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Thread: musings: your relationship with your motorcycle

  1. #1
    BUBBAZANETTI
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    musings: your relationship with your motorcycle

    lately i've been thinking a lot about deteriorating relationship with my motorcycle. it's not the bike's fault, but i just ain't that interested anymore. used to be that i saw my bike on a daily basis, and i mean "bike" in the general sense. i rode it nearly every day, and at least bi-weekly in the winter. now i frequently go weeks without even seeing the thing, riding it for short distances/frames of time isn't worth it and i don't dig wrenching like i used to. owning a bike in a city like nyc is frankly a big pain and i'm coming to terms with the fact that the motorcycle is now a "sometimes" thing, rather than a part of my daily life. i'll get it back someday, but for now i just have to resign myself to paying a bunch of dough to keep a bike parked somewhere i don't use it.

    just venting as i have a wedding coming up and i'm just trying to decide the best road forward financially.

  2. #2
    Do what makes sense.

  3. #3
    JAMESDUNN
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    I hope your marriage lasts. Relationships come and go, however, be it a girlfriend, or a motorcycle. I have given up girlfriends in the past or, perhaps realizing I was more frog than prince they gave up on me. Motorcycles don't end relationships, but their owners and riders do. I have, tiring of my current ride, then usually going bikeless for awhile, once doing so for thirty years. You may tire of your trusty steed, even perhaps selling the rascal. But, like most of us you'll likely return to the fold, sooner or later. It is hard to stay away from bikes, or women, once smitten.

  4. #4
    Mars needs women! 35634's Avatar
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    I don't pile up near the pointless miles i used to, but still use the bike for commuting and errands. it's low maintenance, paid for and gets great mileage. If i couldn't rationalize it like that, and had to pay storage, my wife would probably make me get rid of it
    1987 K75S
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  5. #5
    MAYLETT
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    I have a 1980 Yamaha 1100 sitting in the garage. I never intended to stop riding it, but the trips got fewer and further between until I realized that a year, then two, then five and more had gone by without me starting it up. The tires are flat, eight-year-old gas is still in the tank. Everything is gummed up, and the battery is long ago dead as a doornail. It's really a shame.

    Last winter I bought a new BMW RT. I ride it most every day, and have put on nearly 7,000 miles since last spring. Today I cleaned it thoroughly, waxed it, buffed it up, checked the oil, checked the tire pressure and when I was done, took it for a 50-mile ride. When I got home, I cleaned it again.

    I glance over at the Yamaha every now again again, and it sits there with a nice layer of dust covering it. One of these first days, I'll at least clean it up, but not today. Still, I can't bring myself to get rid of it شاِ too many memories of long trips with friends, I guess.

    What I'm saying, I think, is that maybe you just need a year or two off, then a new motorcycle, and if that doesn't work, I'd suggest moving out of New York City. That's a hellava place to be stuck with a bike longing for the open road.

  6. #6
    SURVIVOR akbeemer's Avatar
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    BZ, I suspect you've noticed that the forum is replete in members who, like me, had bikes in their younger years then had a gap of many years without a bike. The reasons for this are many, but can be summed up by saying that life has demands and phases and one's interests and priorities change. It must be difficult enough owning a bike in NYC and adding a wedding would test any man's devotion to what must be a much lower priority. You think things are confusing now, just wait until Bubba Junior comes along, or perhaps Bubbatina. My recommendation is even if you decide to put motorcycling aside for the time being, keep the bike anyway. Even the rare ride or maintenance day will be good for your mental health, morale and ultimately your relationships. It may be an expensive proposition in the Big Apple, but give it some thought. It also appears to me that you are one of the people to whom the forum is an important aspect of life, so even if the riding is curtailed for awhile staying involved does not have to suffer the same fate.
    Last edited by AKBeemer; 10-19-2009 at 05:37 AM.
    Kevin Huddy
    The Outpost, Silver City, Montana

  7. #7
    2 Wheeled Troubador oldhway's Avatar
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    Yup, know the symptoms well.

    Derek, I expect you have a number of things rattling around , vying for attention in your head right now. I have been in the same place as you are (regarding my bike and maybe other stuff) so I feel your pain.

