The Blackbird#

The stablemate of my trusty old 4Runner, the Relic, is a 2018 Kawasaki Versys 650 LT -- the Blackbird. The Versys 650 (the name is a mashup of "versitile system") is Kawasaki's vision of an adventure-touring crossover bike. The Blackbird has 2 main jobs for me: occasional across-the-nation touring, and transporting me to hiking trailheads of the Rocky Mountain states (making the transport as excellent as the hike in many cases).

Versys 650

Add-ons for functionality, touring optimization, and safety:

  • engine guard crash cage
  • T-Rex-Racing center stand
  • alloy rear/top luggage rack
  • ST2 Systems smart modules
    • brake light strober module
    • self-cancelling turn signal module
    • engine-braking & down-shifing sensing brake light module
  • 48 LED brake, tail, and turn-signal rear light bar
  • 28 liter hard saddlebag set
  • hand guards

Winston Churchill said of horse riding: "no hour of life is lost that is spent in the saddle" -- precisely how I feel about time in the saddle of a motorcycle. To ride is to create a union of driver and raw, beautiful machine that demands being fully in the moment.

Versys 650

--The Blackbird at NCAR in the foothills over Boulder. I usually have the hard saddlebags off for "around the neighborhood" joy rides like this.--



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