Thursday, April 24, 2014

1979 Kawasaki KZ650SR For Sale

I am reluctantly selling my 1979 KZ650 SR. It has 29331 miles on the clock. I bought it in October 2012 from a trusted co-worker who bought it from the original owner whom I also knew. When I bought it, it had 21612 miles. It's current condition is partially dis-assembled and not running, but here's the rundown on that. After enjoying it as a daily driver for a year, doing regular maintenance and upgrades (more on that later), it developed a carburation issue, along with some engine noise. It started running on only three cylinders at idle and partial throttle but came on song at higher throttle openings, hence the carb issue. The engine noise , as best I could tell, emminated from the rear of the cylinders (cam chain adjuster?), was intermittent, like when I let off the throttle or when at idle with a blip of the throttle. The pitch of the noise did not change with engine rpm. The bike sat through the winter due to lack of repair funds. When I was ready to spend some money on it, I rode it over to Action Kawasaki (they did all of the previous work on it) and, to my surprise, the engine hit on all 4 cylinders from idle on.
I described the issues to the service writer. I wanted them to rebuild the cards because of a float issue with #3 carb and see what the noise was about. They proceeded to diagnose the problems and gave me an estimate. It was very high, in part because I think they didn't really want to take the time to hunt for parts and such. They took the bank of carbs off and removed the cam cover.
So, I think a person with the proper tools and know-how could get the bike in good shape and running again.
Here's a list of maintenance and parts I have put on the bike:
22111 miles new rear tire
23000 miles new front tire, oil and filter change
26904 mi new rear brake pads
27000 mi new halogen headlight
27110 mi new brake light switch, clutch cable, tach cable
27650 mi tune-up, new plugs, air filter, oil change, chain and sprockets (The previous owner installed electronic ignition (pointless)
27989 mi installed Hagon shocks and new battery
The fuel tank is not original, replacement was painted and installed by the person I bought the bike from.
Disclosure -
Besides the above issues, the #3 carb leaked gas from its overflow, assuming a stuck float. I installed a block valve in the fuel supply line and used it like a on/off petcock.
After topping off the tank and riding for about 50 miles, the bike would starve for fuel and quit running. I suspected a non-venting gas cap issue and sliced the gasket to provide an air gap. Problem solved.
Upon working on the bike, Action Kawasaki discovered a cross-threaded spark plug @ #3 cylinder.
The bike has a clear Texas title.
Besides these minor issues, the bike ran great from the moment I bought it. It never left me stranded on the road, does not smoke and gets about 36 mpg. All lights and gauges work.
Considering the good overall shape of the bike and list of recently replaced parts, I am asking $2400, but will consider offers.
Please contact me via text 972 310 9816 or email @
The bike is located in a storage unit near White Rock Lake in Dallas TX.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


On a sunny Saturday afternoon back in 1972, a bright eyed 12 year old rode his bicycle from his house to the Winn-Dixie shopping center on Highway 61 to view something very special. There, glistening in the sun, was the Blue Max top fuel funny car. Something that was only seen in magazines was poised on the rear of it's open transporter. It was on display to drum up publicity for it's meet at LaPlace Dragway. A couple of teen-agers were there talking with whom I assumed was the driver in a Blue Max t-shirt. I drummed up enough nerve to ask the guy why were these cars called "funny cars"?  "Well," he started to say like he's answered this question a thousand times before," most people, when they see one of these hot rods, they think they look funny, and I guess the name stuck." Wow. he spoke to me.
Fast-forward to 2006, I'm working at a bicycle retailer in Dallas, Texas. An older, grizzled, but distinguished-looking gentleman is shopping for some mountain-biking shoes. We strike up a conservation about different bikes and frame materials and while I'm fitting him for his shoes, he tells me he used to own a funny car. I muttered something like "Really"? as the hair stood up on my arms. He said, "Yeah, remember the Blue Max"?
Oh, of course I remember the Blue Max, I told him. Trying to impress him with my knowledge I asked if he was Raymond Beadle. "No, Raymond drove for me. I'm Harry Schmidt". Oh shit, I muttered some sort of apology and went on to tell him I remember when it came to LaPlace Dragway. I remember staring at it in the shopping center parking lot the Saturday before the drags. I told him I remember asking one of the guys there why do they call them funny cars.
"That was you"? he asked.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Category 5 Hurricane WhoDat Makes Landfall in Miami

