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johnmark101

Have motorcycles ruined you??

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On 2/4/2020 at 7:59 AM, johnmark101 said:

Well, have they....?

On the contrary.  I would say that motorcycles have saved me.  Here's why...

In my 30s-60s I was a very physical outdoors guy:  Backpacking, rock climbing, ice climbing, mountaineering,  running marathons, etc.  That's how identified myself and saw myself.  "The rugged climber dude."

But as I aged (now 72) my abilities in all these activities declined.  Plus the joy I got out of suffering in cold campsites on the side of a mountain or giving 99% to a climb, or running and hiking with sore knees waned.  I just did't have the jam anymore.  But what about my IDENTITY?  Was I now just an old fart heading for the rocking chair?

Enter motorcycles!  After a 40 year hiatus from riding I bought a low-mileage ST 1300 in 2006 and found I LOVED riding all over again.  I put 45k on that bike and then got the FJ three years ago .

Riding motorcycles this time around has helped me create a new identity: The guy who rides fast bikes with skill and enthusiasm. Oh yeah!

I think it is important as we age to recognize the inevitable  changes, and go with the flow gracefully.  Find an activity that we enjoy and pursue it with vigor.  Don't go gently onto that dark couch or rocking chair.  And at the same time recognize your limits.

Who knew that taking up an activity I loved and left behind in my 20s would elicit so much joy in my golden years!

Thank you MOTORCYCLES.

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1968 Triumph Bonneville 650
1971 Norton Commando Roadster
2002 Harley 1200 Sportster
2003 Honda ST 1300
2016 FJ 09

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Simple answer: no. I think all of my nonessential spending is either on the FJ or my bicycles. But I only spend in batches - when I get a project in mind. Right now I'm making a monster cross bike out of a mountain bike.  I have some years where I don't buy anything other than oil, filters, and tubeless sealant.

I can get pretty high strung in a bad way. A good bicycle ride is the best therapy. A good moto ride is a close 2nd. 

But... I have two other aspects of my life where I get a massive endorphin/dopamine rush - when my son has a success in one of his passions. I just feel awesome when I see him get results after working hard. 

And emergency response. I became a volunteer firefighter 12 years ago and a medical responder (now paramedic) about 8 years ago. There is NOTHING like walking through a brush fire or into a house fire or up to a medical crisis and just taking care of business. It's the hardest thing I've ever done, and it is the most F***ING AMAZING THING I have ever done.

Thanks for this topic. Just writing the above makes me feel awesome thinking about riding and responding. 

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2 hours ago, stumpy said:

When I brought this home to join my FJ in the garage,  it almost ruined my relationship....my wife just doesn't understand us boys.  Mind you, she would really like a new Triumph Speed Twin  to add to her Versys. So maybe she's getting a bit warped herself

20191008_072050.jpg

What bike is this?

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4 hours ago, rodb47 said:

What bike is this?

2007 Yamaha MT-01, the Grandfather of the MT's.   1700cc V-twin with R1 goodies

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42 minutes ago, stumpy said:

2007 Yamaha MT-01, the Grandfather of the MT's.   1700cc V-twin with R1 goodies

These seem super rare.  I've seen lots of pictures, but even being a rabid Yamaha fan, I've never seen one in person.  

Very similar to V-Max's it seems, thought the VMax sports similar performance of a much smaller (though much more complex) V4.  I kinda like these more though; they're such awesome machines. 

 

I'm extra jelly; I'd so love one of these for those days I want to just brute-force speed 😃

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On 2/4/2020 at 4:15 PM, micah2074 said:

I’m way past gone. I ride around 20k a year with a cross country trip or two a year. I have the greatest job in the world and the most wonderful family that always comes first.  With that being said, retirement can’t get here soon enough (hopefully in 15 years). Then I’ll really be able to put some miles in. 

Just some advice....don't count the time to retirement in seconds.

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46 minutes ago, Wintersdark said:

These seem super rare.  I've seen lots of pictures, but even being a rabid Yamaha fan, I've never seen one in person.  😃

I'm not sure where you live, but the MT-01 was never officially sold in the USA. They were sold in Canada, which seems weird but there it is.

I've seen one once, at the Barber vintage fest in Alabama and it had Canadian plates.

 

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33 minutes ago, keithu said:

I'm not sure where you live, but the MT-01 was never officially sold in the USA. They were sold in Canada, which seems weird but there it is.

I've seen one once, at the Barber vintage fest in Alabama and it had Canadian plates.

 

I'm Canadian - in Alberta now.  Yamaha's tend to be fairly uncommon to start with (at least everywhere I've lived), with the exception of R1's and R6's (and the occasional Star).  I've only seen two other Tracers/FJ's, one on a road trip in BC, and the other owned by the dealership I frequent's Yamaha tech.  Hell, only saw one other guy with an MT07 when I had mine, and have never seen someone on an 09 aside from on the dealership's demo days.

In fact, before I bought my MT07, I spent two years looking for a used FJ09, and never found a single one within a thousand km's. 

Mostly BMW, Suzuki, Honda, Kawasaki, and of course Harley... KTM is making big inroads now too.  

I don't think MT01's where sold here at all though - Canadian plates dude probably imported it.

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3 hours ago, Wintersdark said:

These seem super rare.  I've seen lots of pictures, but even being a rabid Yamaha fan, I've never seen one in person.  

Very similar to V-Max's it seems, thought the VMax sports similar performance of a much smaller (though much more complex) V4.  I kinda like these more though; they're such awesome machines. 

 

I'm extra jelly; I'd so love one of these for those days I want to just brute-force speed 😃

There is a few for sale right now in Calgary and Edmonton!

They were sold here from 06 to either 09 or 2010.  I was looking for over a year when this one came up.  The fella I bought it from was the original owner and ordered a bunch of the Yamaha carbon fibre and single seat.  He also added those sweet sounding Sato mufflers!  Around 90hp and 110lbs of torque...she's a fun ride

Edited by stumpy
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Since getting into motorcycles, everything else pales by comparison.  I still enjoy all of the other things I usually do but can not help but think that there is somewhere else I would rather be......on the bike.  My signature line spells it out nicely. 

Edited by johnmark101
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There is nothing like spending a day riding with friends in the grip of a shared obsession.

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No. They have helped define who I feel I am. Years ago, on a two lane road in the Colorado Rockies, I came to the realization that nothing else in my life gave me the same joy as a mountain road and two wheels. Now, at 60, I still feel the same. 

Edited by angusmcoz
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12 minutes ago, angusmcoz said:

No. They have helped define who I feel I am. Years ago, on a two lane road in the Colorado Rockies, I came to the realization that nothing else in my life gave me the same joy as a mountain road and two wheels. Now, at 60, I still feel the same. 

In two weeks I'll be turning 62 and I wholeheartedly agree.  The thrill of the wind, the road, the bike are still there.

Edited by hlmiskelly
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2015 Yamaha FJ-09 and 2018 Yamaha XSR700

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I’m not obsessed though motorcycling is usually my first choice over my other hobbies/interests these days, and unlike more physical pursuits the ability to continue for many years is appealing.  
 

I do often feel better mentally after a ride, but I’m careful not to let “two wheel therapy” go to far. Gotta stay focused on the task at hand!


IBA Member #59800

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I'm really close to being 73 and the addiction doesn't subside.

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