Motorcycles I Have Owned

#1) 1989 Suzuki Intruder 750

Bought this used in 1992 for about $3000 from a motorcycle shop in San Francisco. Learned to ride on this bike, then took the MSF course. Great way to get around The City. It weighed a little under 500 lbs. Dropped it a couple times while learning, but it didn't damage the bike at all. Maintenance-free shaft drive. Sold it in 1994 after buying my first Harley.

#2) 1993 Kawasaki Concours 1000

Went looking for a heavier bike to ride across the Bay Bridge to work in Emeryville. Gusty winds kicked the Intruder around too much. Test rode BMWs and the Concours. At $7300 new it was a bargain compared to a similar BMW sport tourer. The Concours weighed about 650 lbs, if I remember correctly, and had a reputation for being top heavy. Sold it in 2001 with 47,000 miles after buying the K1200LT. Maintenance-free shaft drive. This bike never left California but made many trips around the state. More information here.

#3) 1994 Harley-Davidson Dyna Convertible FXDS-C 1340

A friend of mine who rode a BMW but also had a Harley told me, "If you're going to ride motorcycles, you've got to have a Harley." I took her words to heart. Bought this one new from Bob Dron Harley Davidson in Oakland for about $13,000. This bike also weighed about 650 lbs. Rode it across America and back several times. I dropped it several times, but no serious damage resulted, thanks to the crash bar. One minor accident did require some expensive repairs, however. Maintenance-free belt drive. Sold it in 2012 with 58,500 miles on the odometer.

#4) 1982 Kawasaki KZ440 LTD

Couldn't find a picture of mine, but it looked just like this. Bought mine used in 1994 to have an inexpensive lightweight bike to ride around The City. I think it weighed less than 400 lbs. Never dropped it. Chain drive on this one. It also had a pretty long travel to the suspension, so was very comfortable on rough pavement. It was fun, but sold it a couple years later because I had too many motorcycles for my garage space.

#5) 1994 Suzuki Katana 600

Fell in love with this at a dealer in San Francisco. Had read about it in a motorcycle magazine article. Slightly larger, more upright riding position than some of the new 600s that were coming out at that time. Also a bit heavier at 480 lbs. Chain drive. Bought it new on sale in December 1994 for $4900. Rode it quite a bit around California. I never dropped this one, but a girlfriend who was learning to ride did a couple times. Some damage to the fairing and a broken mirror, which I replaced. Sold it in 2000 to a fellow who wanted to use it for commuting I-680 from Pleasanton to San Jose.

#6) 1982 Honda Gold Wing 1100 Aspencade

Bought this one used in Walnut Creek in 1999 for only $3000. It needed a little mechanical loving care, but was otherwise in good condition. Rode it to LA for my son's graduation from college there. Otherwise, mostly local riding. I think it weighed about 850 lbs. Never dropped this one. It had a very low center of gravity, so was pretty easy to handle. Maintenance-free shaft drive. Sold it in 2002 after I bought the K1200LT.

#7) 2001 BMW K1200LT

Looked at big Harleys touring bikes, but decided I liked this better and bought it new, on sale, for $19,000. Rode it across America and back several times. Maintenance was expensive so I started doing my own mechanical work on it. It weighed about 900 lbs and was rather top heavy, like the Concours. Maintenance-free shaft drive. Single-side swing arm on rear made tire changes easy. I dropped it several times, but that caused very little damage. Sold it in 2011 with 57,000 miles after buying the 2006 Harly Ultra Classic Electra Glide.

#8) 1996 Ducati 900SS/CR

Bought this used for $2900 on a whim about 2002. Original owner hadn't ridden it for four years and it needed some work. Basically, fork seals and clutch cylinder seal had gone bad due to lack of use. Great bike to ride 90 mph, but too choppy for riding around town. Chain drive. Sold it after a couple of years to a fellow who wanted a bike to ride on track only.

#9) 1997 Kawasaki KZ1000P Police

Purchased for $5000 in 2003 from Hollywood Motors in Canoga Park, CA. They specialize in used police vehicles. I went looking for one because I had always liked the way these bikes looked and sounded. This one still had the strobes and siren. The bike originally belonged to the Fontana, CA, police department. It had only 10,300 miles on the odometer when I purchased it and was in nearly perfect condition. Chain drive. Sold in Summer, 2011, in Santa Fe, NM.

