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putt n puff

webmostwebmost Dull-AwarePosts: 6,203 ✭✭✭✭✭
Man, it's such a gol dang grand day today I just gotta ride somewhere. Maybe I'll swing by the B&M, pick up a stick and some matches, go find a park, and break the law.

Murdersickles. You guys who aren't on one are missing out.

“It has been a source of great pain to me to have met with so many among [my] opponents who had not the liberality to distinguish between political and social opposition; who transferred at once to the person, the hatred they bore to his political opinions.” —Thomas Jefferson (1808)


Comments

  • ToombesToombes Posts: 4,506 ✭✭✭
    Does it count if you have one that's not running and two project builds in the corner?
  • jthanatosjthanatos Posts: 1,571 ✭✭✭
    I have always thought it would be fun, but would never convince the wife. It is not very viable for my commute either.

    Also, I have a nagging fear that while I would feel like this ...

    image

    But would look like this....

    image
  • webmostwebmost Dull-AwarePosts: 6,203 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Toombes:
    Does it count if you have one that's not running and two project builds in the corner?
    Absolooly --- once you get them running.

    Whatcha got? Got pics? Bike projects are my thing. Been working on them since I was ten. I like to take a wrecked bike or a bike that's been sitting ten years, bring it back to life, and flip it. Hard to flip a bike these days, way that money is in such short supply. Bike I rode to the office this morning, for instance, is a 1990 BMW K75C. The original owner got old, parked it for 11 years, sold it to me for 1500. Brought it back to life couple winters back. Runs like a Swiss watch. Probably have 2100 in it now. Probably couldn't get much more than that for it. I like working on beemers, cause they are made to work on. **** bikes, you need hands the size of an eight year old with double jointed wrists. Plus, with a BMW you can get parts for every bike back to 1934. **** bikes, soon as they stop making that model they stop making any parts. You have a ten year old rice burner, need a head gasket, you're apt to be SOL.

    I like to wrench.

    “It has been a source of great pain to me to have met with so many among [my] opponents who had not the liberality to distinguish between political and social opposition; who transferred at once to the person, the hatred they bore to his political opinions.” —Thomas Jefferson (1808)


  • webmostwebmost Dull-AwarePosts: 6,203 ✭✭✭✭✭
    jthanatos:
    I have always thought it would be fun, but would never convince the wife. It is not very viable for my commute either.
    Here's how you convince the wife: man up.

    What's wrong with your commute? I ride daily all the way down to five degrees. I draw the line at five because the oil gets so thick that those wee bike batteries have trouble turning the engine over after all day in the office parking lot. Other than that, there may be four or five days when ice prevents me getting out of the development. I see more and more people riding to work. Used to be that from October thru March I was the only bike on the road. Not since gas went thru the roof. I even see scooters now.

    As for the governator and the clown, hey, it's not about looking like a pirate. That's strictly a Harley thing. I don't even own a pair of fingerless gloves, a leather vest, a do rag, or any of the faux hooliogan bull crap and all my bikes have mufflers that muffle. Those guys ride to the tavern. I ride to work. On the weekend, I put Bearswatter on back, and we ride to Maine or Kentucky. We just now came back from the Dansko factory shoe store in Jennersville Pennsylvania, where we picked her up some shoes. We're riding to Idaho a week from today. Really looking forward to it. She sleeps on pillion.

    Every critter from fish to squirrels leans into a turn. Cars don't. Every critter from hawks to ocelots feels wind in its sail. In a car you don't. Every creature manoeuvres with its body. Not in a cage you don't. You could bicycle the Blue Ridge, walk it, jog it, ride a horse down it, ride a motorcycle down it, and be one with it. You could drive it and what's the point... might as well drive I-81, cause that's all you are getting out of your day, is the inside of a cage..

    So in a nutshell: Murdersickles feel natural. Cars are like fingernails on a blackboard.

    “It has been a source of great pain to me to have met with so many among [my] opponents who had not the liberality to distinguish between political and social opposition; who transferred at once to the person, the hatred they bore to his political opinions.” —Thomas Jefferson (1808)


  • Gray4linesGray4lines KentuckyPosts: 4,504 ✭✭✭✭✭
    "Murdersickle" may be a turn off for some.. lol! Ive always thought bikes were cool, and i tried out my buddys in a parkinglot (never touched one before that) and it was so much fun. Awesome feeling. But especially where im from, theres a guy on a bike wrecked or dead every week. I dont know if they drive too wreckless or if they get cutoff, or what.. just kinda scary. Man they look fun though
    LLA - Lancero Lovers of America
  • ToombesToombes Posts: 4,506 ✭✭✭
    webmost:
    Toombes:
    Does it count if you have one that's not running and two project builds in the corner?
    Absolooly --- once you get them running.

