Philosophy and Motorcycles

Philosophy and motorcycles are two of my favorite things in life. This blog will be bits of wisdom gleaned from a misspent youth and an adventurous dotage. People who like/love wisdom or motorcycles, classic or modern versions of either, are welcome to visit and comment.

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Location: Wisconsin, United States

I have been married to the same lovely woman for decades. We have one son, two cats, and live in rural Wisconsin, USA. I ride and rebuild motorcycles, and I am semi-retired. Favorite bikes are Yamaha XS650, FJ1200 and Ducati 900SS. My wife is a home care nurse. I am a Myers-Briggs INTP. She is ESFJ. Our son works at the Apple store in downtown SF and is teaching English as a second language in San Francisco, no grandchildren.

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Gold Wing I was repairing is finally out of my life. What a beastly project. Everything needing repair starts with a line something like this: before beginning this phase of the repair complete steps 1 through 17 and 21 and 23 in section four of this manual. It's a lot like mining. You may want to get to the gold or coal but first you have to remove the mountain covering what you want. Then tunnel in and hope the whole thing doesn't collapse. They are nice when they work although I've never wanted a radio, heater, CB radio, or a machine that weighs as much as a freezer full of buffalo meat. Even my beloved FJ1200 is getting to be a bit much. It's one of the last of the big airheads so it is less complicated but it is quite heavy. Over time my needs and wants have changed. I took my old 1982 Yamaha XV920R out for a ride yesterday and although it doesn't have near the power of the FJ it is lighter, has adequate power, and more character. The seat is a bit narrow so it puts pressure on the spine and my bony old butt gets stiff after an hour but seats are easy to modify. The suspension is dated but the FJ is too soft and has limited cornering clearance. I have a real soft spot for the old 920. A 56 cubic inch engine is enough to go as fast as I'll go and the Yamaha V-twin is a bulletproof engine that has adjustable valves. That alone is a huge point in favor of the Virago style engines. They and the Suzuki airhead fours have adjustable valves that don't involve any of the difficulty of removing the cam or holding down the cam bucket to remove the spacer/shim that needs to be replaced at the dealership that has every stinking spacer known to man except the ones you need but they can be here by next month, maybe, if the phases of the moon cooperate. For local use I still ride an XS650. I have three of them for sale and hope to get back down to five motorcycles by the end of summer. I looked at a Honda 250cc road bike. Nice, light, fast enough to keep up with traffic on two lane roads. As I approach my dotage I am inclined more toward simple and light machines. Be well, LN


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