Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Hunt Was On For A Steel Steed

Now that I had my Motorcycle Riding License and new what type of bike I wanted, it was time to start looking for a bike to ride. My wife agreed we could use the funds from an upcoming Income Tax refund to pay for it. My plan was to use it to commute to work everyday which would cut down on our fuel expenses. This would also make my 1998 Ford Explorer available for one of my teenagers to drive. I would still need to purchase some more riding gear down the road.

I had already been to several dealers both new and used. I was also watching all the local inventories on-line through their websites. Two weeks before the Income tax money was to arrive I checked Craigslist one more time. My search was specifically for V-Stars this time since that is what I was leaning towards. One listing caught my eye. It was for a 2003 V-Star 1100 Classic with 26000 miles on it. The mileage did not scare me off because I had read of the V-Stars easily going over 100,000 miles. It had a short list of some of the upgrades made to it including cams, cruise, and chrome. It was a platinum and cream type color which did not look too bad. The price seemed reasonable considering the age, mileage, and accessories. It was also located in North Dallas, which is not too far from me.

The weekend came and I doubtfully called to see if it was even still available. It was, so I made an appointment to go and look at it the next Saturday. My IRS refund was supposed to come in before then by direct deposit making it possible for me to purchase it, if I liked it. It sure sounded too good in print to be true. I could hardly wait until next Saturday.

My oldest son had recently found an inexpensive full face black helmet at a junkyard. It was not in too bad of shape so I tried it on and it fit. It had a few minor scuffs and scratches on the outside. There was no structural damage indicating an impact of any kind, so, I estimated it to be safe. I took it completely apart and washed everything, liner, padding, and the inside. Now I had a helmet to use until I could purchase one that I wanted. The week before I had purchased a regular leather, non-motorcycle, jacket from a discount rack at a local Kohl's store. It would make due until I could get something better.

My refund came in that week so I withdrew the cash needed to purchase the bike in case I decided to buy it. Saturday came around and my wife, my youngest son Joshua, and myself headed to the North Dallas address to meet the friend of the seller and to see the '03 V-Star 1100. The owner of the bike was out of town at the time. It was a cool overcast day with a threat of rain. The wind was really blowing from the north and the National Weather Service had issued a Wind Advisory Warning.

We arrived at the address a little after the set time and no one was home. We waited in the Explorer for a short time and then someone drove up in a vehicle. He introduced himself as the owners friend and representative and opened the single garage door where the bike was located. Wow, there she was and what a site. He backed her out of the garage and let me look her over. He started pointing out to me a lot of the accessories that had been added to the bike. This bike was decked out. He started her up for me and she was loud. Then one of the neighborhood kids that had wandered up grabbed the throttle and twisted. He had to get after the poor kid to get him to let go. The boy was surprised by the sound and had not let go of the throttle. Did I mention how loud that exhaust sounded? Insert smile here.

I asked if I could ride her and he said no because they had heard stories of people test riding motorcycles and never coming back. I had heard these stories as well. He stated however, that if I had a helmet, he would gladly take me for a ride. I agreed and got the helmet out of the Explorer as he maneuvered the bike around and into the street so I could get on.

The owners representative , like me, was a large guy. At least as big as me at 6'2” and probably weighed as much, or more. The V-Star moved us up to speed effortlessly without a strain. We opted not to take her out onto the freeway. So instead, he made a large circle around his neighborhood. This allowed us to at least get her up to 45 mph, or so. The bike would gracefully get us up to speed in neck jerking time as you heard the mid level cams kicking in. I smiled every now and again while going through the neighborhoods. It seems that her vocal Cobra exhaust pipes made the car alarms go off as we made our way back through the neighborhood.

Far too soon the ride was over and we were back at the house where we began. I asked if he had the title and he did. I made an offer $500.00 less then the asking price. The owners representative replied no, stating that the owner had too much money invested in accessories to come down that much. However, he said the owner probably would not mind coming down off the price $250.00. Realizing that the bike plus accessories, despite the mileage, was worth a lot more, I made the deal. He got the title from inside the house, which had already been signed by the actual owner, and we counted out the cash together with my wifes help. He handed me the the OEM cams, a spare bottle of Mobile One Synthetic Motorcycle Oil, one of his business cards, and tossed me the spare keys. It was time to go. We left with me navigating the new She Beast home wards with my wife following close behind in the explorer.

Ride on,


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