Saturday, May 2, 2015

Wish List

I recently attended the 2015 Anchorage Bike Show, where I got the chance to drool over a number of gorgeous bikes. The variety of bikes at the show was amazing, from the latest cruisers, adventure bikes, sport bikes and dirt bikes offered by all of the local dealerships to a number of simply stunning vintage restorations, including a nicely-done '79 GL1000 that looked so similar to my old 'Wing that I had to do a double-take to see if it really was my old bike (it wasn't -- mine was a year older). While kicking around at the bike show, I found myself wondering -- again -- what I'd have parked in my garage if time, space and money were no longer an issue. In no particular order, here's my (current) "dream-bike" list. Enjoy!

  • Honda GL1000: No surprise here. This is the bike that started it all for me, and I still kick myself for selling the 'Wing instead of finishing it. In truth, it's probably a good thing that bike wasn't ridable when I started riding, but I'd love to have one now.
  • Honda Interceptor/VFR: When I was high school, I had a paper route, and there was a particularly nice example of this bike that I'd always check out when I was out delivering papers. I've always loved the look of this bike, and by all accounts, it was an excellent performer in its day, too.
  • Triumph Street Triple R: I almost bought one of these, a 2009 model the same color as my V-Strom, after my CB550's engine started making metal. Not especially flashy, it's still got the goods to spank most modern "race replicas." (I'm pretty sure the bike in the photo is a Speed Triple rather than a Street Triple, but they look very much alike, even though the Speed has a larger engine).
  • Yamaha Bolt: Yeah, I know, I know. "A cruiser?!?!" And a smallish, Japanese one at that! Yamaha took a risk when they released this bike, and gave several bikes to a number of custom builders to see what they could do with the bike. That's seriously were some of the resulting customs. Even stock, I like the look, and being a part of Bikers Against Child Abuse, I'd like to build a cool bobber for rides with the group, since I feel slightly ridiculous in chaps and a vest on my V-Strom. Something like the Bolt would suit that role a lot better.
  • Suzuki SV650: What can I say? I've enjoyed my V-Strom, and would really like to see what the original, asphalt-only version of my bike could do. The number of parts that are interchangeable between the two models is just icing on the cake!
  • Norton Commando (Re-Issue): If money were no object... It's a modern sport-bike with the trappings of a vintage cafe racer, i.e., "Heaven on Earth."
  • Ducati Sport Classic: Yeah, I like modern retro cafe racers. Sue me ;)
  • Honda CB1000: Another retro-modern bike. <shrug> I like the way old bikes look.
  • Honda CB750SC: I fell in love with a CB550SC back when I was in college, and my first running bike was a much-less-well-maintained version of the same bike. I'd love to have the bigger version of that bike, now.
  • Suzuki Bandit 1250: Another bike I seriously considered when I bought my V-Strom, but too little experience coupled with a fairly heavy, 1250cc bike just didn't seem like a good idea. Now that I've got a couple more miles under my belt, I'd like a sport-tourer with a low enough purchase price that I can afford to tweak it to meet my needs.
  • Triumph Tiger 800XC: If this bike had been available when I was searching for a replacement for my Nighthawk, I'd be sporting a bunch of Triumph gear now.
  • KTM or Yamaha Dirt Bike: So far, everything on my list has been street-oriented, but I'd like to have something a little more adventurous for exploring the many trails where I live.
  • Trials Bike of Some Kind: I really enjoy technical riding, and it doesn't get much more technical than trials.

So there it is: my dream garage, and a bike for every occasion. Given my foray into owning more than one bike, I'd say that with that many bikes, I'd probably spend more time wrenching than riding. It's probably good that I've only got three motorcycles sharing the stable right now ;)

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