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I got my FZ6 in March 04. I just finished a 2,000+ mile trip through Eastern Washington, Northern Idaho and all over Montana. I have to admit that I have never been the best about keeping my bikes looking perfect. My FZ6 is already starting to look like a rat bike after ony 4,000 miles.

I keep the maintenance up according to the manual and try (a little at least) to keep it looking good. I guess I look at function over fashion. I did drop the bike at a stop when I put my foot down on a slick oil spot on my trip. Luckilly I had my saddle bags on and I held on as long as I could to set it down as gently as possible. I think the saddlebags really saved the side of the bike. The ony parts that touched the ground were the bags, right hand mirror and right turn signal. Nothing broke and only a few minor scratches.

On my trip I took the bike over a 7,300 foot altitude mountain road, all dirt. The people I talked to in a bar on the other side could not believe that I rode a street bike all the way over that road. The bike looked like hell when I got over but I must admit it performed quite well as a dirt bike with all my gear on it.

Now the bike is completely covered with dirt and grime and you can't see any of the windshield through the splattered bugs. I suppose one of these days I'll have to clean it and see what it really looks like underneath. My theory is that all the dirt, grime and bugs preserve the paint and finish and in 20 years mine will be the best looking bike in the bunch.

I'll post some pictures soon of my trip and the bike loaded down with all my gear. I used my saddlebags and a gearbag bungeed down like crazy. At times I traveled with some bike groups I met on the road. There was them all neat and pretty with their fancy gear and clean cruisers and then me with my shit bungeed on all over the place on my FZ6 cruising at 100+ mph all the time.

Bill
 

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BillfromBothell said:
...My theory is that all the dirt, grime and bugs preserve the paint and finish and in 20 years mine will be the best looking bike in the bunch...
I like your thinking. Makes perfect sense.
 

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Sounds like a great trip. I'd love to see the pics. Lived in Seattle for a year - beautiful country up there.

Hmmm - Bill's Bug Wax...you may be onto something. You could market it as a 100% natural finish.

"On my trip I took the bike over a 7,300 foot altitude mountain road, all dirt. The people I talked to in a bar on the other side could not believe that I rode a street bike all the way over that road. The bike looked like hell when I got over but I must admit it performed quite well as a dirt bike with all my gear on it."

Been thinking about turning mine into a semi-dual sport when I'm ready to buy a new bike. Dual sport tires, hand guards, engine guards, custom made header guard/lower cowl, luggage rack, etc (a la BMW F650GS)
 

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Maybe I can enter it in a supermoto event then.
 
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