Thursday, February 28, 2013

Saying Goodbye to an Old Motorcycle

2004 Yamaha Road Star
Bittersweet filled me as I stood on the sidewalk watching her fly away with her new guy. All I could do was think of the good times we had and feel hopeful that she's destined for a better life.

A 2004 Yamaha Road Star Silverado.

I bought her brand new after struggling between that and a Harley-Davidson Road King. Both are comparable bikes. I bought the Yamaha for its larger displacement, a very loyal following with lots of aftermarket support, and a smaller price tag. It also requires fewer repairs.

We rode thousands of miles from home putting on tens of thousands of miles.  There were times when we were several states away from our starting point, in the middle of wilderness, with only each other to rely on.

It saddened me to see her sitting in the garage after I had bought a second motorcycle. A 2005 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Ultra Classic. I bought that because my ex-wife was never comfortable on the Road Star despite the many different seats and foot rest combinations I had tried. The Electra Glide was definitely comfortable for me as well, and I ended up putting on double the miles on it. But it wasn't when I bought Blackbird, a 2006 Honda ST1300, that I never got on the Road Star again.

I must have known what it felt to be abandoned for a younger, faster bike. I could imagine each time I walked into the garage, the Road Star would feel anticipation, hoping to spend an afternoon with me. And that excitement must have been killed when it saw me put the key into Blackbird. After a couple of years of doing this, the Road Star went numb. It didn't care anymore but to sulk into a dark, lonely acceptance.

But it managed to take on some new life when Sash started riding for the first time. However, the Road Star is just much too heavy for her. Sash needed something smaller to learn with.

riding a motorcycle in the city

So, I sold her off to a new owner yesterday. I should have done that long ago, but I guess I kept convincing myself that I would fix her back up, customize her out, and she'd become my little bar-hopper. I just never did.

And I still kick myself for selling that 1979 Kawasaki KZ400.  I still wish I had that bike.  So, maybe I was worried that I would kick myself for selling the Road Star.

I heard her growl with joy as her new owner cranked the throttle a few times.  Ready to embark on a chapter in her life, she took off and turned the corner towards a new start on life.


  1. The loss of an old friend is never easy, but a new friend is always just around the corner. I'm suspecting your corner is getting closer.

  2. As a young man, I used to hate breaking up with girls and seeing them leave. Now, I cannot bear the thought of being separated from a motorcycle I have owned for any length of time. Times change, eh?

  3. Oh, to have a stable of every bike we've ever owned! I know it's not possible or even feasible.

    I look back with nostalgia at the great sickles I've owned. It truly pained me to let some of them go and I empathize with the loss of your Silverado.

    Your expressed in your very short write-up what many riders have felt on losing an old friend.

  4. From reading your entries. You don't seem like the type to hold on to stuff for the sake of it.
    Good move.


About Steve

A vagabond who hauls a motorcycle around the country in a toy hauler, earning a living as a website developer. Can often be found where there's free Wi-Fi, craft beer, and/or public nudity. (Read more...)