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Friday, April 19, 2013

Two Wheel Joy



I do miss motorcycle riding. My old KZ 900 sits abandoned in a shed, in need of a wiring harness. The bike dates back to 1974 and the wiring insulation and switches are falling apart. I had loads of fun with that old bike and it would be possible to get it back on the road. Whole new wiring harness can be had for reasonable money.

I've friends who ride bikes to same money on gas. That wouldn't make a lot of sense for me. Strangely enough it's cheaper for me to run my one ton ES 350 ambulance converted to motor home as a daily driver. Being able to run on free waste veggie oil changes the numbers. I figured that I'd need a vehicle that got over 150 mpg to make it worth burning gas. Do even mopeds get that kind of mileage?

My old bike only got 38 – 40 miles to the gallon. My wife's 4 cylinder economy car gets 33. Not really worth the price of repair, registration and insurance.

Of course, life is more than numbers. Sometimes it's about fun. Riding on two wheels, leaning into corners, heading down narrow lanes, it's a blast. Last year I recaptured some of that fun by buying a decent pedal bike. While not quite the rush of a fast motorcycle, it's still a lot of fun. I don't have to burn gas, or pay for registration and insurance. Simplicity adds to the fun. Lord knows I need the exercise, and that's a good feeling too.

There's a lot of really scenic bike trails I'm looking forward to riding this summer. That should slake my thirst for some two wheeled joy.

-Sixbears

23 comments:

  1. You know you want to ride that thing.....
    Just go for it.

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    1. Time and money, Warlock, time and money.

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  2. The fact that it's still around says something. Of course, you COULD fix it up and sell it as an antique! ;-)

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  3. I reallly entertained the thought of getting a cheap motorcycle to ride to work, but my wife is itty-bitty at 5 foot nothing. She has to use pillows with the seat all the way forward to reach the pedals in my Silverado, so I had to get her something she can drive. We had a Jeep Cherokee before and she liked it, so I couldn't go wrong with another. I only wish they made one with a diesel... But I could rectify that :)

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    1. The Jeep Liberty came in a diesel for a couple years. Must be some of those still around.

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  4. Oh, how I miss our Harley! Touring was so much fun and we met so many nice people along the way. Even rode with Malcom Forbes once. Every year We would pack the saddle bags and head to the Americade for a week. Tours to Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine were always on our list of good rides to go on. Lots of good memories to cherish. Go for it Sixbears!

    Phyllis (N/W Jersey)

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    1. Great riding here in northern New England.

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  5. Back when we were cruising with the sailboat, I had a little Yamaha scooter. Feared for my life constantly cuz the damn thing wouldn't go over about 35 MPH. Even in 25 MPH zones the idiots still would pass me ! I was content to ride that slow but the world is so damn impatient and in a hurry....Now days I've got a Yamaha Enduro 225 CC. Had it since 05 and just now turned over 20K. Ride that thing daily to work and such , gets 60+ MPG. Saved a whole lota gas and money with it !

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    1. Motorcycles make a lot of sense in sunny Florida -if you don't mind the occasional soaking.

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    2. Have a tank bag which has a rain coat in it and saddle bags which has the pants to the suit. Required gear for Florida.

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    3. I would imagine it is. During the wet season it seems to rain a bit every day.

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  6. Motorcycles are fun but costly. Their upkeep, insurance costs (<$600 increases the cost iirc) - its fun, but not inexpensive.

    My wife keeps three of them, a Yamaha 250cc, a 750cc Honda Ace and Harley 883 Sportster (not sure what size that is). The Yamaha sips gas, gets about 70 mpg. The Harley and Honda run around 35 mpg apiece, they can fly!

    She is a safe rider, but I don't trust other drivers ability to spot motorcycles. One accident (rider ALWAYS loses) and those gas cost savings go poof - hospitals are expensive!

    Like the enduro idea by Spud above, I'd love a Rokon or desert bike like that.

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    1. One of these days I'm going to try out a Rokon. Looks like they could go just about anywhere. Not fast, but tough.

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    2. The key is defensive riding. Doesn't hurt that I spent 12 yrs racing moto-cross when I was young and dumb.
      Been riding the streets since 64 and haven't been got yet. Lot of close calls tho, again...extreme defensive riding !
      too many folks start out on the street and never really learn to ride. When you start in the dirt , one learns the machine and also how to crash without getting hurt. One must assume that every damn car out there is coming after you !!

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    3. Another advantage in Florida is that liability insurance is not required for motorcycles so long as you are accident free. Personal injury protection is also not required so long as you wear a helmet. Which in my opinion is a no brainer. Only those whom have never crashed don't wear helmets, that or have a shortage of common sense...

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    4. NH insurance is pretty cheap becasue it's not required.

      Helmets aren't required either, but that's no way to treat my favorite head. Hit sand in a corner once and dumped a bike. Didn't think I hit my head, but a big scuff on the helmet said otherwise.

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  7. My 1300cc beast of a motorcycle gets around 45 mpg. Not too shabby. Most little 50cc scooters get around 100 mpg. But you have to admit, you work more for your mpg on your veggie oil camper.

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    1. I do work for it, but I've got more time than money. Darn good return on my effort. Your bike does well for its size. Nice.

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  8. My son has a really nice Harley and down here he can ride it to work all year long. Rainy spells mean he takes his Pick-up.

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    1. Why more people down south don't ride is a mystery to me.

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  9. Sixbear the kz should be fixed if you can.Even if you dont tag and insure it the peace of mind in knowing you could has value.Options and backups.OK here is Dirty pool on justifing the cost{the look on the grand kids face doing a lap around the lake with PAW-PAW} Its worth thinking about

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    1. It is worth thinking about it. I feel the temptation now and then.

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