Thursday, August 24, 2006

Variety Is The Spice Of Life

I wonder how some bikers do it? Riding the same model and/or make of bike for years and years... It seems to me that there are so many bikes out there just waiting for me to hop on, that it would be a waste to keep riding the same one. Of course, some will argue that they've simply found the "perfect fit", which is OK too.

If your current ride is everything you could ever want in a bike, then more power to ya! I guess my problem is that bikes are like jeans or shoes, over the years they seem to mold to your body - but my body sure as hell doesn't fit in the same mold as it used to. Jeans and shoes also wear out eventually, or they go out of style. This is the same with most bikes, except maybe cruisers that have pretty much had the same look for the past sixty years.

One of my bandmates recently labelled me a compulsive consumer that was too easily influenced by media and marketing hype. To be honest, he's probably right. I suppose if I'd chosen some more traditional hobbies like, uhm, I don't know... knitting? Seems you can't really farkle a quilt, or do grandmas really get excited over the latest model titanium knitting needles? But I digress... My passions are photography (new cameras and technologies seem to come out every other day), music (guitars, keyboards, drums - not exactly cheap), and motorcycling (bling, farkles, new models, more power, better ergos, etc.).

Everytime I read a magazine that talks about the latest bikes and what they have to offer over last year's models, I get that warm fuzzy feeling which usually means that my wallet is about to lose some weight. I love it when they come out with some sort of new fangled system, be it ABS, single-sided swingarms, reactive shaft drive, variable valve timing... The stuff that makes the more "traditionalist" crowd of motorcyclists gasp! I admire the guys (and gals) that can wrench an old 50's bike back to life; but let's be honest, if auto manufacturers still produced 50's designs they'd be out of business. For some reason, the nostalgia factor seems to be part of the attraction to many motorcyclists. Hey, whatever works for you. Personally, I want something with today's technology; I'll take lightweight alloys over mild steel any day of the week.

Of course, I love my V-Strom and it's been a very reliable and fun bike; but there's just too many other options to ignore.

4 comments:

Biker Betty said...

I have often looked at other bikes and wonder if I will ever buy another and consider going up some in cc's too. My major problem is my height restriction. I'm 5'1-1/2" tall and that puts more then 3/4 of the bikes out there out of my league, sigh.

I love looking and when I see one that just might be short enough I give it a try. But, alas, no such luck. I have firmly said that I will never buy a bike that won't allow "both" feet firmly on the ground.

Lucky for me, I love my current bike and it's beautiful. It has passed over the highest mountain passes in Colorado with no problems, yea!!! But it is fun to look *smile*.

Lucky said...

Betty,

I hear ya! Although, at 6' I don't have a problem flatfooting most bikes, my wife (who's 5'4") has a different situation.

Although cruisers seem to have consistently low seat heights (even moreso for "Chopper" types), when it comes to either sport, naked, standard or dual-sport bikes, everything seems to be way-up!

V-Twin Mama has a good list of motorcycles for short riders, so that's always a good place to start:
http://www.vtwinmama.com/motorcycles_for_short_riders.htm

Cheers,
Lucky

Gary said...

Hi Lucky,

I understand your dilemma, but I think I have gotten past that. I'm pretty sure that I will ride KLRs as a primary motorbike as long as they are offered for sale. The reasons why are detailed here:

http://www.motorbyte.com/mmm/pages/2004/63/diary63.htm

But if you want it in a nutshell: simplicity, economy, reliability, and all-around capability.

You can plunk down five grand US, and ride home with a bike that will go anywhere a reasonable human would want to go, achieve any legal speed limit, getting ~55mpg while doing it, and can be owner-serviced for it's entire lifespan.

I don't know of any similar value in the motorbike universe at this time. And no, I don't get paid by Kawasaki to say these things. The bike has just impressed me that much.

Sorry to ramble on your blog, but you struck a chord that I just had to respond to.

Ride well,
=gc=

Lucky said...

Gary,

Although I still stand by my affirmation that I'll never be a "one motorcycle man", there's still something to be said for the venerable KLR. I remember reading Dr. Gregory Frazier's book Motorcycle Touring (a very good read, by the way), and I was impressed when he compared three of his 'round the world bikes. The first being an old Indian, which broke down constantly, the second a BMW GS, which broke down occasionally, and the third being the KLR, which simply never broke down!

Like I said in my entry, if you've found the perfect bike for you then by all means stop looking, but in my case I still haven't found what I'm looking for (yeah, I'm a U2 fan).

Cheers,
Lucky