The cone of un-certainty was narrowed at 5:25 pm cst last evening as Hurricane WhoDat bore down on Sun Life Stadium and the Indianapolis Colts. Feeder bands of rain began early and it seemed the storm would be down-graded, especially when the Saints Offensive levee was breached, and the Brees shifted. But the winds kicked up a record amount of debris which swirled thru the uprights from a long way away as the storm surge signaled the fast-approaching black and gold eyewall. Even the calm eye brought on some rockin and rollin as the storm re-grouped. The storm's winds change of direction and un-predictability turned the tide on the Colts, who seemed to have evacuated the area. The brunt of WhoDat was evident as flying debris was picked-off, and the Colts suffered a power outage. A huge flood of joyful emotion surrounded the storm but a depression occurred in other areas.
Not even Nash Roberts could have predicted the aftermath of Hurricane WhoDat, as the Saints fans joined the contraflow back to New Orleans, after the best Super Bowl in history.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

This is one of my favorite cycling stories, written by Maynard Hershon, my favorite cycling story writer.

Before and After

My Grandfather was the consummate New Orleanian. His career as a riverboat pilot led him to be the pilot/tourguide on the modern day Natchez Steamboat, which plys the Mississippi River in the Crescent City. Captain "Red" Manson would regale the tourists from Thedford, Nebraska of his exploits and life on the River. He loved it.

He also loved his food; good, rich New Orleans cooking. One thing he liked to do was to prepare a still life scene of boiled crawfish on a platter with a Dixie beer poured into a tall glass, all foamy and golden, and take a photo of it. After the crawfish were reduced to heads and entrails, and the beer drank down with gusto, he would take another shot. The aftermath of the most enjoyable of Southern Louisiana traditions.

I was reminded of this scene when I was visiting in the City a few weeks ago. When in my hometown, I like to repair to the New Orleans Cigar Factory for a smoke and a drink. Thus this take on my Grandfather's legacy.



Monday, February 11, 2008

NAHBS 2008

Some of my favs from the North American Handmade Bike Show, Portland.
Thanks Don Walker
More on My Flickr Page.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Lance Visits RBM

Lance Armstrong helped Jim Hoyt celebrate his fifty-tenth birthday.

(photo by jason pardo)

Monday, December 17, 2007

Pleasure in an Un-Likely Place

I purchased some items from leather artisan James Brooks who owns Bike Leather, a company that specializes in leathercraft of the highest order. I first saw his work displayed on a SyCip bicycle at NAHBS 07. It was a Kuuru Side Pouch (above). I also wanted this Work Belt that I thought was cool albeit the most expensive belt I've ever owned.
It's this belt I want to talk about. I expected it to be a very nicely-executed piece using high-grade cowhide and solid hardware - finely-crafted if course. And it would hold my pants up.
What I didn't expect was the feeling of quaility when I un-buckle it. The simple act of un-buckling brings forth a plethera of joy and the feeling of luxury, if only for a few seconds. I guess it's the way the leather feels and sounds when I pull the end and loosen the prong. The squeak of leather and the mechanical sound of the roller on the stainless steel (!) buckle and a whiff of leather smell is quit heady. Goodness gracious!
Its like the feeling you get when you press a high-precision button or toggle switch on, say, a high-end turntable. Or pick up a quaility, well-balanced steak knife.
It just has good hand-feel.
Its akin to what Charlie Trotter once said about washing dishes. He likes the way clean dishes smell.
Its a pleasure in an un-likely place. And I experience it every time I pee.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Road Trip

I took a quick trip to New Orleans to help "adjust" some recumbents we sold to a couple in Harvey, LA. and had a chance to see my folks. I also stopped in at the newly opened Bayou Bicycles, the store I worked at before the storm.

