Many of my posts deal with my motorcycle so why not provide a little more background. Long, long ago in the distant year 2005 I purchased a lightly used 2004 Harley-Davidson Sportster. It is a wonderful bike, and a terrific machine to learn on. While it has the smallest engine available on any Harley-Davidson, it has some serious get up and go thanks to its light weight. Being inspired by TV shows such as American Chopper and Biker Build-off I bought a sissy bar, saddle bags, passenger foot pegs, and installed them all myself. Some of those projects (especially the saddle bags) were really challenging involving taking a good part of the bike apart and putting it back together again. Fun stuff.
Then we moved to Oregon. The bike that was perfect for the flatland had trouble with Angie as a passenger making it up what the natives refer to as hills and those of us from the flatland refer to as mountains. Not quite bad enough to warrant a new bike of its own accord. But then in snuck a new hobby — motorcycle camping. While we’ve only been out once as of this writing it was clear that Angie, camping gear, and myself were seriously approaching the limits of the bike when “hills” were added. So the search began in earnest.
I started back over at Harley-Davidson because I’m from Illinois. North of Illinois is a state called Wisconsin known as home of the Green Bay Packers and/or Harley-Davidson. If I hadn’t started with that make I never would have been allowed back into Northern Illinois. I would have shamed myself and my house. I found a bike that would fit our needs and decided to stew about it.
While stewing I think it was about this time that I saw a program on TV where Alton Brown, of the Food Network, took his BMW from the East to West coast; stopping for food along the way. I didn’t know that BMWmade motorcycles so off to the Internet I went and located a local dealer, BMW of Western Oregon. I swung by there and checked them out. I must admit that I wasn’t too impressed at first. I think it was the brain washing waves sent across the Illinois border from Wisconsin all those years.
For those of you that don’t know me personally, I can think myself right out of a purchase. I’d nearly done that here and it wasn’t until I started my 2009 Chicago Marathon training that I got serious about another bike. The Sportster’s suspension just wasn’t soft enough for me. After riding the bike to/from work and running six or more miles in the evening my back was becoming trashed. I could barely ride my bike all year in 2009. This ratcheted up the stewing and I started comparing bikes as the marathon date came closer.
Deciding between the two really came down to one thing: bang for the buck. Both the Harley-Davidson and the BMW (R 1200 GS) that I’d been comparing were about the same price. The difference was that the standard options on the BMW would allow my riding season to be nearly year round. Sure I could do it on the Harley, but I’d be miserable doing it and cleaning all that chrome. Decision made, I bought the 2009 BMW R 1200 GS when I returned from the marathon.
I’m glad that I bought the BMW, but I still have my Sportster. Angie’s after me to sell it, but there’s just this bit of lingering Wisconsin-ian programming lingering that won’t let me part with it just yet.