    First you're getting married and so have that whole gotta grow up, be responsible thing happenning. I have found that the fact that you are thinking along those lines means you are already there, you don't have to prove it to yourself by sacrificing things that are a core part of your personality. Resist it as hard as you can. You need to leave yourself pressure outlets as you go through life and the bike will be one of them. I constantly have old men coming into my shop while there wives are at the hair dresser next doore and they all want to talk about my bike and the music store. They all say the same thing, hang onto your passions, don't let them slip away in the day to day grind that life often presents. It is a common lament, and priceless wisdom.

    Next, get the right bike. My recent foray into the airhead world taught me this. My R100RT was a great bike but it wasn't me. Since my free time to ride is limited, when it occurs I want to just hop on and go. The constant tinkering with this and adjusting that just pissed me off and I ended up hating a good motorcycle. It just didn't fit where I am at right now. being back on an oilhead is likeing seeing the sky open up and hearing a chorus of angels singing.

    Last, it's ok not to ride for long periods of time. We get in the mind set that if we don't ride so many days a week or so many miles a year we are not a real rider and wasting our money with the bike and all the gear. That's BS. Ride when it calls you and don't feel like there is something wrong if you don't ride everytime the oppurtunity presents itself. It's supposed to be recreation.

    Oh yeah, if I were you, when I could I would bag the city. NY is the center of the universe in a lot of ways, I have lived there and loved it. But it is too intense in what it is and too stark in what it is not. It will always be there and since you have been a resident, you will always be an insider, even if you are visiting. You need space to live.

    Or I could be all wrong. Life changes and that's ok too. Whatever you do, I expect 2 wheels will never be too far away.
    Steve Marquardt

  8. #8
    JAMESDUNN
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    Derek, I tire of motorcyclying somewhat by season's end. This year I have ridden close to 15,000 miles, so a fair amount of time on the bikes. Therefore, I am not so sad to put them away, and yet by next spring I'll be itching to get out there again on two wheels. It is the same with me and skiing, or a number of other things." Absence makes the heart grow fonder." True. Don't be in a rush to sell the bike unless you really do not want, or cannot afford, to pay storage.

  9. #9
    Registered User texanrt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BubbaZanetti View Post
    owning a bike in a city like nyc is frankly a big pain and i'm coming to terms with the fact that the motorcycle is now a "sometimes" thing, rather than a part of my daily life. i'll get it back someday....just venting as i have a wedding coming up and i'm just trying to decide the best road forward financially.
    And that's all okay. Normal, in fact. Interests ebb and flow. Priorities change. When I moved to Houston, I quit riding. Didn't like the city traffic and had a new job and responsibilities that took up most of my time. Twenty years later, things changed and I found myself with more available time and an empty nest -- so I took rider's edge and found that my riding skills weren't really gone -- just rusty. Looking back, I'm sorry my riding hiatus lasted so long, but during those years there wasn't enough interest or time for riding.

    If we lived closer -- you could store your bike in my garage and visit it anytime -- gratis. It would be my wedding gift to you.
    John H | TexanRT | Lafayette | IBA
    BMW K1600 GTL '18 | Honda Goldwing '12

  10. #10
    univers zero tessler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oldhway View Post
    Oh yeah, if I were you, when I could I would bag the city. NY is the center of the universe in a lot of ways, I have lived there and loved it. But it is too intense in what it is and too stark in what it is not. It will always be there and since you have been a resident, you will always be an insider, even if you are visiting. You need space to live.
    That's a good part of it, Steve. I know from where Derek speaks. It's a busy world but you learn to keep a number of balls in the air as you juggle.

    I didn't get into Motorcycling until I could ably afford it, both time and money-wise. One of the conditions that I'm aware of (at my age) is that it doesn't by any means define me, it's simply one of the things that I do, that I love. As a life-long New Yorker, that falls into a long list of things that include all kinds of cultural, fitness and travel-related activities. And since one can't do everything that one likes to do all the time, I think that makes those activities and the physical and metaphysical things attached to them (car, bike, bicycle, guitar, cds, books, movies, restaurants etc.) that much more special.

  11. #11
    This has been a lower-mileage year for me. Much of that has been related to work getting in the way of riding, but I have noticed that I just don't do the riding I used to. Most weekends in the summer I would at least get out for a ride on Saturday or Sunday - maybe knock out 100-200 miles. Those became fewer, and when I DID go, I was enjoying it less. I think part of it is the flat terrain around here and lack of good roads. On top of that, I started to commute less because putting on my gear to run home on lunch became annoying (I really need a one-piece suit that is easy on/off). To be honest, going home from Hunter Mountain in one day was nothing but work, though I had fun AT Hunter. If it wasn't for the more enjoyable ride to the event, I'd probably just trailer my way out.

