Archive for May 1st, 2003

I hate school anyway

I called to register for PA's Motorcycle safety program. They are booked solid for most of the summer anywhere nearby. Oh, well, time for plan B.

Plan B: I've got a friend's Suzuki GS500E in my basement. It needs new tires, fork seals, a battery, a chain, and some general cleanup, but it should be an ideal bike to take the test on. Ya! another vehicle to work on. *sigh*

At least I don't have to sit through that class. The last one I went to, featured a film with an animated talking motorcycle. “Hi, this is my throttle…”

Wheels in Motion

So I've decided on a bike, a 1999 Triumph Daytona 955i. Similar to the following, but red and with a conventional (not underseat) exhaust.

I'm still find the Ducati 916 one of the best looking bikes ever made… but looks aren't everything. Especially when I'm planning on this:

A 6000+ mile cross country tour, later this summer. With the Daytona's ergonomics it will at least be possible. In a uncharacteristic move I deferred the purchase until the end of May (after another pay period.) This makes much more financial sense, but I know this is going to feel like a very long month.

In the meantime I have lots to keep me busy. The first of which is getting my sorry ass in shape. I'm not nearly as fit (although I'm significantly stronger) than I was 8 years ago (when I took my road trip.) I've also got to whip my other vehicles into shape.

Oh yeah, and I've got to get my motorcycle license. I have about 25,000 miles of riding experience, all on a permit. The motorcycle test in this state (like in many others) is even more idiotic than the driving test. It's performed in a parking lot at under 10mph. Ride in a straight line, ride through cones, come to a stop, don't fall over… That's it except for the last retarded test. You have to ride a figure 8 at about 5mph inside some painted lines. I can't remember the dimensions, but small enough to be literally impossible on my FZR400. I demonstrated to the officer by walking my bike around that at full lock my FZR could not turn tight enough to make the 8 inside the box. His reply: “Well, I guess you're going to fail then.” Arrrggh! What the hell does a figure 8 have to do with safely riding a motorcycle!?!!? How about the fact I always wear a full face helmet, with leathers, gloves, boots… or that I safely rode my god damn bike to the test in the first place… Surely a better test than a parking lot.

Since I don't have a friend with a put-put bike to borrow to make the test easy. I've decided on the considerably more boring route of taking the Motorcycle Saftey Program. It's a free school where bikes are provided, and upon graduation you receive your class M license. The bitch is that it takes 15 mind numbing hours to complete. Imagine high school Driver's Ed, but with bikes. *yawn*. I've managed to sit through half of one before, but this time I guess I'll stick it out.

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