More than enough back story. On with the idea and the ride.
My friend Mark posted a picture of his son holding a completed MSF motorcycle safety course certificate and how heís a licensed motorcyclist. I thought it was really cool to see a new rider that was excited and was happy for him. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks, why donít I help him out like I was helped out over 25 years ago? I thought it was kind of a crazy idea but couldnít shake it. I knew it needed a bit of maintenance (oil change, new chain/sprockets, etc.) to be ready to go and I was going to do that anyway in a couple weeks when a check comes in. I spent the next two weeks looking at logistics of this to see if I could pull it off and the idea wouldnít die. I looked at routes and decided to go past a bunch of places I grew up.
I still had a big issue to figure out to make this work. How am I going to do a one-way trip 500 miles away from home? Then I realized that my mother and mother-in-law are coming down to visit for a conference at the end of September. Everything was figured out, now to actually tell my wife and start this. I talk to her and she wants to make sure this isnít a deal to get a new bike. After sheís reasonably convinced that itís not, I call Mark up. Heís a talker so there arenít many times Iíve seen him speechless but the phone went dead for a bit after I told him I was serious about giving this motorcycle to his son. I get a text from Mark a few minutes later after he told his son, ďheís freakinĒ.
We go back and forth via Facebook to get details worked out. ďI want to change the exhaust, front springs, rear shock, seat, etc.Ē I informed him that Iíve already done everything except the exhaust (which I opened up a bit for a little more sound). I put together a list of all the mods Iíve done to the bike and realized it was much longer than I thought it was going to be. I sent him the list and the advice to just put some miles on it before deciding to do anything. After a while it will become clear what he needs to change to make it suit him better.
I get the bike ready to go. Change the oil, change the brake fluid and change the chain/sprockets. The brake fluid is still factory and looked like dark maple syrup coming out. My wife was talking to me in the garage while I did it. She commented on it without being told what itís supposed to look like (you know it was bad). I had the bike loaded up and ready to go for a couple days before. I had some soft bags I was going to give to Mark so they could take a trip together. I threw those in an army duffle and strapped it to the rear seat. Iím ready to go except for plugging the GPS into the USB power plug. What do mean the center piece broke out of the USB plug? Great, no power for GPS or charging my iPhone. I packed the iPhone and threw the SIM card into my old phone which goes days on a charge. I donít really need more than phone and text for the next day or so and Iíll have charger access after that.