1. Guest,
    We need good tech writers that are willing to help out here at ZL-OA. If you like taking photos of jobs as you perform the steps on your repairs, have historical ads/documents from old magazines, or any else you think belongs in the Technical Library than you might be able to help. Send a private message to Furchin, Mudrunner88, Chris, Jarney, Wuputt, or Markus56 and we can lead you in the right direction to get started.
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this site is a WRECK.

daddywinz Jul 20, 2018

  1. daddywinz

    daddywinz Active Member

    sorry, i just don't know how else to say it.
    i thought, at first, that it was just me. like i was just locked out of posting in certain areas.
    but, no, it's set up that way.

    i should say, though, that the site LOOKS great, and everything seems to function, flawlessly.
    but it's USEFULNESS is about a 3 out of 10.

    1) all categories of posting are jumbled together in GENERAL.
    worse, and the real killer, is that everything about working on the bikes is posted in MODIFICATIONS??!!!!??
    ...and this is also supposed to include everything from an oil change to a bobber project?

    2) i see that admins "cherry pick", and post what they deem important in the TECH LIBRARY.
    great, but backwards. i'm a long-time member of MANY OTHER FORUMS, and that is not how it's done.
    EVERYONE should be posting in the correct category (COOLING, ..FUEL, ..DRIVETRAIN, ..MODS, ..whatever).
    "CHERRY-PICKING" normally comes in the form of a "sticky", which is a thread or document that is closed to further comments, and made a perma-link at the TOP OF THAT CATEGORY.
    the ongoing threads in that category continue to trail below any "stickies".

    3) also about the TECH LIBRARY posts: they're highly edited, and even renamed for what was deemed important about them. that took me a while to figure out.
    what a mess.
    this is also a consequence of not letting people post in correct categories.
    your so-called TECH LIBRARY should be a small section ABOVE the regular posts, WITHIN an Open-To-Posting category.

    4) lost in the crowd. i'm a 600 owner. now, i love the idea of picking up the other versions, but i'm quite tired of being forced to read about bikes i currently don't own, and that have no useful info about what it takes to keep my bike on the road.
    they're just too different.
    i see that there's a BN, EL, and VN category, but once again, everything is posted in one huge pile.
    the separation of models should be an early "click", with all sub-categories listed on the model specific page.
    I.E.: click on either SMALL/MEDIUM/LARGE eliminators, ...then click on COOLING/FUEL/DRIVETRAIN.........

    all that said, ...what right do i have to criticize??
    first, i'm a website setup dumbass. it would take me a year to figure out how to make a website, and it would still suck. SO, KUDOS FOR PUTTING THIS THING TOGETHER.
    what i am is a HUGE USER of tech forums, basically since they were invented.
    i'm also a diverse MECHANIC who works on everything from chainsaws to bulldozers.
    and i'm a FATHER of 7 monkeys.

    FORUMS: lots of them, with waaaaaaay more members than here, are set up different for many reasons. i think you've broken through a threshold of members, and it's starting to get silly with confusion.
    this site feels like going to one of my wife's class reunions, where i don't really know anyone, and i'm not sure where i'm even supposed to be.

    MECHANIC: if it's not set up like a CHILTON/HAYNES, it ain't mechanic friendly. you've got to have more categories.

    FATHER: the goal of any father should be to get his kids self-reliant. this site is set up to REQUIRE BABYSITTERS. let us "babies" post where we ought to. correct us, and put posts where they belong, if you must, but make it OUR responsibility to self-manage.

    i'd say that was my two cents, but i think it's more like a dollar's worth, ...depending on who's counting.
  2. 87kawzl

    87kawzl Supporting Member

    I'm not an owner of the site or a moderator but I am a regular user and poster. The 250 thru 600 crowd aren't very active around here. The crew that runs the site are great people and probably willing to make some adjustments if your not coming out busting balls.

