A Father, A Daughter, and a Customized Kawasaki W800 Cafe That Saves Lives

The next story is about greater than only a Kawasaki W800 Cafe personalized to lift consciousness for a standard however comparatively unknown genetic situation but additionally – and maybe extra importantly – about how a father and daughter bonded by way of their discovery that they each had this situation and a shared enjoyment of bikes. This story first appeared in Rider‘s June 2023 challenge. – Ed.

Kawasaki W800 Cafe Motorcycle Saves Lives
Images by Scott Radabaugh and Stephen Thompson

Scott Radabaugh was on the elliptical machine at his native fitness center when he felt the primary indicators of hassle.

“I began having chest pains,” he stated. “It was a burning sensation, similar to whenever you do intense train and really feel that lactic acid burn in your muscle groups. I spotted, ‘Oh my God, I’ve solely bought one muscle within the heart of my chest.’”


After the ache subsided, Radabaugh known as his physician. Regardless that he was simply 43 years previous, he underwent an emergency quadruple bypass to forestall what would have in any other case been a deadly “widow-maker” coronary heart assault. When Radabaugh recovered from the surgical procedure, he found that the reason for his issues, a genetic situation generally known as Familial Hypercholesterolemia, was current in all three of his kids – together with his 5-year-old daughter, Chloe.

Kawasaki W800 Cafe Motorcycle Saves Lives

“Youngsters with FH look regular and wholesome,” Radabaugh stated, however he added that it may possibly drastically cut back life expectancy to as younger as adolescence. Nevertheless, what began out as emotions of worry and anger on the diagnoses led to a bond between father and daughter over bikes, each driving and repairing them.

When Scott and Chloe – now in her mid-teens – shared their story with me, it actually hit residence, not solely as a result of it entails bikes however, perhaps extra importantly, as a result of I’m a father or mother as nicely.

‘My complete objective was to assist save Chloe’s life’  

When my spouse and I had been anticipating our first baby, every time individuals requested if I had a choice between a boy or a lady, I at all times stated I wished a boy. I wasn’t being misogynistic; I simply understood boys higher. In fact, I bought a lady, and whereas I nonetheless have lots to find out about females, there may be undoubtedly one thing to be stated for the bond between fathers and daughters. I wouldn’t change a single day of the previous 12 years. Coincidentally, my daughter is similar age Chloe was when she began present process aggressive therapy for FH.

Kawasaki W800 Cafe Motorcycle Saves Lives
Chloe requires common six- to seven-hour therapies to filter the dangerously excessive ranges of LDL ldl cholesterol from her blood.

Familial Hypercholesterolemia is a life-threatening genetic situation that causes extraordinarily excessive ranges of low-density lipoprotein, extra generally known as LDL or “unhealthy ldl cholesterol.”

“There are two varieties of FH,” Scott informed me. “There’s heterozygous FH, that means that you simply inherited the FH gene from one father or mother. After which there’s homozygous FH, that means that you simply inherited the FH gene from each dad and mom.”

Heterozygous FH, which Scott found he has, impacts roughly 1 in 250 individuals. Since there are about 8 million motorcyclists within the U.S., Scott stated “about 32,400 riders” have heterzygous FH. Sadly, in line with the Household Coronary heart Basis, lower than one third of individuals with FH know they’ve it.

Kawasaki W800 Cafe Motorcycle Saves Lives
With the assistance of a Moto Guild teacher, Chloe refurbished a 2001 Honda CBR600F4i purchased on Craigslist in tough form.

“Most individuals suppose that top ldl cholesterol is an adult-lifestyle dysfunction from consuming an excessive amount of bacon,” Scott stated, however he added that’s not the case with FH, which is the hazard of the situation. “You don’t seem like a coronary heart assault ready to occur. Particularly not a 5-year-old lady.”

He informed me his spouse additionally has heterozygous FH, and consequently – or a minimum of one attainable genetic consequence – their daughter Chloe ended up with the uncommon and extra extreme homozygous FH.

“Youngsters with the double defect, homozygous FH, can have coronary heart assaults as toddlers,” he stated. “And life expectancy will be like 16 or so.”

Fortuitously, the Radabaughs caught it in time for Chloe to start out receiving therapy, however Scott informed me he struggled initially.

“I used to be actually indignant on the complete course of,” he stated. “I used to be like, ‘That is the cruelest joke of all. I get to outlive my quadruple bypass after which watch my youngest baby endure with this very critical and doubtlessly deadly situation.’ However after I went by way of the phases of grief factor, I made a decision that my complete objective was to assist save Chloe’s life and simply information her by way of these robust instances and attempt to discover cures and coverings that can preserve her protected.”

