So there are a few things that I’ve wanted to do for a while, but which haven’t worked out because of money or space constraints — flying isn’t really in the budget now (and I’d hate to start and stop again, so I’m not going to start flying again until I’m sure I can commit for five years or more), and picking up a mid-70s sports car and restoring it is impractical without a garage.

On Friday, though, I realized that there was a third option that is affordable and accessible that I’ve always sort of had in the back of my mind but never really though about: a motorcycle! To my surprise Candice was not completely horrified by the suggestion, and while I’ve always joked that my (car-)driving style would get me killed on a bike, I don’t think that would be a problem when I’m vulnerable on a bike. I’ve also got a great commute along a parkway and country roads which would be a whole lot of fun on a bike (even without the speeds I go in the car).

So I found the folks who provide the local safety course and picked up the local Bike Trader to start looking for a starter bike. I figure I want a standard (not sportbike, not cruiser) bike somewhere around 400-500cc, because there’s nothing available in the 250cc range here, and this week’s Trader has (in Canadian dollars):

  • 1983 Honda CX500, 30k km, $1500
  • 1979 Kawasaki 400 LTD, 44k, $1500
  • 1983 Yamaha Virago 500, 24k, $1600
  • 1984 Honda CM450E, 31k, $1450
  • 1979 Suzuki GS425E, 9k (!), $1700
  • 1982 Yamaha Maxim 400, 86k, $1000
  • 1979 CX500, 28k, $1500

Thoughts from motorcycle folks on those bikes are very welcome. :-) I’m budgeting for a full-face helmet, jacket and gloves too (I figure jeans and Blunnies will be OK for below the waist for beginner speeds, and then I’ll look into pants and boots later).

Then again, I’m already a champion enduro rider, apparently…

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