I love to share my hobbies. When yet another friend of mine mentioned a vague interest in learning to ride, I immediately wanted to get a good trainer bike.

I started riding in 2001 when I got my first motorcycle, a Suzuki Savage 650. Following up on the whim I looked for the same model online and found one right away.  It has been about three weeks since I first saw that ad and now it is registered, insured, and has brand new tires. I rode it about 60 miles today to break in the new tires. (New tires are smooth and slick so they are more likely to slide on you if you are not careful. They should be well-ridden before handing the keys to a beginner.)

My Dad rode motocross before I was born and rode a Kawasaki standard until the early 80’s when he quit riding for reasons unknown. He was never particularly interested in the street bikes my brother rode, mostly because he wasn’t comfortable stretching his back and putting weight on his wrists, but he enjoyed the low seated cruiser position. While I was learning to ride, he was relearning his love of riding. Within six months he had four motorcycles of his own!

Riding the Savage brought back a lot of those memories of happy times spent connecting with my Dad and youngest brother. Once Dad had a few bikes, I could borrow one of his so I took the Savage to my brother’s shop where he and I totally stripped it.  Over the course of a few months we took it apart down to the piston and rebuilt it into a running bike again. I learned about engines, clutches, tools, and scraped knuckles!

The Savage is parked in the garage now, next to the V-Star 1100 I inherited from my Dad when he passed away in 2003. I love the V-Star. I looked at new bikes a few months ago because I wanted a bike that was all “me” but the more I tried, the more I liked the cruisers and the more I realized I already had the bike I wanted. Like father like son, or perhaps the other way around.

Regardless, I would love to introduce someone to the joy of riding.  I consider the V-Star to be a mid-sized bike, but it is fairly strong, heavy, and daunting to a new rider. The Savage is low, light, has enough torque that it is hard to stall, but not enough top end to get away from a new rider. The next time someone sighs wistfully about wanting to learn to ride, I’ll have keys to toss their direction! I hope someone takes me up on the offer, but even if that never happens and all my friends are just bluffing, the bike has been worth it already. I’ve only ridden it for one day.

(Without specifying the price, I think it is amusing to point out that I spent less on this motorcycle than I did on my mountain bike. If you would borrow my bicycle, you should not worry about riding this motorcycle.)

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