    Whatcha got? Got pics? Bike projects are my thing. Been working on them since I was ten. I like to take a wrecked bike or a bike that's been sitting ten years, bring it back to life, and flip it. Hard to flip a bike these days, way that money is in such short supply. Bike I rode to the office this morning, for instance, is a 1990 BMW K75C. The original owner got old, parked it for 11 years, sold it to me for 1500. Brought it back to life couple winters back. Runs like a Swiss watch. Probably have 2100 in it now. Probably couldn't get much more than that for it. I like working on beemers, cause they are made to work on. **** bikes, you need hands the size of an eight year old with double jointed wrists. Plus, with a BMW you can get parts for every bike back to 1934. **** bikes, soon as they stop making that model they stop making any parts. You have a ten year old rice burner, need a head gasket, you're apt to be SOL.

    I like to wrench.


    My rider is an '83 Kawasaki KZ305. And I'm with ya on finding parts. Most of the older Japanese bikes were built on the concept of "planned obsolescence". Let's build a bike for 2-3 yrs and then stop...
    The projects are a '58 Sportster, which I'm actually in the process of trying to sell, and a '73 Triumph Bonnie OIF that I'm going to turn into a trike. The Harley is pretty much a rolling chassis. Frame, narrow-glide front end, swing arm, rear wheel/tire and a few assorted goodies. If I can get rid of it I'm using the money to finance the Triumph build.
    I'll throw some pictures up when I get to work.
  • jthanatosjthanatos Posts: 1,571 ✭✭✭
    webmost:
    jthanatos:
    I have always thought it would be fun, but would never convince the wife. It is not very viable for my commute either.
    Here's how you convince the wife: man up.

    What's wrong with your commute? I ride daily all the way down to five degrees. I draw the line at five because the oil gets so thick that those wee bike batteries have trouble turning the engine over after all day in the office parking lot. Other than that, there may be four or five days when ice prevents me getting out of the development. I see more and more people riding to work. Used to be that from October thru March I was the only bike on the road. Not since gas went thru the roof. I even see scooters now.

    As for the governator and the clown, hey, it's not about looking like a pirate. That's strictly a Harley thing. I don't even own a pair of fingerless gloves, a leather vest, a do rag, or any of the faux hooliogan bull crap and all my bikes have mufflers that muffle. Those guys ride to the tavern. I ride to work. On the weekend, I put Bearswatter on back, and we ride to Maine or Kentucky. We just now came back from the Dansko factory shoe store in Jennersville Pennsylvania, where we picked her up some shoes. We're riding to Idaho a week from today. Really looking forward to it. She sleeps on pillion.

    Every critter from fish to squirrels leans into a turn. Cars don't. Every critter from hawks to ocelots feels wind in its sail. In a car you don't. Every creature manoeuvres with its body. Not in a cage you don't. You could bicycle the Blue Ridge, walk it, jog it, ride a horse down it, ride a motorcycle down it, and be one with it. You could drive it and what's the point... might as well drive I-81, cause that's all you are getting out of your day, is the inside of a cage..

    So in a nutshell: Murdersickles feel natural. Cars are like fingernails on a blackboard.

    I commute 45 minutes each way, on highway, through multiple construction zones, often in a suit. And I get to sit in line for gate check for 15 minutes plus on days I have to be in early, meaning I would get to suck exhaust, in my nice clothes. Many times, I will be hauling groceries home after work. It is really not practical for me. I would only ever be a pleasure rider. And, if I am buying a vehicle for pleasure, it is going to be a nice gas guzzling muscle car. Hopefully, a 442.
  • webmostwebmost Dull-AwarePosts: 6,203 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Gray4lines:
    "Murdersickle" may be a turn off for some.. lol! Ive always thought bikes were cool, and i tried out my buddys in a parkinglot (never touched one before that) and it was so much fun. Awesome feeling. But especially where im from, theres a guy on a bike wrecked or dead every week. I dont know if they drive too wreckless or if they get cutoff, or what.. just kinda scary. Man they look fun though
    The good thing is there's plenty of dumbass Darwin fodder soaking up the statistics so that mature and sensible guys can ride fairly safe.
    “It has been a source of great pain to me to have met with so many among [my] opponents who had not the liberality to distinguish between political and social opposition; who transferred at once to the person, the hatred they bore to his political opinions.” —Thomas Jefferson (1808)


