I ride two types of motorcycle, a dual-sport bike and a street bike. About five years ago, I got tired of riding as a pillion on my late husband’s bike and decided it was time for me to learn how to ride my own motorcycle. As my late husband would say, I don’t reach very far from the ground so I was limited in the choices of motorcycle since most dual-sport minimum seat height were at least 33 inches high. So we went for the TW200 (T-Dub) as my first bike to learn on. This is where our love affair began for this bike. We went on group trail ride and met an amazing group of people because of this bike. We rode it everywhere, even on our honeymoon via Route 66.
It’s a dual-sport bike with 196cc 4-stroke single cylinder engine with a big fat rear tire. Yamaha first introduced this bike in 1987 and little has changed over the last 27 years except the change from drum brake to disc brake, switch to a cv carburetor and the removal of the kick starter.
It’s achieved cult status among motorcycle rider of all types due to the low seat, the low speed, light weight and the fat tire to handle any type terrains. Basically, it is all around fun motorcycle to ride on the dirt and around town.
As the year went on, it was time for me to get a bigger bike to do more freeway riding and my first street bike was a 1993 Kawasaki Vulcan 500. I rode it several times but we were still riding the T-Dub a whole lot more than our street bike even though it can’t go faster than 60 mph. Everywhere we went, people always stopped to ask us questions about our little bike. That never happened when we rode our street bike.
Now fast forward to now, I wanted to get back to riding my street bike more often and realized that I no longer have a mechanic in my life to service the Vulcan which I know nothing about. So, I figured it was time to put my big panties on and take the bike to dealer to get it serviced. They called me after an hour with the bad news. The right piston was bad and it was going to cost more to fix it then what I paid for it. I felt so lost not being able to ride to find my serenity and to feel closer to him and pissed off at him for not keeping up on the maintenance on my bike.
Once again, I had to learn the meaning of “One Day at a Time”, I had to step back and realize that since I no longer have a mechanic in my life so I needed to change my lifestyle and buy a brand new “ready to ride” bike. So, I sold the Vulcan as is and started window shopping for a dream bike. Unfortunately, I realized that I had a lot of medical bills still to pay and would never be able to afford a new bike for awhile.
Even though I’m 45 years old but I’m still the baby in the family. My father saw how I was longing to ride and realized that I needed to ride to find my inner peace, offered to help finance the new bike. With the help of my son, we found the perfect bike for me which was the new Honda CTX700. As of today, I’m riding every chance I get and already have 1,200 miles on it.
In 2013, Honda introduced the CTX700 to attract new riders to motorcycling and to bring back the experience rider looking something that is more practical for the everyday transportation. It also has a low seat at 29 inches and light weight at 494 pounds. In addition to the light weight, the engine has a low center of gravity for better handling. The look is a cross between a cruiser and a sport bike.
The bike is relatively new but could imagine that will also attract a cult following for all type of riders as well.
Even though I’m riding the street bike more often these days, I still prefer to ride my T-Dub which is my first love. Also, riding the T-Dub forces me to slow and take the back road instead of the freeway. This brings a quote to mind by Charles Kuralt that always reminds me that sometimes we need to slow down in order to see the beauty around us.
“Thanks to the Interstate Highway System, it is now possible to travel from coast to coast without seeing anything.”