My Last Motorcycle
Late 2006 I traded my Honda motorcycle for a brand new 2007 Harley Davidson Ultra Classic Deluxe. It was bright cobalt blue and featured a six speed transmission, CD player, cb radio, a full windscreen and much, much more…more than I had ever imagined could be on a motorcycle.
In the past, I had owned several good Japanese bikes including Kawasaki and Honda. The Honda I traded was an ST1300 and a great bike for a smaller rider than I. As it was, its design caused too much upper body lean on the handlebars which caused my hands and wrists to become numb after riding for just a short period. A nearby Yamaha dealer had given me a great deal on a Road Star but before accepting it, I felt I needed to look at a Harley.
The Ultra Classic had a major overhaul for 2007 including the six speed transmission along with a larger motor. While visiting the dealership I simply mentioned if they gave me a good enough offer on my trade I would take the only one they had in stock…the cobalt instead of a black one like I had wanted. Once I learned I was only going to lose a few hundred dollars on my trade I expressed my interest on the Harley. That I was interested after hearing the deal, the salesman offered me the opportunity for a test drive.
The moment I straddled the powerful machine I felt like I was a real biker. And the moment the engine fired and began to rumble I was sold. The low center of gravity made riding the Harley a dream come true. It wasn’t long before I replaced the stock mufflers with “Screamin’ Eagles” and began to personalize the bike.
Long rides on the Blue Ridge Parkway became one of my favorite excursions. I found myself riding from the mountains to the coast for seasonal rallies. Bars and grills that catered to the biker crowd became jewels in my itineraries. I bought a really good leather jacket and heavy boots. Oh, and I took the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s (MSF) advanced rider’s course which I highly recommend.
My gang rode everything from Yamahas and Hondas to BMWs and Harleys. Sometimes we would join a poker run and hundreds of us would weave around the mountains on our powerful mounts. When we rode past families on their own week end excursions; picnics and such, they would stop what they were doing and wave as we rode past. And if we stopped at an overlook for example many would get back in their cars and drive hurriedly away. After all we were a biker gang.
Yep, we were a gang. Our gang consisted of dentists, teachers, entrepreneurs, shop owners, accountants, sales people and the worst of all…a lawyer! Our bikes were our hobbies. They were extra vehicles. Expensive toys.
I traded my Harley for a Jeep which I tow behind my motorhome. I would like to have kept the bike but it was impractical as my only vehicle. My coach will only tow 5,000 pounds and though the Jeep and the bike fall under the limit…the weight of a trailer large enough for both would exceed the limit. I will have another bike one day.
The new plan is to continue be a full time RVer; however I will be working winter months in the deep south during which time a bike will be how I commute to and from work…and when it is time to pull up roots and travel again…the bike will be stored until my return. Or there’s always E-bay for a quick sale and even a minor loss will be compensated by the rush of riding once again…
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