Thursday, October 12

Caught cheating: Here's the "Other" Bike

I've cheated on the blue gal-pal! I recently mounted this mint condition fella, played with its throttle and rode this SV650 beauty until forced to stop. Had 4000 miles on its odometer. The owner is a suburban policeman whose wife is pregnant. The least he could do is get rid of the bike so that there's no chance of him getting killed on it and leaving her a single mother. His lost, some one's great gain! Hey, what about being a policeman? That might have some dangers they might want to think about too...but I digress.

The bike is EFI (fuel injection engine). I didn't notice any significant riding differences. I loved that getting on it seemed just like riding the gal-pal. Even the start wasn't as automatic as I thought but this could be because the owner says he allows the bike to warm to 120 degrees before riding--that took about as long as it takes for my choke to kick in and warm up my bike.

The owner is doting and meticulous--just the kind of person from whom you want to purchase a bike. He introduced the bike as his "baby." His car was his first baby, an unblemished Jeep Wrangler, which he bought off Craigslist. But now the "real" baby was on the way, forcing him to part with his fire engine red SV. Felt sorry for him, he was visibly moved at the thought of parting with it. One plus for him: He uses his garage to store an in-law's bike with the understanding that whenever he experiences post bike-sale withdrawal symptoms, he has rider-rights to the blue Kawasaki. This clever barter seemed to dull the pain of selling his bike.

He's asking $4800 for the bike, which I think is an excellent starting price. Because he's a policeman, I had to show him my "M" license to ride. He told me was "worried" about having prospective buyers ride his bike and had given this considerable thought. To date only two riders have "EVER" ridden the baby. That I rode up with my fairly clean, slightly cock-eyed blue friend, looking very much like his bike's cousin, might have helped him feel a little more comfortable about me riding it. Of course, that he went with me, leading on the blue Kaw, must have brought him the real relief.

It was a smooth ride along some nice suburban roads, approximately 25 miles outside of Chicago. Leaves covered the street making me highly conscious about where I placed those tires. We rode slowly at first, then all the way through the six gears. From 10 mph to 60 mph, we navigated the wide, tree-lined quiet streets of single family homes. I could tell that he is an excellent rider. His head always turned, his shifting, both up and down, was flawless and hardly noticeable. The V-twin is the best engine sound (IMHO).

Our ride was great; the weather was perfect, upper 60s and just enough wind to feel caressed. He told me to let him know when I wanted to end the ride--yeah, right--like that's going to happen. It was evident that he wanted to ride too. He was the first to turn back. When we pulled into his driveway, he took off his helmet and that neon grin said it all.

I'm seriously interested in this bike. Only one drawback. It's totally stock. To get the bike to my standards demands an investment that I've already made in the blue gal-pal. First thing I'd do is reaffirm the gender--it is definitely a male bike; although he said it's a "she." After that, I'd install frame sliders. Not because I fear dropping it, but because some people are major creeps and they might--like someone attempting to steal it! (I still feel murderous when I think about that!)

Here's my list of "must-add" to the bike:

Frame sliders
Center stand
Sergeant Seat
Rear Cowl
Givi windscreen

Unfortunately, these extras put this bike within a few hundred dollars of a brand new '06 SV650! So, why buy this bike? Yes, I'd have to add these features to a new bike too. Difference is...I'd be the one to put on all the miles! Hmmm?

This red hot tamale will find a home and someone will be made significantly happier, too bad it will not be me!