Is this the end? Of snobbery, that is. If you read any of my drivel, you are aware of the fact that I have been shopping for another bike to go with my Triumph. I’ve been looking for something travel worthy. Something Alaska worthy. Something unimproved road worthy. Something winter worthy. Having already owned most of the heavy, “sport touring bikes,” and most of the “adventure bikes,” I was having a very hard time finding a machine to fit the parameters. In fact, nothing was appealing to me. No light bulbs going off, saying, “This is the one!” No lusting for anything in particular. Just a lot of, “that would be okay.” And when it comes to bikes, they shouldn’t be “okay,” they should be exciting, enthralling. They should make you want to get out of bed early on Saturday morning just so you can go take a ride.
I was having none of that. It was probably the first time in all my years of bike buying that there was not one machine that I was desperately wanting to put in the garage. Rather depressing actually. I drove my poor friend and bike shop owner, Ed, crazy with my noncommittal attitude. I would say I drove my friend Matt crazy too, but he is just about as bad as I am! So, no sympathy for you Matt!
However, I did eventually make a decision. Yep, I bought another bike. And I’m about to eat my words. Back in October, I posted a blog here entitled, Snobbery. In that post I discussed my bike hunt and the fact that I was rather snobby about things. I drink craft beer, roast my own coffee and almost always buy European bikes. In that post, I commented that there is one bike out there that seems to be a true “do it all,” machine. It has universal love and is very affordable. The Suzuki Vstrom 650. I said at the time that this is the bike I should buy. It can travel across the country, go to Alaska, tolerate some unimproved roads, is cheap to buy and cheap to work on. I also said I would likely never own one. Well, guess what? Yep, I bought one.
I was cruising the local ads and discovered this barely ridden machine not too far from my home. After a few emails, I rode over to take a look. The owner was kind enough to grant a demo ride and, just like that, some of my snobby prejudices melted away. It has a very nice motor, a very comfortable seating position. I can see this working. The bike looks showroom and the price, well, I could have bought 3 of them for the price of my last GS. Is the GS three times the bike this Vstrom is? Well, I don’t know yet, but when I find out, I will let you know what I think. You see, I haven’t even brought it home yet! My wife and I have been on a project at work for the past 2 1/2 weeks that has us a bit out of whack. We have worked double shifts, split shifts, shift and a half, etc, etc. I don’t know when to go to bed, when to get up, or when to eat. Because of that, we haven’t had time to do much of anything else. The owner of the bike has been kind enough to store in it his garage until I can get over there and pick it up. It should be in my garage a week from today.
So, is the bike hunt over? Well, not really. I mean, you should know better than to even think that! The bike hunt is never over for guys like me. Since I was able to buy this machine for much less than I planned on spending, I am already looking for a third bike! This time, I have a few machines in mind. I may not buy any, but then again I might. My real limiting factor is garage space. It is going to be hard enough to fit 2 bikes in; I have no idea how I could manage 3. So, here’s my short list for a possible 3rd bike:
1. KTM SMT. This is one of the few bikes I have a degree of “lust” for. There may be a used one that has been lowered available in a couple weeks. If that happens, I may have to have it. 2. KTM Duke 690. Yep, it buzzes. But, oh is it so cool. Light, fast, so fun. Sooner or later I have to have one.
3. Moto Guzzi V7 Stone or Griso. The Griso is absolutely beautiful in my mind. Especially in that Tenni green. The V7 is not very powerful, but I don’t care about that. I would love to own a Guzzi. Of course, that would mean I would have to grow a beard, start smoking cigars and become just a little more eclectic than I already am!4. The new Honda VFR 800 Interceptor. The closest thing to what I consider a true “sport tourer” being made right now. I think it looks very good in its understated scheme. No flashy graphics; just a classy looking machine. If I buy one of these though, I will probably have to wait a year or so. Since no one seems to like sport touring bikes these days, I will want it to set and collect dust on the showroom floor for a year, so I can buy one a couple thousand off!
Well, that’s it. Has my moto snobbery come to an end? It remains to be seen I suppose. I will let you know in a couple weeks, after I’ve had time to rack up some miles on the Vstrom. One thing for sure, this doesn’t mean I’m going to start drinking Bud Light and Folgers.