Posts

A tale of two XTs

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Over the years I have almost always had more than one motorcycle at a time, but never really had a collection.  Collecting stuff has a lot in common with activities like recreational drug use or gambling, it can be fun, but watch you don't get hooked.  In my case the wake up call arrives when I can't get into the garage anymore, and then it's 'everything must go!' until the garage is empty.  After which, like coat hangers in a closet, a bike creeps into a corner, and another and another. The collecting bug does not discriminate, people collect all kinds of shit, from buttons to military tanks. I never saw my random moto acquisition binges as an investment, I was mostly sucked into buying old bangers through the motorcycle price-age curve, a tool used by economists to study the demand for rusty old crap. As you can see in the graph below, the actual selling price of a motorcycle descends very swiftly the moment it leaves the showroom, mostly because the dealer

I'm baaaack

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Wow, a long time since I posted here my 9 followers must be getting anxious.  So, since I last posted about trying cruiser-dom, I really like the Guzzi, and have added nearly 20,000 km to its odometer. The only thing I don't like about it is the buffeting.  Buffeting for those who haven't experienced it, is a type of vibrating wind blast common to large handlebar mounted windshields on motorcycles.  It occurs at speeds above 100 km ie highway speeds.  At first you don't really notice it, but after a few hours it wears you down.  I tried a larger windshield, no joy. I tried cutting some openings into the windshield to reduce the low pressure behind the windshield, a little better, but not much.  Changed helmets, which did not work until I changed to a very light weight three quarter jet style, which worked best of all the things I tried.  So that's why cruiser guys prefer beanie style helmets, who knew?  Not really an ideal solution though, I like the protection of a f

A new era

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This year I officially became a 'senior', or 65 years old.  So the 60's have been a lot more fun than the 30's, but there are also some indications that things are going to change.  Take last summer, I was riding my KTM 640 Adventure down a quad trail by myself.  The front wheel fell into a deep rut going up hill and down I went.  No biggee, except I couldn't pick the bike up.  This had never happened before.  I have dragged that bike out of mud and sand on its side, and picked it up numerous times.  This time it was staying down, and I was not even sure why.  With the help of a nearby fisherman I was able to get the bike up and out. So, no more solo off road excursions, the reason I still had the KTM, which truth to say was never the greatest highway bike. Since I started riding well over 40 years ago, I have always been more interested in performance, not necessarily all out extreme by the numbers performance, but motorcycles that did something very well.  Som

Indian Chieftain Riding Impression

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Just like the real motorcycle blogs YAOGB test drove the brand new Indian Chieftain  as resurrected ( for the umpteenth time ) now it is Polaris' turn.   Based on my ride, this attempt may have a future. A tweet from Cycle Works, the Edmonton Alberta Indian dealer announced that the demo fleet would be here on September 20th and 21.  I dropped by about 1:30 on Friday,  there was hardly anyone there, no problems signing up, the ride, we left 10 minutes later, just me one other demo rider, the lead rider and the chase. Before we left I looked all the bikes over.   Polaris certainly got the looks right.  Just as an unblinged Heritage Soft Tail has captured the looks of the hard tail Pan Heads of the 1950's, and Road King that of the  Electra Glides of the 1960's, Polaris has matched the look of the last Springfield Chiefs. If Hank Williams came back from where ever he might be, he would recognize it immediately never realizing that the last true Chief rolled of the line

The kids are allright

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When I was 15 or so I fell in love with the Honda S90, I wanted one.  It was affordable, unintimidating, had a top speed that matched the then maximum speed limit, or so they said.  For my 15 year old self it represented freedom.  In my daydreams I rode that S90 everywhere with my imaginary GF on the pillion.  Life got in the way, I never did get that S90, my motorcycle career had to wait until I was 18, but the hook was set. Motorcycles had no interest for me BISH (Before I Saw the Honda).  My Dad, who I listened to up till I was 15, had frequently pointed out that motorcycles were large, dangerous, noisy and ridden by thugs and criminals.  I knew this was true, because all the bikers I saw were greasy, tattooed, scary individuals.  The papers were filled with the antics of the BDRs (Black Diamond Riders), and their infamous president, Johnny Sombrero. Honda's genius was to suggest to people like my 15 year old self there was an alternative motorcycle lifestyle with their &#

Keeping a low profile

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(thanks wingnuts ) I recently read a great story on the internet by this retired guy who was riding in Mexico with a group of riders , who narrowly avoided 'un robo' when gun toting bandits  ambushed them all when they left town.    I was never got robbed during my six months on the road aside from having a few things taken from my room when I stupidly left it unlocked.   Horror stories make interesting tales to tell after you are safe at home, whereas my story was more boring, but boring is probably better when you are actually on the road for six months. I might just have been luckier, but I intentionally took precautions to keep me out of this kind of trouble. I mostly avoided tourist destinations or districts. I took Spanish lessons, and carried dictionaries and some MP3 recorded common phrases that would be useful to me. I chose a motorcycle and gear that I thought was going to be similar to what the local motorcyclists would have. And I travelled alone.

The Austro-Hungarian Empire Motorcycle Club

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Collecting stuff is a disease for which there is no cure.  Motorcycles are a favorite collectible,  they don't take a lot of room compared to say, military tanks or airplanes , but they do need more space than stamps or buttons .  Whatever, if you have a garage, you have room for a few bikes. If you are going to be serious about collecting, you need a theme.  You can't just randomly collect stuff you come across, you need to apply discipline lest you be confused for a hoarder.  I have pretty much always had a bike collection.  I used to collect British bikes when they were practically giving them away in the late 1970's.   For quite a while I concentrated on 1985 Yamahas, great bikes that had bottomed out resale-wise when I got them.    My first bike I think I paid 50 bucks for.  It had been stripped of most of its parts, but it still ran, but not for long. See the  theme here - they were all cheap cheap cheap. That first bike was an early 60's 125 cc CZ made i