Scoot Commute

Ever Fallen in Love?

Posted in Bike Buying, Honda Superhawk CB77, Uncategorized by cheesebot on 2016/01/24

A couple of years ago (April 2013), Siobhán and I went over to Razee Motorcycle – probably to get some little part or an inner tube or spark plugs or something, but primarily to chat with Brendan.  Brendan works in the parts department and (along with Gordon, the owner of the shop) is a bit of a vintage bike hoarder.  It was close to closing when we got there so he invited us back to his house when he got off work.  Apparently he lives in Gordon’s old house where they both store quite a lot of old bikes.  I won’t disclose the location but I did sneak a couple pics with my crappy mobile phone while there.

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Norton Commandos, Dresda CB750, etc.

One of the things we always wanted to add to the collection was a Brit bike or another vintage Japanese bike specifically for Siobhán.  A Norton or BSA would be perfect to challenge my mechanical prowess and cool enough for Siobhán to finally feel like I wasn’t getting all of the attention for my bikes.  Something I always wanted to do was to be able to surprise Siobhán with a perfectly operational, totally cool motorcycle or scooter as a surprise present – like sneak it into the backyard with a bow and all on it.  And she could just hop on, start it, and ride off.

To this end I started a secret stash of cash.  Anyone who’s been in a serious, long-term relationship understands how difficult it is to buy surprise gifts for each other when your finances are combined.  I kept a constant eye out for good bikes on Craigslist or friends who know a guy, etc. ready to pounce on a great surprise.  But one day I came home to find Siobhán home and our neighbor Ron sitting in the living room.  It seems his computer mouse died and she went poking around in the depths of my-side-of-the-office and did not find a PS2 mouse but found an envelope with over $3000 cash in it.  UH-OH, busted.

She jumped to the conclusion that I was saving up money to leave her and run off to somewhere but I was able to convince her that it was just some of the cash rent payments that I hadn’t yet had a chance to deposit at the bank – which I then had to do.  So, whelp, there goes my surprise stash.

Fast forward to last October (2015) when Gordon Razee decided that he might have too much stuff in his hoard and should auction off about half of his collection, over 250 lots, to let someone else enjoy it for a change.  Without Siobhán around anymore all the finances are my responsibility and I just know that I’m going to be able to find that perfect bike for her.

I admit, it’s hard for me to get motivated and that’s one of the best things Siobhán ever did for me but when I want something I’ll make it happen so I got up early on a Sunday morning, prepped myself to head out to North Kingstown, and to go bring home a “new” bike to add to the much too large family.  Once there I found Brendan early on and asked his advice on the row of Honda CB77 Superhawks, which is another bike we’ve always wanted.

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Pretty Little Superhawks, All in a Row.

Yeah, I wanted one of these, I would’ve loved to get her one of these.  The Superhawk is, to me, the definition of a motorcycle.  It’s simple, it’s fast (considering it’s only a 305), and damn exciting to ride.  Also, we love Hondas and there’s nothing wrong with adding another Honda to the brood.  Anyway, I set my eyes on a red one (obviously) and got Brendan’s approval that it was probably the most complete one at the auction.

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The best of the bunch.

To cut a long story short, once I made up my mind I knew I was going to be bringing this home.  For me, and for Siobhán in spirit.  This is the bike I would’ve bought for her without question.  It sold for twice as much as any of the others did (yucky people were touching it and hanging around it all day) but I really didn’t care what the cost was in the end.

Now, if you go back up to the top pic that I posted here from Brendan’s house you might be able to see in the top right corner a little red bike with a red fender (not standard, I know, but I like it).  Brendan told me that these 305s were stored at his house and the realization that we had both already seen this bike a couple years before before was very important to me.

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Red Honda in a red Honda, again, but different.

A couple of ADVRider friends helped me load her into my car (fits nicely) and I brought her home to begin the revival process.

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Elsa needs new shoes, or my trip to Razee

Posted in Honda Transalp XL600V (Kaiju), Suzuki DR-Z400SM (Elsa), Tires by sbahn on 2011/07/17
Think I need new tires? Death of the MT21

Think I need new tires? Death of the MT21

Friday is ‘early-release’ day on campus. I’ve always loved that term as it makes it sound like we’ve been on good behavior. When I got home, the boyfriend had saddled up my DRZ and his Transalp each with one of the DRZ’s S wheels. The last trip put some wear on the tires.

