Friday, April 2, 2021

I don't know why you say, "goodbye."

 I say, "hello!"
2020 Moto Guzzi V7iii, March 2021!

But first, a little archeology because, why not? 

2011 Moto Guzzi Norge, 2019 - 2020

The Norge was my dream bike. Not too heavy, great weather protection, all day comfort, great sounds, and fantastic handling. We've been on many all-day rides through all kinds of weather. It always left me dreaming of epic rides. The kind of rides I'm just not in a position to take at the moment. Someday I'll be on those journeys but these days I'm enjoying exploring the world with my family.

1996 Triumph Trophy 900, 2016 - 2018

The Trophy. This was probably my favorite bike for two reasons. It was extremely capable without being cumbersome. It was old enough that I didn't care if it got dirty, scratched, or broken. I did work on it all the time, but my son was little and I was pretty much a home body anyhow. There is no better bike to ride in the rain than this one. I felt like it was living up to its dreary English heritage. This was the bike I rode on a frozen lake in February and through August storms.

1978 Yamaha 500E, 2012 - present!

A 1978 Yamaha XS500 was the bike I chose to see me through those sleepless and sleepy days of keeping an infant alive. It needed to be cheap and easy to use, its sole job was to give me the occasional break from early fatherhood. I bought this bike in the summer before my son was born and, as it turns out, it's the bike I ride most often. It's the bike I've kept the longest because it's just so easy to use and fun to ride.

2000 Moto Guzzi V11, 2005 - 2012

A Moto Guzzi V11 with Mistrial exhaust, big, green, fast, and the noises it made! I've never ridden a more exhilarating motorcycle. I was told the previous owner rode in bright read cowboy boots, which suits it. It was love at first sight. By the time it exchanged hands again it travelled over 60K miles, 35K of those were mine.

1982 KZ550, 2003 - 2005
It had a lower bar and was rattle-can-satin black. 
(before digital photography was common)

Coming off of dirt bikes, the KZ550 was my first road bike. It was purchased from the side of the road for three figures. I was working on my undergraduate and a great many other things too. I took out a loan from the wonderful people at the credit union. That bike only ran when the sun was shining, I had to park it in the sun before it would start. Not the best but it was the start of my street riding career and my credit score.

Honda dirt bikes, where it all started! 1997 maybe?
Thanks Dad!

Taking home the V7 from Leo's South.

One last photo opp. with the Norge.

The purchase of the V7 was heavily inspired by my experiences with the XS500, it brings some things to the table that the Yamaha lacks. While the Yamaha will cruise at 70mph no problem, it isn't comfortable there. It has a 55 - 65mph sweet spot in fifth that's fantastic. The V7 is a longer, more stable bike with 6 gears. It will cruise at 80 without a second thought. The ergonomics: seat height, pegs to seat, reach, are almost identical to the XS. The weight is the same too but the power is just a bit more in places. Both bikes handle superbly if not sporty. It's not a sport tourer, it feels slightly more "crusier" than the UJM standard riding position without dipping into HD Sportster territory.

The V7 is not fast at all. It's fast enough to be moderately exciting but that may be overstating things a bit. It was a deliberate decision to get a "slow" bike. I was tempted by a great deal on a 2020 Kawasaki Z900, I had to remind myself the goal was to slow it down. I was looking for a bike where I can use 90% of what it's got and not be breaking too many laws. It's a bike with a purpose. It's ment to relax, explore, unwind, and have fun. I think it will serve its purpose well.

My first new bike.
All it needs now is some sunshine and greenery.

- Ride North

March 22nd | 58f | 100 miles (of 300 total)

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