  • ToombesToombes Posts: 4,506 ✭✭✭
    My son Joey astride The Green Meanie...
    Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

    Most of a '58 Sportster...
    Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
  • Gray4linesGray4lines KentuckyPosts: 4,504 ✭✭✭✭✭
    webmost:
    Gray4lines:
    "Murdersickle" may be a turn off for some.. lol! Ive always thought bikes were cool, and i tried out my buddys in a parkinglot (never touched one before that) and it was so much fun. Awesome feeling. But especially where im from, theres a guy on a bike wrecked or dead every week. I dont know if they drive too wreckless or if they get cutoff, or what.. just kinda scary. Man they look fun though
    The good thing is there's plenty of dumbass Darwin fodder soaking up the statistics so that mature and sensible guys can ride fairly safe.
    lol! I would love to get a bike some day... I am kind of small, does that matter in choosing a bike? Do you have to be "big enough" to handle it?

    and toombes, those are some BA bikes... very cool
    LLA - Lancero Lovers of America
  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastPosts: 9,356 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Gray4lines:
    webmost:
    Gray4lines:
    "Murdersickle" may be a turn off for some.. lol! Ive always thought bikes were cool, and i tried out my buddys in a parkinglot (never touched one before that) and it was so much fun. Awesome feeling. But especially where im from, theres a guy on a bike wrecked or dead every week. I dont know if they drive too wreckless or if they get cutoff, or what.. just kinda scary. Man they look fun though
    The good thing is there's plenty of dumbass Darwin fodder soaking up the statistics so that mature and sensible guys can ride fairly safe.
    lol! I would love to get a bike some day... I am kind of small, does that matter in choosing a bike? Do you have to be "big enough" to handle it?

    and toombes, those are some BA bikes... very cool
    About the only thing a smaller guy would have to worry about is picking it up after you dump it.
    If you don't dump it, they you don't gotta worry about it.
    You can pick up a nice new sportster for about $10K.
    Go to a Harley dealer and sit on a few. That will give you a good idea of whether something feels comfortable to you.
    I paid $13,500 for my bike with all the goodies I added and pay $260/month.
    I get 50 mpg and my insurance is $158/year for full coverage. (yes, that says year)
    There is no crisis that a good cigar can't cure.
    In Fumo Pax
    Money can't buy happiness, but it can buy cigars and that's close enough.

    Wylaff said:
    Atmospheric pressure and crap.
  • Gray4linesGray4lines KentuckyPosts: 4,504 ✭✭✭✭✭
    0patience:
    Gray4lines:
    webmost:
    Gray4lines:
    "Murdersickle" may be a turn off for some.. lol! Ive always thought bikes were cool, and i tried out my buddys in a parkinglot (never touched one before that) and it was so much fun. Awesome feeling. But especially where im from, theres a guy on a bike wrecked or dead every week. I dont know if they drive too wreckless or if they get cutoff, or what.. just kinda scary. Man they look fun though
    The good thing is there's plenty of dumbass Darwin fodder soaking up the statistics so that mature and sensible guys can ride fairly safe.
    lol! I would love to get a bike some day... I am kind of small, does that matter in choosing a bike? Do you have to be "big enough" to handle it?

    and toombes, those are some BA bikes... very cool
    About the only thing a smaller guy would have to worry about is picking it up after you dump it.
    If you don't dump it, they you don't gotta worry about it.
    You can pick up a nice new sportster for about $10K.
    Go to a Harley dealer and sit on a few. That will give you a good idea of whether something feels comfortable to you.
    I paid $13,500 for my bike with all the goodies I added and pay $260/month.
    I get 50 mpg and my insurance is $158/year for full coverage. (yes, that says year)
    That makes sense. The bike I tried out was a Harley sportster. It felt great. Web most got me looking at BMW's too though, damn those roadsters are cool. The new(er). Harley iron was totally **** though. Its just a mean little bike. And yeah I was surprised how cheap motorcycle ins can be.