    I think my main problem is TIME, which is part of your issue. I don't have vacation time right now that allows for long, leisurely trips, and those are the things I really want to do. Long adventure trips sound good, but local rides and the commute just aren't doing it for me. If I lived in NYC I would probably be like you, since you have to first fight through the city to get anywhere worth riding (in my eyes, anyhow). Hell, I've considered selling my R80/7 since it doesn't get ridden much (and I have a line of people who want to buy it from me), but I still have too much attachment to it. If the bike isn't doing it for you, sell it and pocket the cash. You can always buy another one, yet still stick around on the forum (here or elsewhere).

  12. #12
    BUBBAZANETTI
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oldhway View Post

    Next, get the right bike. My recent foray into the airhead world taught me this. My R100RT was a great bike but it wasn't me. Since my free time to ride is limited, when it occurs I want to just hop on and go. The constant tinkering with this and adjusting that just pissed me off and I ended up hating a good motorcycle. It just didn't fit where I am at right now. being back on an oilhead is likeing seeing the sky open up and hearing a chorus of angels singing.
    i'm not sure if this is it or not, but it may be. after last year, with all the trials and tribulations surrounding someone trying to steal the oilhead, i was fairly sick of that bike in general. heavy for the city, it also lacked that "look", it was big, awkward and too "crotch-rockety". enter the airhead, more vintage, smaller, great on the streets of nyc, but leaving the city is a different matter. the R11S was tuck in and go, 3, 4, 500 miles, no problem, power to spare and although a sport bike, that plastic REALLY did do something! this bike leaves me feeling like i've just done a saddle sore after 200 miles. frankly, it's cool, it's got "the look" but for a 6'5" person who enjoys burning up miles on the interstate, it's just not the right choice. i suspect i feel very much about my airhead like you did, "cool" but sort of a general PITA.

    it's a tough call, moving here, i had the oilhead, but never rode it because i was teaching motorcycle school non stop and every weekend. i got more free time when i got the airhead, got back into the rally scene this summer (i think i made it to 4 or so) but riding that little airhead just leaves me tired and unsatisfied.

  13. #13
    2 Wheeled Troubador oldhway's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BubbaZanetti View Post
    i'm not sure if this is it or not, but it may be. after last year, with all the trials and tribulations surrounding someone trying to steal the oilhead, i was fairly sick of that bike in general. heavy for the city, it also lacked that "look", it was big, awkward and too "crotch-rockety". enter the airhead, more vintage, smaller, great on the streets of nyc, but leaving the city is a different matter. the R11S was tuck in and go, 3, 4, 500 miles, no problem, power to spare and although a sport bike, that plastic REALLY did do something! this bike leaves me feeling like i've just done a saddle sore after 200 miles. frankly, it's cool, it's got "the look" but for a 6'5" person who enjoys burning up miles on the interstate, it's just not the right choice. i suspect i feel very much about my airhead like you did, "cool" but sort of a general PITA.

    it's a tough call, moving here, i had the oilhead, but never rode it because i was teaching motorcycle school non stop and every weekend. i got more free time when i got the airhead, got back into the rally scene this summer (i think i made it to 4 or so) but riding that little airhead just leaves me tired and unsatisfied.
    Any time you want to come up this way and borrow the Red Rooster ( my R1100R has a name now), let me know. The Roadster for me splits the difference nicely between the R1150RT and the R100RT that I had. The modern convenience of the oilhead but the lighter flickability of the airhead.

    PS: Any previous statements made by me about NYC should be taken with a grain of salt. My folks dragged me kicking and screaming to CT when I was young and I instantly fell in love with country living. But NYC still has a syren call and I have to go back for a fix on a regular basis. Different strokes for different folks.
    Last edited by Oldhway; 10-19-2009 at 01:46 PM. Reason: I spell like a schmuck!
    Steve Marquardt

  14. #14
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    It could be that you need something like the F800ST

  15. #15
    BUBBAZANETTI
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    Quote Originally Posted by Weasel View Post
    It could be that you need something like the F800ST
    bummed around on one for a day at a national a few years back. it was a little small for me and i couldn't get happy with the gearbox. funny cause the same thing happened to me with a K13GT a few weeks back, shift points and rev matching were all goofy, imo. i think maybe, my body is in tune with the boxer.

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