Motorbike trips…and yes, I prefer the term motorbike. I have found that using that term effectively removes any and all interest from the countless people that inquire about one’s motorbike while at: stoplights, gas pumps, parking lots, or any other location where one can be effectively corralled into conversation that inevitably will cover 3 basic topics:
1)A story about their motorcycle.
2)A story about a motorcycle a friend/co-worker/family member has.
3)A story about someone they know who crashed while riding a motorcycle.
The assumption that we share something in common simply because we are familiar with 2 wheeled machines is false. I wear a helmet primarily so I have an excuse to not talk to people…its easy to point at my ears and shake my head and I use that technique frequently. My motorbikes are not an extension of my ego or penis, so I have no qualms with emasculating myself with sissy moto terms such as motorbike, riding slow, or openly expressing my ignorance about most things mechanical.
If you love to ride, then stop talking about it, pop the clutch, and go do it.
Since 2006 when I first began to ride, I have owned 3 motorcycles.
My first bike:
The first motorbike I bought was a used 2005 BMW 650GS. My intent in buying this fine machine was to find something that was modern, safe, and not a headache in terms of maintenance. Mission accomplished.
Once outfitted, I was able to ride this motorbike just about anyplace…pavement at Interstate speeds, unmaintained desert single track, and everything in between! For me the 650 GS has been the perfect bike to introduce me to motorcycling. I still have this bike and have many plans for it.
I’ve sewn up panniers, rear rack bag, and a tank bag which I’ve been happy with. I also occasionally ride with hard cases.
My second bike:
The second motorbike I bought used was a 2005 BMW 1200 GS. This bike came into my possession after a fellow rider fell off of it, crushed his ankle, flew home, and then decided it would be easiest for me to buy it from him to get it out of Mexico…
As it turned out, I’ve always been intrigued with a large Dual Sport such as the 1200 GS, not for dual sport riding but rather paved tours. Basically I suck offroad, so it never crossed my mind to have this much larger, heavier, and (for me) cumbersome machine replace my beloved 650 GS. After doing some minor repairs, modifications, and a few short distance tours (riding WAY to fast) I decided to part ways with the 1200 GS. An absolutely amazing machine, but too much bike for my skill set.
My third bike:
The TW200 is admittedly strange…kind of a cross between a useful farm implement and a Shriner’s Parade. But, the bottom line is that it makes me smile every time I ride it. It is cheap, easy to fix, and can go virtually anywhere. I’ve modified it slightly by removing the stock gas tank and putting on an aftermarket Yamaha XT 3.5 gallon desert tank. At damn nearly 80 mpg, I’ve got an amazing range for such a small bike, plus 3/4 gallon of spare fuel stored on the rear rack.
The TW200 also fits on the back of the Man Van, which gives me a multi-pronged attack for exploring landscapes. Van on the road, moto in the backcountry.
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