    PS how often have you rolled one over?
    LLA - Lancero Lovers of America
  • ToombesToombes Posts: 4,506 ✭✭✭
    Gray4lines:
    webmost:
    Gray4lines:
    "Murdersickle" may be a turn off for some.. lol! Ive always thought bikes were cool, and i tried out my buddys in a parkinglot (never touched one before that) and it was so much fun. Awesome feeling. But especially where im from, theres a guy on a bike wrecked or dead every week. I dont know if they drive too wreckless or if they get cutoff, or what.. just kinda scary. Man they look fun though
    The good thing is there's plenty of dumbass Darwin fodder soaking up the statistics so that mature and sensible guys can ride fairly safe.
    lol! I would love to get a bike some day... I am kind of small, does that matter in choosing a bike? Do you have to be "big enough" to handle it?

    and toombes, those are some BA bikes... very cool

    Thanks, man. I'm going to do some more mods on the Meanie and plan on rebuilding the Harley back to spec.
  • webmostwebmost Dull-AwarePosts: 6,203 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Gray4lines:
    I would love to get a bike some day... I am kind of small, does that matter in choosing a bike? Do you have to be "big enough" to handle it?
    I am a voluble guy on the keyboard. With this topic, you guys have really uncorked me. Stand back. This may take some spewing.

    Let's start with credentials: I am 64, I've been riding since I was 10, I've cycled through scores of bikes in 54 years, I have three now, one with 85k on the clock, one with 39k, one with 58k, and in the interim I've had, lessee, um, ten other bikes I can remember flipping through this garage, so if anyone had been along **** enough to mark all the miles down, it would probably be well north of a million. You do the math.

    "About the only thing a smaller guy would have to worry about is picking it up after you dump it."
    Bull. Short legs is why you dump it. You stop at a light, put your toe down, and the ground isn't where you left it, a rut dug itself there instead. That's why you want something low, so you can reach down in the rut and grab some ground.

    "If you don't dump it, they you don't gotta worry about it. "
    Bull. There are two kinds of riders: Those who have dumped and those who will. Anyone with any amount of saddle time will tell you that.

    "You can pick up a nice new sportster for about $10K. "
    Stop it. Last thing you want to do is buy a new bike. You drive it off the lot you lose three grand. You drop it and you have to make it new again, that's another grand. You go to the insurance company they want top dollar because it's new and you're a newb. Use common sense. It's a buyer's market. A newb should buy a beater that he can drop without breaking his heart. Cause you probably will. Then try a different kind of beater. Then another. Only then will you know what you want. You can buy literally half a dozen beaters for the cost of one new bike, and sell each without losing a penny when you are done with it. Which leads to the next point ---

    "I paid $13,500 for my bike with all the goodies I added and pay $260/month."
    Dumb. My handball partner picked up a Honda Shadow 450 for $800. Sweetest running UJM you ever heard. That's not unusual. If he likes motorcycles, hey, he can move on to what he wants next. If not, he can put it back on craigslist. In between, it's a good beginner bike he can drop to his heart's content and never worry.

    "I get 50 mpg and my insurance is $158/year for full coverage. (yes, that says year)"
    First bit I agree with. All three of my bikes insure for 180 a year. All three, put together. I pay more than that a month for the old lady's Durango. Ocelot, my BMW K75, gets 52mpg on the road, 43 around town. Biffy, my KLR650, gets 57mpg on the road, 53 around town. Annie, my big beemer bagger, gets 50 on the road with two fatties up and all the luggage Bearswatter can stuff in the panniers and make me tie on the rack, 45 around town.

    A bike will literally pay for itself in just a few months time. That's not a phrase. That's arithmetic.At $3.50 a gallon, Bearswatter's Durango burns 35 cents a mile, Annie burns 7 cents a mile. In her 85k, she has saved me nearly twenty three grand. I paid fourteen five for her. That's just gas. Insurance saves me four grand a year.

    _____________________________________________________________

    As for short legs, don't feel like the lone stranger. Loads of guys have the same challenge. Here's what you do: Look for a cruiser style bike with a low slung seat. Many beemers come with seats you can adjust to three different heights. Many come with factory lowering options. Many bikes of every make have what's called dog bones at the bottom of the rear shock. Hatd to describe other than look for the things at the bottom of the rear shock shaped like dog bones. Many bikes you can replace these with shorrter ones that lower the back end. You can also drop the front end by letting the forks slip an inch or two through the triple clamps. Many bikes, there are shorter rear shock options/ Biffy Bullfrog, my KLR, has lowered dog bones and the front forks lowered in the clamps. Ocelot, my K75, has a factory lowered kit, a lowered custom Corbin seat, and a shorter rear shock. I'd be surprised if you couldn't flat foot that. I don't have short legs; it's just that both those bikes came that way.