(Date in photos is wrong) (Click to Zoomify)

My 1965 International Harvester P/U - LIF.

Small shot of Bayou Bicycles.

My Mom's cat, French Fry, doing what cats do.

The '56 Chevy is closer than you think.

Monday, September 24, 2007

NHRA Fall Nationals

Alfred and I went to the Texas Motorplex this past Friday to watch the drags and met with Whit Bazemore...
(click to zoomify)

Whit is an avid cyclist who rides with his crew members and fellow racers whenever he can.
Oh yeah, he also takes a turn in this car on occasion...

Whit went to the semi-finals against Bob Vandergriff but hazed the tires at about half-track and pedaled, but Bob was gone.
John Force was involved in a heavy crash that sent him to the hospital with two broken legs and other injuries, serious, but apparently not life threatening. Hope is for a speedy recovery.

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Meet and Greet...Part 1

Kramer: George, you're becoming one of the gliterratti.
George: What's that.
Kramer: Ya' know, people who glitter...

I have been fortunate, in my various jobs, to have come in contact with some famous people, famous in there respective careers, be it atheletes, framebuilders, musicians, actors. Two that stand out are Roger DeCoster and Eddy Merckx.
Roger was a hero of mine back in the mid seventies when I worked in my family's motorcycle shop in LaPlace, La. my hometown. I met him at a meet and greet in Dallas in 1975, at a Suzuki new model show. My dad and I had our picture taken with The Man at the intro of the 1976 RM-125, Suzook's foray into a "works" production line. The photo appered in our local newspaper as a media blitz. Don't have the photo anymore - lif.
20 years later, I met Merckx at my first Interbike show in 1994, Anaheim, CA. He was promoting his products at the Gita Sporting Goods booth. As I was walking the hall, I ended up behind Merckx and decided to follow him to get peoples reaction as he walked the aisles. I imagined I was following him up a mountain pass in a race, with the crowd parting, nodding, and smiling. OK, it was alittle different than a race but you get the gist.
The reason I clumped these two together, is that they were born a year apart, in Belgium, and rose to the top of their game in the 60's and dominated in the 70's. Everyone in motocross knows Roger D and everyone in bike racing knows Eddy M, and I met them both.
Next M & G - just wait til I tell ya bout Richard Sachs.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

My Favorite Racing Bike

I was on my first go-round at NAHBS 07 when I rounded a corner and came face to face with Tom Ritchey's bike that he built back in 1974. It stopped me dead in my tracks. I first saw photos of it in an early Rivendell Reader and just marveled at the minimalist aspect and attention to detail. It's what a purpose-built racing bike should be. The dual-plate fork crown with open-top legs makes the assembly look trick and light, the rear brake cable routing thru the seattube uses no extra cable housing or ferrules, the delicate drop-outs with gussets and drilled hanger show strength and style.
Overall, the appeal to me is a no-nonsense, innovative, elegant machine that show-cased Tom's brilliance back in the day.
But the most important aspect of this bike was that he built it for his Dad.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

New Commuter-Oriented Website

Quaility Bicycle Products (QBP) is a leading component and accessory distributor for the bicycle retail industry. They are probably one of the most progressive in promoting company-wide bicycle use, many of the employees are year-round commuters. This means alot since they are located near Minneapolis. They are responsible for bringing Surly and Salsa branded bikes and products to our living rooms.
They are launching a new bike brand called Civia Cycles, and their interactive website is a must to visit. One can register and create a profile that provides weather info and maps pertaining to your commute; it will even give you a suggested way to dress.
There are no bikes posted yet, but I can't wait to see them.
Commuter bikes designed by commuters.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

