Category Archives: Motorcycles

Just Can’t Sell Her

Shadow Ready For 2014
Shadow Ready For 2014

I bought this bike so long ago now I forget when me and the bank settled terms on her. In today’s world, her little 750cc engine and 24 inch high seat makes her a bit wanting in a sea of mega cc bikes with huge power.  At 100mph, she screams for mercy and it takes a long time to get her there.

I walked into the sorriest of sorry Honda dealerships on a lunch break one day, seen this bike and told them I’d take it. Oh the painful bullshit they put me through to get this bike. Just sell me the bike already. I didn’t need a test ride or anything as I could tell by looking that this bike would work for what I needed. I needed a little recaptured youth, old school flared out fenders, and low – I like low. Low makes a slow bike seem faster.

What really drew me to her was the size. My friend has an old panhead and the Shadow was closer to size and performance than a real Harley was.

So I get it. Instantly, it’s youth recaptured. People are mad I bought it once I get it home. I don’t care. When people are upset, that’s generally a good sign that fun’s about to happen. This bike is my reprieve from cubicle hell.

I’ve taken this bike to a lot of places, some of which it didn’t belong, just because I can. Biker rallies, no problem. Dentists and lawyers on $35K special edition dream bikes weep when I pull in.  I don’t need fancy patches, a hefty payment, and a 1000 pound rolling sofa to prove anything to anybody. Never had a bad word from anybody about my faux Harley. Unless you want 200+ pounds of ex-Infantry coming at you, best to keep comments about my little Honda out of earshot.  Chances are I’ll have you laughing and shaking hands before anyone gets hurt anyhow.

This bikes been everywhere I’ve wanted it to go. The Mighty Mack Bridge in Michigan is the most memorable. I had a group of sofa riders back out on me due to scary weather, went alone despite that, and had a great time anyhow. A few 400 mile trips to Maryland to see old friends, every country 2 lane in Ohio and West Virginia, and more to come someday.

This Spring, at 8 years old, she fought me a little to get fired up, but finally sparked off and changed her mind.  A full throttle ride on a cold morning through the countryside past the old churches and livestock in pastures seemed to remind her of what she’s here for though. Here’s to another season with her reluctantly running like a wounded banshee through he hills again. I’m not selling her yet.

The Suzuki V-Strom 650 And Honda NC700X

Suzuki V-Strom And Honda NC700X. 2 Great Bikes

Suzuki V-Strom And Honda NC700X
Suzuki V-Strom And A Honda NC700X

I’ve been wanting a V-Strom 650 ever since my wife got her’s a few years ago. It’s an incredibly versatile bike that suits our needs well. It’s comfortable, plenty of power, somewhat reliable, and easy on gas. It’s a sensible bike for commuting and weekend trips. The only thing I ever wished was that Honda would come out with something comparable because I’ve always found Honda to be a notch above Suzuki in quality.

I noticed that Honda was offering a new NC700X and I was sold at first sight. The price was much lower than the V-Strom and it reminded me of my first bike, the 1982 Honda Silverwing. In those days, the Silverwing was like a smaller Gold Wing. Even though it defied everything that other 18 year old riders wanted, it suited me fine. It reliably took me on many adventures and it was a sad day when I sold it. I always wanted something similar to take it’s place, but Honda never offered anything… until now. It was as if the Silverwing of old had evolved somewhere in secret into a new machine the likes I’d never seen.

The NC700X has a new design for a motorcycle motor. It’s a parallel twin that lays nearly flat to keep the weight low and centered as well as allowing for a storage compartment where the fuel tank usually is. The real fuel tank is under the seat. On my test ride, I realized that this motor didn’t run like other motors. All of the power is in the low RPM range with a red line at 6500 rpm’s. My first measured fuel mileage was 70mpg! It handles incredibly well, especially at slow speeds. I am really happy with the bike.

I researched the bike for a few days before buying it. I had reservations after reading so much bad press. The thing was, the complaints were things that I don’t care about anyhow! They said –

  • “It’s slow.” It goes over 100mph and it’s speed ratings to that point are comparable with a new V-8 Mustang. Fast enough for me.
  • “It’s like a scooter.” Looks and rides like a motorcycle to me.
  • “It’s not really an adventure bike.” Neither is the V-Strom or many others until you customize them. I don’t go on trails with it anyhow.
  • “The V-Strom is better.” Kind of. It’s faster, a little more comfortable, and a few other niceties. It’s also not better in the fit and finish department, it’s more expensive, and it’s not a Honda.

I could go on with these, but only a test ride will tell if you’re trying to decide which one works for you. They both have more good than bad points and it really comes down to your personal preferences. I’ve got a good feeling that the Honda is going to outlast the V-Strom, but I’ve got nothing to prove that. I guess the best way to find out is to ride them far enough to find out.

A Beautiful Victory Cross Country

I came across this beautiful Victory Cross Country bagger in Coshocton, Ohio’s Roscoe Village. What a beautiful ride.

I’ve been a fan of Victory’s for a while. The biggest downside I see to them right now is that every bike has the same distinctive sharp edged design. I like it, but if you don’t they don’t have a bike to sell you. The reports from customers are showing that the happy with the bikes. Maybe someday I’ll try one out.
Photo of Victory Cross Country Motorycle
Victory Cross Country Motorcycle

Motorcycle Ride To Honeyrun Falls Near Howard, Ohio.

 

There are numerous ways to make the motorcycle ride from Newark, Ohio to Honeyrun Falls Park near Howard, Ohio and none of them are bad. This map is one of my favorite routes(at least as close as I get Google Maps to plot) that takes you past many Amish farms. The route can be changes to go through Martinsburg and Utica if you want a place to stop for gas or food.

The roads are rural rolling hills and the reward at the end is a beautiful small waterfall  with trails to explore.

Honeyrun Fall in Knox County, Ohio near the town of Howard.
Honeyrun Fall Near Howard, Ohio on Hazeldell Road. 

Living in Central Ohio so close to great places to ride is a blessing for a biker. Relaxing rides like this are just a turn of a key away from a great time.

Here is a good post for more detailed information about the natural specifics of Honeyrun Falls.