"The fastest production motorcycle in the world!" proclaimed the radio ad about Kawasaki's Two Stroke Triple. As high school boys in 1970, that statement caught our attention in a big way. Most of the bikes on the road at the time were Harleys, Triumphs or BSAs, and the new Kawasaki could blow them all away! There were also various things that people would be embarrassed to ride now days; Cushman scooters, Wizard mopeds, minibikes. It didn't matter to us though, if it had a motor and two wheels it was "cool". Most of what we rode in the dirt were stripped down enduros or the occasional Husky or Bultaco, but the guys that had those were a little older and had more money to spend. It would be a few years before the Japanese companies came out with the motocross bikes as we know them today. 1971 also brought us the definitive documentary about motorcycles, "On Any Sunday" and of course that instantly became our favorite movie. By the time I graduated from high school in 1972, I had owned a wore out 1962 250cc two-stroke Yamaha (a road bike similar in style to the old Honda Dream) and a 125cc Ward's Riverside (the old timers will know what that is).
Time for a final update on an old friend (and nemesis) of mine, Christine.
Christine was my previous motorbike, a 1979 Kawasaki KZ650. I bought that bike about a year ago from an optometrist in Palm Desert. He wasn't too mechanically inclined, and the bike needed some (more than some!) work, but the bike was fundamentally sound, and the price was right. Fuel cost for driving the truck to work was killing me, and I also just wanted some exhiliration.
In early April of 1981, I had just completed Navy boot camp in San Diego, and was waiting for my first tech school to commence. After a couple of weeks, I got fed up with waiting for buses to get around, and with being confined to watching the city go by on the same old bus routes. I wanted to explore! I decided to get a one-way flight back to Boise one Friday night, and ride my motorbike back to San Diego over the weekend. It wasn't a bad plan on the surface.