    Can the site be improved? Sure.
    Will the people who can do it listen to suggestions? Sure
    No need to be rude about things.
  3. daddywinz

    daddywinz Active Member

    you're absolutely right about not bustin' balls.
    and i realize a rant like that seems rude.

    with apologies, everything is in such an unusable heap, that if it's not addressed, it will only get worse, and run more people off.
    even without site issues, many once-excited owners lose interest when they can't find answers for their new shiny thing.

    the fix is quite simple: ALLOW TOTAL POSTING ACCESS, and rename a few categories.
    it's really that simple.

    heck, i can deal with all the 900/1000 chat, if at least it's posted in an actual category.
    as it is, everything is in one big laundry heap.
    like, what exactly is ZL Talk?? it's an absolute hodge podge.

    i'll outline it further:
    GENERAL should have absolutely ZERO tech discussions.
    ...and "TECH LIBRARY" should have absolutely ZERO fruitless threads about t-shirts, upcoming events, politics, ...etc.. BUT, it should have open discussions about anything that involves turning a wrench or screwdriver.

    i came across an interesting quote, the other day:
    i much prefer the sharpest criticism of a single intelligent man
    to the thoughtless approval of the masses.
    ~ Johannes Kepler

    no, i'm not referring to myself as intelligent.
    but i do believe that the approval rating of this site does not reflect the opinions of those who aren't served by it's disarray.
  4. daddywinz

    daddywinz Active Member

    one more positive: at least there's a WEBSITE RELATED category for me to post this in!!

    but i wonder if there's a reason for that.
    with relatively few members, and a 900/1000 "old dude"-centered crowd, perhaps the necessary focus has been on rallying for the cause, and not on the wrenchin'.
    but that needs to morph into a more wrenchin' friendly format, so the cause may continue to live.

    these bikes are being parted out faster than they're being restored.

  5. GaryD

    GaryD Supporting Member

    Hmm...while it's not the best site I use, I don't have any issues with the way it's works or it's layout.

    I personally don't want more sub forums...might even say there should be less.
  6. Ducky Dog

    Ducky Dog Active Member

    I agree this website could use a more accurate structure and the folks need to post in the correct area
    Information is a bit scattered

    Ive seen worse
  7. daddywinz

    daddywinz Active Member

    by less, i assume you mean all of the "off topic" categories?
    as a mechanic, i use forums as search engines, to find solutions.
    i also, sometimes, browse a category for ideas.

    gary, what's your use like, that you'd want less categories?
    are you talking about the "off topic" stuff?

    i'm very specialized, and i don't chit chat on forums.
    but, in order to keep enough people around to manage a site, you've got to have "chat rooms".
    some of the guys who chat about upcoming events, and politics, or whatever, are the same guys that are around to answer the questions we have.
    so, if they wanna kill some time with like-minded motorheads, i think it's not only cool with me, but necessary.
    THAT area of categories is WELL developed.
    so much so, that mechanics have to wade through it.
  8. Harriminator

    Harriminator Senior Member

    Some guys shed a tear over the old homepage, but there were certain reasons to build up a new one; this is no encyclopedia, it's a meeting point of people with the same passion for a special Kawasaki model so entries are filled with emotions which is normal - we are no robots. Those who simply wanna have steril infos may found their own 'Wikiminator' or 'ZLwiki'...the legacy of ZLMark will live on!
    R. J., markus56 and daddywinz like this.
  9. daddywinz

    daddywinz Active Member

    yeah, i say again, the efforts that go into a site like this is incredible.
    i'm certainly not knocking the efforts, and i know it's all done to be helpful.

    in fact, being helpful is also my goal.
    if simple changes are made, now, the future is bright for ZLs.
    this is definitely the go-to ZL site.

    the passion for these bikes will only increase, as they become more rare.
  10. daddywinz

    daddywinz Active Member

    i suppose, if this thread is to be constructive, that it should serve to figure out what will best serve all, including the site, itself.

    about separating models (900/1000 ... 600 ... 125/250/400):

    i'll just pose that specific question..... is that needed? now, or in the future?

    the little guys are already separated, but it was said that there's really not that much going on in there.
    i've browsed it, and i think they definitely need their own space because their discussions are MUCH DIFFERENT.
    those are girlfriend or commuter bikes, ...and, frankly, i'd love to have one.

    y'all with 900s & 1ks likely don't see the problem, at all.
    it's us with 600 questions that do searches, and come up with nothing but 900 results, who suffer.
    part of the problem, which cannot be solved, is that you 900 guys think EVERY discussion is about your bike, so you don't bother to label your thread, or mention that's the bike you're working on.
    ...this makes everyone read half a thread before finding out it doesn't apply to their problem.

