Rider: Scott Russell
Then: Reigning AMA Superbike Champion
Now: Speed-TV commentator, racecar driver and riding school guest instructor
"No doubt about it, my world champ-ionship-winning Kawi was definitely a life-changer.
"The '93 World Superbike was just a little bit different from the '92 AMA bike, so, my comfort level was real high when I got to Europe. It wasn't like going to a new track with a new bike each week. I was already dialed-in. That made it easier, for sure. Not easy, but easier.
"The Ducatis had so much torque, they'd just yank me off the corners. Then I'd dive-bomb 'em going into the next turn and pull 'em back in. Chasing that Ducati around made me a better rider. The Kawi handled better than any of them out there. It didn't do anything great, but it did everything good.
"Now the bike is displayed in my house. Rob [Muzzy] promised me that if I won the championship, he'd give me the bike. But a year later I still didn't have the thing, so I talked him into letting me run it at Road Atlanta. That race right there, for me, is real memorable because I put on a dominant performance on my championship-winning bike at home.
"After the race they swapped the motor, then I tossed the bike in my truck and took it home. And it hasn't been ridden since."