WHAT TO DO . . . WHAT TO DO INDEED
I received my 10th or 12th e-mail this week since turning this site, Z1RTC into a blog. The e-mailer 'Corvette-Nic' wanted to know if I was going to make this an informational site about the Kawasaki Z1R Turbo.
I responded to him with basically the same response I had given the others. "I have had the URL, Z1RTC.com for almost 10 years and in the beginning it was all about the turbo and that the site at one time had over 1,000 links related to motorcycle sites." "I intended to included on the site, the serial #'s for all original Z1RTC's. But did post pictures of the assembly, testing and lots of misc. first hand information."
BUT . . . The site received a lot of e-mails saying I didn't know what I was talking about. Those thanking me were less than a dozen, those who knew it all were in the hundreds, including those on different forums I frequented. So, I included pay stubs and photographs on the site, showing my 'informants' involvement in the project. Still, the comments continued.
Not one to let it go, I contacted the man who supplied the turbo kits for the project. His name was given to me along with the photos and paperwork that served as the basis for my original website. He told me someone had called him a liar when he had once commented about the turbo sizing on the Z1RTC's. He was the supplier for the project, who if anyone would know better or more about the Z1RTC? He told me to just overlook the haters and know it alls. "You have the information, they don't." That was his advice. Not one who wanted to waste my time helping those who don't want it,
I removed the information and the site only listed links for motorcycle related sites.
Thanking my ORIGINAL 'informant' for all his help, he was more than happy to let me keep all of his information. "Maybe you can use it later on."
So this year (2009) I turned the site into a blog, and up until today I have received no comments, which is fine with me, but I have received numerous e-mails like 'Corvette-Nic'.
So I checked with book publisher, Ivan H. Jones, he told me that when I have the time I should put together my research and information about the Z1RTC project. He thought it would make a good book.
After further consideration and thought, I could make more money building 'FAKE' replicas than I could writing that book.
SO, you're going to buy a Kawasaki Z1RTC. How do you know if it is the real thing or not? There was only a few made and at least 15% of them have been crashed by owners that thought they had the skill to ride the awkward beast. There were a few turned into dragbikes. Morris Mags offered a rear wheel that had internal 'spikes' that kept the tire from spinning on the rim at low tire pressures. I have personal knowledge of 12 such rims being installed on 'originals' AFTER THE FACT. There is more than 25% of all the ones made that have blown the engine apart, due the greed for more power out of the stock engine.
SO, none of the above are actually 'original' now, are they? How original do you want? Do you want the same engine that came in that bike or are you willing to settle for a replacement? You can buy a turbo kit and the stickers to turn your $5,000 Z1R into a $15,000 Z1RTC. Good profit margin. Buy a Z1R, spend another $3k, and double your investment in a weekend if you have a 'sucker' buyer.
SO, back to the original question. How do you know if the one you are going to buy is the real thing? What would you pay to know that the serial numbers on your potential purchase are the combination that came from the Z1RTC project? The bikes did NOT arrive from Kawasaki Motors with 'matching numbers'. None do, no matter the model.
There are at least two distinct and rarely copied items on 'originals' that a keen observer or one in the know can spot and tell the real from the replicas. Interested in the PPG paint codes for your home built replica? What would you be willing to pay to keep from getting ripped off? You would pay for the info if you were building a replica in an attempt to make a buck, passing it off as the 'real' thing, wouldn't you?
I have access to ALL this info and am thinking about setting up a system whereby you, the buyer could keep from getting ripped off. And though there will be those who use the info to make a buck from the suckers, the info could be helpful for all.
Let me know of any ideas you have to keep the replicas from being sold as the real thing, by using the info. Let me know what you think the service is worth. I need to use the files of info I have access to, or I need to clean the FOUR filing cabinets out and toss it all away.
ALL MY PHOTOS FROM THE ASSEMBLY, ALL MY PHOTOS OF THOSE WHO WORKED ON BUILDING THE ORIGINALS, ALL PAPERWORK REGARDING WHAT DEALERSHIP GOT WHAT SERIAL NUMBERS, ALL FRAME NUMBERS WITH CORRESPONDING ENGINE SERIAL NUMBERS, ALL PPG PAINT CODES, ALL MISC. PAPERWORK AND PHOTOS THAT I COLLECTED (4 FILE CABINETS FULL) IS PICTURED ABOVE, SOMEWHERE IN THAT DUMPSTER. NO OFFERS TO BUY WERE MADE, AFTER ALMOST ONE YEAR OF TRYING TO SELL THE INFO CHEAP. ($1.00 WOULD HAVE BOUGHT IT ALL) (THE BUYER WOULD OF COURSE HAD TO PAY FOR SHIPPING OR PICK IT UP ON THE LEFT COAST) SO IT COST ME $125 FOR THE GARBAGE MAN TO HAUL IT ALL AWAY. MAKING ROOM FOR MY LATEST 'ORIGINAL Z1RTC PROJECT' IF I FEEL SO INCLINED. I WONDER IF ANYONE ELSE BOTHERED TO COLLECT THIS INFORMATION TOO? I DOUBT IT, BUT . . . IF THEY DID, I WONDER WHAT THEY ARE DOING WITH THE INFO? DON'T BOTHER E-MAILING ME FOR ANY OF THE INFORMATION YOU MAY NEED, I FORGOT IT ALL. I AM AFTER ALL, A SPITE-FULL SON-OF-A-BITCH
I HAD all sorts of information about the Z1RTC's in 4 filing cabinets in my shop. Almost ten years ago I acquired the domain name Z1RTC dot com. I was about to list serial numbers, paint codes, part numbers and had posted over 100 photos from the build up of the original bikes. The website also had pay stubs from the supplier of this information to prove his involvement in the project.
