Tuesday, August 04, 2009

An expensive addiction in some ways.....

Motorcycling, my addiction to riding far and wide, exploring Colorado and sometimes points beyond; can be expensive at times.

Sure, the original thought was to save money on gas since my car gets maybe 14MPG on a good day and if the planets are lined up correctly. It's a V8 from 1987, bought it when gas was reasonable. My motorcycles average about 40MPG which is course a savings of sorts. Averaging as I am about 350 miles for work commute each week, and using an average price of say $3/gallon, I figure I save just over $49 a week. Not bad.

Of course, all the riding around I do on the weekends kind of negates the savings but who's counting?

But now that the motorcycling bug has me firmly in its grip, its not going to let go anytime soon I believe. Riding all the miles that I do, before you know it, it's time for yet more services to be done to keep the motorcycle running.

Today was Brigitta's turn for a major or 12,000 mile service. I had decided to have Pete Homan of Bavarian Motorcycles West do it since I wanted his "once over" over Brigitta since she'd had her transmission replaced recently. Turned out though that he did not want to separate the transmission from the engine until around 90,000 miles. But, still its just as well I took her in since he spotted a damn nail on my less than 3700 miles on it rear tire! Dammit.

So, he did the 12,000 mile service, which replaces all the fluids to include the fork oil which I'd neglected to do since I got her about 17K miles ago (whoops). She got a new air and oil filter as well, had the pivot points of the advance unit in the ignition canister lubed, her too high idle lowered and I bought a new tire at the dealer which Pete put on for $40 extra labor.

I must say though, she ran sweetly all the way back home. Her idle does not climb to 1500 when hot anymore, and Pete lowered my gear shift pedal as much as possible and I can shift her into the higher gears seemingly easier so far. About six hours of Pete's time and I was out of there for less than $500, add in the $140 for the new tire and you can see why I titled this posting as I did.

Still, the joy and peace I experience while riding is important to me, as my loving wife puts it, it's my prozac on wheels. Who can argue with that right? I figure it's just about two regular car payments every 12,000 miles if I decide to let Pete keep doing the major services.

On a related note, Pete was telling me about the "nail" he picked up on his GS's rear tire while riding on a railroad bed roadway yesterday. Here's what Pete got stuck in his rear tire:

Yep, that's a railroad spike, pretty old one too

you can see the gouges the spike took from the inside of his wheel before Pete stopped his motorcycle upon hearing "klunking noises"

By comparison, the less than one inch long nail Pete pulled out of my old rear tire is nothing, but enough to cost me almost $200.....why couldn't it be the front tire which was more worn?


Canajun said...

Trust me ... you don't want a nail of any shape or size in your front tire.

And a railway spike in your tire just has to be a record of some sort. I guess, "klunking noises"!

Martha said...

Everyone needs a hobby and it appears as if a midlife crisis is unavoidable. So, in the grand scheme of things, sharing you with Brigitta and Maria is still cheaper than some many other distractions that exist out there.

Kitchen pass granted to continue to pursue this passion.


Sojourner rides said...

I agree with you about this "expensive addiction." For me, I've never liked shopping and spending money on clothes--unusal for a woman. So, for the past five years, I've probably made up for it with motorcycling. I now love getting new gear/wardrobe. I collect helmets like some collect shoes. And, farkling is a favorite outlet. I agree with your wife, it's cheaper than Prozac--and far more fun and fewer side effects! Nice post!

Charlie6 said...

Canajun, I can't even imagine the shock I would have felt had I been the one to find that rail spike in my tire....

Sojourner, thanks for reading this stuff, glad to see I am not the only addict out there

bobskoot said...


I don't think that there is any way you would ever come close to saving money. It's about doing something that you enjoy to eliminate stress, make you happy, and live longer in the process. It's about meeting people with the same interests, hopefully one day, in person. It's also about getting exposed to the elements and travelling to find out what is beyond the next corner, over the next hill and be one with nature

bobskoot: wet coast scootin

cpa3485 said...

Martha, I am nominating you for sainthood!

Steve Williams said...

I still think my obsession with riding is far cheaper than being a bass fisherman. And I do get a fine return on my investment in terms of sanity and serenity from riding. So I evaluate the cost in relation to those payoffs and I consider it a bargain.

Now if I wanted to add a new motorcycle once a year that might be different.

I agree with Sojourner rides--- a great post on your part.


Steve Williams
Scooter in the Sticks

Rob said...

An inexpensive Addiction Indeed given the positive results.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Charlie6 (Domingo)

Anyone who thinks they are going to save money by riding a motorcycle is crazy. They go through tires, batteries, andf other things twice as fast as the car does... On the other hand, what they "spare" their riders in psychiatric treatment cannot be denied.

I recently went though what I call my "average" yearly service, which did not include changing the fork tube oil (as specified) nor flushing the radiator, and it came to $1000, which I happily paid. Three months later I dropped $558 more for two tires (installed) and front brakes. I was delighted I had the money.

I used to fish for trout and bass, but never owned a boat. But I can tell you that next to divorce, owning a bike is not a cheap proposition.

Great post!

Fondest regards,
Twisted Roads

PS: As you are aware, I have not been much of a presence lately. Work issues and other developments have kept me from writing anything really funny. I have returned to me blog. The first half of the Tennessee Odyssey will be posted as soon as I go through the photographs... Probabl;y tomorrow morning.

I apreciate your patience.

Charlie6 said...

Bobskoot, thanks for your thoughts....you pretty much nailed it.

cpa3485, yeah she's a keeper alright! Sorry to hear about your accident but damn glad you're ok. So, what are you going to get to replace Max? Or is it fixable?

Steve, thanks also for your kind words, oh the trials you must be going through, a different motorcycle every few days, all of them alluring in their own way....

Rob, thanks for reading this stuff...I guess everything has a price and this addiction's price tag is doable so far....

Jack, the heck with patience, lets get cracking on that next posting....talk about addictions, you're stories are another addiction of mine and of many others....we need our fix

irondad said...

Some things just can't be listed on a balance sheet. And they're the ones worth more than money.

As to the nail and spike? Maybe it's true. Size really doesn't matter.

KEN PHENIX said...

I gladly second the motion to nominate Martha for sainthood!

My first thought was motorcycling as a means of dealing with mid-life crisis IS cheaper than other avocations/obsessions such as bass fishing, hunting, golfing or chasing women and SAFER too! Buying the motorcycle is definitely the most therapeutic thing I've ever done for myself and I can ride and maintain my bike for far less than the average weekly bar tab (even though I have no idea how much that would be). Thanks Dom, this post strikes a chord in all of us.