Dreams and Realities

It’s the bike on my bedroom wall when I was a kid.

As near as I can tell the ’84 Interceptor is still for sale, though the owner isn’t responsive to emails.  I’ll end up phoning and see if I can get up there next week to look at it.

In the meantime, a Concours appeared nearby that looks like a good buy.  Mechanically good but a bit rough looking, it’s priced to sell.

So here I am again at the intersection of fantasy and reality, wondering which way to turn.  The Interceptor isn’t running, will need a complete rebuild (it’s been sitting for a decade), and costs $700.  It’s also a good couple of hours away and would need me to find/rent a vehicle to bring it home.  The Concours is twenty minutes away, roadworthy and is $1000 or best offer.  Price wise there is little between them.

Owning a bike at all is a dream come true, so the dream versus reality distinction is finer here.  The question now is which direction do I want to go next?  Last year I did a lot of miles on the Ninja.  This year I’ve been riding a lot of different bikes and the Ninja hasn’t seen me as much.  I want to continue to expand my riding repertoire.  Both bikes offer bigger engines and variations on the sport touring theme.  The Interceptor would be my first Honda, the Kawi would introduce me to shaft drive.

The purpose of buying a fixer-upper is to have something to spanner in the winter months, so the idea of repairing the Honda isn’t fearsome, it’s something I’d look forward to, and parts seem to be available for it.  There are also a lot of information sites on the web about it.  I’d always assumed I’d buy a Honda bike, but I’ve been waylayed by Kawasaki’s awesomeness.  I’m trying not to be brand specific but rather honour the engineering.  Having said that, I’ve always had a crush on Hondas and Triumphs.

She doesn’t look like much, but she’s got it where
it counts… If it worked for Han Solo, it’ll work for me.
Is this my diamond in the rough?

That Concours needs some TLC too though.  The Concours is ten years newer with lower kilometres.  This seems like a no-brainer, but this is where emotion clouds the decision.  The Interceptor has been my dream machine forever, I’ve always wanted to own one.  The Concours is a much more usable machine.  My son and I could tour on it comfortably and do a lot of miles.

The Concours is also a gentler machine, and while I’m still an adolescent when it comes to riding a motorcycle, I’m 45 years old otherwise.  That the Concours is a big guy who can move with surprising speed is a much better fit for this balding, middle age guy than an ’80s superbike.  There comes a time when you don’t want to look absurd on a bike, or maybe that just doesn’t matter.

In a more perfect world I’d have a big enough garage to get both.  The Interceptor would get stripped down and prepped as a vintage race bike.  I could then live out my dreams of riding it on the safety of a track.  The Concours would get fixed up and cover some huge miles, occasionally finding some twisties to show off its athletic prowess.

Buying a bike has been such a visceral experience that I think I’ll have to see both in the flesh before I make a decision.  I’m hoping that the Kawi strikes an emotional nerve with me because if she can get under my skin I know she’d be a better fit than a feverish teenager’s dream.