Kiski Junction Railroad, Pennsylvania, June 26th 2016.
I’d taken my family to ride this little railroad just the week before. On the road down I’d noted the last few miles would make a good bike ride, and so one week later I took my Ninja 300 there.
It was a boiling hot day, but a curiosity is how it’s the details of the bike’s life that stay with me: That chain was on its last legs, and had a tight spot I just could not massage out. The rear sprocket would soon be gone too, but the greatest recollection of all was the valve adjustment. just a few days later over the July 4th weekend, I tackled the valves. The diminutive Ninja had about 8000 miles on it; the recommended check was 7600; conventional wisdom on the Kawasaki Ninja 300 forum was to leave it to 15000, I did not want to leave it to chance.
It actually turned out to be a long undertaking, and the exhaust valves were indeed out of spec. I got the job done, and the bike still runs today. It remains the most complex thing I’ve done mechanically.
The joy of bike ownership, learning to do things you never thought you could.