Bikes That I’ve Had in the Past…
I don’t go through bikes like some people I know, but I guess I’ve had my share of them. I can’t imagine what my next bike might be. Of the ones I’ve had, I really don’t regret selling any of them – too much.
19?? Honda Express (49cc) – the one that started it all. You can read about how I learned to ride on this page
1976 Yamaha 500 – I’m not even sure if this is what I said it is. I didn’t know anything about bikes, but I did know that it was cheap and it ran. I had it for less than a year and it was totaled shortly after I sold it.
1978 Yamaha 500 – Again, I’m not sure if this description is accurate. I bought it from a dealership in Boulder, CO, rode it around for a year and then decided to “upgrade” to something prettier. This bike was also the transport for my first ever long distance trip!
1985 Kawasaki 454LTD – custom paint job! It matched the VW Bug I had at the time. Belt drive meant that I still didn’t have to learn about chain maintenance.
1974 Honda CB750 – Another “For a song!” bike. This thing was a beast. In fact, that’s what I called it. Drum brakes that barely worked, top-heavy, heavy overall… but it was still fun to ride around, and was in surprisingly good shape. It was totaled shortly after I sold it.
1991 VFR 750 – My baby. This was the bike that opened my eyes to the joy of motorcycling. I put over 50,000 miles on this bike, with untold smiles that it gave me. I had a hard time selling this bike. In fact, I stored it in my living room for a couple of years, not ready to ride it, but not ready to sell it.
1995 Kawasaki KLR650 – I bought this so I could go to Alaska, but an electrical gremlin made me nervous. While a very expert friend of mine thought that she had fixed it, I had no confidence in the bike. In a fit of irrationality, I sold it to a friend and bought a different used bike, one with no known history.
2000 Kawasaki KLR650 – This is the KLR that I traded the Barbie bike in for. It went through a serious paint revision a few years into ownership, but it never let me down in the almost 80K I put on her. Here is an homage to my KLR.
2002 Bandit 1200 – A fit of impulsiveness hit me when I low-sided my VFR. I knew that the Bandit had a great reputation, so when I saw this one for sale, I jumped on it. Fastest bike I’ve ever owned and still never hit top speed. Probably best for my wallet that I didn’t keep it more than a year.
2001 BMW R1150GS – I traded the Bandit in on a BMW. I’d wanted one for a while but never thought I would be able to afford it. Technically I still couldn’t, but with the trade-in amount for the Bandit, I told myself that it would be ok. I put over 60K on the 1150 and only sold it when I moved out of the country.
2001 Kawasaki KLR650 – I figured that eventually the 2000 KLR would fail me and when it did, I’d be lost without a KLR in the garage. I found this one with very low mileage at an even lower price and picked it up. It was green when I bought it, but felt that it could use with a more custom look.
2009 Honda Transalp – Upon moving to Switzerland I needed to replace my bike. There are no KLRs here and while I considered another BMW I wanted to try something different. How about a Honda Transalp? They have a great following in the US (only imported in 1989) and Honda is reliable. A year later I realized that I was not in love with this bike and decided to trade it in.
2014 BMW F800GSA – I dropped off the Honda and picked up this delightful BMW F800 GSA. I love this bike. It makes me smile. What else do I need? I currently have over 54,000 kilometers on it and it is going strong!