I spent a bit of time with the motorcycle over the last few days. Picked up a battery tender on Saturday and spent a hour in the afternoon removing the old tender adapter and installing the new one. Got a bonus — when I removed the batter I found the original Allen-head bolts used to secure the seat, so replaced them as well. This morning I made it official…visited DMV to file the paperwork. Also found an original review of the CB650SC online, you can view it here if you’d like.
After years and years and years and years of planning, plotting and hoping, I’ve got my motorcycle. Got the M1 endorsement in late November after attending the Motorcycle Safety Foundation class earlier that month and I had settled on waiting until spring to get a bike — when the weather is better and the inventory of used motorcycles swells.
However…while driving home two weeks ago I saw a very nice looking 1982 Honda CB650SC on the side of the road with a “for sale” sign. I stopped for a quick look and with wistful thoughts headed home. I passed by that bike every day that week. Then, the Thursday before Christmas, after talking with my wife, I decided to talk to the owner. Fate must have been smiling on me because, as I was driving home, there was the owner — a real nice guy named Gary — putting the bike on the curb.
Gary and I chatted for quite a bit and I increasing felt that this was a deal too good to pass up. He became the second owner of the bike about four years ago, hoping his wife would learn to ride on it. (He has long ridden Indians, Hondas and Harleys.) But his wife became pregnant with their son, so he gave the bike to his brother, who learned on it and used it to commute.
Fast forward to today, and I am now the owner of an almost immaculate and nearly vintage bike — with only 8,600 miles on it — that’s part of the lineage of one of my favorite lines of motorcycles. Thankfully the rain let up this morning and streets were dry enough for me to ride it home. (Click on the photo above for more pictures.)
With my prayers and best wishes my son left on the bus yesterday, headed to extreme Northern California to begin an adventure with the California Conservation Corps in Fortuna. I and a few friends at work are a bit envious, wishing we had known about such a possibility at a younger and more carefree age. Here’s to hoping that it can lead to great opportunities for Christopher. He called this morning to say it was cold, but it was only about 4° cooler than home…but I guess you find out how cold the morning can be when you’re out of bed before the sun!
My son called this morning to let me know he’s quickly following in my footsteps…he passed the DMV M1 test and in a few weeks, like me, will have a new license with the motorcycle endorsement. I’m looking forward to a spring ride together. Congrats Sean!
It’s about time. Clearly, I’m no fan of rushing into things with two much plenty of research. And I would expect that people who know me, when asked for a description, might also call me a late bloomer. In the mail this week my new California driver’s license arrived with a class “M1” endorsement.
Chalk it up to either of the above personality traits but don’t call it a mid-life crisis — if I live to 100-plus years old, right now I’m barely touching middle age. While my new endorsement that means I can ride a motorcycle of any size, there is no Ducati in my future. I view a motorcycle as more of an “enjoy the scenery” mode of transport.
I urge anyone considering obtaining a motorcycle license to do as I did: take the Motorcycle Safety Foundation class. In some states, completion of this class and the subsequent skills evaluation exempts one from the riding portion of the department of motor vehicles’ test. The exception is a bonus to the opportunity to become better acquainted with riding and learn some basic skills — particularly those related to accident avoidance.
I still had to go to the DMV to complete application form DL 44, give a thumb print, get a new picture taken (Note to self: Dress better and comb hair next time.), pay $27, pass a vision test, and pass a traffic laws and signs test. The test, however, was composed of the complete motorcycle traffic law and signs test as well as half of the regular driving law and signs. The bonus was that passing both tests earned me another four years on my license.
Can Santa fit a 2000 Honda Nighthawk 750 down the chimney?