My shop is in an over-sized two-car garage attached to my home. My work is a calling, in the theological sense of the word. Ethical and moral questions arise every day – they are hard, sharp, unambiguous and unavoidable.

Advice on a first bike

Posted: July 19th, 2010 | Author: Administrator | Filed under: Editorial, Motorcycle Repair | No Comments »

Hello neighbor Carl,

I do believe I can be of assistance.

The ideal bike to learn on is a small-displacement, light-weight street-legal dual sport – or “enduros” as we used to call them back when.  They are 100lbs. lighter than even a small street bike and they take a beating and keep on ticking – no fancy bodywork, chrome pipes, etc. to get scuffed in a fall.  And riding off-road is the very best training for riding a street bike – one becomes used to the bike moving around underneath, traversing small obstacles, and the feeling and proper response to either wheel losing traction.  And since most off-road riding is done in first and second gears, one can make/learn from mistakes at sub-lethal speeds.  With decent riding gear – and the gear these days is light-years ahead of what I rode in 40 years ago – you can spend all day experimenting with riding techniques and situations, fall off when you get it wrong, pick up the bike, and try it again ’til you get it right.  Very valuable skills when one encounters the unexpected at higher velocities on the street.

And a good-running ok-looking 125/175 cc single will run you about $1k.

Now the question is – do you want something relatively modern – ’90s say – or vintage?

And is the woman in question long/medium/short-legged?  The modern bikes have better suspension but they are taller than the vintage bikes.

And since we are nearly neighbors, please do come over for a visit some day/evening.  I’m on Cabin Ridge Lane which is off the Fletcher Martin Rd. just before it ends at the empty old white store and Old NC 20.  If you are coming from the Leicester direction, Cabin Ridge is the first right after you turn onto Fletcher Martin.  My phone is 683-9289.

I am leaving on Thurs. AM for a week but let’s have a visit shortly after I return.  I am angling to pick up one or two bikes in the city – and one I have my eye on is a 1972 Honda CL125 with just over 600 original miles but in need of some cosmetic spiffing.

Existential Motorcycles
Alexander, NC

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