Hear me out here…
I changed the clutch cable on my neighbor’s kawasaki cruiser today. I also own 2 bikes of my own and we have 3 in our garage… i have about as many kawasaki bikes as i have fords.
I love Ford. They drive great, handle great, have been super reliable but if and when something breaks its a royal PAIN IN THE BUTT to fix something or something is engineered in a fashion that it could have been simple but you know it isn’t.
For instance: We all know how much fun it is to reach up behind the suspension carefully and pull out the oil filter on our zx2’s just right so that it does not spill hot seeping oil on your face right? Right. Every other car i’ve worked on the oil filter is within view and reach or isn’t hard to get out, but ford? They put it where you can’t pull it out from the top, but thread it through the bottom just right. Sure that’s fine, it takes a few extra seconds to do it but it’s the principle. Don’t forget that it spills oil all over the crossmember. Every single ford I own (not exaggurating) spills oil all over the crossmember. My mustang does, my f-150 does and my zx2 does.
Now thats fine, i absolutely do not mind working on my zx2 or my other fords, i just think that it is silly that some stuff could be simpler but ford simply didn’t make it that way. But you know what? After i’m done working on it then its all worth it because i’ve never had issues with my zx2, it has ran great, drove great and been super reliable. I’d rather work on something that can sometimes be a pain in the ass but be reliable than something that is easy to work on and breaks down all the time ya know?
So here’s to the Kawasaki part.
My neighbor rings my doorbell while i’m having a bowl of mac’n’cheese listening to zao.
I go out in my pajamas “Hello?”
and get “Hey Derek think you could change the clutch cable on my bike for me? You know, i’m an old guy and my back hurts I don’t wanna do it.”
My neighbor is a way cool guy so i’m like whatever…
I get out there and he has half the clutch cable already out but we threaded the top part by the lever out and I was left with figuring out how to get the tip off.
Apparently Kawasaki thought it would be cool to have a swiveling lock of some sort on this thing. The way it works is that you have this main bracket that holds onto the case for the clutch that operates the clutch, then it has a little swivel device that can move so the clutch cable isn’t rigit and can move, the swrivel thing acts as a lock because its so close to the bracket that it will hold the cable tip itself in place with the metal tip that is up against it. Now, when you look at it you think “OH! That should come right out!” but after messing with it for a second and you say “You son of a **" you realize it’s too big to fit through the hole. Then you go “AHA! The CABLE goes through the hole, the metal tip has to slide out somehow…”, then you try pushing it don’t… then you say " DAMNIT!” and realize it won’t push down. You realize then that even though you took the little bolt with the nuts holding the cable in place that you have to slide the cable FORWARD, somehow manage to hold the cable up against the frame and slide it UNDER the lock so that there is slack near the swivel lock. Somehow, while cussing at it, hold the slack with needlenose pliers and try (I say try because the cable is right up against the frame) pushing with your fingers and then pulling the tip out, finally somehow sliding the cable out of the swivel lock and then you have to take the entire cable out of every single zip tie, wire run and mount for it and do the same thing ALL OVER AGAIN with the new cable.
So I realized something… Kawasaki is a lot like ford. I love riding them, and owning them, but in the end, they want you to realize that they are about reliability and fun, not making you feel good or compitent about working on them, in fact, i’m quite convinced that they want you to at least say “You mother******” at least 3 or 4 times before you are done with a simple task.
now fear my 1337 mspaint skills.