Not so many posts here so I thought I’d share my good news: bike was delivered last week (by Peter), a 1995 VX800. Since it’s been nearly 15 years since I last rode, and over 30 since I last owned a real bike, I thought I share why it’s so different today.
First, I forgot how much I like the smell. When you park the bike in the garage after a ride, the hot metal of the engine and exhaust have a specific smell that I had forgotten I love. (I’m a big aviation fan too and I never forget how much I love the smell of burnt jet aviation fuel. Gorgeous!) A hot bike engine is appealing in the same way, though smelling very different.
Second, it turns out that (from memory) a VX800 has the same dry weight as my old 1970s vintage Z650 – about 213 kg. Strangely, 213 kg in 1979 weighed a lot less than 213 kg in 2017…
Third, the gears are hard! I have terrible hearing and do not wear hearing aids inside a helmet (what’s the point?). But, the VX is very quiet and I can’t hear well enough to know what the revs are doing. In the olden days, I’d do it by hearing mostly, but also by feeling the vibrations. Well, a VX is quite smooth and the difference between 3000 rpm and 4000 rpm isn’t so pronounced (maybe I’ll get used to it?). This means I never know what gear I’m in. I suppose I’ll have to do it by revs on the clock, but knowing revs and speeds for all gears is a tall order…
Fourth (last!), I dislike modern motorcycle design greatly: modern bikes sit you at the bottom of a ‘V’. On a ‘proper’ saddle (old, that is, like a Bonneville), they’re flat so you can push a lardy backside rearwards to ease an aching back or leg. In a ‘V’, you’re stuck! Dreadful. (Not so pronounced on a VX, but still restrictive.)
So – not all good news I suppose, but even the belly-aching is good (for me) ‘cos it means I have a bike!