bike envy.

I sold my beloved Ninja sometime between Quinn and Lyra.  I had a few close calls with inattentive cagers in crowded parking lots down in Knoxville, and I decided that being around for my kids was more important than the ability to ride.

Fast forward through a few years and a relocation to scenic NH, and I have to admit that seeing all these motorcycles on the roads up here gives me a severe case of envy.  I’ve been checking out used bikes on Craigslist for a while now…not that I’m in a position to splurge on a motorcycle right now, but it’s always good to stay on top of the market, right?

I did pay to transfer my motorcycle endorsement when I got my NH driver’s license.  Just in case, you know…


24 thoughts on “bike envy.

  1. Fifteen years ago, I was shown where there rubber meets the road one night. After I healed up, I bought another bike, rode it for a year (to prove I wasn’t afraid of it), and sold it. Seems while I was OK with riding, my wife wasn’t.

    Just recently, she consented to me getting another motorcycle. Granted, I have no disposable income right now, but I got my eye on a BMW.

  2. I got a big ol’ HD shovelhead in the garage looking for a new home.

    Jus’ sayin’…

  3. Steve says:

    Marco, I’ve enjoyed your work for years. Check the ad from where I work:

  4. Jay G. says:


    Just FYI, there’s two really great things about NH and October for motorcycles.

    1. The foliage is out of this world, and there is no better way to see it than on a bike.

    2. Folks start selling bikes pretty cheap to avoid paying another season’s storage fees.

    Just something to consider.

    Here’s another couple of things:

    1. Take an MSF refresher course if you’ve been off the bike for a few years. It can’t hurt to review the basics.

    2. I’d love to head north to go riding with you – you live in a fantastic area for that. That’s if you’d consent to riding with someone on a big ol’ slow touring bike…

  5. Laughingdog says:

    I survived a 120 mph crash last December and have just a tiny scar on my left hand. I’m not saying that riding isn’t dangerous. But if you spend the money on good gear, and devote time to refresher classes every couple of years, it’s not nearly as risky as it used to be. Most companies cover the cost of replacing your gear if you have full coverage, since $1500 to replace your gear is a lot cheaper for them than the medical bills would have been.

    I’m just sayin’.

  6. tholt says:

    I did pretty much the same calculation. Unlike you, I happened to end up with a bike that I hated, so it wasn’t a big deal to let it go. I had the urge to do some riding this summer, but unemployment pretty much put the smackdown on those plans. Next year for sure…

  7. Kevin S says:

    I dumped my rice rocket and separated my shoulder when my wife was pregnant with our first child. I came to the same conclusion as you (with some help from my wife) and got rid of it. The itch, however, never left, so within a few years I was riding dirt bikes and then progressed to a Harley a few years back. My children still need a dad, so I’m more cautious now (and older, of course), especially as I’m sitting atop a fairly sizeable investment…

  8. KingsideRook says:

    Remember, Happy Fun Bike was happy and fun.


    • Tam says:

      …and I just found the title, all folded up in a little side pouch of my fanny pack. Talk about odd timing…

      It was still in the name of one “Marko Cunningham”, and showed that the bike was purchased with 29 miles on the odometer (…and a ding in the gas tank. You can imagine the story behind that.)

  9. Will says:

    my standard spiel, irregardless of age or experience or bike style: Take a class on a race track, like Keith Code’s Superbike School, or similar. This will improve your safety margin on the street by a huge amount. Learning how to use your bike at (or near) its limits of handling under controlled conditions elevates your street competence, since it directly translates into emergency response ability.
    There is one drawback to time on a racetrack. As a friend commented as I was prepping my Guzzi for track use: “Remember how we used to chase each other around the Skyline area, and thought we were hot shit? Well, you’re going to find out just how slow we really were”!

  10. perlhaqr says:

    Ayup. Mine is sitting in my living room (I would like to again mention that my wife is a saint) not 20 feet away. I’ve been putting more and more parts back on lately. I think I might be ready to ride just about the time the snow starts… *brr*

  11. Black Ice says:

    Laughingdog has it right. Yes, riding is risky. So is taking a shower, eating questionable sushi, and getting out of bed in the morning. Mitigate the risk as much as you can and then go for it.

    I’ve been riding for almost a quarter-century, and swore to myself that I’d never live without at least one bike. Find an old nail and get back in the saddle, my friend.

    (The “my website” address is my favorite bike forum, full of responsible, geared-up, safety-first riders and a few anarchist hellraising bastards like me. Drop by sometime!)

  12. Matt says:

    There are days I miss my baby Ninja and FZR. I stopped riding a few years ago when the nagging little voice in the back of my head wouldn’t stop telling me to not ride the bike. I never ignored the little voice and took it as a sign that I needed to hang up my helmet.

