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The Simple Life: Used Bikes and Beer

The press is always writing about new, relatively expensive motorcycles (we are guilty of it, too). I saw a neighbor of mine riding up and down our street the other day on an old Honda 90 Scrambler. He seemed to be having a good time, and it reminded me that motorcycling is not necessarily about having large amounts of disposable income. It’s about transportation, and, in the United States, it’s largely about having fun. The best part is, it doesn’t take a lot of money to participate.

A few years ago, I bought a 1979 Honda Gold Wing (remember the “naked” Gold Wings — before they added all the bags and the big fairing?). That bike was almost mint, and it had less than 2,000 miles on it when I bought it. I think I paid $1,900.00 for it. What a blast I had on that bike — I never should have sold it.

New bikes are great, and all of the new technology improves performance and reliability (for the most part). We can’t forget, however, that motorcycles are not only a lot more fun than cars, but they’re a lot cheaper, as well. Moreover, used cars tend to be a lot more beat up, with a lot more mileage on them. Used bikes that have hardly been ridden are all over the place — just waiting for a new, more enthusiastic owner to put them to good use.

I guess the point of this article is this. If you want to get into motorcycling, but you can’t afford the latest and greatest, don’t let that stop you. Go look at some used bikes, and find something that suits you. Get involved now, because waiting to buy your ultimate, brand new motorcycle isn’t worth it. If you buy the right used bike, you can even ride it for a while and sell it for exactly what you paid for it (or more). I did that with the Gold Wing, for instance.

By now, some of you are wondering about the word “beer” in the title. I’m not sure why I put it there, but let’s just say that a nice cold beer after a long, hot ride is always nice (don’t drink before you ride). Oh yeah, and beer is pretty cheap, too.