01 January 2015

And Then I Bought...

I was maybe 10 years old.
An old guy in the neighborhood gave me a ride home from a Cub Scout meeting on his 74-inch Harley Davidson.
The sensation was like riding a bicycle VERY fast, effortlessly, with the additional sound of that wonderful 45-degree V-Twin emanating from just behind us and the powerful feel of that motor beneath us.
At that very moment I started calculating how I could get "Up on two wheels" myself.

Regular readers know "The Rest of The Story"...
Cushman motor scooter. Harley Davidson Sprint. Access to my friend's H-D Sportster any time I wanted to use it.
My post-Viet Nam purchase of my first Japanese bike, which was also my first dalliance with a two-stroke powered bike... the ferocious Kawasaki 500cc triple that I traded for another, then upgraded to the Kaw 750 when it came out. (Check the prices of those things now... out of sight!)
In those years it was important for me to own the hardest accelerating bike being sold to the public, so when the Yamaha XS1100SF came out, I bought one. FAST. Smooth running. Disc brakes front and rear. Alloy wheels. Drive shaft final drive.
It's one of the few early bikes I wish I still owned.

But something happened.
About the time Big Bubba was born, Spring rolled around and I didn't get the itch to ride.
The big Yamaha sat in the garage and gathered dust. Months passed. When I did finally go out to start it the battery was dead. And by "dead" I don't mean it had no charge. I mean it was D-E-A-D as in needing a replacement.
And I didn't replace it.
I pretty much gave the bike to a friend who said he'd make it run and ride it.
To my dismay, he let the bike sit until the engine was stuck, then he sold it for scrap.

Even when I didn't ride I ALWAYS had an interest in motorcycles. Now and then I'd pick up a magazine and read about the latest, greatest new stuff. I watched as the bikes I had purchased because they were "scary fast" became pedestrian due to new engine technology and huge horsepower increases. Six hundred cubic centimeter bikes got fast enough to blow that 1100cc Yamaha into the ditch. Motorcycles seemed to be on the leading edge of automotive technology... much of what was being done to bikes ended up also in our cars. Think of it... almost ANY car on the road today will exceed 100 miles per hour. That was NOT the case when I learned to drive!

Big Bubba finished college, got a job far away, and left us with an extra bedroom.
And my interest in riding began to grow.
Sara Jean likes to ride. We'd be driving somewhere and a group of bikes would pass us and I'd hear her say, "Ooooooh! Look at that one!"
Make note here- I SHOULD have paid better attention to which bikes she was enthralled with!

I started pokin' around on eBay, looking at various bikes for sale. As you know, you name it and it's pretty much for sale on eBay if you have the $$$$$$.
But the bike I focused on was an Italian machine that pleased my eye-
The Moto Guzzi I now call "Pizza Bike". I bought it and drove to Pennsylvania to pick it up.
But when Sara Jean rode pillion, I could tell she wasn't thrilled.
"I want a backrest so I have no fear of falling off the back of the bike."
Only then did I start thinking about the bikes that made her say "Ooooooooh" as they passed by-
Dresser Harleys and Honda GoldWings.

So I bought a GoldWing.
We liked it. So we traded it on another. We liked that one better, but she still commented on different cruiser-style bikes we'd see. "They look like REAL motorcycles."
Back to eBay. We both liked the looks of this thing, so I bought it. In the garage next to the 'Wing, the two big Hondas take up every bit as much room as a car.
I like the Valkyrie. I like it A LOT.
She doesn't. She literally snuggles in and goes to sleep on the 'Wing. She doesn't feel secure on the Valk and is fearful the whole time we ride it. It's a dilemma... do I keep it just to ride it alone? (To be continued.)

In four years now I've dabbled, buying a selling several bikes...
Two BMW Boxers. A Suzuki SV650 which now resides in Arizona for use as a commuter for my son. A Yamaha VStar Classic. The whole experience has been very educational. We know what we like. We know what we want.
And what we want is a nice new(er), GoldWing.

Back to eBay.
Right now I think I'd like one that's lemon YELLOW.


Anonymous said...

Glad to see you back talking bikes again. Still have my 1980 XS1100LG Midnight Special, all black and gold. Still goes as fast as my balls will let it. They ain't as big now as they once were. Speedo goes to 130 and I got real close to that once a long time ago. Looking back, that wasn't so bright. Old age and wisdom do a lot to change ya.
Back then you couldn't go out and get gold titanium nitrate coating for add on parts, so I had to real gold plate my sissy bar to match. Also, the black chrome is impossible to find anyone who still does it (damn EPA). Ah, the shit you do when you are young.
Still love that bike, but also ride a Hog, FXRS low rider. Not as fast, nor does it handle as well, but my old ass doesn't mind the comfort of a good seat on a long cruise. You know exactly what I mean.
Keep 'em coming.

cary said...

I'm telling you, find the wing back seat and put it on the Valkyrie. Those side bolsters will make all the difference.