Monday, January 7, 2008

A Crazy Motorcycle Purchase

Yamaha Road Star WarriorOne of my riding buddies had his daughter and her family visiting him for a couple of months since November. They came up from Brazil to spend some time between Thanksgiving and New Years. They do this every year.

While up here, his daughter's husband ended up buying a motorcycle. A 2003 Yamaha Road Star Warrior.

This came about because he fell in love with riding. Not just riding, mind you. But the romance of American-style motorcycle cruising. It was taking the bike out on the road through the miles and miles of untouched American landscape, to the beaches, the biker bars, and basking in the glory of monster-sized displacements and loud pipes.

It's something that I admit relishing as well.

What makes this motorcycle purchase crazy is that he bought it just a few days before preparing to return to Brazil. But he doesn't plan to ride it back to Brazil, or even ship it there. He's just going to leave it here in California, at his father-in-law's, and won't be riding it again until he returns next year.

So why in the Hell did he fork over $8,500 for a bike that he only got to ride for a few days?

It's the romance as I mentioned.

When it gets into your blood it becomes a disease that infects a certain portion of the brain, disabling the processes that produce the "good sense hormone".

I guess I can't really blame the guy.

He comes from a country that doesn't experience this style of motorcycle riding. The roads down there suck. In fact all you can really buy are little 125cc motorcycles and dirt bikes. He says Suzuki does sell the Boulevard C50 down there, but it's an import. And all imported bikes come with a 100% duty. In other words, if it costs $16,000 in the USA, it'll cost $32,000 in Brazil. So basically, it's a moot point.

As a result, motorcycling in Brazil is largely reduced to commuting, not recreation.

So when a foreigner comes to the USA, and experiences our way of motorcycling as a recreation, it's totally foreign to them. Now they understand why we have these big-bore v-twins and single-pin cranks. Now they understand why people here seek out the biker lifestyle.

Even the idea of getting some friends together and riding bikes for 200 miles just to grab a burger and a beer was foreign to the guy. As far as he was concerned, who'd ever thought that guys would do this just to eat lunch?

It goes to show that in many parts of the world, life is much more utilitarian, much more efficient, than in America. America definitely has its excesses, but not necessarily because we're pigs. It's because we won the right to be pigs.

This guy from Brazil proved that deep inside, he's a pig too. He just can't be one in Brazil.

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About Steve

San Diego, CA-based motorcycle rider who likes long road trips, old rustic bars, craft beer, and tough women. Can often be found where there's free Wi-Fi, writing about the mysteries of life. (Read more...)