Time for me to give it up.

I rode my ZX-11 in to work this morning.   When I first got on it at Ogre Ranch, my knees protested, but when I hit the highway, I didn’t care.  It felt so good to be on the Ninja again… It was like being born again.  Of course, I always feel that way when I hit the highway on this bike.

By the time I hit Vernal, my knees were staging a protest and it was a bit awkward getting off the machine.  That’s not good.  By the end of the work day, my knees were giving me hell.  Getting my right foot on the peg was difficult.  I was half way home when I finally was able to yank it up by my pant leg.  Once I pulled into Ogre Ranch, getting that foot back off the peg was not happening.  I almost dumped the bike because of it. I’m not yet ready to give up Riding. I’m just going to have to give up Sport Bikes. My knees can only bend so far now. Cruisers and Enduros, I can still do. But Warp Speed Land Rockets – Not so much. In all seriousness – This is really freaking depressing for me. I can’t tell you how much I’ve loved this ZX-11. It’s been my favorite vehicle out of everything I’ve ever owned. And I can’t even get my feet on the pegs anymore.  This is killing me.

I’m going to have to sell it or trade it.

3,000 Cash or a Trade for something with All Wheel Drive that gets decent fuel economy, or some sort of “Hot Hatch” with front wheel drive.

26 thoughts on “Time for me to give it up.”

  1. Well, perhaps they’ll make a breakthrough on gout treatment in the near future. Meanwhile you will be keeping and perhaps improving riding skills on the Enduro machines. Some historical studies indicate a correlation between the increase in recorded cases of gout and the increase in sugar consumption in the 16th century Western world as opposed to alcohol and “rich foods” like meat. Despite all the years of study they haven’t pinned down an exact cause but genome studies are starting to show progress on disease causes.

    1. Well the problem is that it isn’t gout. Looks like it’s gout. Certainly feels like it’s gout. But it aint gout. This was tested and it came back negatory. It’s just “Acute Arthritis”. Which is just two generic terms for “Fucked up knees”.

      1. Did they test you for rheumatoid arthritis? When you see symptoms that look and act like gout but test out like arthritis, rheumatoid is a strong possibility.

        1. Get you another doc. Gout is arthritis in an exteme form. Then man up and change your diet. Your uric acid is too high and creates these little crystals like ground glass. No beef, no shellfish or sardines. Check the food you eat for purine content. Get prednisone to ease the attack and allopurinol for prevention. Gout taught me a lesson that I don’t want to relearn. There is nothing more painful.

          1. It’s not gout. I had gout… and this felt like gout. But it’s not gout as the uric acid levels are low and their are no crystals.

  2. I won’t say “I told you so”, because I didn’t. I held my tongue when I read you were buying a ZX-11, because I knew you’d get some SERIOUS fun out of it… and I was pretty sure that in a few months you’d be posting something like this.

    Not meaning to be smug… I just went through the same thing a few years ago.

    Two bad knees, not going to get any better… I realized, after almost dumping a bike in the parking lot because my knee didn’t want to hold my weight after less than an hour in that position; that I wasn’t going to be able to ride anything with rearsets any more.

    So, I switched to standards, sport tourers, and adventurebikes.

    They’re still DAMN FAST; just not quite AS fast. I’ve got well over 100hp in my VStrom-1000, and it pulls like a train; but it tops out at 140. It’s too much drag, too upright etc…

    But it’s also comfortable enough for me to ride it for hours and hours; and my knees are OK at the end (some people find the saddle uncomfortable for long rides. I think I’d like a better saddle at some point, but it’s not really a problem for me, and if you need one, they’re easy to find).

    I think my ultimate in this vein would be one of the big BMW K sport tourers. Expensive even used, but damn they’re pretty, fast, and they handle.

