Saturday, November 08, 2008

New Ride

So after the dust settled from my crash I was of course looking for a new ride. Like I mentioned in the post about the wreck, insurance paid off well. From that angle, the timing of the accident was good, prices for vintage scooters have been crazy this year. The flipside of that was that prices were higher on scoots I was looking at for a replacement. On top of everything else, some unexpected expenses came up, so I was looking at being bike-less for some time.
Work was becoming like the torture of Tantalus, being surrounded by beautiful bikes, all of which were out of reach.
A rider without a bike, looks at anything with two wheels like a single 19 year old boy looks at anything with two breasts. I should stop with that analogy before I get myself in trouble, but you get my point.
One day this 1985 Honda Magna 500 came in as a trade-in. I interrogated all the guys in the shop about it, and they all had good things to say. And perhaps most importantly, it has a big wide flat surface on the top of the tank, which will be a great place for some custom paint.
So for around $600, including tax, title, and increase in insurance, I made the shift from scooterist to biker. The change hasn't been all that easy, though. First off, after over two years of scooter blogging, it almost feels like I'm betraying somebody or some ideal, by moving to a motorcycle.
I'm liking it though. Jes's mom asked me early on if I was comfortable with the bike, and I had to say, "No." It's bigger, faster, and more powerful than anything I've ever ridden. That's intimidating but it is also making me a better rider. The Magna also a tachometer, and oil temperature gauge, and watching those as I develop a feel for the bikes gearing and torque is also improving my skills. I hadn't really considered it before, but I think I was getting complacent with the P200. There wasn't much I could do on it to push my skills, besides long distance riding and pushing crazy fast cornering, neither of which I'm going to be doing with a newborn at home.
I've got some thoughts along these lines, which I will share with you more in the future. In particular I want to ruminate on the endless debate of which is safer, a scooter or a motorcycle.
In a similar vein, last week I took the Magna on the I-84 for the first time. It was just for a couple miles, but I was able to shift into overdrive, or 6th gear, and cruise at 60 mph at only 3500 rpms. Heh, this beast doesn't even redline until 12000. Definitely a different creature altogether than the p200.

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