#10) 2006 Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic Electra Glide FLHTCUI (Modified) 103 (1690cc)

Bought this from the original owner in Apache Junction, AZ, who had decided to stop riding and instead drive an RV. Got the bike, with 20,000 miles on it, and an enclosed Toy Carrier trailer for $19,000. Bike needed a bit of work: Nail in rear tire and warped front brake disk. Not a bad bike to ride. Built with 103 race-tuned engine, Rinehart True Duals, by Bartell's H-D in El Paso. Weight: About 900 lbs. Dropped it once in my gravel driveway. Previous owner had also dropped it a couple times. Only minor damage to crash bars and abrasion on the fairing edge. Maintenance-free belt drive. Traded it in on the 2012.

#11) 2007 Suzuki V-Strom DL650

Bought it used with only 4000 miles for $5500 in 2012 in anticipation of selling my 1994 Harley-Davidson. Eileen told me I could only have two bikes. This one was like new, but with lots aftermarket extras and for half the price. It was great fun to ride. Very lightweight at about 480 lbs, and lots of power. Dropped it once in my gravel driveway. Chain drive. But I decided I wanted a light-weight bike with belt drive for longer solo trips. Sold it in 2014 after buying the Harley Switchback.

#12) 2012 Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic Electra Glide FLHTCU 103 (1690cc)

Traded in the '06 for this new one at end of year in 2012. Rode it with my wife as passenger from Santa Fe to Tucson in 2013, and solo to to Sacramento and back to visit my daughter's family in July, 2014. Weighs over 900 lbs. Dropped it once on each trip. Also low-sided it at 30 MPH on a snowy road in Northern NM in late November, 2014. No significant damage, but replaced the warped front crash bar after the snow fall. Maintenance-free belt drive.

#13) 2014 Harley-Davidson Dyna Switchback FLD 103 (1690cc)

Bought this new at end of year in 2014 so I could have a lighter-weight Harley to ride. Made numerous modifications during the first few months during the winter, including custom slip-on muffler, Screaming Eagle Stage-1 intake, and dynomometer tuning by Santa Fe Harley-Davidson. Bike listed for $16,300 when purchased. Had about $22,500 invested when all done. Rode it 3000 miles to Sacramento and back in March/April 2015. Weighs about 730 lbs. Hasn't been dropped except gently on carpet pads for purposes of pick-up demo. Maintenance-free belt drive: I've had very good luck with the Harley belts, basically maintenance-free.

#14) 2012 Harley-Davidson Heritage Softail Classic FLSTC 103 (1690cc)

Traded the 2012 Harley Ultra for this bike in October 2015. Had put the Ultra in on consignment, but then saw this in the dealer showroom and fell in love. It was pretty stock, but made basically the same modifications as to the 2014 FLD and ended up with a little over $20,000 invested. Did all the work myself on this one. Installed Vance & Hines slip-on mufflers with quiet baffles (not too quiet, but the orignal V & H baffles were just too loud for me) and Screaming Eagle Stage-1 intake. Then tuned with a Vance & Hines FuelPak 3 and downloaded map. Runs much better. Very similar in weight to the FLD, about 750 lbs., but has more of a cruiser feel, and the counterbalanced engine is smoother at lower speeds. Also has belt drive.

#15) 2016 BMW R1200 GS (2-cylinder, 8-valve, 1200cc)

Bought this new in March 2016. This bike has 125 HP and weighs only about 530 lbs fully fueled (+ luggage and whatever's inside.) So it's really fast, a joy to ride. All kinds of electronics: Ride modes, suspension modes, BMW Navigator 5 GPS, shift-assist for clutch-free shifting. BMW Vario side and top cases. Dealer added those options. Then I added Saddlemen heated gel-pad saddle, some lights, and Hepko & Becker engine guards. Total invested ended up somewhere around $23,000. Has shaft drive, also single-side swing arm. Got the alloy wheels. They're lighter weight than the laced ones, so less unsprung weight, and strong enough for highway riding. I don't plan to do any off-road adventure riding. This one is mainly for longer tours. The Harleys are now mostly for around town.


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