For my birthday, I bought myself a motorcycle. I am now a motorcyclist. This is undisputibly awesome. Here’s what I bought:
Hey, get out of the way, guy!
Theeeere we go.
That, friends, is a 1980 Yamaha Maxim. 650cc’s of Japanese-designed steel, rubber, and faux-leather… and she’s all mine. (I have named her Yvonne.) I will tell you our story.
Whilst searching Craigslist for deals, as I am wont to do on occasion, I stumbled upon a listing for a motorcycle. It was a Suzuki something-or-other: the picture looked great, the guy said it had minor problems, and the price was excellent. I set up a time to come look at it.
I’ve never bought a motorcycle before. I’ve only ever ridden dirt- and mini-bikes. I’ve only ever had one car, which I bought when I was 16 and still use today, 8.5 years later. I say this to inform you that I have no idea what to look at in a machine aside from “Hyup, the paint sure sparkles, a-durhurr.”
I would have asked my father to come with me, as he’s a Car-guy from the olden days who lovingly disdains my lack of knowledge when it comes to the finer points of engines and carburetors and… spark plugs… things like that, but he was working that night.
Instead, I called upon the next best thing: Uncle Randy.
Uncle Randy is my Mom’s brother. He was in the Air Force, he was always muscly, and he’s owned a motorcycle for years. He even gave me a lesson last year, but his motorcycle was less a motorcycle and more a car (complete with radio, armrests and cup holders) that only had two wheels. This thing was massive, and a not exactly made for beginners.
Anyways. He was free that night, so we hopped in his truck and drove to check the thing out… I would have bought it because I’m an idiot, and it passed my “Yarp, it’s shiny” test, but he thought the “minor problems” were actually MAJOR problems, and he told me to walk away. So we did.
And that’s the story of how I didn’t buy a motorcycle! See you later!
But seriously, kids.
I resumed looking. Less than a day later, I saw Yvonne, also on Craigslist. I called up the guy, he said we could come look at it, and it turns out that Uncle Randy was going to be working in that area that day, so basically the stars aligned.
We met the guy; Randy took the bike out for a spin and told me he liked it; it passed my shiny test; and then I talked the guy down $100 from his initial price (booyah!). He gave me the title right there, and I was now the owner of a motorcycle that was 30 years old, with only 16,700 miles on it. This was two days before my birthday.
Apparently, the guy I bought it from bought it from a guy he knew who needed some money. Original owner was an older guy who just kept her in his garage for years. There are some problems that come with keeping a bike in storage for years: namely that it needs a tune up and some new fuses. THESE ARE MINOR PROBLEMS. Also, there’s a crack in the bottom of the exhaust pipe, so it kind of “putts” if I’m in a low gear for too long, but that I don’t mind.
I drove it home after I got a helmet, some gloves, and a safety jacket (great things to wear in June, lemme tell ya), and surprised my parents with it. They were indeed surprised.
Dad took it out for a spin, and after I told him what I paid for it, he offered the greatest praise any son can get from their father:
“You did good, son.”
I’ve had it for two weeks now, and I love it. Got some things to fix, I need to get some saddlebags, and I barely stall out at stop signs anymore… but she’s mine. And that is awesome.