After putting it off for years and years I finally got myself a motorcycle driving license last fall, along with a motorcycle to go with it, of course. Now, after putting it off for months and months, I thought I'd jot down some words
for generations to come to liven up this nowadays very stale blog of mine.
This is a posthumous recounting of my complete (albeit still fairly brief) career as a motorist, so it's a bit on the lengthy side.
I wanted a classic, that much I was sure of. Something with as little plastic as possible. But at the same time, something reliable, because I neither enjoy nor am very competent at repairing stuff. That, I thought, spells "japanese motorcycle", because of their reputation for being virtually unbreakable workhorses.
I had previously been looking at a Honda CX, but my memory failed me by one letter and I ended up window shopping for a Honda CB instead. Which was a fortunate memory lapse, because I really prefer its' appearance over the CX's.
Ultimately, I got myself a Honda CB750K7 (1977), drove it for a week, after which it was stolen. Thank goodness for insurance!
A month or so later, I bought my second Honda CB750K7 (1978), which I still own today.
The bike is essentially in original condition; cosmetically worn but runs very well. The side covers have been replaced at some point, though, and are of the wrong colour.
Beginning motorcycling is expensive, really expensive. But initially going cheap, and later replacing substandard gear is even more so. Thus, I decided I wouldn't cut corners based on price - after all, it's all about my own safety and comfort.
But finding good quality gear is not easy, however, and it's increasingly hard when you're as vain as I can be. I wanted something that matches the feel of the bike I ride, and to make it even more difficult, something without huge brand marks printed on the chest or back - a much too prevalent feature when it comes to motorcycling wear.
Eventually I found Halvarsson's Classic Thunder leather jacket, and Halvarsson's Morgan Classic leather trousers to match. A comfortable outfit with protective armor, and, most importantly, which also matches my other criteria.
The new season arrives, with no spark in sight
With the amount of daylight increasing by minutes every day and the remaining snow receding at an accelerating pace, I was eager to get the bike back on the road. In early April, I performed spring maintenance on the bike, installing new filters and replacing brake fluid and engine oil. But unfortunately the battery had died during the winter. An unfortunate incident which delayed my start of the season, because during easter no shops are open.
A week later, I swapped in a new battery and fired her up with a "single push start," as if she had been sitting under a palm tree all winter. And even though it was a very cold day, that couldn't keep me from aimlessly riding around for a few hours, as I knew I could thaw my frozen body in the sauna afterwards. The most important thing was that the season was now officially opened.
For this season, as it is my first full season, I've decided to do only minimal work on the bike. Just enough to keep it in good running condition, but nothing more, and mostly just concentrate on the driving. Perhaps next spring will bring along bigger overhauls and repairs.
I did replace the shitty aftermarket mirrors one of the previous owners had fitted, with aftermarket replicas. Not only an improvement in appearance, but a gigantic functional improvement as well! The ones I replaced had a silicone lined joint (which looked like some DIY magic) which caused the mirrors to vibrate to the extent of being completely useless already at very low speeds, whereas the aftermarket replicas vibrate only slightly at highway speeds. Marvellous!
Also, I fitted a chrome visor on the headlight, because I can. Now she's officially a custom bike :-)
For those interested, I keep a gallery of snaps from my day-trips.