So long faithful Silver Wing. The good people at Progressive informed me that my six year old Honda would cost more to repair than it was worth. It seems that one of the front forks had hit the street and bent a bit. Added to the expensive plastic damage, it was cheaper for the insurance company to write me a check for the value of the bike (before I slid it down the road, of course). They called me on Thursday. I met the claims adjuster at his office on Friday, and they wrote me a check on the spot. I received a separate check for the value of my helmet. I deposited the checks on the way home and spent Friday afternoon on the ‘net, researching motorcycles.
The very powerful scooter was nice, but I didn’t want another one. Harleys are nice, but way out of my price range. I wanted antilock brakes, but the only model that I could find with them under $10K was nowhere to be found. Giving up on the antilock brakes, I visited some local cycle dealers.
Motorcycles seem to be really popular right now. Inventory was pretty slim. The Honda dealer on Rt 40 has lots of bikes, but they didn’t post prices. Hey, I like to window shop for a while before I start taking up a salesman’s time. The MSRP of each bike is posted on the manufacturer’s web sites, but I didn’t bring notes. I found what I thought was a nice bike on Ebay Friday night and resolved to look at it on Saturday. It was in Cherry Hill NJ, about 30 minutes drive from my house. I drove the little Focus up there the next morning and found the dealer to be a smaller building, but pretty full of bikes – all of them with price signs.
I found the Honda that was on sale. I really wasn’t impressed. To check the specs on the bike, I went to the Honda web site on my cell phone (geek alert!). I wasn’t impressed with the specs or the looks of the Ebay bike. Near it was the cutest Suzuki C50t. The t is for touring – it comes with a windshield ane leather saddlebags. How cool! It was not that expensive either, even adding the $500 that dealers like to charge you for prep on new bikes. A salesman found his way over to me and asked if he could help – he was really informed about the bike as well as the comparative models in that size. After a short discussion, I told him that I would buy the C50, but while we were sitting there, it had been sold to someone else. Nuts!
There really wasn’t anything else there that I was interested in,, and I thought that I might be able to find one somewhere else, now that I found a bike that I wanted to buy. I said thanks and left, walking out to my car (still a bit stiffly). Before I got the door open, the salesman (John) came out and said that they has a used one that had just been traded. It hadn’t even been through the shop yet. We went out to the back of the shop and looked at it. It was a charcoal color (nicer, I think, than the black one that I almost bought). It was two years old and had 5K miles. It’s mine now. I drove it home that day, returning later with a good friend to pick up my car. A V-twin tourer, even just an 800cc one, is a very different ride than my old bike. I’m getting used to it.
Saturday night, I rode down to see my brother, Jeff. He wasn’t home – but the weather was perfect for bike riding. Sunday was as well. I put some miles on my new bike, learning how it works and becoming comfortable with it. I drove it to work all week, too. I think that I’m going to like it.
On Monday, my first day driving to work, I saw a deer on the side of the road as I was approaching work.
I stared him down, and he jumped off into a field instead of the road.
I have to run – I’m at the airport, about to board for my trip to Brasil.