Honda 2005 CBR-600RR

November 17, 2005
Buttonwillow California

From the left side



Three New Species of Vipers Discovered in England

Avon Motorcycle Tires
Melksham UK
Pembrey, Wales

Pirelli doesn’t even have a Queen.

BMW K 1200R

True confessions.

When I was seventeen years old in 1984 I bought a basket case BMW motorcycle and spent many evenings in an unheated garage slowly piecing together the bike. I put many of the parts together incorrectly and spent even more hours correcting my mistakes. I ultimately rode that /5 across the country and clocked over 100,000 miles on it.

In 1990 a few friends and I decided to ride motorbikes from Washington, D.C. to the Arctic Circle in Alaska. I bought an R80GS for the trip but hated riding it so much that I sold it 24 hours later.

The author, in 1990, on the Haul Road to the Arctic Circle. Photo by Bobby Jones


2006 Kawasaki ZX-10R at Autopolis, Nippon

In the late eighties a group of investors, flush with capital from the engorged Japanese real estate market, decided to build a race track near Kumamoto Nippon. They reportedly spent the Yennish equivalent of $300 million dollars to purchase property and construct what could only be described as a magnificent race track. When it was completed in 1990 it had glass VIP buildings, 48 garages, world class run off, challenging layout, on sight hotel and massive grandstands.

And then the Japanese economic bubble burst. And the money dried up. And the on sight hotel was never staffed. And the world championship races were never held. And the fences began to rust, grass grew up in the seams in the parking lots and the track was, for all intents and purposes, abandoned.

Last year, Kawasaki bought the property for $10 million. Approximately 3% of its original value. Keep that in mind when some real estate agent tells you that a 750 square foot condo for $500,000 can only appreciate in value.

The rusting grandstands watch over turn one while the never
used luxury hotel slowly decomposes in the background.