    yeah, separating will cause low volume browsing in certain areas, but i'd rather have low traffic from lack of questions, than frustration.
    i, for one, will browse ALL bike size categories, if they're actually organized.
    but, right now, i'm choking on placebos.
  11. daddywinz

    daddywinz Active Member

    here's the kind of craziness i'm talking about:

    ...and Mark is the one who HIJACKED the thread!! ha!

    so, i saw "to smoke or not to smoke", and i thought it was a post about whether or not to smoke the lenses on our bikes, ...and maybe some pictures and other options.
    it was originally about finding a whatchamacallit for a ZL.

    step 2: HIJACK the thread with a completely random question, absolutely off topic.
    step 3: carry on the off topic conversation, with the wrong thread title, ...forever.
    step 4: add a POLL question to it????
    step 5: change the name of the thread to reflect the HIJACK??
    hell, i'm not even sure that the poll question is the original one.

    i feel like i'm digging through a kitchen "junk drawer", looking for a paper clip amidst business cards, broken pencils, dead and live batteries, old watches and cell phones, scotch tape with 2" left on it, toenail clippers, a lock of my kid's first haircut, a rusty razor blade, and a sad set of pliers left over from the 70s. ...hey, i just found that little hammer with a screwdriver built in!!!! ...and a nutcracker!! YAYYY, i've been wanting to crack some nuts!!

    killin me.
    i think i'll go for a ride.
    bugs in my teeth always settles me down.
  12. Trojan441

    Trojan441 Well-Known Member

    I posted the same kind of thing having the smaller 4's, I wanted to find basic details about them easily, but couldn't, such things as "How to" and Model specs should be separated in a reference section perhaps, if there cross-over so and good as in cross-referencing. I still haven't found my way round and yes the main focus is/has been on initial browsing the two bigger machines, where as lots of other people may have the smaller varieties, some may have both!
    I can see why though! A firm like Kawasaki was originally performance orientated, they bring out a game changer and call them Eliminator 's, then Marketing gets hold of the name a labels a 125cc 12-16bhp bike with the same name! Japanese may still have a lot to learn about Western psychology and motorcycle ownership and Kudos!

    Incidentally, 2018 Kawasaki "Marketing", are boasting about the new 400 having 40 something plus brake horsepower! can we go back 30 years and they were in the 50s! "Let the good times roll", doesn't quite ring true these days!
  13. GaryD

    GaryD Supporting Member

    I'm not complaining but as you asked:unsure:....28 forums on the home page with 7 of them having single figure topics in them.

    A rule I have when searching other websites (buying things) If I don't find what I want in 3 or 4 clicks I look elsewhere.
    Now this isn't the same, but the home page should be uncluttered and one click from top to bottom.

    I'll give a little about myself away....when I was working, I was a website tester and my job was to use a site like a buffoon to see if it would break. We used to monitor how a website was used and I have a pretty good insight into the way your average joe drills down. The main thing is to put the items they use in the same place on all web sites...i.e. don't put the search halfway down the page. Things they usually click on goes in the top left. Info they glance at goes top right.
    Those were the days when we could watch what their mouse was doing...before we all got blamed for raping their data!!!
    daddywinz likes this.
  14. rkerg

    rkerg Senior Member

    I don’t post here as much as I used to but I visit every week to check in.
    I think the new site looks great.
    As for whether there should be fewer categories, I imagine that those decisions were made in an effort to make info easier to find.
  15. daddywinz

    daddywinz Active Member

    well, i think those who care need to treat this site like it's BIG, even if it's not.
    just because it doesn't have the constant crowd of Pirate4x4 or ThumperTalk, it doesn't mean it's ok to be a mess.

    with less traffic, i'm willing to browse more individual categories.
    when it's a mess, like it is, i'm exhausted from trying to browse just one.

    i, too, will dump a potential business transaction over a screwy website.
    but, agreed, this is different. it's personal because we all care about the cause.

