Andy gets a motorcycle
Oct 06, 2017
When I joined the Marines and lived in California and Hawaii, I
had a Honda 450 Nighthawk. Ever since I got rid of it, I have thought
about getting back into motorcycles, but never did it. Now that
I am all grown up and live 6 miles from work, I've decided it is
a good time to get back into it.
My decision tree was very simple: I wanted a small motorcycle for
commuting. I want to commute year round. That's what I wanted, but
every salesman and co-worker who rides wanted me to get something
bigger "because I might want more power." Well, I might,
but I am taking this slow.
I scheduled the Motorcycle Safety Foundation course for the end
of September (this began in July) because I wanted to learn in the
conditions in which I would be riding: Rain. And it did rain on
us during the 3-day course, so that worked out. In the meantime,
I started looking.
I am, of course, a fan of Hondas, so my first choice was the new
Honda Rebel 500. At just under $6,000, it was a little pricey for
me, and the internet says "Always buy used for your first bike.
You WILL drop it." I started cruising Craigslist. MAN, people
want a lot for their motorcycles on Craigslist - most valued 2x
or more over Kelley Bluebook. Then she popped up:
2008 Honda Rebel 250 with 811 miles on her, and a Salvage title
because the original owner dropped her on her side and the insurance
scrapped her and sold her at auction. A mechanic at a auto-salvage
yard thought he wanted a motorcycle, so he bought her, fixed her,
and rode her for a total of about 20 miles before he put her away
in his garage. Then, in 2017, he bought a new car and needed money,
so he put her on Craigslist.
After having been garaged for 8 years, there were little problems
with her clutch and the tires are probably not as rubbery as they
should be, so I bought a manual and spent a few frustrating days
getting her to shift properly while I waited for my helmet to show
I had an idea of making a "Batman" style turntable in
my garage so I wouldn't have to wrestle her around every day. I
had it all drawn up and created a Bill of Materials and everything.
I was about to go get parts when I looked on Harbor Freight's website
and saw they had a motorcycle
dolly for $72 (always get the 20% discount code when going to
This is perfect - I just lower the chocks on the ends (which keeps
the dolly from rolling) and drive up onto it. Raise the chocks and
the dolly rolls around on it's 'crazy wheels.'
I am a member of the All the Gear, All the Time club. Boots, gloves,
jacket, helmet - ALL the time. Yes, I look like a traffic cone tootling
around on my tiny, orange bike, but like someone in my Motorcycle
Safety Course said "If I don't notice you in that getup, I
shouldn't be driving."