Well, after an extensive search and many months/years, we finally pulled the trigger and bought me a bike.
All day Saturday of our long weekend was spend driving to Salem, Woodburn, and Hillsboro wandering around motorcycle shops, sitting on this, sitting on that. One shop in Salem had a new 2009 Suzuki TU250 that was pretty cool. Kind of a retro Triumph looking bike. Here is a stock photo.
They also had a slightly used 2007 Suzuki Boulevard S40 that was pretty nice. It is a 650 single. More powerful that the TU but still wouldn't have gotten me into any major trouble. Again, here is a stock photo.
Both were fairly comfortable and in our price range. One more of a standard and the other a criuser type. We couldn't quite make a decision on either so off we went. Nothing of interest at the shop in Woodburn so up to the suburbs of Portland we went. Stopped at a shop in Hillsboro as they were the ones who had the 2008 Honda Nighhawk 250's on cheap. Turns out they were not just demo's. Unfortunately, they had been used in training courses. Of course they didn't tell this to Troubadour on the phone when he inquired about them. Now, if you have ever taken a training course, you know the shape these "new" bikes were in. I don't think there were any parts left unscratched, uncracked or undented. We hummed and hawed and also sat on a used S40 there and the 2009 TU again. Something just wasn't right so we left, made a Starbucks stop for an iced coffee and headed home.
Troubadour was looking on Craigslist Sunday morning and spotted a listing for a Silver 2006 Nighthawk 250 with under 900 miles on it in Beaverton. He sent an email reply and received a call back right away. We were off to look at the bike. Murphy's Law.... we'd just driven through Beaverton the day before. Troubadour packed his gear into the hatchback of the Versa and off we went.
We got there just before 11 and the bike seemed in really good shape. A little tiny scratch here or there and a bit of electrical tape on the cracked front turn signals, but overall was a brand new bike. We decided to buy the bike. Made an offer, he countered and it was done deal. Stopped at a gas station to add air to the front tire (thanks Chevron for charging $0.75 for that).
Wasn't too bad a trip home. Stopped at a Walgreens in McMinnville for a cold drink and snapped a few pictures.
Then homeward. The bike won't win any races but Troubadour sure kept ahead of me on it. I don't think it was quite the same as his America though. He was nice enough to wash it for me Sunday afternoon too. I am so spoiled. I was too tired from two days in the car to take it for a test run.
Yesterday we headed out to a parking lot close by for a practice run since it has been 6 years since I took my safety course and received my endorsement. To be safe he rode it down there. Not as much power with the both of us on it. I rode it around for about an hour getting used it it, shifting, and getting my feet up quickly on the take off. Troubadour had me practic some emergency stops by throwng gloves down infront of me when I wasn't expecting it. Worked great. Here are a few pics he took of me riding around.
You can't see it, but I do have a huge grin on my face. After about an hour my grass allergies started getting the best of me and we headed home.
Tonight, if I am not too tired ( aka lazy) after making dinner and doing the dishes, I may suit up and head around the neighborhood. Then watch out, as I'll be on the roads. Troubadour will guide me around some bckroads and then I can take it back and forth to work too as the office is only 3 miles away. If only I can figure out how to make helmet head half decent for the office.
I will try an update with how I am progressing.
"Whatever it is, it's better in the wind." ~ Author Unknown