My blog about motorcycle rides, photography etc.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

My History of Motorcycles

I have always been fascinated with motorcycles.  When I was 12 my parents sent me to horse back riding summer camp.  We rode horses and dirt bikes and I got to show off my dirt bike riding and horseback riding skills in the parents day show.  I didn't ride again until my husband of many years bought me a dirt bike.

It was a little Yamaha TTR 125cc and I had all the cool gear - and I was 42 years old!  We lived in Waddell, Arizona and the open desert was near our house.  Since the bike wasn't street legal we would sneak down the paved roads until we got to the open desert and then ride.  There were tons of dirt roads and went out every chance we could.  I was having so much fun.  I wrecked ALOT at first but all the gear kept me protected and brave.  After about six months I had that little bike at full throttle and yelling "I want to go faster!"  My husband just laughed but didn't realize he had created a monster!

Not much later we were down at the bike shop looking for a bigger bike!  Next I got a Kawasaki KLX 250cc.  It was a cool green and I thought I was pretty tough shit.

I rode the hell out of that bike.  I didn't realize where that road would lead. 
For years my husband had wanted a motorcycle. It became almost a joke,  Him - "I want a motorcycle!"   Me -"No way, you will kill yourself"  Being in the medical field I had seen so many street bike victims through the ER that I was against street bikes. 
 My new bike was a "dual sport" which ment it was street legal -  so I didn't have to sneak my dirt bike down the street to the desert, I could ride on the street without worrying a cop was going to bust me.  After awhile I expanded my riding on the street and found out I liked it a lot. I started going out more and more.
My dad is an avid motorcycle rider and has ridden a great deal of the Baja 500 course as well as the Mexico to Canada Rally (off road across the U.S.) and I was always envious when he told his motorcycle riding stories.  I always wanted to ride with him.  I finally got the chance when we hauled our bikes down to Mexico and I rode my dirt bike with my dad.  (That's another story but it fulfilled a bucket list adventure)  After our ride we pulled into the local El Gulfo Cantina and we had a beer.  I felt like a totally tough ass chick!
Jan 2007 - We stopped at the local bike shop (again) and I put my leg over a Suzuki Boulevard 800cc.  It was purple and beautiful.  I instantly fell in love.  I yelled at my husband "I want to buy this street bike!  Do you want one too??"  Talk about stupid questions!!  I bought the bike and my husband bought the same model but in grey with ghost flames. 
I didn't even ride my new bike home.  I was too afraid I would embarrass myself in the parking lot so I had my husband ride it home for me.  I did learn to ride and had a great time on that bike.  A month later we moved from Waddell, Arizona to Medford, Oregon.  I was pretty excited to explore the new frontier and roads of Oregon. 
I got about 3000 miles on that bike when I realized I needed a bigger one!  I was starting to ride on the freeway and was getting blown around a lot by cars and big trucks.  I felt I needed something heavier - a bigger bike will do the trick. 
But how big?
I had a few choices in Medford, Oregon so I went to all of the dealerships and looked at anything 950cc or bigger.  I wanted something heavy so I could be solid on the freeway.  Harley Davidson - nope (can't afford it and didn't feel I should spend the money), Victory - sweet bikes but just couldn't afford them either.  Didn't find anything at the Honda shop I liked.
August 2009 -  I went to Naumes Yamaha and saw the Star Raider.  It was big and black and tough looking. The salesman told me it was an 1100cc bike.   I actually got to test drive it around the parking lot and fell instantly in love.
I wanted that bike!  Then the salesman sprung it on me - it wasn't an 1100, it was a 1900cc.  WHAT??  Holey crap!
OK, I rode it.  I want it.
We went to fill out the sales slip and found out it was mismarked.  The bike was listed at $12,900 instead of $14,900.  The manager looked pale when she admitted it was her mistake but I could buy it NOW and have it at the price listed.  So I did! 
I rode it home and sold my Suzuki shortly thereafter. A couple weeks later, my husband bought one too.  We had matching bikes again.
OMG I loved that bike.  It was raked out in the front and nearly nine feet long.  I wanted people to know that a "girl" rode that bike so a put a cool purple sticker on the ass that said
 "Bad Ass Toys Ain't Just For Boys"
I rode that bike every chance I got.  I customized it a lot.  I put a sissy bar on the back to attach luggage.   I got cool skull foot pegs.  For my 50th birthday I asked for bike gear and got skull clutch and brake grips and hand bone mirrors.  I loved that bike so much.  My goal in 2012 was to make it to 10,000 miles.
And then I hurt my back at work.  I couldn't ride. 
Except for work, I didn't leave my house much for six months.
My husband was determined I would ride again.  Maybe a shorter and lighter bike could help?  We started doing research to find a bike that could enable me to ride again.  We found the BMW R1200RT and my husband thought it was so cool that he sold his Raider and bought one. 
Six months after my pain started I was diagnosed with irregular pain syndrome - my whole back was on fire.  Would I ever ride again?  I couldn't make my own bed!  I was so weak I couldn't even work full time.  My doctor finally started me on new meds and they started to work a week later.  Life was better, I could ride so I went shopping again.
I tried to ride the BMW but it was too tall for me.  I didn't get down the driveway and called it quits.  Later that day we went to the Harley Davidson shop.
Phoenix, Oregon Harley Davidson had a beautiful Soft Tail Deluxe 2012 in the showroom.  I had been throwing my leg over it for the last six months but never had the guts to ride it.  We finally realized I should take a test ride so I did. 
The ride was awesome.  I was in love again.
But the price...
Could I afford it??  Was I worth it??  I decided....YES!!
My husband is wonderful!!!  He said -  "You can't ride forever, you can't take it with you and you're worth it!"  OK!!
I bought the Harley! 
I got a good deal and a shit load of extra stuff.  Windshield, chrome wind guards, chrome Willie G foot pegs, chrome Willie G derby cover and heated hand grips.  It's shiny and pretty and easy to ride. It's two tone rose and white.  (sunburst and white)  I can't say enough about the D&S Harley Davidson Dealership in Phoenix, Oregon.  They have put up with me coming in for years asking questions and swinging a leg over (and buying gear) before I bought a bike.  I put my Raider on consignment at the Honda-Kawasaki Store.
I have signed up for the E2E Bike Rally (Equinox To Equinox).  You take pictures with your bike in front of monuments, city markers and roadside markers for points.  I will post pictures as we go.  I don't expect to win but it will be fun to get destination pics and post them.  Any reason to ride is a good reason! 
I love my new bike and ride it any chance I get. 

See you on the road.

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