Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Lately, it seems as though I want things that I just can't have. I don't mean just material possessions. I'm also referring to situations, conditions, people.

However, since I am unwilling to share the deepest part of my psyche with the world wide web, I'll discuss my latest desire , which just happens to be a material one...

The other day, I went to see how my bike's repairs were progressing. I used this visit to Suzuki as an opportunity to drop off some accessories that I had purchased on the net after I dropped my bike recently - black mirrors, a cruise control mechanism (for long trips) and some flashing brake lights to ensure more attention from the cars on the road around me.

As I was leaving Suzuki, a black V-Strom 650/A caught my attention. I stopped, mesmerised by its appearance. Was this a new model? A black exhaust pipe? When did this happen? There was far less chrome than I recall seeing on V-Stroms in the past.

I looked around the store, hoping and praying that no one would ask me if I needed assistance. Thank goodness for poor customer service!

I traced my fingers lightly over the seat. It looked more than suitable for my ample rear end. I pressed my nails into the leather upholstery. Firm, but comfortable...

I took a small step back to analyse the overall height of the bike. About 10cms taller than what I was used to. Thankfully, I didn't inherit my mother's height, or lack of it. I toyed with the idea of approaching one of the sales assistants to ask for a test ride.

No, no, no! Not having a helmet, or any of my protective gear, made me back off that idea. My ankle still hasn't recovered yet! I can't ride! That would be bad... wouldn't it? *pout* Oh, but I wanted to try out that wee-Strom with every fibre of my being... *sigh*

See what I mean? *pant pant pant*

As I admired this beautiful piece of machinery, I mentally tallied up the pros and cons of such a purchase:

- This bike would be more suitable than my M50 for the long-trips I have mentally planned for the future.
- A dual purpose machine, it would be more than able to handle rougher terrain, if needed.
- Greater fuel capacity - again, longer trips ahoy!
- It's so damn pretty... *wistful sigh*

- Nine grand, new, with no extras... regain debt I have just managed to clear?
- Considering my plans to leave for South America indefinitely, the cost of shipping TWO bikes? Eek! It'd be smarter to leave the cruiser in storage in Australia, and take this one with me. Storage cost? Approximately $1700 per year.
- Mother... mother would freak, have kittens and shoot me on sight... is it worth the bullshit of the ensuing confrontations?

Pros and cons are pretty much even in my mind...

Of course, I mentioned this experience to a dear friend of mine. He wasn't much help in averting the dangers of purchasing on a strong impulse. He was quite encouraging. "It's a passion. Follow your heart." Well, those weren't his exact words, but they amounted to something of that effect. Bless his cotton socks...

So, here I am, and have been since, debating with myself. Should I, shouldn't I? Patience has never been one of my virtues. I could buy this once I reach Chile - probably cheaper over there too.

The problem is my M50. I have no idea WHEN it'll be ready to collect and ride again. THAT'S what is leading to this internal debate! I have adopted Veruca Salt's mantra: Don't care how, I want it now!

But we all know what happened to Veruca, don't we? She was thrown in the garbage for being a "bad egg"...

I have heard that it's wise to go away and sleep on decisions like these. That said, I did.
I woke the next day, finding myself in exactly the same mental quagmire.
I hate this. I am not an indecisive person by any stretch of the imagination! So, what's the problem?

My impending international move is one of the issues here, I think... That, coupled with my ever-so-reliable impetuousity...

Live for the moment, take your pleasures where you can...
I have always lived by that motto, sometimes to my detriment.

So, why am I hesitating now?

Could it be that I am growing up?

Nah... impossible!

Could it be that I am finally deciding to ignore the advertisers, reduce my consumer spending and attempting to recapture my time for the things that really matter?

If that's the case, one could argue that I should buy the wee-Strom...
I wouldn't be "reducing my consumer spending", but I would be putting my efforts into a recreational pursuit that really matters to me.

Writing all this makes me want to examine my situation far more closely...