    No, I’m not going to be able to take that 120d sweeper at 100 scraping my knee… But I can do it at 80; and shit, I’m not 24 anymore… or 34 anymore…

  3. Oh and believe me, even when you’re used to an 1100 class sportbike…

    When you’re doing 90 in 4th at peak torque, with 1500rpm til you hit the power peak, and two more gears to go… You don’t feel slow.

    Yeah, I know it drops 30mph to the ’11; but how often exactly are you riding over 140? Are you winding your bike to 10,500?

    It’s the midrange and a broad and deep powerband that makes for most of the fun. That’s one thing that adventure bikes and sport tourers are really great for.

    I can be comfortable in second gear from 15-70; third from 20-90; fourth from 30 to 105; fifth from 35 to 120… and never lug the bike, or make it scream harder than I want it to. With the STOCK gearing… and I’ve got a lot of gearing options that work well.

    I’ve got a 43/16 set waiting for me to put on that knocks everything down about 8% (drop from 142 top gear speed to 131, and 65 goes up 400 rpm), but also means I can pretty much leave it in fourth and never be out of powerband on any city street or highway in America…

    … or take on any fire-road in American without having to get out of second; on either the top OR bottom end… Or even third once I’m rolling (1st gears off idle speed is 3rd gears stall speed).

    And if you want top end POWER that you can actually use… Grab a powercruiser. Valkyries have more motor than half the CARS I’ve owned.

  4. Tai Chi might help with flexibility.

    My knees hurt when I started learning it. They are a lot better now.

    1. The problem is that I’m probably going to need new Aftermarket knees. Tai Chi, or Chai Tea aint helping that.

      1. It is none of our bussness, but has your Doctor talked about knee replacment,or would it make any difference? Wish you the best

  5. A sport tourer, or adventure style bike may be more to your liking. I know you have a history of power cruisers, somewhere back there, but the way you describe how you like the power hit from a sport bike, would you really be happy with one again?

      1. Ehhh…. it is and it isn’t.

        An Fj1200, an ST1100, a k1200… They’re all both very high performing, and much more comfortable than a ZX-11.

        I’ve ridden the ’11 many times; and as big as it is, it really doesn’t have the kind of room I need for anything other than a short ride.

      2. Well, yeah, you are correct in the technical sense. What I was referring to is more like the Concourse 14, or BMW RT.

        You could always get a goldwing and shoehorn the supercharger that was made for the Valkyrie underneath all that fairing. Power, and luxury.

          1. Less spendy than a HD by quite a bit, but that’s comparing new bikes.
            Used? A lot less spendy, but still a bit more than you’ve been spending on your rides.

            Buy once, cry once really doesn’t apply…

  6. Get the new knees. I promise you you will kick yourself for putting it off for so long. for living in pain for so long.
    You are very young.You will need a long life knee, also one with enough flex to ride the bikes you want to ride.
    Doggy style may be out of the picture. Standing doggy works.

  7. In the “All Wheel Drive that gets decent fuel economy, or some sort of “Hot Hatch” with front wheel drive” section, I can recommend something that meets both needs: A Subaru Impreza WRX 5 door. 265 hp all wheel drive rally-based family car that weighs not much more than a Mazda 3 or a VW Golf. Price about $5K more than a standard Impreza, but goes like a raped ape. Oh, and it’s a 5 door with good cargo room and comfortable seats that even an, ahem, oversized model with gout like me can get in and out of comfortably. Not too low to the ground to worry about on dirt, gravel or snow covered roads, but low enough that it’s stable at well over 140. Dial in the amount of traction control and such you want, so you can drive safely in icy winter conditions or go hooning around on dirt, gravel and pavement when the mood strikes you.

    If you want to get really squirrely, then you can go for the WRX STI, same package, better suspension, seats, transmission, etc., but 310 hp. That thing really flies! Add $10 grand, though.


  8. I need to get you on my Bandit. I don’t have quite your knee issues but I do have some and the Bandit has enough leg room for my 6 foot frame.

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