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

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Hi, I'm Doug, And I'm A Bike-aholic

I'm sure my wife is beginning to think I'm insane. My neighbor Dr. Jim, the psychologist, is probably taking notes on my motorcycle ownership behavior for some future conference speech to be entitled "Abnormal Motorcycle Ownership Behavior In The Mature Adult Male" with yours truly as "Subject A." I blame it all on my very early childhood: I was one of those babies in the 1950's who chewed the lead paint off my crib. Dain bramage, that's what it is.

Anyway, in a moment or week of whimsy, madness, or just another manifestation of my short attention span with any given motorcycle I sold the '03 Kawasaki Concours I bought a few months ago.

When the Concours arrived at the palatial 40on2 estate the bike was mechanically very solid and decently cared for. It had lots of farkles added by the previous owner and really only needed a bath and a good detail job so the day after I bought it I spent the best part of ten hours detailing the Connie. A good detail job means more than just a hose job and Armor All.

When I detail a bike I go over, under, around, and through. I take panels off, I have little brushes for getting into recessed areas. After the wash job I rinse it with filtered water and use the air hose to blow water out of the cracks and crevices so there are no unsightly water deposits where no one can actually see. The Concours shone like a new penny when I was done. People who saw it were amazed that it was so clean at 25,xxx miles and after three owners and also how little I paid for such a nice bike.

I rode the Concours a bit during the summer, plotted longer rides but never got around to making them, and generally lost interest in the bike no matter how nice it was.

On my last ride on the Concours I rolled off an easy 200 miles visiting Saguaro National Park and was bored stiff when I got home. Somehow the bike failed to move me to ride further that day even though I had the time and the weather was not excessively hot. Nor did the bike entertain me on shorter rides; the Concours is a bike for rolling up serious miles and it needs a lot of asphalt to show what it's got. Short afternoon hops, which are mostly what I do anymore, seem mundane on the bike. Too much bike, too little road. Or maybe too little rider these days?

So the Concours is gone to a new home in northern Arizona with a fine fellow name Roger who knew a good deal on a clean bike when he saw it. I wish him well. And thanks to my good horse trading skills and my ace detailing I didn't lose any money on this bike.

Now I need to find something else, something that will inspire me to ride and also fits my very meager retired guy budget. Now that I'm retired no monthly payments are allowed. Of course I could go back to work, get another job in order to make the payments on a snazzy new Gold Wing or BMW. I could stick a fork in my head too.

Bike-wise nothing very interesting fits into the budget so I'm thinking maybe just buy an old Sportster, bob it in the current fashion, and start hanging out at the Silver Bullet Tavern down the road just to fill up my spare time. Think "Extreme Makeover: Doug Edition." Something like the little item below from Craig's List comes to mind. Or maybe that would be the final proof that I need to have myself locked away for my own protection?


D. Brent Miller said...

Doug, with all your buying and selling experience, maybe you should start a small business: "Doug's Used Motorcycle and Detail Shop." This way, you could buy and sell all the motorcycles you want, and have fun while making a profit. Of course, the goal would be to make a profit, although some motorcycle shops are not doing this very well, right now.

Well ... it's a thought.


Mr. Motorcycle said...

I like the ideal of buying a cheap Sporty and making it your own.

FLHX_Dave said...

Doug, I agree with Mr. Miller. You could do "Glamour Shots" for the rest of us bike-aholics. Hell, detail bikes. I know a guy who does this on his own and makes some pretty good money...then you can go out and buy that Harley.

I'm gonna have to start calling you the "moto-pimp" or something. You go through bikes like a pimp goes through hookers...hmmm...

Go for the bobber idea. I'm itching to do this myself.

Jac Brown said...

Looking forward to what you find. But in the meantime, would you come to Michigan and detail my bike? It sounds like you do a great job and the KLR deserves some pampering after the nice W. Va. ride I just came back from.

By the way, I've been thinking about the Caponord recently. Since you have had two, how do those bikes seem relative to a long inseam ride like myself? I've never actually seen one and I'm afraid the seat to peg distance is too short for me.

Doug Klassen said...

Brent & Dave, if I've learned one thing over the years the best way to ruin a hobby is to turn it into a business. Somehow when you have to meet a deadline and a customer's expectations a lot of the fun can vaporize.

Mr. MC, still thinking about the Sporty. Stranger things have happened, believe me!


The Caponord is a tall bike to begin with so it would probably fit you pretty well. Also, Aprilia makes a low, regular, and tall seat for the bike. Capos are off beat enough that they don't hold their value well so there are some real bargains out there in used ones.

I've heard tales of the salt and considering my past work I can believe that I wouldn't want to take anything I liked out onto the salt flats except a racer.

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