Hey folks, first post in this nuthouse, but I already feel at home!
I dithered for years, but finally picked up my first bike last August- a venerable 1976 CB550.
It came home with a cam chain rattle, missing various minor bits, peeling paint, no front brake light switch and flipped-over bars, but damnit, it was mine and it was my first bike!
Then I did an oil change, which turned into a massive 50-day rebuild project, and by the time I was done the old beast ran like new and had a brushed steel tank and some other Mad Max-ian goodies.
Here it is overlooking the San Francisco Bay from Grizzly Peak Road in Oakland (maybe Berkeley at this point, I'm not sure).
These old Hondas are hugely popular with hipsters building cafe racers these days, so I sold it off at a hefty profit and sunk the money into a much newer 2005 Vulcan 500. Newer, reliable, and something I could focus on riding in stead of wrenching.
I picked the new steed up in Lemoore (about 40 miles south of Fresno) and rode it back to Oakland, more than doubling my total miles in one swell foop. The next week, my brother and I rode down to Santa Cruz for a shakedown, and came back up via Highway 1 and Halfmoon Bay. By the time we got home it was so cold we were clutching our engine blocks at every light. But boom- fast, reliable transportation! Already came with bags and a solo seat, all it needs is some racks for luggage, and I should have a sweet little beast for tuckering around the back roads.