    _____________________________________________________________

    Go sit on a Harley? Absolutely not. Kiddin me?
    What you need to do first is decide what you want out of a bike. That will tell you what bike you should buy. Not what looks cool. Bikes are like horses. You have a saddle horse, a plow horse, a trotter, a cutting horse, and you don't tear up the one horse doing the job of the other horse. Same thing here. Which horse do you want?

    Do you want to put on long miles? You want a beemer. Once you get out on the open road between East Shoelace and Slab City, you will find there are only two kinds of bikes going the distance: lots and lots of beemers and an occasional Goldwing pulling a trailer. Beemers with a hundred thou on the clock are as common as skeeters in Minnesota. It is not the least bit unusual to see beemers which have gone 2, 3, 400 thousand miles. That's what they do. Smoothly, quietly, safely, and comfortably. Absolutely incredible handling. Traction control, ABS, integrated power brakes that stop on a dime and give you eight and a half cents change, a paralever to prevent the rear wheel from creeping up under you, a telelever to make nose dive physically impossible, perfect suspension, lots of attention to detail. Good to go in all weather. Your milieu will be an odd lot. Many of these beemeristas have more dollars than sense. Nearly all of them are obsessed with riding gear. Even in 95 degrees and 90% humidity they would not condsider riding across the street without donning full armored hazmat suits, armored gloves, boots, heltmets, the whole nine yards. They arrive scarlet red and pouring sweat and tell you it doesn't bother them. They attend MSF (Motorcycle Safety Foundation) classes religiously, even though all studies show these classes do not good whatever. They buy and install ever conceivable farkle (gadget) from GPS to blue tooth. Their bikes are equipped with heated seats and grips, and they add heated vests, gloves, and socks. A paranoid and **** bunch. But they think nothing of swinging a leg over and riding 300 miles to lunch. I am not exaggerating, but understating, their penchant for distance. Two women met on the million dollar highway to celebrate their millionth mile last year. Chicks. Million miles. Beemeristas.

    Do you want to ride dirt? Leave that to the kids. Best done at an age when bones knit quick.

    Do you crave to go from zero to suicide in an eyeblink? Do you want to pull a wheelie at ninety, go round corners like a roller coaster, stop quick, feel a ton of horses between your legs? Go rice rocket. Do the wife a favor and buy a life insurance policy. Your milieu here will be daredevil yoots. They don't put on but a handful of miles, but those miles are breakneck thrills.

    Do you like camping? Hard to find a dual sport with short legs. Maybe a TW200 or a Kawasaki Super Sherpa. But those have wee widdo 250cc engines. Not for the freeway. Get a KLR and lower it like Biffy, but it will still be too tall for a short legged beginner. These guys love the outdoors. Cigars by the campfire.

    Do you intend to dress up like a loon with assless chaps, fingerless gloves, do rag, leather vest, wife beater T-shirt and wehrmacht helmet, braid your beard, and ride to the tavern? Are you willing to put up with a ride like a paint shaker, technology from 1947, no power, no handling, no brakes, no features, but lotsa lotsa chrome, and noise that wakes the baby? Buy Harley. You get to pay twice as much. But you are living a life style. Yeah! Bad ass! Don't fool yourself that you are buying American, cause the Goldwing has more parts made in America than the HD does. But you paint flames on the tank! Yeah! Bad ass! You even get to wear your wallet on a chain because your HD will actually shake your wallet out of your pocket. About now, all our Harley friends will chime in with why are you hating Harley. I don't hate it. I do think it's a pretty pathetic scene I must admit. But, what the heck, some guys collect comic books, some guys try to live one. I have never been a comic book guy.

    Do you want to look like a Harley but run with some technology, some reliability? There are lots of faux hogs. Look at the Yamahas. Yamaha even got sued by HD some years back for copying the HD roar. Victory makes a high quality machine along the same lines. All these share the same look. You may still have to go to the HD dealer to buy a black leather vest, though. But mostly you see just ordinary working guys.

    Do you just want to toot round town on errands? Here's where you have the most to choose from as a short legged newb. Any number of old Honda Shadows on craigslist will do the trick, have a low saddle, can be bought for a song, and have plenty miles left in them. Or a Yamaha V-Star. Or a Suzuki Intruder or Marauder. Or any UJM (Universal Japanese Motorcycle). You can pick one up for two grand, ride it a year, and sell it for two grand, then either move on to what you want or give it up as not for you.

