I’ve been riding some variety of motorcycle since I was a kid. I started with dirt bikes, and eventually moved to street bikes, and over the last 20 years I’ve had some good bikes, and some so-so bikes. Let’s see if I can recall them all, in order of ownership...

  • 1982 Honda GL500 SilverWing
  • 1976 Honda CB750Four
  • 1977 Honda GL1000 GoldWing
  • 2003 Honda VTX1300R
  • 1995 Honda PC800 Pacific Coast
  • 1995 Kawasaki ZX-11 Ninja
  • 1983 Yamaha XS1100 Eleven Special
  • 1985 XJ600 Seca
  • 1983 Yamaha XVC12 Venture
  • 2006 Yamaha FJR1300AE
  • 2007 Yamaha XVS1300 V Star (current)

There was a Virago of some variety in there between the Ninja and Eleven Special, but I didn’t have it long enough to remember so much as the year.

Anyway, I’ll tell you what, going from this:

To this:

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Is a massive change, for sure. I bet a lot of you are screaming at your monitor, “Why TF did you do that?!?!” I did it for a variety of reasons. I love the FJR, but mine was the AE model and I really missed having an actual clutch, and the miles were getting up there. I also loved my VTX but had to sell because of a divorce, so getting back onto a cruiser was easy and familiar. Hell, by the time I got it home last night it was as if I’d been riding it all along. My girlfriend recently bought a 2014 Honda VT750 Spirit, and the couple times I puttered around on it reminded me of how much I enjoyed my cruisers.

Riding the V to work this morning, it was quickly made apparent that I was going way too fast way too often on the Feej. It’s just one of those bikes that easily goes like hell, and considering the general, all around asshattery that is the Bay Area commute, me thinks slowing down is a really great idea. I also realized just how much I had been relying on ABS...I’ll just leave that there.

Will this be my last bike? Nope. Not by a long shot because I just love motorcycles. I love riding them, washing them, wrenching on them, customizing them. I’m also, and you can see, very “equal-opportunity” when it comes to selecting one, so in a couple years when I get tired of the V Star, I’ll move on to the next, whatever the next may be.