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They followed me home. Can I keep them?

Time is short
buy the motorcycle.

Or in my case this month,
buy both of them.

1) In the Bitterroot we spend Spring to Fall watching an endless stream of motorcyclists passing through enjoying the world from the saddles of their motorcycles. I am always envious of them, even when they ride boulevarders of no serious interest to me. They all fill me with powerful remembered emotions of loving life astride a motorcycle that few of us get to live.

2) My crystal ball tells me we will very soon be living in 3rd-World conditions – At Best. In the 3rd-World successful entrepreneurs and the better-off impoverished use motorcycles. Next level down are bicycles, then good-old shoe leather, usually sandals. Having a bike before they become near-priceless is simply prepping … as we try to do in other areas of our lives.

3) Between here and there even blind squirrels can anticipate very expensive gasoline, though I doubt many have really thought through HOW EXPENSIVE, and cannot imagine what $10 gallons will do to their habits, patterns and lifestyles. At 70 miles-per-gallon, my newly acquired 400cc Suzuki will be an excellent expedient transportation value. Even 45 mpg out of the BMW sport-cruiser will be easier to afford than any of our 4-wheeled conveyances.

4) I recently read Road and Track magazine’s Peter Egan with his gorgeously-written pieces on sports cars because I am a reader and A Car Guy. Loving his artistry so much, and having fond memories of miles on my BSA 650 and later my BMW 1150, I ordered another sports car book by him along with two of his motorcycle masterpieces. The poet laureate of motorcycle journalism dissolved whatever motorcycle acquisition resistance I had remaining.

I found myself in the market for a motorcycle.

Serious dirt bikes and heavy cruisers are specialized versions at two opposite ends of the spectrum that do not interest me. I do spend quite a bit of time shopping the current markets and wrestling between the light-duty offroaders with tolerable street manners (adventure class) and pure highway eaters (sport touring). As I consider the possibilities, recent USDA Forest Services over-reach has withdrawn nearly all off-road use for the peasants from the gazillions of forest acres they are supposedly managing beneficially. Thus, though living in a forest, we have to use paved Highway 93 with its 70 mph speed as our road to anywhere offroad we are allowed to go. The traverse is distinctly unfriendly to dirt bikes or compromise half-and-halfs.

That pretty-much funneled me into a road bike.

I fondly remembered the BMW R1150RS I bought at dealer trade-in-value the day before the BMW dealer was scheduled to get it. I later traded it for about twice that much value in ham radio gear. My friend the radio geek died six months ago. While a skosh more power and weight than I really needed, the BMW was a lovely precision machine with impressive passing capacity, cruising comfort, happy with 2-up touring, and sophistication a cut above my requirements, I easily preferred it over anything I was seeing in the $3,000 to $4,000 price range I had set as my upper limit. So I tracked down the estate manager and met to see its current status and make an offer.

The poor thing was at some stage of electrical system remodel by the radio geek, somewhat rotting away under a tattered tarp that was a nice motorbike cover when it was last mine, and next to an economy-grade 400cc Adventure Class bike under a plain tarp.

Thanks to my familiarity with the estate situation and the relative indifference of the heirs to this unexpected ownership of my buddy’s estate, I made a $1,000 offer on the BMW and as an afterthought, added an equal $1,000 on the Suzuki DR Z next to it (Doctor Z, to you). Told to expect a week before getting an answer, I was pleasantly surprised to get an affirmative response that very evening.

I accidentally owned both my first and second choice bikes.


Then I begin making phone calls and inquiries to find someone trustworthy who can look them over, fix whatever is gamey, making them safe and reliable for me to ride on through this summer and beyond.

Oh.

Nope. Next Winter won’t work for me.
Thank you anyway.

Then I ran across this guy on the right.

He is as reliable as any random shop.
I can afford his rates.
He is motivated to get it right.
He can get it done soon.
He might as well know how to keep his bikes running.

So I guess I will again be a self-maintaining motorcyclist … with a little sweat equity, great financial bargains, confidence, a bit of pride in putting it all together myself and a bike for whichever itch I choose to scratch at the moment.