Saturday, August 4, 2012

Weight? Weight? Don't Tell Me


It's been 11 months since I bought a used GL1800. Since then I've put more than 12,000 miles on it, so I must like it. Right? Well, mostly yes.

The sequence of events that brought the Wing and me together began many years ago when I overcooked a corner on a racetrack and broke a lot of bones. They took a long time to heal, and some of them didn't heal too well. I'm reminded of it most mornings when I get up. Twenty years later some of the same bones were broken again in a head-on car crash, along with my left wrist. It's been an interesting couple of decades.

The motorcycles I've owned since the racetrack crash have varied, from streetbikes to dual-sports to adventure tourers, but they all had one thing in common––an upright seating position, or as upright as was practical in each case by modifying the handlebar, the seat, the footpegs, whatever it took.

My previous bike, a 650 V-Strom, was the beneficiary of every trick in the aftermarket's book, and still I found myself squirming to find a comfortable position in the saddle, and ending each ride with a handful of ibuprofen and an icepack. It took me some time to admit it had to go if I was to keep riding. I had ridden a few GL1800s in the past, and always found them comfortable, so when a deal on one came along I snapped it up.

Here's the thing, though. Along with the best seating position I've found to date, and the stereo and cruise control I've grown to love, came a couple of features I could do without, namely weight and size. No bike I've ever ridden carries its bulk as effortlessly as the Wing, but it's still there. I notice it in parking lots, and on sloped ground, and when I hoist the bike onto the centerstand to check the tire pressure.

But I can't complain that much. I shopped for the ideal seating position, and this is the motorcycle that came with it. Anyway, after nearly a year I'm almost to the point where I can forget how big it is for long stretches at a time, stretches I might not otherwise be spending on a motorcycle of any weight or size.

Employee Of The Decade (Plus Two)


Daisy, Tread Life's editorial assistant and morale officer. Today marks her 12th year on the job. Good work, Small Dog.