Back on 2 wheels?

Posted: October 9, 2012 in Uncategorized

I had to run into Greenville today for the drug screen for my new job.

Afterwards I had some time to kill, so my Dear Wife Caryn and I popped into a few motorcycle dealerships.

I have not seriously looked at buying a motorcycle for quite a few years, in general they have not made anything that “trips my trigger” in quite some time.

Now, I am not a young pup any longer… technically I guess I am into middle age.

Not many of the plastic wrapped wonder machines out there have much interest for me.

Back in my 20s I had an affection for them, you guys may remember some of the bikes that came out around 20 years ago.

The era of the oil cooled GSXRs, the ZX11, the CBR900RR… yea, I was into those back then.
Honestly, I still would take any of those 3.

Anyway, we looked at quite a few bikes.

The Z1000 and 1000 Ninja looked promising. Good ergos, nice weight and balance, great power.

I checked some of the cruisers… to see if I am in that stage yet.

Nope, still uncomfortable and feel like shit. Bullet dodged.

Caryn thinks about her own bike, but has an uncertainty about riding solo… bad experience when  younger.

However she DOES like the Can Am Spyder… and it is almost a motorcycle.

I will admit, the riding position isnt bad… and it seems like 2 up would be OK also.

But dammit… not having to put my feet down felt… well… WRONG.

The Spyder, while kind of cool, isnt for me.

After hitting various shops I was headed home, and spotted a little place down in a hole… what the hell, I still have some time left.

I walked thru the door… the Heavens opened up, Light shined down, the Angels sang.

Sitting there on the showroom floor was a 1983 Suzuki GS1100E.

In MINT condition, 99% original… 12,500ish actual miles on it.

No scratches, no blemishes.

Now, I shall regress here and explain a few things.

This is about as close to a Grail bike as I have.

My late father had one, bright red… just like the one at the dealer.

Where this one was in showroom condition… his was, lets say “altered”.

Big bore, VHR head, VHR cams, VHR header, flat slide carbs…

And absolute MONSTER of an early 80s bike.

He loved that bike… the bike WAS him.

When he passed away, the bike was left to me.

I rode it a bit, but times were rough.

I was unemployed for quite a while. Got a job offer out of state and the only way to get there was to sell the bike for traveling money and  deposits on a place to stay.

I was pretty much emotionally crippled over it, but a voice in the back on my head kept telling me that Family comes before possessions. My father was a man who put his family before everything else.

With the self assurance that my father wouldnt have held it against me, I sold it.

That money got us there and into a good job that I rode till it ended.

I still feel that it was the right decision… but it is one that has haunted me since then.

Now, I know that this bike isnt my fathers… and it will never be THAT bike.

However, it doesnt have to be.

It still makes me smile, feels right under me, and elicits all the good feelings I remember.

I dont know if I will be able to get that bike, I have a bit of catching up on bills and what not.

But it reminded me of exactly what I love in a bike.

Big, powerful, upright and comfortable.

I dont drag the pegs and straighten out the curves and hills any more.

But I DO like to twist that throttle and feel like warp drive is kicking in.

I want… need… what was called a UJM. Universal Japanese Machine.

You take it cross country, down the drag strip, thru the backroads, to work…

A do anything bike.

In 1983 this bike was King, When looking at quickness, top speed, and back roads… this bike was IT.

You didnt get a better all around performance machine.

Compared to todays bikes… it seems rather mild.

But the 1100 Suzuki is the small block Chevy of the motorcycle world.

They are still kicking ass and taking names on the drag strip.

Yea, if I can figure out how… that bike will be mine.

If I cant get it… then it has refocused me on what I want and need.

 

 

Jim

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