Friday, March 23, 2007
I sold my Kawasaki KLR650 last Saturday morning so I did the only logical thing and spent the rest of the day shopping for another bike. My wife was out of town visiting her dear 'ol mum so what better opportunity to get into motorcycle mischief?
The KLR had just arrived in December but if you've been reading 40on2 for any length of time you'll know that I change motorcycles more often than I go to the barber. My neighbor Jim keeps bikes and cars until the odometer shows six numbers at least twice over and is a psychologist of good reputation. I suspect that he views me as having "motorcycle commitment issues" but I'm not going to ask him. I have this long standing fear that someday I will discover that I am "Subject A" in a published study entitled "Eccentric Motorcycle Behavior of Middle Aged Men Who Lived Alone Too Long."
I have been thinking about replacing the KLR with something more dirt worthy like a used DRZ400 but have also thought about buying a big touring bike so the wife is more comfy on rides. For some reason she doesn't find my Aprilia Caponord comfortable. Go figure. Anyway, I ran across two bikes at good prices that caught my eye, an '05 DRZ400SM (super moto version) and an '01 BMW K1200LT luxo touring barge with less than 18k miles on it. Could there be two more different machines?
I managed to walk away from the 400SM as I could not think of any actual use for the bike beyond doing wheelies and sliding around corners on the way to work. Come to think of it, those are perfectly good reasons to buy it.
My next thought was to do what any red blooded motorcycle guy would do and buy them both.
Tuesday the wife and I and I took the big LT for a ride and it was nice enough although lacking in power compared to our now departed Honda ST1300. The Mrs. felt there was too much vibration in the passenger's part of things and I was put off by some minor points but over all enjoyed the ride. I've done a bit research now on the BMW Luxury Touring web site and found that there have been a large number of final drive failures (over 100) in '99 - mid-'02 LT's, enough of a problem that I'm not willing to risk $ on a specific bike with no record of having the final drive bearings upgraded to the newer design parts that BMW finally released. So the LT is a no-go also and I'm kind of disappointed, really.
With H-D well off the list because of vibration, price, and a refusal by me to be part in any way, shape, or form, of their silly "lifestyle," the ST1300 gone for assorted comfort and low speed handling reasons, and the BMW K1200LT now shot down, once again I'm back to Gold Wings.
Funny thing is that when I was looking at the ST1300 in '05 the wife and and I had just start dating and I thought she might be more comfortable on the 'Wing but I didn't really WANT one and knew that if I bought one she'd dump me for some reason and I’d be stuck with a new Gold Wing I didn't want. So I bought the ST1300, the ST didn't work out, and now many thousands of dollars later I'm back to the 'Wing. I really do better, at least with motorcycles, when I follow my instincts. I probably should have bought that DRZ400SM last Saturday. I wonder if it's still there?
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"When my mood gets too hot and I find myself wandering beyond control I pull out my motor-bike and hurl it top-speed through these unfit roads for hour after hour." - T.E. Lawrence
An Important reminder from the past:
"I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations." - James Madison