    Avoid the oddball high tech Italian machine unless you own a mechanic shop. Triumph is making a comeback. I like scooters. There are some nice big freeway capable scooters on the road these days, like the Suzuki Burgman. Scooters are great because you don't have to handle a clutch under your left hand nor a shifter atop your left foot. That can be tough to coordinate unless you grew up doing it.

    “It has been a source of great pain to me to have met with so many among [my] opponents who had not the liberality to distinguish between political and social opposition; who transferred at once to the person, the hatred they bore to his political opinions.” —Thomas Jefferson (1808)


  • Gray4linesGray4lines KentuckyPosts: 4,504 ✭✭✭✭✭
    webmost:
    Gray4lines:
    I would love to get a bike some day... I am kind of small, does that matter in choosing a bike? Do you have to be "big enough" to handle it?
    I am a voluble guy on the keyboard. With this topic, you guys have really uncorked me. Stand back. This may take some spewing.

    Let's start with credentials: I am 64, I've been riding since I was 10, I've cycled through scores of bikes in 54 years, I have three now, one with 85k on the clock, one with 39k, one with 58k, and in the interim I've had, lessee, um, ten other bikes I can remember flipping through this garage, so if anyone had been along **** enough to mark all the miles down, it would probably be well north of a million. You do the math.

    "About the only thing a smaller guy would have to worry about is picking it up after you dump it."
    Bull. Short legs is why you dump it. You stop at a light, put your toe down, and the ground isn't where you left it, a rut dug itself there instead. That's why you want something low, so you can reach down in the rut and grab some ground.

    "If you don't dump it, they you don't gotta worry about it. "
    Bull. There are two kinds of riders: Those who have dumped and those who will. Anyone with any amount of saddle time will tell you that.

    "You can pick up a nice new sportster for about $10K. "
    Stop it. Last thing you want to do is buy a new bike. You drive it off the lot you lose three grand. You drop it and you have to make it new again, that's another grand. You go to the insurance company they want top dollar because it's new and you're a newb. Use common sense. It's a buyer's market. A newb should buy a beater that he can drop without breaking his heart. Cause you probably will. Then try a different kind of beater. Then another. Only then will you know what you want. You can buy literally half a dozen beaters for the cost of one new bike, and sell each without losing a penny when you are done with it. Which leads to the next point ---

    "I paid $13,500 for my bike with all the goodies I added and pay $260/month."
    Dumb. My handball partner picked up a Honda Shadow 450 for $800. Sweetest running UJM you ever heard. That's not unusual. If he likes motorcycles, hey, he can move on to what he wants next. If not, he can put it back on craigslist. In between, it's a good beginner bike he can drop to his heart's content and never worry.

    "I get 50 mpg and my insurance is $158/year for full coverage. (yes, that says year)"
    First bit I agree with. All three of my bikes insure for 180 a year. All three, put together. I pay more than that a month for the old lady's Durango. Ocelot, my BMW K75, gets 52mpg on the road, 43 around town. Biffy, my KLR650, gets 57mpg on the road, 53 around town. Annie, my big beemer bagger, gets 50 on the road with two fatties up and all the luggage Bearswatter can stuff in the panniers and make me tie on the rack, 45 around town.

    A bike will literally pay for itself in just a few months time. That's not a phrase. That's arithmetic.At $3.50 a gallon, Bearswatter's Durango burns 35 cents a mile, Annie burns 7 cents a mile. In her 85k, she has saved me nearly twenty three grand. I paid fourteen five for her. That's just gas. Insurance saves me four grand a year.

    _____________________________________________________________

    As for short legs, don't feel like the lone stranger. Loads of guys have the same challenge. Here's what you do: Look for a cruiser style bike with a low slung seat. Many beemers come with seats you can adjust to three different heights. Many come with factory lowering options. Many bikes of every make have what's called dog bones at the bottom of the rear shock. Hatd to describe other than look for the things at the bottom of the rear shock shaped like dog bones. Many bikes you can replace these with shorrter ones that lower the back end. You can also drop the front end by letting the forks slip an inch or two through the triple clamps. Many bikes, there are shorter rear shock options/ Biffy Bullfrog, my KLR, has lowered dog bones and the front forks lowered in the clamps. Ocelot, my K75, has a factory lowered kit, a lowered custom Corbin seat, and a shorter rear shock. I'd be surprised if you couldn't flat foot that. I don't have short legs; it's just that both those bikes came that way.

    _____________________________________________________________

    Go sit on a Harley? Absolutely not. Kiddin me?
    What you need to do first is decide what you want out of a bike. That will tell you what bike you should buy. Not what looks cool. Bikes are like horses. You have a saddle horse, a plow horse, a trotter, a cutting horse, and you don't tear up the one horse doing the job of the other horse. Same thing here. Which horse do you want?