We headed down to North Kingstown around 2:30pm, taking the highway because we just wanted to get there as we also had to get to Twisted Throttle before they closed at 5:00 pm.

The boyfriend had texted a friend who was to meet us at Razee. We pull in and unhook the tires. One each, we walk into the service area of the shop which was, naturally, very busy.

Arriving at Razee after hauling the MT21 on the back of the DRZ400SM

Arriving at Razee after hauling the MT21 on the back of the DRZ400SM

We’re standing kind of staggered to each other, me in front, each holding a wheel, waiting for one of the guys to become available. “Can I help you, sir?” says one of the guys. The boyfriend shoots me a look, and I walk up to the counter and say, “Yes, you can. I ordered two tires, one is in, and I’m dropping off the wheels so the tires can be mounted up when the other one comes in.” I felt absolutely invisible. It was a very weird feeling. I suppose I can’t really fault the guy as they deal with more men than women, but really? My bike, my wheels, my tires, my money.

Upstairs we headed to check in with Brendan as I need to discuss sprockets. No, not that kind of Sprockets, motorcycle sprockets. But Brendan was on his lunchbreak. As we were waiting for my friend, we wandered around the shop, looked at some bikes, and talked to some of the other people hanging around, including the guy on the beautifully patina’d old Guzzi. I have a very large soft spot for Guzzis. One day, but I digress.

My friend arrived and he brought presents! I love presents. He had gone to a talk that Jonah Street gave out in Seattle and presented me with a personalized, signed poster of Jonah doing something stupid in the sand. How freakin’ cool is that? Now I have to find a frame and it’s going up in my office. I can just hear someone asking me if that’s me, haha!

Brendan came back from lunch and we had the sprockets conversation. I know nothing about sprockets except that they’re the round spikey thing that the chain fits around to turn the wheels. Jim at work told me that Brendan had “the chart”, and sure enough, he did. So we went back and forth about how the bike is acting with its current set-up of a 15 front, 44 rear and we decided on a 46 rear. The front sprocket didn’t need replacing. That’ll be in sometime next week so hopefully the other tire will come in, as well, and I can go down next Friday and pick everything up. It’s John in Service last day and I want to bring him a treat.

These are both DRZ400SM Suzukis. Can you believe it? It looks so tiny.

These are both DRZ400SM Suzukis both wearing Avon Distanzia tires. Can you believe it? It looks so tiny.

Next, Twisted Throttle. During the last trip, one of the clips on the Pelicans bags broke when I knocked the Transalp over. So I was hoping that TT could save my bacon and get the boyfriend the part he needed. The boyfriend showed Matt the part and he just sorted looked at him and said, “Uh, we’ve changed the connections on the Pelican cases. Actually, we have even changed the Pelican cases we use.”

I looked at Matt and said, “Um, maybe there’s something laying around?” I really wanted to be off the hook for this and didn’t want to have to shell out for the new mounting system. Success! He found a replacement and gave it to us. Thank you Matt!

We then headed over to my friend’s house to pick up his wife for a ride to get the current RI/CT ADV tag. I knew they had gotten some chickens; what I didn’t realize is how many and that they’re just sort of wandering around their yard. Sometimes I wish we lived rural. Even though Providence residents are allowed to have three chickens, I just think logistically, it’d be a mess. Ugh, we need to fence in our yard so my back neighbor can’t see what we’re doing. She’s so crazy.

Go, little Honda, Go!

Go, little Honda, Go!

Anyway, I said hello to the chickens, even got to feed them. The four of us then headed off on a nice ride that included some dirt roads through the Arcadia Management Area. My friend’s wife is a new-ish rider but that never stops her. We turned off the tarmac and onto the dirt and she didn’t even slow down. Love the spirit!

Beautiful Arcadia Management Area in Exeter and West Greenwich, RI

Beautiful Arcadia Management Area in Exeter and West Greenwich, RI

We stopped by this field filled with dozens of white-tailed deer.

We stopped by this field filled with dozens of white-tailed deer.

We finished up the evening with some good grub and a chilly ride back to Providence (in July!). I’m not complaining about our cool nights; I just wish I had brought a jacket for under my riding jacket.

Thanks again, Terry, for my pressies!