Time slips by quickly and I have to pile on best wishes for the New Year on top of this story about a used BMW motorcycle.
Happy New Year! My resolutions (yes, I make resolutions) are under construction.
So, the used motorcycle, where to begin…
On Thursday afternoon I strapped a pair of Heidenau K66 LT Snowtex tires to the back of the Vespa and headed off to Kissell Motorsports to have them mounted. For non-winter riders these are snow tires with aggressive, slush clearing pattern, silica in the rubber for added traction, and special rubber designed to stay soft and sticky in the cold.
The plan was to drop the scooter off and have my wife pick me up for a ride home. What happened was I rode one of the used (pre-owned for the politically correct) motorcycles home.
The view out the breezeway door was pretty nice. Let me say I love the BMW R1200 GS. Love it. Smiled when I got on it. Was completely comfortable from the moment I pressed the starter. Loved the heated grips on the ride home. Nice bike. Really nice bike. A bike to lust after. And this was a used one with 19000 miles on it.
A lot of dreams start with the selection of used motorcycles at a dealership. Not everyone is ready to plunk down the cash for a bike. I took the BMW as an example of the kind of used bikes one might find at Kissell's.
Standing in the kitchen the next day with a bowl of soup in my hands Kim calls out, “Craig Kissell is on the phone.” After I finished the soup I was going to go for a ride. Turns out that was true because Craig told me he just sold the bike and wondered if I could bring it back.
Sometimes life kicks you in the shins.
Pushing it out of the garage I gave it one last loving look. Kim walks over and says, “You really like that motorcycle don’t you?” I nod as I admire the machine standing in my driveway.
“Do you want to buy it?”
A felt a tear forming.
I met the new owner and expressed my feelings about what a fine machine he had purchased. I tried to console myself with the thought that there will be other motorcycles.
The BMW R1200 GS was just so nice though.
And life has a way of reminding you of the serendipity of things.
I’m going to ride a 50cc Honda Ruckus home. I made the choice. An act of flagellation to atone for coveting the BMW? I will say I have a new respect for those riders who make their way in the world on a 50cc machine. Anyone can ride a BMW. It takes a special rider to deal with the Ruckus.
Throttle wide open, I manage 35 mph on the flat. Twenty mph going up a hill. And compared to my Vespa GTS 250 the 50cc Ruckus is tiny. I smile when I think about what I must look like. I take a bit of pleasure leading a large, jacked up, big wheeled, overly loud, Dodge RAM truck down a stretch of road before pulling over and waving him on. The Harley decal in the back window meant he knew how to be patient with a fellow rider.
About halfway home I came to appreciate how quiet the scooter is. The sheep owned by Penn State barely moved when I rode up.
While a 50cc scooter isn’t fast its speed is a bit deceptive. More than once I found myself going a bit too fast for a maneuver. Luckily I am experienced enough to deal with these little over estimations. But I can see why new riders run these things into curbs, walls, or off the road. There’s no profit in underestimating anything with two wheels. And protective gear is a must in my opinion lest you come to woe.
I’ve always liked the looks of the Ruckus. They seem like the jeeps of the scooter world. If only Honda would drop a slightly larger motor into one. And call it a Big Ruckus.
Oh. Right. I forgot.
So I go from a BMW R1200 GS to a 50cc Honda Ruckus. That’s the kind of riding diversity I have come to appreciate.