The last time I was this emotional about selling a vehicle was when I sold the last car I ever owned as a single guy. That Mercury Capri 5.0, 5 speed was a monster, the Millenium Falcon of cars. It was the kind of thing that you could drive from Toronto to Montreal in 2 hours and 57 minutes! Everything since that car has been a compromise, an appliance.
Seventeen years after that Capri was sold I found myself looking at a flat black 2007 Kawasaki Ninja in a cold garage in Fergus. I didn’t have my license yet, but I went for it. It was the first machine I’d owned in almost two decades that was a thrill rather than a necessity. It was the first vehicle I’d owned in years that I took pictures of.
I’ve owned the Ninja for two seasons. I’ve commuted on it, gone on long rides on it and learned how to ride with it. On one of my first rides I realized it was able to do more for me than any car I’ve ever owned, maybe any car I would ever own; it made me fall in love with motorcycling.
Bikes tend to provoke a more emotional relationship no matter what the machine. The two of you spend a lot of time exposed to the dangers of the road together. The bike’s agility and power can get you out of any number of tricky situations when the distracted people in cages don’t see you. Bikes reward competence with a wonderful feeling of empowerment. I enjoy the exclusivity of biking as well, not everyone should do it. The Ninja never failed to reward me for my efforts.
I went with the Ninja because it wasn’t tiny so I wouldn’t find it weak after getting the hang of riding. That worked well, I’m not selling it now because it lacks in power, I’m just looking to expand my types of riding after having done the sport bike thing. Since my son has taken to riding with me, a bike better suited to two up riding is what I’m transitioning to. Happily, I’m as smitten with the Concours as I was with the Ninja, but that doesn’t make selling it any easier.
The Ninja’s 649cc engine was remarkably cheap to insure for a new rider and was phenomenally efficient, often getting more than 60mpg. The bike has been a joy to operate, always dependable, always willing to teach me more as I got better.
I love riding, it’s a feeling of freedom like no other. As a means of centering myself, motorbikes are a Zen mechanism that put you in the moment like no other machine (other than perhaps racing). I’ll miss the Ninja, but selling it means I can diversify my biking. The Concours will let me get some miles under my belt while still offering an athletic ride. With the cash on hand from the Ninja I’ll be looking at a dual sport and getting a bit dirtier on two wheels.
After five people contacted me, the 3rd people to see the bike made an offer and I accepted. The Ninja is sold within a week. Now to consider how to expand my biking options…