I eventually upgraded to a 1982 Kawasaki KZ1000P Police Special (overpriced at $1200). These things are so cool to ride. Cars move out of your way as you approach, so I named it “Pavlov”. It has excellent low-speed handling, hard bags, crash bars, a big cushy seat, a huge fairing, and an upright seating position.
I tried hooking up the pursuit lights as running lights, but they were unswitched. Twice I forgot to unhook them, and killed the battery. It’s a huge bike, and pushing it around to compression-start it was a real workout!
On this bike I repeated the Experienced RiderCourse with Eric. The highlight of the day was doing the offset swerving exercise. A series of cones marks a course, and you swerve through it. I did it at full speed, and the other students said I conjured up images of cops in hot pursuit. Yeah!
It broke down pretty often, and was harder to maintain than the Honda. 4 cylinders = 4 carbs = a real pain. I once took it for a carb rebuild at a local shop, and had to shell out $600. Ouch. I can do my own carb rebuilds, but they are really hard work on this bike. You have to really wrestle with the machine to get the carb assembly in and out of the bike. Half the time, after I finally got them in, it wouldn't run, and I'd have to repeat. It didn't help that the slimy “used vehicle liquidator“ that sold me the thing had sent it to a car mechanic that had really abused the carbs.
I was getting tired of the hassle, and work was getting busier. It was time for a change...