Today I rode my latest motorcycle; I have three now. It wasn't just a little scoot around the neighbourhood because it's not licensed; nope, this was a full fledged out the highway to Salmonier line ride in March when it's pretty freakin' chilly...not typical motorcycle riding weather. But, I rode and it was pure tranquillity...albeit cold tranquillity. For anyone who read my last post they will know I have purchased an old beater for beating the winter blahs when the colder months rob me of my greatest therapeutic relief, riding my motorcycle. The bike had been in storage for a while so it did need the attention of my bike guru, Keith at Toy Box. However, with not to much mechanical fuss, he got her rollin' within a few days.
The bike is an old Yamaha FJ 600, an early version of the crotch rocket but really not resembling anything like today's sleek highway burners. It's got an inline 4 with 4 carbs and cleaning and syncing those proved to be the greatest task after the bike came out of storage where it had been for over a year. The only alterations I made to it were to put aggressive tread tires on it in case I do run in to some snow on one of my jaunts...or a clump/patch of salt or sand for that matter. Anything is possible this time of year.
So, I suited up with my lined snow pants and as many layers of shirts as would fit under my bike jacket. I was kinda bulky but comfortable enough and relatively warm. It was my first ride and so I learned a few things. Definitely need to wear extra socks and maybe even those little shake-up heating pads in my boots. I bought a set of handlebar muffs (yup that's what they're called) and you slide your hands (with gloves on) into these. It takes a couple of minutes to feel around for the switches and levers but I got the hang of it and my hands were fine. Indeed, other than fixing the cool tootsies thing and maybe wearing something warmer around my neck, I was actually pretty comfortable;The continuous drip of snot not withstanding. After a while you just ignore it, plus my face mask soaked most of it up.
Keith did warn me in that stern Keith way he gets when he is dead serious, this is no joking matter, that I was not to ride over 100kms because of the nature of the tires. They are not high speed highway tires, more suited to off-roading but great for what I need. This does have it's advantages. At 100kms/h I could hear my music, which sometimes is a strain at 140 +, and also, at the slower speed, no risk of attracting the local law enforcement, something I have unfortunately done on past excursions. It did irk me somewhat at being passed continuoulsy, but I kept my pride in check. I was a bit concerned about insurance because with my ticket history, my insurance company is a bit sticky about the type of bike I ride. I pay a nasty premium for the ST1300 because it is classed as a sport bike and thus considered a higher risk...for what I'm not sure. Anyways, this sucker is so old it didn't even show up on their charts, so whew....no sport bike designation.
Anyways, after years of talking about it, I finally have my winter bike. I call it middle digit because it's my way of flipping the bird at old man winter who hangs around these parts far too long for my liking.
Anyway, no more waiting for spring rains to wash away the salt residue from the roads, so I can bring out the Magna or the ST. I expect to get a couple of good months of riding yet out of the FJ before more civilised conditions are upon us here on the rock.
That's all for now. Until Next Time, see ya out there! Ride One....