- The Beginning of the Journey
I’m posting again after an incredible leave to make use of the blog, test out some new resources, and add a little creative outlet into my days. Of course, I’m also learning to write non-technical works again and document my processes and ponders. I’m pretty rusty, but maybe some of these words will be helpful to someone.
The Beginning – Q&A
So, every story seems to prefer to start at the beginning, so I might as well continue the trend. Spring is coming, and I have that urge again to get a motorcycle. I am getting a decent return from taxes and some other available money that I likely should re-invest, but don’t want to. So, the first part of this adventure starts with looking at motorcycles.
‘But, why don’t you want to re-invest and retire earlier?’
Excellent question. Like many people, I have paid paid for financial mistakes enough that I’d rather not do so again. I am particularly budget conscious now, but there is also an aspect of enjoying life that I haven’t paid enough attention to. I thought it was best to get this out of the way as my attention to value will become obvious soon enough.
‘What kind of riding do you want to do?’
Be ready to have an answer for this question because you will hear it a lot when you start talking to people about getting a motorcycle (that and, “are you crazy?”). This is actually a really important question because ‘a motorcycle’ isn’t just a motorcycle these days. There are many types of bikes out there specifically tuned for whatever kind of riding you are looking to do. Street, naked, sport, cruiser, adventure, dual-sport are just some of the categories that are available, and each has their advantages and disadvantages (which I won’t go in to, but more information here)
This was a really hard question for me because the last time I rode, there were still different types of bikes, but I didn’t have the resources to worry about which I wanted. I had to choose from what was available and “affordable”. Now, I realized what I really wanted to do was go somewhere and try out all the different bike styles because I wanted to do all of the kinds of driving and don’t know which I would do more. Unfortunately, I don’t really have this option; I have been away from driving for so long that I don’t want an audience when I get on at something like a Demo Day. I watch people on YouTube talk about their bikes instead and watch for themes in the reviews.
- Q&A pt2
“What size of bike do you want?”
Easy question, right? Not so fast. There are a lot of opinions on what size of bike you will eventually need, but I am not a subscriber of “growing into a motorcycle”. An unconscious flick of the wrist on a bike that is too big for you (either in weight or power) can really change your day and might diminish your love of the machine. Conversely, getting too small of a bike gets boring and costly fast. In the days of rising fuel prices, it is also a consideration as to fuel costs; smaller bikes use less fuel until you start hammering on the throttle because it doesn’t have enough power.
“New vs Used?
This is a really interesting question because both are viable ideas. There are many good, used machines with character and modifications already done. Conversely, a new bike comes with a warranty (for what it is worth) and a chance to break in the bike the way you want it. Unfortunately, I don’t have a garage to work on an older bike and would rather ride than wrench at this stage of the game. Normally there would also be a significant price incentive, but for small bikes during a time of supply shortages, that is not proving to be as significant as expected.
“So, what did you get?”
Nothing yet. I am still researching what is available with all of the supply shortages, coming announcements, and understanding on what I want. I know I want a small bike; under 500 cc at least, and likely under 300cc for power and economy. Between getting back into camping last year and watching too much of Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman driving around the world, I want a bike that can go most anywhere, but less interest on the major highway side of things. What my research is suggesting though, is that the smaller offerings in the adventure category are … complicated.
Before looking at adventure bikes, I had started looking at the Honda Navi and Grom for just a get-around bike that is small, fun, and easily fits in my parking spot with my car. That leads me to my other considerations; I live in an apartment and don’t have a garage. That means that space is also a consideration and anything electric is out of the question because I don’t have an easy way to charge. It also means that I don’t want anything too expensive and flashy because it will live in a parking lot with a number of curious children.
“So, what is the score thus far?”
Bike Pros Cons Honda Navi Super cheap, has built in storage, and great for in city getting about Disk brakes that are repeatedly brought up as a concern, inability to stay at 80+ kph, automatic transmission. Honda Grom Fun little bike with massive customizing community behind it A little small and almost as much as larger bikes KTM 200 Duke Generally the leading contender Not the greatest reputation for longevity – but “reputations” BMW G 310 R Smaller version of what Ewan and Charlie took around the world No local dealerships and the representation I did approach wouldn’t talk to me VERSYS-X 300 ABS Generally good reviews as a road bike and is versatile Even more expensive than BMW?!? Reviews talk of poor, low torque for off-road