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You’re Beautiful… But You’re a Pain In the Ass!

When I last posted about the Ducati which had sprung a gas leak, my friend Ralph commented,

Since a big part of the allure of motorcycles is their beauty and romance, I understand buying an unreliable bike. Understand, but personally won’t…

We do it with people, we do it with motorcycles and hell – I’ve done it on more than one occasion with a pair of shoes. What am I talking about? Putting up with their shit because they’re “hot”.

But, why?

What is it about motorcycles that conjures up such passion and feelings of romanticism that cause some of us to suspend our practicality and maybe good sense?

How About You?

Have you ever had a dysfunctional relationship with a bike? What was your breaking point that made you finally say, I give up. This just isn’t working?

Old Reliable <3
Old Reliable <3

Comments

Shybiker
Reply

Thanks for the mention, buddy. I’m flattered I inspired the post.

I’ve had several friends who bought exotic bikes (e.g., Ducati, MV Augusta, KTM) purely for their attractive looks and, a year or so later, sold them in disgust. The frequent breakdowns and expensive repairs dispelled their romantic feelings.

OG
Reply

Though I have had FAR more unreliable computing experiences than motorcycling ones, I do have one unreliable machine in the garage. My Cannondale is the bitchiest motorcycle I have owned, it’s one of the dreaded “03′s” and it fails at all of my usual benchmarks for a dirt ride. Top of the list is reliable, like stone axe reliable then tractable followed by lightweight. Notice “power of Thor’s Hammer”, “coolio-weird” and “conversation starter” are absent from the attributes I’m looking for. That said, it is wicked fun to ride with the sweetest suspension and for a small fortune, I can buy a reliability kit from ATK ( the current owners of Cannondale tech ) that would resolve most of the issues. Does spending the equivalent of a good used bike on an essentially worthless bit of esoterica seem like a good idea? Especially when it will involve disassembling the engine? Nope. But, I might do it anyway. Because I can and it suits me.

Still, if I go for a ride with friends, would that be the bike I take? Hard to say. I guess it comes down to what your threshold for pain is. I used to chuckle when my friends and I were dating and the conversation turned to the “crazy ones.” Fundamentally, each of us had our own level of crazy we were willing to deal with and frankly, 0% crazy equaled boring. Heck, even for a long term thing you want SOMETHING to keep it fresh and fun.

So, do you go out and buy the most reliable motorcycle possible? One with no features or technology that might cause you difficulty? If you plan to ride through Bolivia, sure, I get that but for less daunting rides wouldn’t you want a little more? I know I do, though, I am arrogant enough to believe I can just figure out any problem roadside anyway. I might even secretly enjoy the challenge.

If every time I went to ride, I had a problem with a bike, sure, it’d be gone but if it needs a little intervention from time to time…and the payback is an experience I can’t get from another bike, I can deal with that.

GLantern
Reply

Fuzz your making it so easy for me to post right now, this post talks right to me lol

Is there anywhere to really start or end with my 1098? You know all of the story….I have admitted defeat and said it is enough on so many occasions with that bike but I still have her…….it is in my personality to not give up on anything I care, yes I care about the 1098, about or like. Persistent bastard is a good way to put it, hah!

OG above put it well if every time I rode the 1098 had an issue then it might be gone. But it only has an issue every once and a while and those issues tend to take longer to fix then the DRZ perchance, but it puts it into perspective and makes you appreciate it even more when it is running right.

I have said it before and the bike at first represented this new chapter in my life and something I had lusted after for a long time but was scared to commit to. Sportbikes I always felt would be something I shouldn’t touch due to my tendency to push the limit, I just never thought I would be responsible enough to have one. But I made the jump and then it became more then just this taboo bike. It became thousands of miles of experiences and moments in my life that I will never give up. And no matter how much of a pain in the ass it will be i’ll hang on to that bike. There have been a lot of new friends in my life thanks to her and a lot of those friends all have one bike they wish they never sold, I don’t want that to happen to me. Thinking of selling the 1098 and having another person riding it around and abusing it or just letting it sit and collect dust is heartbreaking.

I wrote a passionate post on suspects once about what the bike meant to me and it all revolved around the people I have met on it and the places I have been. It is the main ingredient in something much bigger in my life.

Eric Lange
Reply

There’s something to be said about a bike that forces you to overcome challenges, and the people it can lead you to along the way. When everything becomes remote-controlled or just a “click” away….what have we become?

Deepish Thoughts,

Jack Handy

Crudmop
Reply

Ahh yes, overcoming challenges. Big fun when those occur daily in the rain on the side of the road, or stranding you far from home – love those challenges :) I love them even more when I pay a premium for the honor to have them :)

If you need to work on a bike on occasion to keep it running well, that can be chalked up to “Cost of Ownership”. If you are chasing mechanical failures, gremlins and/or poor craftsmanship/design and the bike is spending more time being worked on then ridden, there comes a time when the romanticized “challenge” needs to be reconsidered. Luckily your 996 isn’t there – GL’s 1098, oh, that was there last year and he’s upped the ante :)

Biker Ted
Reply

Do’nt mention Ian’s Yamaha XS 5oo to him. One crash, a dropped valve, seized oil pump, replacement engine, big end bearings and the final nail in this nail’s coffin was that the cam timing kept on slipping one tooth. All this happened within 18 months. The money that he spent on this disaster could have bought him a new Suzuki GS 1000. At least he learnt how to strip an engine and could get the motor out of the frame by himself in less than 20 minutes. Just pleased that I was not around during this period!

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