Monday, June 25, 2012

Retro Bikes

On Saturday, I headed up to Cleveland Moto (POC's motorcycle sibling) to try out the Moto Guzzi V7. I was really, really afraid that I would love it and that I would be trying to figure out how to juggle payments on the Subaru, van and motorcycle.

Eh, not so much. The bike is beautiful (and the V7 Race is cool as shit). The size and weight are perfect. It handles nicely. It sounds like a purring kitty. But it's slow. I was prepared for slow, but I thought it would have more torque. Honestly, what I was thinking is that there is nothing the V7 does/has that's better than my Speed Four.

Aaron and I went out on the V7 and an old Thruxton that the shop had taken in on trade. We stopped to swap bikes, and I was so, so eager to hop on the Thruxton, even though it was pretty rough. I've been wanting one for a while, but the weight deterred me. (It's definitely heavier than the V7 - 80 pounds or so - and the seat height is higher and it has clip-ons.) I've riddent a Bonneville before, and the power was fine - but I hated the seating position. The Thruxton has longer shocks, so it's taller, but I think that makes the weight distribution more comfortable for me. And the rear sets, oh how I love you.

I hate mid-mount or foward pegs. Stupid, stupid location for feet, but I suppose one could argue it's better than using the passenger peg... which leads me to my one issue with the Thruxton that really has nothing to do with the bike in general. The spring that keeps the peg down was broken, so every time I shifted gears, the peg would go up and I'd have nowhere for my foot. I was using the passenger peg at first because I thought the peg had fallen off.

Regardless, I really liked the Thruxton, and now all of those thoughts of a custom Thruxton are back. This one isn't for sale yet, but it would be a good candidate. The bike is in rough condition cosmetically, but mechanically, it seemed rather sound. I'd like to get a Thruxton and powder-coat the frame, paint the bike, get a trick exhaust, etc. The aftermarket for Hinckley twins is fantastic. As much as I love my Speed four, it would be really neat to have a motorcycle that isn't an orphan.

But I'm not buying anything right now. I don't want to take on another payment and don't want to start another project. The VBB is still in the pipeline, although I still need to get a title, and the smallie needs its new top end and whatnot. Aaron's working on a motor for a friend, and then he needs to get into the P200 so he can sell it.

But still, that Thruxton is very cool bike. Somehow it's a bike that fits both me and Aaron. It's like magical traveling pants, traveling pants that will travel to my garage someday.

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