I became a motorcycle fanatic later in life. I had ridden motorcycles as a very young man but for over 30 years had never ever considered riding. I thought those that rode were wild crazy people that had a death-wish. Like many I just didn't get it!
While shopping for a sporty convertible car to quell the need for a new toy, I noticed a shinny Harley Davidson passing me on the freeway. I thought to myself, now that Harley doesn't have a top...so maybe that qualifies as a convertible? I didn't make it home that day without first stopping by the local dealer to kick tires. Just like that I was hooked.
When I announced to my wife and my grown daughter that a motorcycle was in my future they were very unenthusiastic about my idea. My wife later told me that she just ignored me hoping that this "mid-life" crisis would pass. As the motorcycle magazines and brochures began to replace Sports Illustrated on the coffee table it became apparent to them that I wasn't going to let it go. Once they realized that I was going to be riding, I received the MSF basic riding class as a Christmas gift. They were still hoping that once I got my license and rented a bike a few times the infactuation with motorcycles would pass.
It didn't! I rented for a few months, then purchased my first motorcyle ever. A 2003 HD Road King. The Harley has been a trusted and dependable friend ever since. Together we have traveled more than 90,000 miles through some of the most beautiful country in California and the west. I learned to do all the service and maintenace and even tore into the motor to replace cam chain tensioners. She has been in the shop only once for a minor problem that I couldn't figure out.
After riding litterly every paved road in California, it became clear that there was a lot more beautiful country to see that was beyond the paved road. I began to seach for a motorcycle that could take me down those Forest Service roads that I had passed up. Like my first motorcycle, I spent a year researching which would be best for me. The answer was a new bright yellow R1200GS. The GS has turned out to be even more than I had expected. I love it. It is smooth, fast, handles like a dream and even easier to maintain than the Harley.
While searching for information about riding schools that teach old guys how to ride off-road I came accross BMW MOA websit and forum.
I am looking forward to making some new dual sport riding friends and learning as much as possible to safely enjoy my GS and dual sport riding. If there are any GS riders in the Bay Area that wouldn't mind a novis riding tagging along let me know. I am taking my first off-road clinic next month so hopefully after the clinic I will know how to keep the shiney side up when not on pavement.
Walnut Creek, CA