I am a snob. No, it’s okay, it is true. And the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. I’ve known I was a bit snobby about certain things for some time, but it was brought home to me yesterday while having a conversation with my “go to” motorcycle buddy, Matt. Oh yeah, Matt’s a snob too! (Sorry Matt, accept the truth and move on!). Matt and I were discussing my interest in purchasing a second motorcycle to go along with my Street Triple. More specifically, I would like to add a bike that is travel and adverse weather friendly. There is a possibility that I will be doing a lot of commuting soon and I would much rather do it on two wheels when I can.
Sure, they travel well, but in my snobbish opinion, they are pigs! Keep in mind that I am only 5’5″ and weigh about 160. The other problem I have, and the one that really spotlights my snobbery, is the fact that I have only owned 2 non-European bikes in the past 15 years. I had an FJR for about 10 months and 10,000 miles that just could not grab my soul, and I owned a Yamaha WR250X, a 25 hp super motard that was a hoot. Extenuating circumstances forced the sale of the WR, but it would be welcome in my garage any time.
Now you can see that the problem is a bit more complex. Matt’s first suggestion was a Ducati ST3, a bike I have lusted for over the years but never owned. As for new bikes, the only two on my radar are a Ducati Multistrada or a KTM SMT. However, I’m thinking what I really need is an inexpensive, reliable, practical pack mule of a machine that I won’t mind getting winter grunge on. One that can take me where I want to go without any drama, and if there is drama, it won’t upset me too much. What I need (thanks to Matt’s suggestion) is a Suzuki DL650 Vstrom…one of the most vanilla flavored, boring, ugly bikes I can think of!
The Vstrom fits the bill perfectly. They can be had cheap, they operate cheap and they are ugly to start with, so who cares if it is covered with salt and road grime? The problem is…I’m a snob. I turn my nose at the VStrom. After all, I have owned the “might BMW GS,” twice! I have owned a Tiger 800, outfitted with Touratech luggage. The VStrom is like buying Spam after having Boar’s Head. Here is the sad truth; it is probably the perfect choice…but I don’t know if I can bring myself to ride one!
I’m not just a motorcycle snob either. I’m a beer snob too. Bud, Miller, etc? No way. Well, maybe if you are buying! Otherwise, I’m a micro brew sort of guy. I hang out at the Holy Grale in Louisville where I gladly pay $6-7 for a glass of unique microbrew. What’s in my Fridge now? Upland Octoberfest, Green Flash, BBC, West 6th, Tin Man, Three Floyds.
And then there is coffee. I have been roasting since about 2002. I have purchased very little coffee during that time from other places. When I do, it is only from a microroaster. If I have to drink something else, I will…but I won’t like it…because I’m a snob! I know what you are thinking: “specialty coffee is too expensive.” Well, it’s all a matter of perspective. How much do you pay for a bottle of water? C’mon, I know you buy them. $1.00 or more? So, let’s assume you pay $15 for a pound of coffee. Let’s say you only get 25 cups from that pound (some of you get a lot more). That’s only .60 a cup! And we are talking the finest coffees in the world, roasted by people who are true craftsmen (and women!). It is like comparing Godiva chocolate to the year old bag of off-brand bridge mix at the Dollar General. I mean, sure they are both chocolate (I think!), but they are world’s apart. You only live once man. Enjoy it.
Yes, I am a snob. I’m snobby about bikes, snobby about beer and snobby about coffee. The beer and the coffee will likely never change. I would like to do something about the bikes though. When I went to Asheville for a week in September do you know what bike I saw more than any other? No, it wasn’t a Harley. It was a VStrom. They were everywhere. Maybe I should take the first step and put a Vstrom in my garage this winter. Stay tuned…but don’t hold your breath!