I got my first motorcycle, a 1969 Triumph 500, when I was about 20 years old and rode it for about a year and a half. It was a rat bike if there ever was one. It leaked and burned oil faster than it used gas but it was a fun little bike. I actually still have it in various boxes in my garage somewhere.
The second bike was a Yamaha 400. This one came with my wife but she never really rode it so I kind of commandeered it and rode it for about a year. I sold it soon after my son was born in late 1986 and gave up riding for quite a few years.
2006 Harley Davidson Electra Glide Classic
Fast forward to the spring of 2006 – My kids are grown up and have all moved out so I decided it was time to get another bike. Since I had always wanted a Harley, I went and bought a nice new Vivid Black Electra Glide Classic in May of 2006. It was a struggle to decide which model I wanted and finally settled on the Electra Glide. I wanted a bike that I could get on and ride as far as I wanted to so a Harley Touring bike seemed like the logical choice.
Since I hadn’t ridden a motorcycle in about 20 years, it took a few weeks to get used to riding an 800+ pound bike. By the end of the summer, I was quite comfortable riding it and it was clear that I had made the right choice.
The Electra Glide has been a great bike. It’s been reliable, fun to ride, and most of all comfortable for both short and long rides. I’ve been from NY to California twice on this bike and have racked up over 68,000 miles. I still have this bike and it still runs great.
2010 Harley Davidson Electra Glide Ultra Classic Limited
In January 2010, I decided it was time for a new bike. I looked around and decided to add a Vivid Black/Black Ice Pearl 2010 Electra Glide Ultra Classic Limited to my garage. The 103ci motor, 6 speed transmission, and updated frame make it a very nice bike to ride. This bike took me from NY to CA 3 times and had just over 60k miles when I sold it in August of 2012. This bike was perfect for long distance rides. It was comfortable, the 6 gallon tank gave it good range, and I had an awesome stereo system in it. The only real complaints were related to engine heat. This bike would get hot in the summer time and sitting in traffic it could be brutally hot at times. The only modifications I made to this biker were the stereo upgrade, a Harley Davidson Hammock seat with a rider backrest, and a shorter windshield.
2012 BMW K1600 GTL
A couple of days after selling the 2010 Limited I bought a 2012 BMW K1600GTL The BMW is a completely different bike with very little in common with the Harley. It has twice the power, handles better, and has every electronic gadget imaginable. It took some time to get used to the position of the foot pegs and having my feet directly underneath me rather than having them stretched out on the floor boards like the Harleys. The BMW is a marvelous bike with plenty of power and an electronically adjustable suspension that can be changed as you’re riding down the road with the press of a button.
2013 Triumph Street Triple R
In July 2013, I added a third bike to my garage – a 2013 Triumph Street Triple R. After spending 7 years riding large, heavy touring bikes, I felt like it was time to get something small and light for daily commuting and more “spirited” riding.
The Triumph is a great bike that is quite a lot of fun to ride. The power, cornering, and braking are all terrific and it’s a lot of fun to ride.
The Street Triple has become my daily driver. It’s great for commuting and gets surprisingly good gas mileage. I’ve been averaging around 45 mpg in mixed riding. I’ve added some soft panniers and a tank bag to the Triumph so that I can stop at the grocery store on the way home from work. It’s the perfect bike for daily riding.
2013 Kawasaki Versys
In May 2014 I went out and bought a 2013 Kawasaki Versys. I wanted an inexpensive bike that I could leave in CA so that when I go out there to see my family, I’ll have a bike to ride. I rode it out to CA in June of 2014 and flew back home to NY. The Versys is a darn good bike for the price. It was reasonably comfortable on the cross country ride, is fun to ride in the canyons, and is great for lane splitting on the freeways. The 650cc parallel twin has plenty of power when you get the revs up over 5k and decent low end power as well.