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Well, I survived.
Posted by: wurm
Date: August 02, 2019 08:05PM
Follow-up to motorcycle rental thread.

The suggested riding course is held once a month and the nearest available one was the week before my vacation, so I took my chances and just got a rental. I didn't want a Harley and I didn't want anything big since I was just getting re-acquainted, so my only other option was a Yamaha V-Star 250. I'm 6'1" and about 215, so it got a little bit of a workout, but it was fine for my purposes. I picked it up at noon on Wednesday and returned it noon on Thursday. The rental place is about an hour away from my home and since I knew I didn't want to deal with major highways, I took back roads all the way. Except those "back roads" I remember from back in the days of riding are now very heavily traveled thoroughfares with the traffic one would now expect. Anyway, after signing the paperwork and getting a quick overview of this particular bike, I spend a little time tooling around their parking lot/practice area, then off I went.

By the time I got home from the place, I was telling myself that I was glad I got it out of my system. I would happily return it the next day and get on with my life cycle-less. It was a lot of fun in little or no traffic, and a fair amount of stress in a lot of traffic. I never realized how many @#$%^ traffic lights and stop signs there are around here. smiling smiley

But...I took another casual ride after lunch, then another one after dinner. Then a ride down to see my brother the next morning, and by the time I finally returned it...I was pretty much re-hooked. I only stalled it once, and that was after I had pulled into a parking lot to stretch and couldn't find neutral. (I thought I did, but I was wrong.) The bike was nice, but I think too small for me. Previously I had ridden a 450 and a 500 and with this one I found myself often shifting up to a gear that wasn't there. I don't think I even went more than 60 mph during the time I had the thing. But that was fine. I also realized that being used to stretching one's legs in a car is a nice luxury I didn't have on this size bike. I felt like I was in a squat most of the time I was riding.

Bottom line: I'm spending more time than I thought I would searching Craigslist and looking for local dealers. I still don't want a big bike. I think a 450 - 650 would be about right. But a year from now, I could see me enjoying a Spring through Fall ride. Thanks for all your words of encouragement.

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Re: Well, I survived.
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: August 02, 2019 08:59PM
Cool! Where did you rent from? A local dealer?
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Re: Well, I survived.
Posted by: wurm
Date: August 02, 2019 09:10PM
Rented from EagleRider [www.eaglerider.com]
Location nearest to me was about 40 miles (1 hr in traffic).
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Re: Well, I survived.
Posted by: The UnDoug
Date: August 02, 2019 09:12PM
Awesome, man!!!! I'm super jealous!

I've got saved Craigslist searches that I keep refreshing every day or two, and feel certain that I, too, will be back in the saddle again in the not so distant future!



[www.zeemaps.com]
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Re: Well, I survived.
Posted by: testcase
Date: August 02, 2019 10:06PM
I'm glad it went well and that you're intact. It would STILL be a good idea when you have the time to take a MSFRefresher / Rusty Driver Course.
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Re: Well, I survived.
Posted by: N-OS X-tasy!
Date: August 02, 2019 11:46PM
I got back onto a bike about five years ago and it was one of the best moves I've made in years.



It is what it is.
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Re: Well, I survived.
Posted by: Todd's keyboard
Date: August 03, 2019 12:26AM
Great story. Thanks for sharing.

Todd’s envious keyboard
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Re: Well, I survived.
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: August 03, 2019 12:30AM
I found myself often shifting up to a gear that wasn't there.

That a common thing with bikes that make their HP at RPM.

The nice thing about a big twin is HP is less of an issue because of more torque at the bottom end. One doesn't feel like they need to shift gain to drop the RPMs.

Even my 1300 V4 makes me think I need a sixth gear from time to time.


I also realized that being used to stretching one's legs in a car is a nice luxury I didn't have on this size bike. I felt like I was in a squat most of the time I was riding.

That bike is a little small for you. And having the foot pegs in the cruiser configuration makes stretching you legs a little more difficult. With the pegs more directly under the rider's seat you have the ability to stand and stretch which I do from time to time.

But with that low seat height, you'd really feel cramped. I'd consider the recommendation of taking an MSF course anyway. I think the biggest takeaway from a safety course is getting back into the habit of extended situational awareness.

I like the basic cruiser style (though I've never owned one. But in the 650-is range, the V-Strom might be a consideration. It's not a cruiser, but it's a little taller in the saddle, is easy to ride and has enough reserve HP for passing when needed. Renting is a good way to go while you decide how and what you want to ride.





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You make me pull, I'll put you down.

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Re: Well, I survived.
Posted by: vision63
Date: August 03, 2019 12:58AM
Nice ride.
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Re: Well, I survived.
Posted by: Yoyodyne ArtWorks
Date: August 03, 2019 10:37AM
You returning riders should check out the new Royal Enfield Interceptor 650, a beautiful retro-style bike that’s very mellow and enjoyable to ride, and a screamingly good deal at $5799.



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Re: Well, I survived.
Posted by: wurm
Date: August 03, 2019 01:41PM
Thanks for the comments.

Believe me, it was amazing how quickly the whole "watch out for idiots" mode came back to me. They're out there, but I must admit that every time I was expecting someone to pull out in front of me, they actually waited. Maybe all those Motorcycles Are Everywhere signs are actual having some effect. What I did quickly come to remember was that in addition to watching out for other drivers, potholes that have little impact on 1/4 of one's tires, have a much more profound effect on 1/2 of one's tires. Thankfully, the one I encountered was a shallow one and the shocks handled it well.

This little 250 had all the power I needed from 0-45. It was only when I was aware of it revving a bit high at 50 that I was looking for a higher gear. But now I know. Yes, RAM, it probably was too small for me. In fact, when I visited my brother (Harley rider) with it, he half-jokingly said something to the effect of "Wow, it's like a scooter!". And he's only 5'8". ;)

Yoyo, that Royal Enfield looks really nice. And yes, that's the old school style I'd be looking for. And as good a deal as it might be for ~$6k, it's about $4k more than I'd be looking to spend. I'm in no rush, but it is a little disheartening to see the bikes I like at the price I'd like being nearly 40 years old. The way I figure it, a year from now, my car will be paid for, I'll be semi-retired, and if I'm still on this side of the dirt, I can do a more exhaustive search then.
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Re: Well, I survived.
Posted by: Speedy
Date: August 03, 2019 08:55PM
Donorcycles.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: Well, I survived.
Posted by: N-OS X-tasy!
Date: August 04, 2019 03:52AM
Quote
Speedy
Donorcycles.

Sayeth the man nicknamed "Speedy."



It is what it is.
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