    Like you, I kept my M endorsement when I moved. Took too much effort to get and I nearly lost it because of an inattentive clerk at the DMV.

    Since I wasn’t riding when I met my wife and she had a motorcycle wreck as a teenager, I am forbidden from riding on the street in this area again (Washington DC). But there are days I long for a Ducati 748R (my dream bike). Likely won’t happen.

    So I get a sailboat instead. 🙂

    Good luck on that, Marko. It was four years of my life that I do not regret in the slightest. When I was in the groove and everything was set up perfectly, there was nothing better than riding 50-100 miles through beautiful country including Skyline Drive in Virginia.

  13. Paul says:

    I have the perfect bike in the garage. I purchased one last year with high prices for gas. Got a “project” bike. Basket case, really. So now I need to find the time, which is harder to do. Of course when the sun shines I would like to have it working. When it raining I am glad it doesn’t. I’ve not ridden for about 23 years now and I would think a class could be a good idea. When I quit riding I was using my scooter as my sole form of transportation. Year round in Iowa. I would say the guy who got the scratch dumping at 120? should quit riding. god only suffers fools for so long.

    The only true thing I every learned about bikes is that it is not a question of if but when. And there is preciious little room for error when it happens. Gear or not.

    get one that doesn’t run and you can scratch the itch with out taking the risk. Course you got to have the place to put it.


    • Laughingdog says:

      Actually, it was the result of a reaction to an anti-depressant (apparently low blood-sugar on Cymbalta can be bad) that caused me to go into a seizure while riding, but not before hallucinating for a few minutes to the point that I thought I was actually dreaming that I was on a bike. Since I typically drive (and ride) like an old man, I wasn’t even willing to drive until I was off the stuff a couple of months later.

      But clearly the accident must have been because I’m reckless and foolish.

  14. Tennessee Budd says:

    19 months after the wreck, I’m almost able to walk without a cane. As soon as I can, I’m putting my 9ooF together & riding. I had just rebuilt the forks when I wrecked the late Moped–she doesn’t need much.
    Get out there & ride, Marko.

  15. Mopar says:

    Just another rider who loves NH riding in the fall. As a matter of fact I’ll be up in the White Mountains with the bike in a few weeks for a long weekend. As a family man, I’ll say steer clear of the sport bikes. Those are for single guys. Get yourself a nice, comfortable, big, slow cruiser. You won’t be as tempted to try and scrape your knee at 120mph like you will be on a sport bike. I’ll also second the MSF course and the gear. Get the best you can afford.

  16. Jay G. says:

    I’m sensing a Northeast Blogger Fall Foliage ride coming on…


    • Mopar says:

      Jay, I think our current plan is to be in the N.Conway area either Oct 1 or 2 thru Oct 5. Loose plans for the long weekend include riding the Kanc up to Woodstock Brewery for a growler or 2 of their Autumn Ale then back down the Kanc to Bear Notch Rd into Jackson, NH to check out the pumpkin people. I’d also like to hit the Black Mountain Arts and Music Festival to catch Jonathan Sarty and The White Mountain Boys play. Also the Fryburg fair starts that sunday. And of course we need to visit our favorite bartender at the Red Parka and have a few awesome margaritas! There is always plenty to see and do in the White Mountains!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Learned to ride on my neighbor’s Honda minibike at the age of 9, but never had a streetbike (or a license) until I was 30. Bought a Honda CM400 for $300, rode it with a permit for 3 years, then saw the writing on the wall (and on a citation for riding without a license 😉 and finally took my road test.

    Rewarded myself for passing with a low-mileage ’97 Kawasaki 1500 Vulcan that was in the right place at the right time, and rode it every day the temperature was above 35F and the sky was clear for 4 years.

    My wife caught the bug after a season of riding behind me, and got her motorcycle endorsement via the MSF course – which I HIGHLY recommend, and a Honda 600 VLX for her birthday.

    I sold both bikes last September when the price of home heating oil peaked and I was facing bankruptcy in the process of not freezing for the winter. Three weeks later, the price plummeted, and I’ve kicked myself ever since for not keeping at least one of the bikes.

    I’m thinking next year’s tax return may come in a two-wheeled format. 🙂

  18. maddmedic says:

    After 30 plus years of riding and 17 plus years of working in EMS, in which I saw what happens to those whom dress right and those whom…become practice dummies or organ donors, I sold my last bike and used the money to get my CCW and a couple of additions to my collection of firearms…but…I want my bike back!!

  19. Kristopher says:

    Get an older model Farley off of craigslist, and be done with it. A jap cruiser will get the job done cheaply, and is more reliable anyway. The Harley twits can sneer if they want.

    I paid $1700 for my naked goldwing, and put a few hundred into fixing small stuff.

    You should be able to find something for under $3k once the snow flies … it can spend the winter garaged with a battery tender … start it up once a month.

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