    Do you want to put on long miles? You want a beemer. Once you get out on the open road between East Shoelace and Slab City, you will find there are only two kinds of bikes going the distance: lots and lots of beemers and an occasional Goldwing pulling a trailer. Beemers with a hundred thou on the clock are as common as skeeters in Minnesota. It is not the least bit unusual to see beemers which have gone 2, 3, 400 thousand miles. That's what they do. Smoothly, quietly, safely, and comfortably. Absolutely incredible handling. Traction control, ABS, integrated power brakes that stop on a dime and give you eight and a half cents change, a paralever to prevent the rear wheel from creeping up under you, a telelever to make nose dive physically impossible, perfect suspension, lots of attention to detail. Good to go in all weather. Your milieu will be an odd lot. Many of these beemeristas have more dollars than sense. Nearly all of them are obsessed with riding gear. Even in 95 degrees and 90% humidity they would not condsider riding across the street without donning full armored hazmat suits, armored gloves, boots, heltmets, the whole nine yards. They arrive scarlet red and pouring sweat and tell you it doesn't bother them. They attend MSF (Motorcycle Safety Foundation) classes religiously, even though all studies show these classes do not good whatever. They buy and install ever conceivable farkle (gadget) from GPS to blue tooth. Their bikes are equipped with heated seats and grips, and they add heated vests, gloves, and socks. A paranoid and **** bunch. But they think nothing of swinging a leg over and riding 300 miles to lunch. I am not exaggerating, but understating, their penchant for distance. Two women met on the million dollar highway to celebrate their millionth mile last year. Chicks. Million miles. Beemeristas.

    Do you want to ride dirt? Leave that to the kids. Best done at an age when bones knit quick.

    Do you crave to go from zero to suicide in an eyeblink? Do you want to pull a wheelie at ninety, go round corners like a roller coaster, stop quick, feel a ton of horses between your legs? Go rice rocket. Do the wife a favor and buy a life insurance policy. Your milieu here will be daredevil yoots. They don't put on but a handful of miles, but those miles are breakneck thrills.

    Do you like camping? Hard to find a dual sport with short legs. Maybe a TW200 or a Kawasaki Super Sherpa. But those have wee widdo 250cc engines. Not for the freeway. Get a KLR and lower it like Biffy, but it will still be too tall for a short legged beginner. These guys love the outdoors. Cigars by the campfire.

    Do you intend to dress up like a loon with assless chaps, fingerless gloves, do rag, leather vest, wife beater T-shirt and wehrmacht helmet, braid your beard, and ride to the tavern? Are you willing to put up with a ride like a paint shaker, technology from 1947, no power, no handling, no brakes, no features, but lotsa lotsa chrome, and noise that wakes the baby? Buy Harley. You get to pay twice as much. But you are living a life style. Yeah! Bad ass! Don't fool yourself that you are buying American, cause the Goldwing has more parts made in America than the HD does. But you paint flames on the tank! Yeah! Bad ass! You even get to wear your wallet on a chain because your HD will actually shake your wallet out of your pocket. About now, all our Harley friends will chime in with why are you hating Harley. I don't hate it. I do think it's a pretty pathetic scene I must admit. But, what the heck, some guys collect comic books, some guys try to live one. I have never been a comic book guy.

    Do you want to look like a Harley but run with some technology, some reliability? There are lots of faux hogs. Look at the Yamahas. Yamaha even got sued by HD some years back for copying the HD roar. Victory makes a high quality machine along the same lines. All these share the same look. You may still have to go to the HD dealer to buy a black leather vest, though. But mostly you see just ordinary working guys.

    Do you just want to toot round town on errands? Here's where you have the most to choose from as a short legged newb. Any number of old Honda Shadows on craigslist will do the trick, have a low saddle, can be bought for a song, and have plenty miles left in them. Or a Yamaha V-Star. Or a Suzuki Intruder or Marauder. Or any UJM (Universal Japanese Motorcycle). You can pick one up for two grand, ride it a year, and sell it for two grand, then either move on to what you want or give it up as not for you.

    Avoid the oddball high tech Italian machine unless you own a mechanic shop. Triumph is making a comeback. I like scooters. There are some nice big freeway capable scooters on the road these days, like the Suzuki Burgman. Scooters are great because you don't have to handle a clutch under your left hand nor a shifter atop your left foot. That can be tough to coordinate unless you grew up doing it.