I'm not a typical female in many ways. I don't place importance on buying clothes regularly in order to look good and be what society expects me to be. However, I do admit to possessing one female vice - I must, must, must have my nails done once a fortnight. Sad, but true...

A relative once told me that one of the first things people notice about you are your hands. I used to be a nail-biter as a child - my nails and cuticles were the most haggard things one could lay their eyes on. But this wonderful relative of mine (whom I despise now) made me feel incredibly inadequate for having such shoddy hands. I'm sad to say, her words stuck... along with many other messages I received throughout my life about my appearance.

But, I digress... (I do that a lot...)

Besides that weakness (that I know I will have no choice BUT to shed whilst touring for long distances on a motorcycle), I possess other chinks in my armour. A major contributor to these chinks is motorcycling.

It represents so many things to me...
Freedom, independence, relishing experience immersion, personal image (whether it be negative or positive to others), anonymity...

Nobody cares if you're pretty or ugly on a motorcycle. You have the option of hiding in your helmet, if you choose. Social boundaries and attitudes are overcome simply by the fact that you ride - it doesn't matter which echelon of society you belong to, what political or religious persuasion you are. You're a rider and that's that. If someone wants to delve further into what else makes you tick, that's optional. Riders share a common bond in that regard, illustrated by the fact that they nod to one another when passing each other on the road... hell, they'll stop and ask if you're ok if you've just pulled over on a desolate highway to take a happy snap!

At the risk of romanticising this section of the general population, the world-wide community of riders reassure me that there is still hope for the human race. If they can share this passion on so many levels, shed all bias and discrimination towards others because of this common bond, offer assistance in a time of need for no personal benefit... perhaps these attitudes will further infect the rest of the inhabitants of this earth. It is possible... we just need to do it on a grander scale.

Shit... LOL
How did I get to this from my torturous thoughts of buying a wee-Strom?
Reading over my stream of consciousness, I am definitely hearing the violin music in my head. Plus, I can almost see the melted cheese dripping off me as I type.

See what happens when I am deprived of being out there?


  1. LOL...good thing you didn't stroll into a BMW dealership, those shiny new F800GS's aren't cheap!

  2. Buy it now! Oh I am not sure Maybe you shouldn't.

  3. Jimmy... Hey, I'll happily accept a Beamer... Can't afford one, but I'll take one, if it's on offer... ;)

    Rob... You're a saucy lad! Stop fu*king with my head! *smiling sweetly* ;)

  4. Do you want to go off-road with the V-Strom? Don't even think about it...

  5. I reckon any bike's a dual-purpose bike, there's too much obsession with definition about these things. Look at those photos of Yanks riding muddy trails and deserts on heavy Harleys in the 40s, or Aussies riding the Simspon on GS1000s in the 70s. So, you've got your dual-purpose bike already! :-)

    Ps I'm getting some dirt-focussed crash-bars for my Hornet 600....

  6. JLMartin... ¿Por que? ¿Qué has oído?

    Matt... Good point! Thank-you for setting me straight and helping me to finally make up my mind on this. ;)

    And congrats on the crash-bars... :)

  7. About the V-Strom: too big, too heavy, too on-road oriented... the BMW F650GS is the cheaper dual-purpose available, but 70% on road, 30% off road... (with a great engine, by the way)

  8. The wee-Strom is a great ride - on road and off (as long is it isn't deep sand). They are a bit top-heavy, so at slow speeds (under 2 mph) with a full tank of gas they can be tricky. I do not see the BMW F650GS as the "cheaper" anything. It is more expensive out-the-door and the maintenance and repair costs are rather steep. A possible alternative is the Aprilia Pegaso 650 --though I have no personal experience with it and cannot speak to its maintenance costs. I have a 2009 DL650 and I am quite happy with it. It is oriented more to the road, but there are plenty of people on ADVrider and Stromtrooper who do quite a bit of off-road with it.


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