Sunday, February 25

Introducing the "NEW" Queenie!

Last week I visited the bike shop to see Queenie. Actually, I had to pay for some farkles I’d ordered. While there, Milan, the shop’s business guru invited me to see my bike. He led me to an expansive room with bikes in rows long and deep--as far as the eye could see. He took me to my bike—at least I thought it was Queenie. It was Suzuki blue, same year, same black frame sliders, bar end mirrors and a Sargent seat. That the headlight lacked the blue Barracuda windscreen normally attached to it didn’t initially give away that it wasn’t my bike. After all, the shop was planning to remove my shield to install the new Givi screen. Yet, something about the way the bike flashed back at me signaled that it wasn’t mine. My shoulders leaned back and I aimed my lasers on the bike. “Oh, this isn’t my bike,” I said. Milan looked closely at the numbers taped to the bike’s headlight. “You’re right, this isn’t your bike—I’m sorry, come on, it’s down here.”

As we padded down the wide center aisle, I scanned for blue and saw her just as Milan pointed her out. A bit dusty, but otherwise looking full of herself. Parked next to her was a bright yellow SV650 and next to it, a red one both of which looked to be ‘01s. Milan told me the two bikes belonged to a couple. A BMW with bar end mirrors kept Queenie company on the other side. The whole thing made me feel that Queenie has been in good company during winter storage. I couldn’t help but imagine all those bikes coming alive when the shop closed, talking about the trips they had taken or wished they had. I have said I won’t place my bike in winter storage anymore but seeing Queenie among all the others, standing proud with two SV650s and a BMW, made me think that my garage would be a lonely place compared to Mr. Moto’s winter camp for motorcycles.

Late last week, Milan sent me pictures of Queenie sporting her new look. While Milan fretted about the quality of the pictures, I delighted in each pic as it whetted my appetite to ride my “new” bike. On Saturday, I visited the shop to see for myself and snap pics for the records. When I arrived, Milan retrieved the bike and unboxed the Givi side cases. They easily snap on and off the bike; they are roomier than I had expected. The windscreen is simply awesome!

Remember that blue SV bike that tried to pass for Queenie? Evidently, its owner had admired my old windscreen and learned that I would be changing it for a new one. He inquired about purchasing my old shield. Well, the shop brokered a deal and now the blue Barracuda windscreen will serve a new owner.

Today, we are in the midst of a snowy thunderstorm that exacerbates my yearning for the riding season to begin. When it gets here, Queenie will have a new chain and sprocket; new stainless steel brake lines; new battery; and new Givi windshield and luggage. Her entire lighting system has been replaced – she is looking mighty fine! I get by with a little help from my friends at Motoworks Chicago aka Mr. Moto, Inc.

Still, it amazes me that someone labeled “square” throughout childhood, now pals around with a truly cool motorcycle.

Here are some before and after pics of my gal pal, Queenie.

Queenie, BEFORE:

Queenie, AFTER: