Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Never Say Never Again!

I guess you can never say never!
My intention when I purchased my Yamaha Vmax was for it to be the last bike I own. I guess that in hindsight that was a crazy idea. Motorcycle owners are notorious for swapping and trying out different bikes. I do love riding a Vmax, but I realize that riding with the people I hang out with, a sport bike is really the right set up for me.

As for the Vmax (Sharky's Machine) I was most attached to two things, the insane amounts of raw power and the fact that it had connections to my daughter Ariel (1989 model and her birth year, teal is the color of our hockey team, the San Jose Sharks). When I chose to swap it out, she was surprisingly unsentimental to those facts since she likes sport bikes more anyway. Oh well!

How I came into getting the bike is where I think that God showed himself. During us having a garage sale, I ended up delivering some patio furniture to a neighbor. Inside their garage was one of my all time favorite bikes: a Kawasaki Ninja 650r. I offered up my compliments: "Nice bike." What I wasn't ready for was his response, "You want it?" He then went in to the details. It was his son's bike and that it was a 2009 with only 2500 miles that was sitting in his garage for two years. His son was unhappy with it because he laid it down rashing the right side, breaking off the right rear view mirror and bending the back break peddle (all cosmetic damage). The price was shockingly low. So low, I could sell the Vmax and get it for about the same amount. I told him I'd work on things and see what happened.
I put an ad for about the amount of the Ninja for my Vmax. I got two calls. The first was very interested but said he'd need a couple of days before he could get back to me. The second rode it that same day and said he'd think about it. Here's where things got weird. He came back the next day and rode it. What shocked me was that the Vmax died while he was riding it! I thought we had a deal and I could get my cool Ninja bike and it looked like things were falling apart. Anyway, he said he'd think some more about it and get back to me. Ugh!
This is where I see the difference that God made. In the past, I would have taken my frustration to anger and then complain to God. Why show me such a cool bike? Why did this stupid thing happen to my Vmax? What's going on here? Instead, I talked to him about my frustration and then, I realized there's peace here. Do I need a 650r? Am I content with my Vmax? Is God trustworthy? The answers were all obvious. I could then just pray that whatever happens happens and I'm good with that. I tested the battery and it was bad so I went out and got a new battery for the Vmax. I was told by the battery salesman that the guy who was looking at the bike actually called as well. That was a sign he was still interested. He did call me to say he was still interested and that he knew that I had replaced the battery. He appreciated that. Anyway, we ended up doing the sale! The next day, with cash in hand, I bought the 650r! God is good!

My mark is still there!

This past weekend I got to take it out on my favorite ride: Foothills Parkway, to Deal's Gap and then on the Cherohala Parkway. This was a group ride with the Knoxville Rockets. It's always nice to be around others who loves sport bike riding. First comments from them were admiration for the new bike and then surprise at what a great deal I got. Riding with the group pushes me to get out of my comfort zone and try to ride more aggressively (not crazy) which pushes me to become a better rider. I really appreciate that.
As for the bike, it's great! Compared to the Vmax it's a lot smoother. The raw power isn't there, but it's so smooth that I was easily hitting the 90 MPH range without much effort. I felt a little awkward going through the Parkway and the Gap mostly in terms of getting used to the bike (it also helped to pump up the tires which I forgot to check!). By the time I got onto the Skyway, I was really starting to get used to the handling. I know I need more seat time to get really comfortable with the bike.
I got the perfect gift for my new grandson!

Anyway, my best gauge for the bike is that I'm getting anxious to ride it a lot. That means I'm loving the ride. The lighter frame, better handling and sleeker look wins over the insane raw power of my good old Vmax. I don't regret having it, but I realize I'm probably a sport biker at heart. God has a way of getting us to figure things out. His direction is always good so getting back to a sport bike is part of His process. So here's to another season riding!

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