There are more cost to riding a motorcycle than just the bike.
So now I have committed to buying a 2008 Honda Gold Wing. And I need to get the bike to my house. I thought maybe the owner would trailer it down to my house … but no, the trailer is now broken. So now how am I going to get this 950lb bike home?
I have a friend that is an experienced GW rider and he offered to drive it home (like 50 miles away). That seemed silly … so I decided my wife and I would go up and pay the balance of the money and she would follow me home on the HUGE 950lb motorcycle. And this is the first not bright idea I had.
Now, in order to drive the motorcycle home, I needed a few things. First, I needed a motorcycle permit to legally ride the bike. I called the DMV on Thursday and scheduled to take the written test on the following Monday … this would get me a permit. Second, I needed “stuff”. I needed a helmet and some riding gear. (We’ll discuss riding gear in the near future). We traveled to Orange County, CA … this is where I would buy some stuff.
First stop though would be to see the 2007 Gold Wing with 70,000 for $12,000. The bike was nice and all that … but, after seeing the bike I felt great about the 2008 GW we purchased! This motorcycle shop didn’t have what I needed … mainly a helmet. While at the motorcycle shop I began talking with another customer about his GW. During the conversation, he suggested we go down the street to a place called Cycle Gear. So off to Cycle Gear we go.
Helmets. Big problem for me. I first noticed how “long” my head was when they didn’t have a Cub Scout hat to fit my head. My Dad had to cut and tap that hat to make it work (I was like 9). Then playing high school football … the school had to get a custom helmet for my now longer head! Many, many years ago went through a cowboy phase for about a week … could not find a cowboy hat to fit! Fitted hats became popular several years ago … nope, they don’t make one my size and shape, period. And now I’ve got to get a helmet that fits my beautifully shaped head.
This was my first time in Cycle Gear. To a new motorcycle enthusiast, this store was nirvana! This store had a complete wall, from top to bottom with every style and color of helmets. Surely, they would have one that fits. I didn’t care what color or brand (didn’t know anything about brands at this time), I just needed a helmet that would fit … a huge challenge.
To my pleasant surprise motorcycle helmets come in all kinds of sizes and different shapes. This store had 3XL which is the first good thing. Secondly, manufacturers make shapes described as oval, intermediate oval and long oval … unbelievable! My salesman found an intermediate oval, ARIA full faced helmet that fit great. Albeit, they had to switch out the side pads for thicker ones to make the helmet fit perfectly. Helmet cost was $585 … on sale. Had no idea helmets cost so much.
A more detailed helmet discussion will follow in the future blogs. Reading and learning about helmet technology the past few months has been very interesting. There is a lot that goes into making a helmet.
Next, I needed riding pants and jacket. Again, I will have a lot more to share about riding gear in future blogs (I love talking about riding gear). Nonetheless, I bought a $119 riding jacket and a $199 pair of riding pants.
This all happened on Sunday before the Tuesday I was going to pick up the 2008 GW. To my surprise there is a Cycle Gear in my city a few miles away. Monday, I went to CG and bought some gloves and a pair of inexpensive riding shoes. To take my safety class the following weekend I needed shoes that covered the ankle … check!
So now it is Monday and I have all the gear. I go to the DMV Monday afternoon and pass my test and headed home with my permit. Yippee!
Tuesday morning I’m excited to drive up 50 miles and get the bike. This morning I called GEICO and bought a year of insurance for about $500. As you now know, if you are going to ride a motorcycle, there are additional costs that begin to add up … and it’s only beginning.
So, at 2:00 in the afternoon we arrived at the home to pick up the bike.
Picking up the bike and talking with the widow and her son this day was a game changer … just wait!