Bike Envy: Kawasaki H2 Mach IV "The Widowmaker"

BIKE ENVY Feast your eyes my friends. Although the good book specifically forbids coveting thy neighbor's possessions, I'm afraid this beautiful example of Kawasaki's 2-Stroke H2 Mach IV hath made me a sinner. In a recurring segment that I'm tentatively calling BIKE ENVY, I'd like to bring you the strange and wonderful motorcycles I see around town so that we might all be able to ride vicariously through these awesome machines. Go on, swing a mental leg over this blue beauty and settle into that 70's feeling. Now start her up and head out on the open road, but say a quick prayer as you do, because this bike's 74 horses are bottled up in very narrow power-band, and if you're not extremely delicate with the throttle, the sudden stampede may overwhelm the frame in a corner or lift the front to the sky on a straight. Such misbehavior earned the H2 Mach IV the nickname "widowmaker" and cemented the bike in motorcycle infamy while introducing many a

A Tribute to the ZX14R: How the King Earned Its Crown

The warrior king of displacement is stepping down from his throne. The brute force battle he waged in his heyday has become a digital brand of warfare with TFT displays, launch control, wheelie control, electronically adjustable suspension and quick shifters defining the new era of superbikes. The rules have shifted as well with ever tightening emissions regulations - I'm looking at you Euro 5! The King gracefully acknowledges his time has passed, and we, his humble subjects acknowledge that his specific blend of power, style and authority, can never precisely be matched again. I am talking about the venerable ZX14R, also known in certain markets as the ZZR1400. Kawasaki's big boss Ninja will be riding off into the sunset, but not before making one last stand in showroom floors with a final edition 2021 model. Living in LA, it was very rare for me to spot a ZX14 in the wild, but here in Kobe, I see one of these almost daily - a tribute to the refinement, ease of use and daily r

Welcome to Moto Chron

When I think about my motorcycle, I see the infinite country plains I haven't yet traversed reflected in the chrome, softened by the wind and the scurrying clouds from the towering hugeness of a Montana sky, or Nebraska, or Tennessee. Are there plains in Tennessee? When I think about my motorcycle, I feel the bugs and sun-baked grit and wind and grease on my skin, under my fingernails, on my elbows and knees, caked on in geologic layers of earth and oil, earth and oil, earth and oil. Yes, I think of my motorcycle often, so often that If you could flip through all 100 channels in my brain, 99 are playing some permutation of a motorcycle show - me scrambling down a fire road on a knobby-tired Triumph, me hitting a hairpin apex in Catalunya on a Moto GP million-dollar machine, me in perfect recline on a Harley Electra Glide, panniers full of whiskey, firewood and a bivy sack. I like thinking about motorcycles. Doing so seems to bring the sensation to the surface of my consciousness li