How I long to ride again!
Nothing like to feeling of going down the road sitting ON your mode of transportation rather than sitting IN it. Even a convertible doesn't quite come close - especially if you're wearing a half-helmet.
I started off learning how to ride on a 1984 Honda Interceptor in Manhattan.
Learned how to ride "aggressively defensive" on the streets with taxi cabs who don't look for anything on the road except their next fare. Had to learn how to illegally lane-split as well... Might as well take advantage of the fact that my bike can fit in between the long lines of cars during rush-hour (I don't know why they call it "rush hour" as no one, except bikers, can rush anywhere during that time). Travel to and from work in Manhattan on my bike was a fraction of the time it took to either take the subway or drive my car.
I was so enthusiastic to hone my riding skills that, unless it was actively snowing, I was riding to and from work everyday.
The Interceptor was a V4 and had a fairly distinctive exhaust note, and was really agile - point and squirt and I was there! God, I miss that bike!
When it was stolen (that's NYC for ya!), I went for a brand new (at the time) 1992 Honda CBR 600.
It was ranked the best middleweight sportsbike at the time. Now, that thing was so fast and agile, it probably should've been illegal for use on the streets! On my way to work on a Sunday morning around 7am, there weren't many cars on the FDR drive (Franklin D. Roosevelt). The CBR was so confidence-inspiring, that I brought her up to 140mph before I lost my nerve. I found that there is a reason for that pulled-forward, chest-to-the-tank riding position! Had I tried to sit up straight at that speed, I would've been blown off! When I arrived at work, my knees were knocking! What a rush. This was also the bike where I first experienced the dreaded "tank-slap" at 75MPH on the Long Island Expressway. I ran over a large iron plate that was placed over a huge pothole and the handlebars went full-turn, side-to-side a number of times. I thought I was going to die, or worse, live with the worst road rash and lose a couple of body parts. I don't know how I righted myself, but I did and kept on riding. I learned to look far down the road, keep my head on a swivel, and avoid anything on the road.
When that bike was stolen (yes, NYC again!), I decided to get a less-flashy bike and picked up a 1980 Suzuki 1000G.
It was called a UJM (Universal Japanese Motorcycle) and you sat upright on it - a big difference from what I was used to, and it had shaft-drive so no lubing up the chain or adjusting for chain-stretch. Nowhere near as fast nor agile as my previous bikes, but it still was a good runner, and still good enough to lane-split. A bit more comfortable on long rides, though. I found out quickly that this was a bike that you really couldn't drag a knee on turns - mine had pegs, not the floorboards as pictured, and I made quite a bit of a show with all the sparks!
I missed the sportbike feel, so I traded it in for a 1998 Honda CBR 600 and felt at home again!
Had it for a couple of years and when I had a great job offer, I had to move to Louisiana and sell the bike. I sold it to a guy in Connecticut, but he had no way to pick it up. He offered to pay a bit extra if I were to deliver it to him. I offered to ride the bike to him from NY. He was fine with that and I had the nicest time riding that bike on that trip!
Now that I'm much older and less flexible, I want a Harley! I want that easy-chair feeling and that sound. Ain't got the $$$ for that now, but maybe in the future... Oh, wait, I have to get some new siding for the house first...
But I can dream, can't I?
Keep the shiny side up and I hope you never have to lay it down!