Well it has been a little over 6 years since I took the Team Oregon motorcycle safety class out at LBCC and received my motorcycle endorsement. As yet, I have not had my own bike to ride and I am reluctant to venture forth on Troubadour's 2007 Triumph Bonneville (he bought it new and has only had it a year) so I have been relegated to riding pillion. I am ok with that.
We have always wanted to buy me a bike to ride. We keep saying someday. You know how that is. We bought a house in Lebanon and needed to renovate before we could sell and move into Corvallis where we really wanted to be. Did that in 3 years then bought our current house which needed a lot of work. First year we renovated (gutted) the bathroom, then did landscaping and just this past December we gutted the kitchen and did a total remodel of that room. Other priorities kept coming up in place of that elusive first bike.
And now.... our house is at a place where we feel comfortable that it is presentable to company (if we ever had any) and can switch gears to more frivolous spending. We have been researching and checking Craigslist daily for about two months now looking for good used bikes. Haven't really run across any that strike our fancy - in our price range.
We prefer something that will serve dual purpose. I don't mean necessarily dual sport but something tame enough for me to get reacquainted with riding but big enough that Troubadour can commute to work in the rain and snow and that gets better gas mileage than the Bonneville.
I am just shy of 5'8" tall so the popular always recommended Honda Rebels are too small and low for me. I don't feel comfortable with my knees up at mirror height while riding. I do believe toilet seats are higher than the seat of a Rebel.
We have been to Eugene, Salem, and Portland and through all of the motorcycle shops and sat on many a bike. The Honda Shadow VLX 600 is a good fit. The Suzuki S40 is also a good fit.
The best fit and comfort by far has got to be the BMW G650GS. Of course it does. Couldn't be a cheap Japanese model. I really like the idea of a bike that is only 423 pounds wet weight and the gas tank is located under the seat so the center of gravity is lower. Troubadour likes the idea of heated grips and ABS for winter commuting. This would serve our dual purposes.
The BMW's hold their value and are not cheap on the used market. We must weigh the pros and cons of buying used or putting a down payment on one and buying new.
We are still in the debating stage as we are trying to mix fiscal responsibiliy with functionality of the motorcycle. Those darn bikes are hard to find used too. Decisions sometimes can be the hardest part.
Then little miscellaneous unexpected bills crop up and need to paid. Who needs to see a doctor anyway, right? Damn privatized "for profit" health care. Almost makes me pine for British Columbia again. Almost, not quite.
So I might not get my own bike this year, but if we keep looking you never know when the right one at the right price will be discovered. I will ride my own bike though. That is a personal goal. I am determined to get comfortable on my own bike and riding in traffic. Pretty soon it will be like second nature; some might say it will be easy - "just like riding a bike".
"It takes more to share the saddle than it does to share the bed."
- Author Unknown