    Web, that's a pretty thorough answer. I appreciate it.

    You know your stuff it sounds like! I agree, if I got a bike it be a smaller used Honda/ Yamaha to start. I have looked at the shadows. I imagine I'd start out just riding around town, then expand from there. This is all a little ways out in the future, (I am going to grad school next fall) but it is a real desire to at least try out and give a solid try (another reason to buy used). If I'm in the market for a bike, I may contact you for advice... maybe a ride someday. We're both east coast, and my wife's family is in PA. Trying a bike out (Harley sportster and Honda goldwing) was a hell of a lot of fun (clutch is tricky though). If I do this in the future , I definitely want to do it the safe and responsible way. I didn't mean to jack your thread, but tell me this... are any of the bike classes/training courses beneficial? Or do you just kinda have to get a feel for it yourself? Thelast thing I want to do is be out on the road and mess up/freak out and get seriously hurt. I assumed a rollwill inevitably happen. I'd love to hear if youve had any close encounters, or if there haven't been any how you keep it that way.
    LLA - Lancero Lovers of America
  • Gray4linesGray4lines KentuckyPosts: 4,504 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Oh, and when I said I was a small guy, I meant I weigh 125. So im just skinny pretty much, haha. I don't think my legs are all that short. I'm 5'8 or 9 I guess. But I had no problem that I remember on the sportster or gold wing (touching the ground)
    LLA - Lancero Lovers of America
  • webmostwebmost Dull-AwarePosts: 6,203 ✭✭✭✭✭
    "Trying a bike out (Harley sportster and Honda goldwing) was a hell of a lot of fun (clutch is tricky though). If I do this in the future , I definitely want to do it the safe and responsible way. I didn't mean to jack your thread, but tell me this... are any of the bike classes/training courses beneficial? Or do you just kinda have to get a feel for it yourself? Thelast thing I want to do is be out on the road and mess up/freak out and get seriously hurt. I assumed a rollwill inevitably happen. I'd love to hear if youve had any close encounters, or if there haven't been any how you keep it that way."

    You do know that when you test drive a bike you sign a paper which basically says "You break it, you buy it"? One more very excellent reason for a newb to buy a beater off craigslist. Rather be out the price of a beater than the price of a new wing.

    The classes are one of those things that just makes no common sense at all. Reality is chock full of stuff that makes no sense, like seahorses or quantum physics, or why women can't put the seat down their own dam selves. Rather than ramble on about MSF classes, see the whole story here.

    As for close encounters, about three times a week some nitwit BDC (Brain Dead Cager) will try to kill you. If I were king of the world, I'd burn every cell phone and prohibit women under thirty driving at all. The worst phones are hands free, cause you can't tell from a distance that they are on the phone. Gotta always assume all BDCs are out to kill you. Your best bet is to stay nimble, use your speed to get out of traffic and into the open spots. Watch all driveways and intersections. Never believe a turn signal or trust the lack of one. Hold your life in your own hands.

    Latest real close call was a full growed bull bear in the woods of northern Pennsyltucky last summer. Came barrelling out of a hedgerow and planted his head dead square into Annie's works. That's where Bearswatter (the artiste formerly known as RedHead) got her latest nickname -- she reached down and swatted him on the snout.

    But safety is way drastically over rated. Life ain't worth living without adventure. Fact of the matter, everything really thrilling to do, everything that leaves a story, there is danger involved... if nothing else, you might get her pregnant. Grandpa ain't gonna take his grandson up on his knee and tell him about the time he used the pencil sharpener then went to the copier and back to his cubicle. Junior could give a crap about that. It's not the hard working ants make life worth living. It's the bears.

    “It has been a source of great pain to me to have met with so many among [my] opponents who had not the liberality to distinguish between political and social opposition; who transferred at once to the person, the hatred they bore to his political opinions.” —Thomas Jefferson (1808)


  • webmostwebmost Dull-AwarePosts: 6,203 ✭✭✭✭✭
    That time of year again. The cherry tree is poppin out all over. Birdsong rockin the back yard before dawn. Mowers are droning, Spring is springing, and murdersickles are pounding the pavement.

    How about you? Got two wheels? Post us up a pic of your ride.
    image

    “It has been a source of great pain to me to have met with so many among [my] opponents who had not the liberality to distinguish between political and social opposition; who transferred at once to the person, the hatred they bore to his political opinions.” —Thomas Jefferson (1808)


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