Kawasaki W800 Cafe Motorcycle Saves Lives
Chloe prepares her Kawasaki W800 Cafe FH-awareness bike, “Bike Saves Lives,” for an upcoming bike present.

When Chloe began a brand new type of therapy in seventh grade, one which required her to overlook faculty for a couple of days each two weeks, she bought bullied. She informed me it was principally the results of the poisonous buddy group she was a part of, however having to be gone a lot didn’t assist.

“No one understood it,” she stated. “So I’d attempt to clarify it, however they didn’t actually care.”

In her youthful years, the FH had been principally an inconvenience, she stated, however as she entered adolescence, it grew to become a difficulty of injustice, one thing that’s crucial at that age.

“At that time, I used to be realizing that not everybody has to cope with this and was like, ‘Why do I’ve to do that? It’s not truthful.’”

Scott Radabaugh isn’t a health care provider, so when it got here to medical therapies, he needed to depart it within the arms of pros. Nevertheless, he’s a motorcyclist, and when he realized his daughter was struggling, given his mission of offering steerage by way of her robust instances, he leaned on what he knew.

“To assist her, I’d take her on some velocity runs on my 2011 Honda CBR1000RR,” he stated.

“There’s a little bit place the place we are able to form of get away and open it up a little bit bit. And, you recognize, adrenaline is the very best remedy for melancholy in each motorcyclist. I feel Chloe and I bought as much as perhaps 127 mph one time. I’m not gonna win Mum or dad of the Yr for that, however she cherished it!”

Kawasaki W800 Cafe Motorcycle Saves Lives
Chloe is at all times smiling when she rides.

‘Chloe has the bike gene’

Regardless that Scott had household connections with motorcycling in his youthful years, he didn’t get his first bike till he was 18, and even then, it was a surreptitious buy.

“A few of my kin used to personal the primary Harley-Davidson store in Houston,” he informed me. “They’d a flat monitor, and my dad used to work on the concession stand.”

Kawasaki W800 Cafe Motorcycle Saves Lives
Chloe has a keenness for koala bears. This sticker beneath the seat – signed “for Chloe, Love Dad!” – is Scott’s favourite a part of the Kawasaki W800 Cafe.

Scott’s kin deliberate to provide him a small path bike as a present. One other household had beforehand purchased it for his or her son, however when he crashed it and broke his arm on the primary day, they introduced it again.

“It had a couple of scratches, however my kin had been gonna give the bike to me. I even bought to take a seat on it and the whole lot, however my dad and mom will need to have seen that look in my eye, and so they had been like, ‘Oh hell no.’”

Later, when Scott went off to varsity at Texas A&M, he found there was a superspeedway proper outdoors of city.

“So I purchased my first bike once I was 18 with out my dad and mom realizing. And I used to be really doing membership racing earlier than my dad and mom discovered,” he stated. “I keep in mind my mother known as the insurance coverage firm to ask a query about my automotive insurance coverage. They usually stated, ‘The automotive or the bike?’ That’s how I bought busted.”

After I requested Chloe if she knew about this story, she grinned and stated she had heard it earlier than.

Kawasaki W800 Cafe Motorcycle Saves Lives
The Radabaugh’s Kawasaki W800 Cafe was meant to be Chloe’s private trip, however it’s now grow to be extra of a present bike.

Scott stated that no person else in his household favored bikes. “So far as my children, Chloe has the bike gene. And there’s one thing to that.”

I can perceive Scott’s sentiment. Motorcycling will be each a solitary and a bunch endeavor. I take pleasure in driving alone, however I a lot choose to share the expertise. I don’t have numerous buddies close by who trip, so I used to be glad when my spouse lastly determined she trusted me sufficient to hitch me as a passenger. And I used to be much more excited when my children expressed an curiosity. For Chloe, this curiosity began younger as nicely.

“I do not forget that my dad at all times had a motorbike within the storage. I at all times remembered seeing that,” she informed me. “And he would take us to bike races and stuff, which had been at all times enjoyable issues to get to do. I’d simply sit again and watch all of it. After which as I grew up, I began occurring rides with my dad. I’d be on the again of his bike.”

Scott stated these experiences had been “a tremendous means” to attach together with his daughter.

“We might cease and take breaks and get a cup of espresso or one thing to drink and simply chitchat. The superb factor about that is that an inanimate bike has had such an influence.”

Nevertheless, he stated, the CBR1000RR wasn’t actually snug for a passenger, so Scott got down to discover a bike that may be extra appropriate for the 2 of them and that he may finally give to his daughter.

Kawasaki W800 Cafe Motorcycle Saves Lives Honda CRB300R
The primary time Chloe operated a motorbike was at age 14. She began on a CBR300R owned by John Bartevian and later moved to her dad’s CBR1000RR.

