Sorry to take so much time on this but I do love my motorcycles, and I have a point to make.
Being a single parent I didn’t have a lot of time to ride. But I still felt the need to ride. As mentioned before many years ago I met my lifelong mechanic. One day he called to let me know he had a 1973 Honda 350 that he had for sale because the owner had not paid or picked up the bike in the specified 90 days. I paid him $250.oo for it. It was OK it got me to work and occasionally when my sons were visiting their mother, my girlfriend and I would take off for a day trip. It rode really well and we had all kinds of fun on it. Then after 10 years on the job I got laid off, and had to sell it, in order to pay the rent. I sold it for more than I paid for it. Here again I was bikeless.
When I got back to work I purchased a 1978. The bike was only 1 year old and only had 1500 miles on it. The bike was a Yamaha 650 Special. The year I bought it was 1979. I paid it off in a year. But the bank never sent me the title. They claimed they did. The bank was sold several times. and in 1999 I received the title. I still had the bike and was riding it daily. At the time it came the closest to looking like a Harley of any bikes. I can’t tell you how many miles I put on it. I put it in the shop in 2000 and had the motor rebuilt as I had stored it a couple of years. and the motor had locked up. I had special pipes put on it that made it a little louder. My youngest son wanted it so I gave it to him. He immediately messed up the carbs by putting in old stale gas. Then my oldest son wanted it and said he would get it fixed.. I never saw him ride it so I asked him where it was. He said a friend had it doing the repair. That was 10 years ago. He doesn’t know where his friend or the bike is. I still have the title.
Next I bought a 1978 Honda Gold wing 1000. This one I paid $500.oo for. It was a bare bones bike. running, but no extras. I put a fairing, radio, saddlebags, and Air Horns on it. My girlfriend would take short weekend trips and I rode it to work. worse part about the Gold Wing was its stability on wet pavement. I sat pretty high.
While sitting in the break room, at work, one day. An older fellow sat down and we started talking. He was telling me in his younger days he had an Indian motorcycle, but hadn’t ridden in years. We talked a lot about the fun I was having riding.
The next thing I know he is asking me about the written and skills tests. I had no information for him on the test as I had grandfathered the new requirements. But he took the tests and passed. He borrowed a moped for the skills test. Soon he and his wife and I and my girlfriend were riding out to eat and just sight seeing. (He had bought a Gold Wing 1200. A really nice bike.) Soon another guy we worked with decided he wanted to ride with us. He passed his tests, and bought a really sharp Gold Wing 1100. Sometime later a friend of the first man who had gone to school with him bought a Gold Wing 1200.
I met an older fellow who was giving up riding, due to health problems. I sold my Gold Wing for $800.oo and purchased his 1983 Kawasaki Voyager, for $2500.oo. [Just for the record I paid $200.00 for the Honda, and sold it again for $500.oo.} The Voyager was the ULTIMATE motorcycle. It came from the factory with fairing, removable saddle bags, an adjustable trunk. It would slide forward or back to make more room for the passenger. Queen/King seat. Air adjustable shocks with built in air compressor. AM-FM- Cassette player, CB Radio, intercom system. Fog Lights, Air Horns, cigarette lighter, and a compass. Head light adjuster at the flick of a switch. Individually adjustable (two piece handlebars). Computer to give mpg, miles before needing to refuel, miles traveled between stops, and I can’t remember all the things it would give you. And held the road much better than the Honda. It had a fuel injected in line six cylinder. No end to power. I know on one trip we were hitting 110 mph with a trailer on. (Don’t recommend this.)
We talked about one day riding all the southern states during the winter and the northern states during the summer. We sometimes took weekend trips to other states just to say we had ridden in that state. We never got to take the southern and northern state trips. He retired and died one year later. One of the guys. knees went out on him and he couldn’t hold the bike up at stop lights. The other retired and moved to Florida.
With no one to ride with I found myself riding less, and the 900 pound bike was getting a little harder to hold up at stop lights. My girlfriend wanted a truck so I traded it for a really nice truck. She drove it 2 times in 2 years.
I was wanting to get another bike. But my place of employment had shut down. No work for me. No money. Then in October of last year the fellow we rode with that had moved to Florida located me. He had sold his farm up here, and wanted to know if I would look after his bike he kept up here for him. Signed the title over to me. It is a 2002 V Star 650. Perfect bike for me at this stage. Enjoy it much. I don’t plan to take the long rides we used to take, Since it is just me and my girlfriend. But it does great for day rides of 100-200 miles. (Longest I’ve taken so far.) Doesn’t wear me out. I never like to ride interstates so the 65-70 miles an hour is fine.
Now my point I promised you. There are a few wannabee “bikers” out there who will tease you and make fun of you if you aren’t riding a Harley. These are the people who think owning a Harley makes them what they are not. Just remember to a REAL BIKER it makes no difference what you ride, so long as you are riding. I started to buy one just before I got my V Star. I offered the guy $2000.oo over the book value. But he said he couldn’t do it. Guess what my V Star rides better than his Harley, which he still has.
Pick what you can afford and like. Enjoy riding. If you run into one of the above described wannabees who think owning a Harley makes them bikers, just walk away and ignore them. Real bikers whether they have Harley’s or Indians, Triumphs, whatever will treat you as an equal regardless of what you ride.
That Is How I See It.
PS; Don’t fear your bike. Respect it. If you have a fear of your motorcycle it is time to quit riding. If you are not feeling well or have doubts. DON’T ride. If you have a tight time schedule to reach your destination. DON’T ride. Motorcycles are meant to give pleasure.
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