August 2007 is when I finally took the MSF BRC. I had wanted to ride for a couple of years, but the craving finally became too much to ignore. My wife decided she wanted to take the course with me, so we signed up together. We purchased cheap helmets and I bought a First Gear three season jacket and matching pants along with a pair of decent boots. I was sure I would continue to ride, but my wife was not sure, but wanted to know the basics “just in case.”
The course we signed up for was out of town in Grays Harbor Washington which is just over 50 miles from our house. We decided to make it special and stayed at two different Bed & Breakfasts. The course was excellent and we had a huge amount of fun. Of all the folks in our class, only one was unable to pass the riding test. My wife and I both passed with plenty of room to spare.
Monday morning I went to the Department of Licensing and got my endorsement. I then headed to my in-laws for the week. I also have a 1975 Fiat Spider which I have been VERY slowly making a daily driver. My father-in-law let us park my second ’75 Fiat Spider in his shop. The second has a non-functional motor, so is just a parts car. A friend at work allowed me to use her big ‘ol Dodge pickup and car trailer to take the car down to work on at my in-law’s. The real reason for heading down was less to work on the car, and more to ride my father-in-law’s V-Star 650 Classic. Before we took the course, he had told me not to buy a bike, and he would let me have his since he had not ridden in several years.
I got down with the car on the trailer and brought all my gear along. I got to do a couple of decent rides around their place. They live in farm country so there are plenty of roads with sparse traffic. Mid way through my stay, my father-in-law told me he was going to keep the title for the bike. I decided I did not want to be responsible for another person’s bike, so I left it with him. I swapped some parts from the parts car onto the driver and proceeded home.
The week after I returned home, I went to the only Mom & Pop Motorcycle shop in town and test rode a 2008 Hyosung GV250 cruiser.
This was the bike I decided I would buy before my father-in-law said I could have his bike. The test ride went great, and the manufacturer was offering an instant $300 rebate on purchase if you had finished a MSF BRC within the past 60 days. List price was $3399, so I got it for $3099 plus tax and licensing. The bike came with a three year unlimited mileage warranty, so I felt pretty safe purchasing it in spite of it not being a “name brand” bike. This is the bike I spent riding from August until March of this year. I put just over 2000 miles on it and really enjoyed each one. When I bought the bike, I really wanted one in black and orange which was not in stock, but my wife wanted it in burgundy and white which was in stock. We talked and she said something to the affect of “you’ll want to upgrade next year anyway, and this one will be mine. So, I get to pick the color.” She is such a keeper, and she knows me really well!
Mid way through this initial time on the GV250, I purchased a Scorpion EXO-400 helmet. Much nicer lid than the cheap-o I got originally.
Fast forward to February of this year and we get to the incredible urge to upgrade. I decided I really didn’t care for the cruiser style as much as I originally thought I would. Don’t get me wrong, the GV250 is a great bike, but the passion for the styling was gone. I decided I really wanted more of a standard, or even a little sporty, bike. While I started watching Craigslist and the local dealers, my boss’s son’s bike quit working. He had a 1992 Honda Nighthawk CB250.
They asked if I was interested in having it to tinker on. I decided it would be a fun project to see if I could get it working again, so I took it. I thought it was probably the CDI unit since they said it would crank, but not start. I did some testing and had one of my wife’s co-workers come over to help ensure my diagnosis was correct. Turns out I was right and was able to get a new CDI off eBay for $65 plus shipping. Once the unit arrived, I plugged it in and the bike fired right up. I adjusted the brakes, lubed the chain, replaced the broken clutch handle and proceeded to play with the bike. The speedometer/odometer did not work, but I was not too worried about it. Even though the bike was pretty “buzzy” and the rear tire was pretty much shot, it was a blast to ride. I kept looking for a replacement bike encouraged by my now reinforced feeling that a standard would be more comfortable and more like the type of riding I want to do.
Remember I said my wife took the course with me? Well, she finally got her endorsement added to her license just before the time ran out on her course completion certificate expired. I followed her around on her first couple of rides with her on the GV250 and me on the Nighthawk. Once the title arrived for the Nighthawk, I posted it on Craigslist. Boy, that thing sold fast! Obviously I had it priced too low. Oh well, it went to a good home.