Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sometimes there just something about them...

Just an aside from our regularly scheduled posting...

Coming to that point with a motorcycle where your own personal and spiritual gears mesh and the bike just becomes an extension of you is a moment of satisfaction that's hard to explain to folks who don't ride. For a lot of us this can happen as quickly as the ride home from the dealership on that brand new ride and for others it may never happen. Sometimes the two of you just have irreconcilable differences. It's usually not the bikes fault. It's usually our fault. We just refuse to believe that the "bike of our dreams" could be anything less than perfect. Then we spend some time trying to bond and it all goes wrong. Hey it happens. No point denying it. Put it behind you and move on. We weren't the rider we thought we were. At least not on that bike. These things "usually" happen quickly enough.

But then there's those of us who are constantly falling for the tired old girl with all that "potential". We know we can get her on the road quickly but once we start into her it's like pulling that first thread on an old sweater. Next thing you know you're into a full restoration of a bike that was just going to be a "rider" till you finished one of the three projects you have going on already. Even in the best of circumstances there can be weeks or sometimes even years before you can get that first ride much less that moment of mystical magical bliss.

I had just such a moment this weekend on a bike I would have never expected. The first amazing thing is that I actually kept it whole and didn't take it all the way down. It was a "rolling upgrade". A cosmetic buff and fluff with some substantial performance mods that actually worked as advertised. The next surprise (at least where I'm concerned) is that it's a 4 stroke single. Long time readers of this blog know that my first love is 2 strokes. You can see my 2-stroke blog as an example. It actually preceded this blog by quite a bit but I kept finding all these cool bike pics with nowhere to post them so this blog was born.

Anyway, after a lot of tinkering and performance updates I finally got the jetting dialed in in my DR650 this weekend and took her on the first of what will be many longer excursions. Twenty minutes into it I knew I was hooked. Everything started to feel natural. The riding position, the (nicely upgraded) handling, the power and torque of the engine.What started out as a ten minute shakedown run lasted all day and the grins lasted all weekend. This single cylinder, do-it-all motorcycle stuff is more fun for the dollar that any bike I've ever ridden. I'm starting to wonder why bikes would ever need more than two cylinders tops... er... then I remember the sultry stumble of my old speed triple and come to my senses. But still, does anyone really "need" more than one? Maybe.... we are a country covered with interstates after all. But where's the fun in that? All the best action is on the 2-lane stuff anyway. And don't forget the dirt and gravel!


  1. Big-bore chook chasers are the best value for money 2-wheel fun I've ever found too. I just hope they never become as fashionable (and therefore expensive) as the race replicas and sports bikes that so many people prefer.

  2. I don't know Angus. There's some pretty expensive KTM's out there. If I was a wee bit taller and LC4 would be tempting.

  3. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder- but i think that thebike is like one of the girls we once knew who had it all, except the looks..

  4. I will never forget when I got my DR over 10 years ago. That first ride brought me back to the reason I loved motorcycling so much in the first place. Just getting on the bike and going wherever. If I saw a dirt road winding up a hill I just turned off the paved road and took it. There’s nothing like a dual sport bike in rural areas. And then I discovered how easy it was to get around urban settings. Zipping in and out of traffic and being able to take narrow side streets with ease.

    From my 20s to mid 30s I was so caught up in going fast and getting the latest greatest sport bike. Now I’m just about totally content on my DR. I will dream for a big BMW GS, but out of my price range. That new KLR looks really nice.



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