John Boutte and Paul Sanchez wrote “At The Foot Of Canal Street” when they realized that both of their fathers were buried in the same cemetery. It’s a brilliant tune because it suggests that death is a redemption, not a failure. Boutte takes the song uptempo on his solo album, “Jambalaya”, and that’s the version I prefer, but the Sanchez/Boutte collaboration is the original.
I have this idea that I’m going to ride a motorcycle to New Orleans. Exorcise the past. It’s 925 miles from my house to where Sanchez and Boutte buried their fathers, but that’s the freeway route. Don’t think I’d take that the whole way. Instead, I’d try to make it a two-day trip each way. Maybe two and a half. Stop in Memphis, Clarksdale, all those places.
This had seemed like the perfect trip to take with a Diavel but after a few conversations with various friends, and reading comments left here, I think the Diavel might be a little too pretentious, too self-conscious. Current thinking, therefore, is that the best bike for the job would be the mighty Kawasaki ZX-14R, the supreme 197-rear-wheel-horsepower zef chariot that also has a “rain mode” and anti-lock brakes. I think I could cover 300-400 miles a day on such a vehicle before I needed to take any Vicodin.
It’s possible I’ll change my mind; it’s also possible that I won’t be able to justify the money, particularly in light of my Obamacare-related out-of-pocket expenses for my broken leg, which are currently at $7,178 and rising with a whole new reset to deductible coming in just eleven days.
Still. Doesn’t mean we cannot have a poll to liven up our Sunday.
In this poll, I will ask you, my valued reader, to pick a color scheme from the astoundingly crass range of ZX-14Rs that are still available brand-new from dealers in the Midwest. Without further ado:
Choice #1: 2016 Special Edition, Carbon Black
Pros: all black and evil and cool and stuff
Cons: At the age of 44, I’m trying to avoid self-consciously “tough guy” aesthetics. No discounts yet.
Choice #2: 2016 Black/Green
Pros: Really like what they did with the amount of green this year.
Cons: No discount yet.
Choice #3: 2015 30th Anniversary, Black/Red/Gold
Pros: My first bike was a 1986 Ninja 600R in THIS EXACT COLOR!!!!!
Cons: The British invented a word for bikes that look like this: naff
Choice #4: 2015 Green/Black
Pros: About as nice as the 2016 scheme, and available at a $3500 discount!
Cons: It’s a bit unsubtle in person.
Choice #5: 2015 Carbon Black
Pros: Hey, it’s a big flat-black Ninja.
Cons: It’s a bit, uh, “Monster Energy”, isn’t it?
Choice #6: 2014 Green
Pros: The cheapest option — some shops still have these.
Cons: Not sure if this or the 2015 green is better. They mainly differ from the seat back.
There are also some red 2014 bikes out there cheap, but I’m not really interested in the plain black/red combos. The poll therefore:
Pick A ZX-14 Color
- 2014 Green: save some money, it looks pretty much the same! (27%, 15 Votes)
- 2015 Anniversary Red: why not have TWO retro sportbikes? (25%, 14 Votes)
- 2015 Green: save three grand and take the old paint scheme (21%, 12 Votes)
- 2016 Black: tell everybody your name is "Kylo Ren" (13%, 7 Votes)
- 2016 Green: has to be green to be a true Kawasaki (7%, 4 Votes)
- 2015 Black: Monster Energy connotations don't bother me (7%, 4 Votes)
Total Voters: 56
As always, thank you for humoring all of my mental diversions and illnesses, particularly in the area of two-wheeled objects!