My descent into Vetter madness...

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VoodooRed_KZ1100_A-3

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#1
Hello y'all.

My name is Mark. I'm from Mounds, Oklahoma. I am the proud third owner of a 1983 Kawasaki KZ1100 A-3, with all the Vetter goodies, minus the Cycle Sound package, but that will come a bit later.

Being the thrifty (read here near-broke) sort, I found "Red" on Craigslist, and got her, along with an extra pair of Vetter bags and their mounting hardware. She had been sitting in a barn for a while, and needed some serious maintenance to make her run well. To my surprise, the lowers were included. After going through the fuel system, brakes, and some electrical issues, she was running like a champ! Here and there I've had to replace some hardware (bolts, nuts, etc) but the fairing, tail trunk and bags work well, with no vibrations or noise. I am looking forward to parking her, and removing the fairings, tank, side covers and other stuff, for repainting. I'd like to paint her the most sinful shade of red pearlescent/metallic I can find, and have all the correct Vetter striping replaced, along with a new windshield, and the correct Cycle Sound package.

The second set of bags gave me some ideas...

The previous owner had a CB on board, with the antenna bracket. Since I'm a ham, (callsign KE5LIB) I thought- what if I were to put my ham gear in the second set of bags- the radio drawers, auxiliary batteries, etc, (since the control panels and mic could be remotely located from the radio itself!), install a set of weathertight connectors for ease of mount/dismount and make it to where I could swap between sets? Most of the time I carry a handheld rig, but using a mobile unit just seems better... I mean, 5W vs 40W+?! Doing research on Highway and City/Municipal motorcycle patrol rigs helped too.

In the meantime, I came across the Group and decided to join. So now, I have a few questions to ask, and will post them in their proper places in the Forum as well:

Any other KZ1100 A-3 folks in here too? They're great bikes...

Any other ham radio operators too?

just curious... Happy holidays, and may God bless...

Mark
 
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VoodooRed_KZ1100_A-3

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#3
Tom,

That looks like it would be one rare bird... from the looks of the Motorola mic, would this be something on a Police bike? I'm not sure if the Kawasaki KZ1100P series carried something like this but if it did, I'd look for one...
The mobile "head" unit would probably fit on top of a Cycle Sound though...

Many thanks!

Mark
 
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#4
Welcome to the forum Mark! Sounds like you are suffering from a serious case of VOGS. :p

You know, thinking back to 1992, I did take the test to become an operator. I think I passed.... I was working at Radio Shack at the time so I was exposed to ham stuff all the time. I shifted jobs, as well as interests and never did much with it.

Nice find on the bike! I like the KZ's.

The Jetcockpit is meant to be used in place of a Cycle Sound. Here is a link to the instruction manual on Craig's site. You will see them from time to time on eBay, but they are pretty rare.

Again, welcome! Looking forward to some pics of the setup.
 
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VoodooRed_KZ1100_A-3

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#6
Thanks guys!

Tom- There was a Hudson car built between 1932-'38 called "Terraplane". It is a rarity these days. Much like the Terraplane side car. I love hacks- always wanted to get a purpose-built hack rig like an IMZ or Ural "Patrol" model, and use it instead of a toad behind my converted school bus RV! Besides, that's the only ride I can get my wife on! She said that she would have no problems riding in a hack.

AVetterXS, you're right. I'm partially eat up with VOG. It's metastasized dang near to bone by now... and at least Stage III. Many moons ago, one of my uncles got me interested in radio, and it all went downhill from there. I am also a Volunteer Examiner (meaning I'm one of those three guys that give the exams for license) and an Instructor. Also love restoring old tube type equipment like amps, Hammond organs, and ham radio gear. If I could find one, I would love to restore a Hammond Novachord. It was the world's first commercially produced polyphonic synthesizer, had close to 180 tubes and produced some of the most other-worldly sounds you could imagine. It was used in a lot of movie sound tracks and effects, and radio stations used them a lot when radio was "live". There are less than 200 known, out of a little over 1069 produced. I also rescue pipe organs. I have a small(?!) 2 manual 9 rank Reuter church organ that I will install in my home, hopefully in the spring of 2017 when remodeling is done. I am also building a 6 manual "simulator" console for "Hauptwerk", a computer program that uses digital samples of large pipe organs and theater organs, and MIDI components to emulate the instruments for those of us who just don't have access to these great instruments. Just add audio components, and live out in the country... My next door neighbors think I'm mentally ill. I like maintaining that reputation. So, yeah, I'm pretty much a basket case.