2 Years Ago... this very moment, my wife, Tiffany, and I packed our dogs and a backpack with a couple of t-shirts and shorts and , before I climbed inside the truck, I looked back at the house and thought "This may have been the last night we spend in this house". We met our friend, Alfred, at the bike shop, I parked my truck on high ground (haha) and we were gone, two cars into the contra-flow jam that was the exodus high-tailing it out of New Orleans.
Twelve hours later, we pulled into my mother-in-law's driveway in Mesquite, TX. and, after listening to news reports of how big and dangerous a cat 5 storm would be when it hit the city, I knew our lives would change. Dramatically.
I wasn't going to write this but it was floating around up here and I thought what the heck.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


I thought up a term to describe what is going on these days in the area of design that features artisinal craftsmanship, high-quaility materials, and a vision for the traditional. The term is "era-crafting" - the process of making a new object that evokes another time, utilising craftsmanship and materials from both past and present technologies.
There is a whole host of individuals out there, framebuilders and visionaries, who capture this style perfectly - Grant Peterson, Tony Pereira, and Chris Kulczycki just to name a few.
Outside of the bicycle kingdom, the style is prevalent in watches, motorcycles, and architechture. An interesting parrallel is what the SyCip brothers are doing with their boardtracker and Paul Brodie's motorcycle project.
My favorite motorcycle designer, builder, visionary whatever is Shinya Kimura. I would like to think if Shinya put his efforts into a bicycle, it would look like this -
(click on photos to zoomify)

My Mirella, 60's vintage Italian, brush-painted flat black, re-purposed fixed gear. Signature detailed pieces include misc bronze plated bits, powder coated components, exposed bearings

This reflector bracket exemplifies the style - simple, mechanical, elegant

Threaded inserts on Campy seatpost bronze plated

Re-worked MAFAC Racer brake. Bronze plated hardware and springs. Also shows brass valve liberated from rubber coating and elegant cap.

Mixing old with new, ultra high-end with cheap. Ibis Ti stem with Wald steel Northroad bars and Nitto stainless thrown in for good measure
(click photos to zooomify)

Bronze plated locknut with wording highlighted

Exposed bearings in rear hub, flame-tarnished QR handle

Thursday, August 16, 2007

This Blog Thing...

(click to zoomify)

I like to write and express my views on things and show people what my bikes look like. There'll be lots of photos, and lots of trivia. I love useless information. In my future posts, you will be exposed to my humor and my subtle way of letting you into my life. You'll see how, two years ago, my wife, three dogs, and I (and Alfred) evacuated New Orleans to Dallas and how most of our stuff was "lost in the flood" (LIF). How now I work for a huge bicycle retailer and spend my idle hours putting my quirky spin on bikes that I have. I'll tell stories of people I've met in the cycling world, rides I've done, a planned bike business, and crap that annoys me.

Sunday, August 12, 2007


When I first started cycling, not at 6 but at about 23, I fell in with a group of riders, the Crescent City Cyclists, who laid the foundation of my life's bicycling jounrney. You know, when you're new to something, you soak up the info like a sponge. You admire people, their bikes, interesting things they do in life. One guy I thought was the Guru was a rider named Steve Brown. He wove a romantic web of the love of cycling. His was the first Brooks saddle I ever saw, the first bottom bracket cutout (Masi "M"), first fixed-gear training bike, first guy I saw riding rollers. He knew he had an audience in me and I was rapt. As the miles went on, I was tought the art of riding in a pace line, marking a century with Don Henry arrows, and how a thin layer of lycra can keep you warm in the winter. I held my first CD in his new Isuzu Trooper, heard OingoBoingo and Echo and the Bunnymen, got my first set of touring wheels, handbuilt by him. He had this funky wooden abstract thingy on his dashboard, the word "BYKYAK" written in sort of a '70s love-in style. He said it's what we do - talk about bikes - "Bike Yak".

That's what this blog is going to be about - talking about bikes, my so-called life, my penchant for stylizing my rides, the bike industry and my adventures thru the years.

It is sure to be the most boring stuff you'll ever read in your life.