to learn to carry corner speed at the track… to then be able to go faster when I go back up to something bigger.  I figured after 3 years in Hawaii, I should be able to find a then 7 year old 2008+ Ninja 250 pretty cheap.

So then I go to the track last weekend to shoot pictures and hang out with Mark… I couldn’t get approval to take the Concours out ON the track, but at least finagled permission to go TO the track and take pictures.  I got some pretty good shots, and while I was there I got into a discussion with one of the SGTs from Fort Huachuca who was there on his ZX-6R trackbike.  Seems he HAD a 2008 Ninja 250, and was interested in parting with it.  Hmm…. wheels start spinning, and after some negotiations and plan approval by Household 6, I’m now the proud owner of said 2008 Ninja.  He got it from a U of A student who had laid it down, so it’s got some cosmetic issues, but is in pretty decent running condition and shouldn’t be too difficult to get re-squared for continued street duty.  I’d technically be legal now, I’d just like to do some minor cosmetic fixes before putting her on the street for any significant amount of time.

Standard procedure over at the BeginnerBikers.org forum when one has a new bike, is to announce said bike, and post pictures.  If you’ve been saying for weeks that “I’m waiting to go pick up my new [insert bike here]”, it’s expected that you post good pictures right away.  However, in the case of SMAS (Sudden Motorcycle Acquisition Syndrome), it’s typical to post obscure, somewhat distorted, or otherwise misleading photos and get people to try and guess what you’ve got.

First picture, taken with the 170* GoPro Wide, which makes the bike look much ‘fatter’ in the middle than it really is:

Next shot, wide aperture pic of the tailsection with the front fairing obscured to the left, and Concours slightly less blurry on the right:

All guesses to this point had been Kawi bikes, so I confirmed that with some more shallow DoF stuff:

I thought this next shot would pretty much a ‘gimme’, since the steering stem bolt on the upper right is pretty unique to the 250 (all the bigger bikes have much beefier triple trees and thereby steering stem nuts).  However, it was another GoPro shot, and the fisheye perspective makes things look all ‘beefy’ when shot up close:

This one got folks down from ZX-14R and ZX-10R to a guess at 6R, but still too big:

Which prompted ‘Think smaller…’, and a shot which is a absolute dead giveaway (250R is the only current Kawi sportbike with a choke, which can be clearly seen on the left-hand switchgear):

So, without further ado, here’s Beaker.  The name was suggested by Kelly, who thought I should continue with my Muppet-sourced names (the Superhawk [aka SuperChicken] was named after Gonzo’s chicken, Camilla).  Beaker is Dr Bunsen Honeydew’s assistant, and being of small brain and high pitched voice… “Mee moo MEEE” sounds kinda like a 250.  When I backed her off the truck and thumbed the starter to fire her up and drive up into the garage, the starter literally made the ‘Me Mooo MEEEEE’ noise… and the name stuck:

And today, with better light available outside, here she is all by her lonesome:

About Galaxieman