Hello Rob! I have a nephew who lives near Vancouver, WA. We got to visit them back in 2000, and I fell in love with the countryside! The only thing I missed is having my land experimental aircraft carrier- a 1975 Cadillac Eldorado convertible- to cruise in. It's gorgeous there. In spite of the rain.

Here's to all of you, for making me feel like I wasn't entirely losing my mind! I've always loved Vetter products and how they look on a great machine. There is nothing even close today in terms of aesthetics, style and quality. And probably will never be again. After I finish my RN, I've promised myself a new Kawasaki 14 Concours, to keep "Voodoo Red" company, and for me to carve up some highways... I maintain that while we as humans are indeed "created a bit less than angels", I'll forgo a pair of wings and celestial robes for a nice fast ride and good fitting leathers and boots any day.

Your mentally ill compadre...

Mark
 
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brianinpa

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#7
Welcome to the forum Mark! I wish I could find one of those Jetcockpits. They just never seem to come up on ebay. I've been looking for some time and the one that I did see got out of my price range REAL QUICK!
 
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Terraplane Tom

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#8
Tom,

That looks like it would be one rare bird... from the looks of the Motorola mic, would this be something on a Police bike? I'm not sure if the Kawasaki KZ1100P series carried something like this but if it did, I'd look for one...
The mobile "head" unit would probably fit on top of a Cycle Sound though...

Many thanks!

Mark
I have mine on my "police bike"
IMAG0017 (2).jpg
 
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#11
So, yeah, I'm pretty much a basket case.
You sound just like me Voodoo. What's funny is the rabbit hole goes deeper then you can ever imagine with VOG's. I, like yourself am a complete nerd who loves restoring and collecting old audio equipment. I have lots and lots of car 8 track players, early cassette players, record players, on and on and on. I also really enjoy restoring old shop equipment like Rockford drill presses, Starrett vise's, Grayson lathes, on and on. In addition to all that stuff that I dont have time for, I am a Nicola Tesla fan and build Tesla coils and lots of other high voltage goodies. THEN, a Hifi audio nut to the 10th degree. Then you throw my Vetter addiction on top of all that and I am "I'm pretty much a basket case." like you.

Again welcome to the forum!
 
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VoodooRed_KZ1100_A-3

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#12
Welcome to the forum Mark! I wish I could find one of those Jetcockpits. They just never seem to come up on ebay. I've been looking for some time and the one that I did see got out of my price range REAL QUICK!
Brian, that's my problem too. For some weird reason, if I'm interested in something on eBay, a bloody bidding war ensues. I've been watching for some things for a while now, and I would fall back in it if they came up on eBay and I actually won the bidding, and could afford what I won...

Happy Holidaze!!

Mark
 
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VoodooRed_KZ1100_A-3

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#14
You sound just like me Voodoo. What's funny is the rabbit hole goes deeper then you can ever imagine with VOG's... In addition to all that stuff that I dont have time for, I am a Nicola Tesla fan and build Tesla coils and lots of other high voltage goodies. THEN, a Hifi audio nut to the 10th degree. Then you throw my Vetter addiction on top of all that and I am "I'm pretty much a basket case." like you.

Again welcome to the forum!
Uh oh... You said "Tesla"... I have built Tesla coils as a much younger man, and hold Mr. Tesla in high regard, both as a scientist and inventor. I'm also very happy that his laboratory "Wardenclyffe" is now in good hands, and that he will have the recognition he so richly deserves. His inventions should still be studied and replicated. He was way ahead of his time, and the rest of the world owes him that honor. In addition to restoring Hammond tonewheel organs, and repairing/restoring pipe organs, I am a self-taught organist. As such I'm in good company. The late great theatre organist Jesse Crawford, the "Wizard of the Mighty WurliTzer" and the "Poet of the Organ" was entirely self-taught as well. My "nom de organiste" is in honor of him, and I sometimes perform and record as "Desmond Crawford". I have had a deep, abiding love for things of quality, and craftsmanlike execution of work. Such is almost gone from this world now, but some remains. Such is Vetter, old Kawasakis, Henry County, Virginia moonshine, Hammond and pipe organs, good friends, ham radio, old Dodge Cummins diesel trucks and mutt doggies. Now, if I could just find a formula to retard the passing of time, and make it stop occasionally, that'd be really cool...

Yep. There be "safety in numbers". Happy to be here, and human by default.


73 and Happy Holidaze!!

Mark