I went to look at a motorcycle yesterday because last weekend Taylor sent me a text message telling me how great it was and the silly name “Funduro” was now permanently stuck in my head. Too expensive and probably too old I thought to myself. Not that I have any bias against old things, which somehow always seem more comfortable and practical than new things. Truth be told, my favorite machines all seem to be from the time when I was a teenager, though I guess this is a relatively common phenomena among middle aged farts like me.
The owner of the motorcycle dealership did not seem inclined to budge on the price even though it was a bit higher than the book value for a 1997 BMW 650. Oh well, who needs it? There are always plenty more bikes out there. Still, the nice aftermarket exhaust system with matching carburetor jets, hard luggage cases and windscreen did more than make up for the difference in asking price. The BMW dealer had also installed a new battery and ordered a replacement sensor for the front brake. I decided to see if my motorcycle riding sons who know the owner could get a better deal. Of course, according to the dealer there is always another interested buyer willing to pay full price. That’s the way these negotiations go. The price was sweetened (a little) and I flipped back and forth for the better part of the afternoon trying to decide if I really wanted or needed a motorcycle at this point in my life.
No, I don’t need a motorcycle, especially having made it this far without ever owning one of my own. I’ve always wanted one but like most practical (or practically broke) people I found plenty of reasons not to buy one. Besides that most rightfully concerned wives don’t like the idea of the family’s primary bread winner being killed or disabled in a giant flaming collision in the name of having fun. In contrast, on a few of our trips to Europe I was amused to see the wives riding all sorts of two-wheeled vehicles while balancing children, groceries and laptop computers all at the same time and in traffic that made my hair stand on end. My practical mind was thinking that I could ride the motorcycle to work but then I could just as easily take a bus.
When I was in my twenties I wanted to buy a Norton Commando motorcycle. It was just about the coolest thing I had ever seen. I applied for a loan and was (of course) turned down. I decided then that if I didn’t have a motorcycle by the time I was forty I would just give up on the idea. That is because when I was twenty, I firmly believed that anyone over the age of forty would look completely idiotic riding a motorcycle. Apparently my twenty year old self thought life was more or less over by age forty and due to some blocked arteries, for me it almost was. I was really lucky (dumb luck) that my twenty year old self didn’t kill me and that bad genes didn’t kill my forty year old self or my even older fifty year old self. Now old Dennis is wondering if there is anything left in life that needs to be done and if there is any time left to do it in.
So I pondered myself into a needs versus wants stalemate and then turned to other people for advise, which didn’t help at all. In the end I decided I would get the Funduro even though it felt wrong to give in to a foolish want that I had denied myself for most of my life. The bad news was that I still had to go to work that afternoon, so I had Debbie write a check and asked Taylor to ride the Funduro home to his garage. My motorcycle license had expired back when I was in the hospital trying not to expire myself. I would have like to gone for a test ride but Taylor had ridden the bike a few days before and he knows a lot more about them than I do since he rides a BMW 650 GS. He said it was all good and I believe him.