|2001. Riding Highway 1 in California.|
A few weeks ago when I pulled into the parking lot at the local Safeway grocery store here in our little town, there sat a ratty old 2001 Kawasaki Concours. The electric blue paint was faded, black parts were gray, the clear windscreen was hazy and the surface crazed from sun. The bike was a beater. Clearly the owner had no interest in covering the bike when parked and the Arizona sun had taken it's toll on the machine. I thought to myself "I had one just like that, heck, in this little town that might even be my old bike."
A closer inspection revealed that in fact it was my old bike, my 2001 Concours that I'd carefully ridden, polished, looked after, and enjoyed on a long trip through California back in 2001 and ridden on an awesome ride that covered most of southern Arizona in just one day. Some cretin had the blue Connie now, didn't care about it, and instead of it being a sharp bike worth maybe $3000, it was just an old beater worth maybe $2000 tops. $1000 drop in value just because the owner or owners just didn't care. Worse to me than the damaged value, because money isn't everything, was the sheer lack of respect shown for a good bike. But wait! Maybe it was just worn out from eight years of hard use? I checked the odometer. No, the machine had only gained about 2500 miles since I sold it in 2002. 2500 miles use but 100,000 miles of sun exposure and neglect. What a waste of a nice machine.