But all this information was questioned by those who "KNOW IT ALL" and who frequent the endless forums claiming a friend of their uncles neighbors cousin had one and it was making a million HP, was built in 1977 as a test, ran over 300 mph in the quarter mile, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH. He is the expert, he knows.
He is also the one who tells the ford blogs that his dads girlfriends ex-boyfriend had a secret ford fairlane that got out of the factory by mistake. He paid $2,500 dollars for it and when ford found out they tracked him down and gave him free gas for life, two shelby cobras, and a F-350 to give the car back. Or something like that. We've all heard the stories and we all know they are BULL SHIT.
But what I find as odd is the fact that the haters and know it alls disputed the evidence. Called me a liar and I even know that the turbo supplier was told by someone he didn't know what he was talking about when he commented on the sizing of the turbo's used. So I pulled the info from the site. Packed the crap back into the file cabinets, but offered the information for sale to someone to use, archive, display at a museum, whatever they wanted. All to no avail.
Then last year (Sept. 2008) I asked if anyone thought a book might be in order. Several people contacted me about how they were starting a registry of owners. That was information I DID NOT have, even though I had lists of which dealers got which bikes. I was willing to share this info, but none of the "registry know it alls" would even pay for me to ship them several boxes. (less than $100 shipping)
I thought OKAY, I'll add the URL Z1RTC dot com to the collection. No response. I added that I would be willing to sell all with a bike or two included. I set a price, something I had not done before. No response except for the wanna be or two that would buy my ORIGINAL Z1RTC's at rock bottom prices, or the NEW take-off pieces from some of the original Z1R's, that I had purchased from a dealer in the mid-west for pennies on the dollar. The info I WAS willing to part with CHEAP, not the bikes.
Webster describes original as; a primary form or type from which varieties are derived. An original work, writing or the like, as opposed to any copy or imitation.
Some of my collection have the original tires, one still has the temporary license tag that came on it from the dealership, along with some very stale gas in the tank. ORIGINAL not repainted, not rebuilt, not someone else's recreation.
I have built many a replica and I ride them on a regular basis. I also have the moral conscious to stamp the steering neck with those exact words 'REPLICA'. But back to the thought that started this post. I could not get a fair offer for the bikes. I guess actual build photos and the paperwork that went along with each bike did not increase it's value.
I did have a publisher offer to look at any book I wrote regarding the Z1RTC, but there was little interest in the information or domain name. After one year of asking for an offer, there was none. So, today I am cleaning out my shop, I'm retiring from motorcycles in general after riding, racing and building bikes since 1968 / 1969. I'm done. The information is being tossed out, the photos are gone my bikes are not for sale individually.
The entire collection of bikes is for sale to a museum that WILL NOT piece them out. They are being advertised on another site. All in one lump, and there are a lot of them. Real ones, replicas, race bikes, record holders, etc. Now you may be saying to yourself, 'Wow, I wonder what he would have sold all that stuff for?' 'Why didn't he give that information away to someone?' The answer is simple, Red Skelton said it best, "If they don't want to buy my life's work from me when I'm alive, then I'm taking it with me." (or something like that) Have you seen any of his shows available on DVD. HELL NO.
If you read my blog-post about how much pressure does it take, you will have a clue as to how much I would have sold it all for.($1.00) And yes, I did bury, 8 truck loads of viable motorcycles and parts back in the 90's. I guess it is just how society works. They would rather believe someone who doesn't present the facts, than to believe the facts as presented.
Those must be the people who believe our leaders when they say that those who want quality health care, no more tax increases and who believe in the right to bear arms, are nothing but a bunch of right wing nuts, swastika carrying nazi, white supremist, baby killers. Nancy P's (D) words, not mine. So what have we learned today?
MAKE AN OFFER. GET THE FACTS. CARS DON'T SNEAK OUT OF THE FACTORY ENDING UP ON RAILROAD CARS THAT WERE DIVERTED ONTO SOME HIDDEN TRACKS INTO THE WOODS ONLY TO BE FOUND YEARS LATER BY SOME HUNTERS WHO GOT ONE MILLION DOLLARS FOR EACH 1957 CHEVY CONVERTIBLE THEY FOUND IN BOX CARS. AND BUYING AN ORIGINAL FROM SOME GUY ON THE INTERNET IS THE BEST WAY TO END UP WITH A REPLICA OR A MODIFIED Z1RTC BECAUSE WE WERE TOO LAZY TO MAKE AN OFFER OR ASK SOME QUESTIONS.
Am I angry, NO. I am laughing at the fools and suckers who think they KNOW IT ALL, when all along they could have had the facts for the cost of shipping. One hundred pictures are worth more than some bull shit artist on some forum somewhere posing as a 14 year old girl who had a friend whose dad knew someone who had a . . . . . . . . And by the way, that 14 year old is really a 45 year old MAN who is 'still' a virgin.