He ended up getting a screaming deal on a 2019 Kawasaki W800 Cafe at first of the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result of he saved a lot cash, he determined to trick the bike out and make it enjoyable for Chloe.

“The following factor you recognize, we’ve bought this freaking present bike,” he stated, “however I additionally wished to make use of the bike to lift consciousness for FH, as a dialog starter.”

Scott describes the ultimate search for the bike as a visible match of DNA and genetics, in line with the FH consciousness theme, and it has been proven at The Quail Bike Gathering in 2022 and different reveals.

Kawasaki W800 Cafe Motorcycle Saves Lives J&P Cycles
The Kawasaki W800 Cafe FH-awareness bike at a J&P Cycles present.

“The nickname of the bike is ‘Bike Saves Lives,’” Scott stated, “as a result of the primary one it saved was my daughter’s.”

Past the Kawasaki W800 Cafe: Building a Future Collectively

When it was time for Chloe to be taught to trip, she began on a Honda CBR300R that belonged to John Bartevian, a hot-rod painter who did the paint work on the W800. Then she moved on to the Kawasaki W800 Cafe, however Scott stated the bike quickly grew to become “nearly too good to trip as a result of it was in all these reveals.”

Kawasaki W800 Cafe Motorcycle Saves Lives
Scott says the “Bike Saves Lives” bike was painted to seem like somebody rode 100 mph by way of a wall of ribbons with DNA strands on them.

“So then she began studying the right way to trip my CBR1000RR, which was superb.”

Chloe agreed. “You simply can’t actually get that feeling aside from by driving. There’s no different strategy to expertise it. It’s simply actually enjoyable to be accountable for one thing that may go so quick. I actually just like the adrenaline rush.”

Not lengthy after, Scott purchased a 2001 Honda CBR600F4i in “actually tough form” from Craigslist, and so they began working collectively to rebuild it.

“She’s really performed many of the work on the entire thing,” Scott stated. “There’s a motorbike store on Treasure Island, which is close to San Francisco, known as the Moto Guild. You are taking your bike there, and you may work on it of their store, and so they have instructors strolling round or you possibly can have non-public classes. Chloe discovered the right way to rebuild the entrance forks, change the sprockets, chains, brake rotors, brake traces. She’s nearly gone by way of each system within the bike besides into the engine. It’s superb. She most likely is aware of extra about bike restore than I do at this level.”

Kawasaki W800 Cafe Motorcycle Saves Lives
Chloe engaged on her 2001 CBR600F4i on the Moto Guild, situated on Treasure Island between San Francisco and Oakland.

Past superb, Chloe stated she was a little bit stunned that she enjoys it as a lot as she does, because it wasn’t one thing she ever wished to do when she was youthful.

“Then we began customizing bikes,” she stated. “And as I began studying in regards to the completely different elements of the bikes, it was actually fascinating to me. And as soon as I bought the chance to work on a motorbike and assist repair it up, I discovered myself having fun with placing it collectively and taking it aside and watching it get higher. It’s a very good sense of accomplishment to see one thing that you simply mounted up from nothing mainly.”

It’s additionally uncommon – and particular – for a father and his teenage daughter to spend time collectively, sharing a standard ardour. That’s particularly significant for Scott.

“The one factor that I actually like most about engaged on bikes with Chloe is that it offers us time to speak,” he stated. “It’s not the simplest factor for a dad and a daughter to have significant conversations, however after we’re engaged on a motorbike collectively, there’s nothing else to do besides chitchat with one another.”

Kawasaki W800 Cafe Motorcycle Saves Lives
This bike not solely introduced a father and daughter nearer, it has additionally helped elevate consciousness about FH.

My very own daughter is simply beginning into her teen years, a couple of years behind Chloe, and I can relate to this sentiment. These years for women are fairly overseas to me, and it’s the whole lot I can do to seek out methods to narrate to her and preserve her speaking to me. So it wasn’t shocking that once I requested Scott and Chloe what the longer term held, despite the fact that Scott had beforehand spent a lot time speaking about elevating consciousness of FH, his first response to this query was what he hoped to see for his daughter.

“I’d love for Chloe to do a race faculty on a monitor,” he stated, “as a result of I really feel like that’s the place you actually discover ways to trip a motorbike, and you actually be taught the place the bounds are, and it simply offers you a lot extra confidence on the road.”

He additionally talked about the Royal Enfield “Construct. Practice. Race.” program, which is solely for girls.

For Chloe, each concepts sound enjoyable, however when it comes right down to it, what she actually desires to do for now shall be acquainted to most of us.

“I simply wish to concentrate on driving.” 

For extra data on the “Bike Saves Lives” Kawasaki W800 Cafe, together with specs and construct particulars, or Familial Hypercholesterolemia, go to the Household Coronary heart Basis web site.