~Since 2004~
A site about memories, thoughts, photos, and unrepentant opinions about motorcycles and motorcycling after four decades of twisting the throttle.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Vicarious Pleasure

Moto Guzzi V7 Classic

Few things are as fun as buying a new motorcycle or even a new used motorcycle. It is a wonderful combination of passion, expectation, excitement, and sometimes a twinge of fear.

If you cannot buy a bike then the next best thing is helping a buddy buy one for himself. I like to think that when it comes to helping friends buy bikes I am not only a veritable cornucopia of information but that I will do my best to talk them into something expensive that I'd like to own just on the off chance I can snag a ride on it later. Given that my taste in bikes is impeccable, my friends when searching for a Harley should understand that I only have their best interests at heart when I try to get them to buy a Ducati 1098 or Aprilia Dorsoduro 750.

A Ducati Monster would be nice. Trust me.

My buddy Darin has been searching for a bike and finally found the one for which he'd been searching. A few years ago I turned Darin away from his Harley to the way of Aprilia and he bought a Caponord which he proceeded to ride all over the place including to Alaska and back. Eventually the Caponord left to be replaced by a big empty spot in Darin's garage. Then over time, as he went bikeless, I saw Darin become a mere shadow of himself, a shell of a man, a wreck. I wept for him, for what he had been, what he could be again if only he'd buy another motorcycle.

Actual picture of Darin, age 40, two months after selling his Caponord.

Happily, before he lost all sense of who he was and bought a Prius or some other gawdawful garden implement of a vehicle Darin decided to buy an Aprilia Futura. I've never ridden a Futura but now there is hope.

This is a real motorcycle shop

An appropriate, very low mileage Futura was found via the Internet down at Renaissance Motorcycles in Tucson and a deal was stuck. Darin needed a ride from his place in Mesa, AZ down to Tucson and naturally since all this driving involved buying a motorcycle I was happy to volunteer to do the shuttle work. If you can't buy a bike, at least reach for a little vicarious fun.

As an aside, Renaissance Motorcycles is the kind of motorcycle shop I'd run if I owned a shop. The brands they carry are Ducati, Aprilia, Moto Guzzi, MV Agusta, and an assortment of scooters from Vespa to Piaggio. The store is small, there is one owner, Steve, and he knows his bikes and his business. If you love motorcycles and especially Italian motorcycles, then Renaissance is a regular eye candy store.

Visiting a great motorcycle shop on a Saturday is the next best thing to riding.

Since Renaissance Motorcycles is about 80 miles from my house in a direction I seldom go I only get there rarely but it is always a treat to visit.

This time the nicest bit of eye candy was a lovely little Aprilia RS125, a diminutive but full featured sport bike well known in Europe but new to the USA. The little 125 is a jewel-like machine that would look wonderful just sitting in my living room. Since I tip the scales at about the same weight as the bike, the living room would probably be the best place for it. I have no idea if the 125 is fast or not but I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be with me on it. If I was still young and skinny I'd be in serious moto-lust for the RS125, though.

Anyway, money changed hands, paperwork was done, and Darin became the owner of his second Aprilia, a dark metallic blue Futura. I am a little envious as I've always wanted a Futura, the flat black painted one, but the long reach to the handle bars of the Futura works against my short arms and a gimped neck. I fear that my '03 Concours about as sporty a bike as I can manage anymore.

Note in the picture below of Darin with his new ride, that owning another bike completely revitalized him into fine, healthy specimen before he even rode the bike out of the parking lot. Amazing.

Revitalization is good. I know that buying a Harley will put hair on a man's chest (no idea what it does for a woman) so perhaps buying the little RS125 Aprilia will make me young and 130lbs again?

Yes, I'm sure this could be me if only I bought the screaming little 125. Maybe I should just go have another bowl of ice cream then take the Concours for a ride.

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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

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