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

Friday, January 04, 2013

Oops. I Did It Again

My neighbor Jim was in my garage recently.  He is one of those guys that buys a bike or a car and keeps it until the wheels come off.  He's got a Jeep Cherokee currently pushing 400,000 miles.  Jim commented that the V-Strom 1000 had been in residence in my garage about a year now so when was I going to sell it?  He always seems slightly amused at how frequently bikes come and go in my garage  and there seemed a bit of a taunt in his words, a slight "I dare ya" tone to them.   

I hadn't really given much thought to selling my '06 V-Strom 1000, it did most of what I needed done and it wasn't getting ridden that much anyway.  Maybe 2500 miles in 2012 was it.  Yes, I'm a slacker these days. 

About a week ago we had a nice warm Arizona winter afternoon so I rolled the Suzuki out onto the driveway and set about washing off the dead bugs; the bike wasn't ridden a lot in 2011 and it wasn't washed a lot either.

After the machine was all clean and shiny again, the painted parts waxed, the plastic parts dressed with low gloss Armor All, I grabbed my camera and shot a few pictures of it there in the driveway.  By then I  knew what I had in mind although I'd not fully committed to it nor even intended it when I'd started washing the bike and hour earlier.   But now that the bike was clean, pictures taken, there seemed no reason not to just go ahead and list it on Craig's List and see what happened.  So I did.

Two days before Christmas isn't the ideal time to sell a used motorcycle so I wasn't expecting much.  But after Christmas a nibble or two came along and then I got a call yesterday from a fellow down Tucson way asking if I still had the V-Strom and could he drive up that day and look at it.  Sure thing. He seemed anxious.  I like anxious lookers.

Well, you long time 40on2 readers know how this turns out.  It ends with me watching a perfectly good motorcycle disappear around the corner with it's new owner and yours truly standing in the driveway with a fist full of $100 bills.

Some might think it's a little nutz to trade bikes so often but really, I had the V-Strom a year, rode it when I wanted, had some very nice rides, got some good pictures, and the total cost of ownership for the year, apart from fuel, was $600.  Buy the right machine at the right price and you can sell it at the right price and nearly play for free.

What to do next?  I'm already having some withdrawal symptoms without a bike in the garage.  Even if I don't ride it, the fact that I know a bike is out there and I could ride it is important to my petrol soaked brain. 

But I really don't know what to do next.  If I had my druthers I'd buy another Gold Wing but retirement income does not stretch that far.  I will begin collecting Social Security in March so the money crunch will ease but not enough for a new Wing.   And to be honest, that wad of V-Strom cash would buy me a new Nikon camera, one of the snazzy ones like the pro's use.

At times I have owned the best motorcycles in the world (a new 1974 BMW R90S), I own the best dogs in the world (doesn't everyone?), and at times have been able to drive some of the best cars in the world (Bentley Continental, Bugatti Veyron), but I've never owned or used a pro level digital camera.  So I confess I am tempted to spend a bunch of money on a new camera and go bike-less for a while.

Going bike-less is an option that would have been unthinkable 30 years ago but as my friend Dave said once "Somewhere along the way I went from being an enthusiastic motorcyclist to a motorcycle enthusiast."   I might for at least a little while be content to up my photography game while taking some really nice pictures of motorcycles instead of riding motorcycles.  And of course I could always rent a bike for the weekend if I really got the withdrawal shakes.

 2013 stretches before me with more possibilities than one might imagine.

What to do?


Canajun said...

Tough decision Doug, but I expect we'll win either way - either with some good motorcycle photos or some good riding stories or both.

D. Brent Miller said...

Well, I'm not surprised. I think the biggest story is that last line: "What do do?" Yes, what are you going to do, Doug? :-)


Drifter said...

Without a bike what will you take photos of, with your "snazzy pro" camera???? So buy a bike!

GF said...

I couldn't see myself without a bike now, it must be a tough decision but all the best in whatever future you choose. Enjoy photography, that's what I'm doing now too.

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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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