    i talk to my teenagers, often, about the difference between being an OWNER vs just a USER.
    USERS are basically just passing through. they have less rights. less responsibility. less privileges.
    OWNERS set the standards. they have full, or nearly full, rights. total responsibility. many privileges. ...and they care about gum on the floor.
  16. prfixer

    prfixer Senior Member Supporting Member


    i talk to my teenagers, often, about the difference between being an OWNER vs just a USER.
    USERS are basically just passing through. they have less rights. less responsibility. less privileges.
    OWNERS set the standards. they have full, or nearly full, rights. total responsibility. many privileges. ...and they care about gum on the floor.[/QUOTE]
    So in the 7 years you've been on the site, I find no input of any consequence form you. You've lamented about your ZL600s' rusted cables, mentioned your 600s' rebuild, and after a 6 year hiatus came back on and lambasted the site. Are you a user or an owner?
    R. J., kvalheim, rkerg and 1 other person like this.
  17. daddywinz

    daddywinz Active Member

    So in the 7 years you've been on the site, I find no input of any consequence form you. You've lamented about your ZL600s' rusted cables, mentioned your 600s' rebuild, and after a 6 year hiatus came back on and lambasted the site. Are you a user or an owner?[/QUOTE]
    a fair question.
    i bought a ZL6, like 10 years ago, in an attempt to resurrect my "zl experience". too bad it didn't have a title.
    so, i attempted to get that bike up and running on a shoestring budget, and pursued the title for quite some time.
    ...kids, work, lack of money, a collapsed shop (under snow load), moving onto property without a shop, and adopting 4 more kids..... LIFE.

    so, that's what happened.
    recently, i stumbled onto a cheap ZL6, with a title, and jumped.
    after sorting out a bunch of fueling and egr elimination issues, it's on the road.

    i like these bikes. that's why i own 4 of them.

    as for my OWNERSHIP, and contributions, i've been reluctant to post because it's like adding one more mismatched pair of socks to the pile.
    i could simply contribute to the unsearchable nightmare, ...get what i can, ...and leave y'all to your devices. OR, make a legit complaint, and offer honest solutions for all future users, including myself.
    it reminds me of one year when i attempted to take a large group of family to a small beach, on the 4th of July. we took a look inside the ONE portable toilet, to make sure an all day event would go well. NOPE, there was **** stacked a foot out of the toilet seat because of a total lack of foresight by park officials, and a complete lack of give-a-rats by it's USERS.
    so, we left.

    and, just like here, that would have been an easy solution, if anyone with authority had cared.
  18. daddywinz

    daddywinz Active Member

    well, hell, i just pieced together that Mark passed away a few years ago.
    for the record, nothing i've said here is a personal dig against anyone. least of all, Mark.
    i'm quite aware that this site was a labor of his kindness.

    my ranting is about having a lasting, usable future, not the past.

    of course, many thanks to all that have brought us this far.
  19. 87kawzl

    87kawzl Supporting Member

    In the many years I've been a member there has been very light traffic on the site from the 600's and smaller crowd. That is probably why you have a tough time finding the info you are looking for, simply because there is less posted on those. As far as using the search feature, I use the Google with zl-oa since alot of the site searches ignore short words and abbreviation.
  20. daddywinz

    daddywinz Active Member

    i totally agree.
    i think the enthusiasm of the heavy hitters (900/1000) is necessary to establish the ZL cause, so i expect that.
    but the very thing that got it going is exactly what will keep it stagnant.
    it's like there's NO FRESHMAN TABLE, only a cafeteria full of 900 chatter.

    after some random browsing around, i'm getting the feeling that this site really does have a lot of ZLMark's personal traits. this site feels a lot like a big PARKING LOT CONVERSATION, with a bunch of guys leanin on their bikes, and making adjustments, and maybe the occasional burnout.
    so, the conversations wander all over the place, with zero organization.
    cool, if not interesting, but not helpful.
    ALL OF THIS CONVERSATION can still exist, AND be organized like a searchable toolbox.

    i'm still trying to gauge just how many of the different configurations there are.
    it seems that 750s, 500s, and 400s were only or mostly sold outside the US???
    i think the 600s were sold, and were popular all over the world, and i think they'll continue to subscribe, over time.

    >>>87kawzl: so, you've figured out a back door to finding what you want, by using larger phrases, through Google.
    it works ok, if you can brainstorm the correct phrase.
    Smart, but it points, again, to a site problem.

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