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Cheaper Mobility (the 2 wheeled kind)

I love riding motorcycles and have been riding, off and on, for about 40 years.  First motorcycle was a 1977 Honda CB750.  Bought it new in Pinole CA after I got my first real job out of college.  Rode it around town and on long road trips until I sold it after getting married and starting a family.  The family got bigger, and older, and less hectic, and then the missus said, “Let’s go look at motorcycles.”  Who knew she liked motorcycles!  Could life get better?  That day we rode home on a brand new 1994 Yamaha Virago 750.   We lived in the Puget Sound WA at the time and the Virago got me to work most non-rainy, non-freezing days.  The missus really liked riding with me too.  Bad weather was not much of a hindrance for her.  With no fairing, I absorbed most of the wind and other things you typically encounter on a motorcycle; bugs, rocks, rain, you name it.  There are a lot of pastures, dairy farms, and winding hilly roads where we lived in Redmond WA.  Mostly pretty awesome.

Then, the family grew again; child # 4 arrived in 1997 and away went the Virago.  I resigned myself to not riding for a long while.  The situation changed in 2003.  Was not married any more, child #1 was in college and #’s 2 & 3 were still at home, but mostly self sufficient.  #4 still needed a lot of care and attention, but the ex-missus and I shared that responsibility so there was room for another motorcycle in my life.  Enter the 2002 Honda VTX 1800.  Got it for a good price.  It had been on the showroom floor for over a year and the dealer wanted to move it and so did I.  It went home with me.

Between trips around town, back and forth to work, and multiple long road trips (Highway 1 from Bodega Bay CA to Vancouver BC in 2005 and then to Sturgis SD in 2007) I put almost 50K on it before trading it in for a new 2011 Kawasaki Concours 14.  I had started wanted a dedicated touring bike while on the trip to Sturgis.  The VTX was certainly fun to ride, but the seat and the tank became an issue every 100 miles.  Big engines are thirsty and the VTX only had a 4.5 gallon tank.  This mostly worked out because my butt could not tolerate that seat for more than 100 miles (about 2 hours).

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The VTX at a stop on the way to Virginia City NV, near Reno.

More on the Concours 14 later…

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