Once I saw my poor, dead bike, I knew there was no hope of repairing it. And, of course, GEICO totaled it. So I started looking in the paper, online in local showrooms. I had my heart set on another SV650, and I wanted a yellow one. I soon found one on Cycle Trader, near Greenville, SC, less than two hours away. It was a 2005, with only 800 miles. I thought that was a bit suspicious, but called anyway. I immediately liked the sellers, and made arrangements with a friend to take his truck up for a look at the bike. He thought I was jumping into the purchase, but I just felt so good about it: right color, low mileage (he was skeptical), nice folks.
Turned out that there was quite a story behind the bike.
The husband was a long-time rider, and he’d bought the SV for his wife. But every time she rode, her hands got numb. Her husband installed a wrist rest, but that didn’t help. And when she took the MSF course (on a completely different bike) the same thing happened. She went to the doctor, and discovered a spinal tumor; the riding position aggravated the pressure on nerves, hence the numbness. The doctor told her she was lucky to have discovered it so early; had it progressed until there were other symptoms, it could have been very complicated to remove it, with the risk of paralysis.
She showed me the 4-inch scar on her neck, and told me that, even though she felt fine, the idea of riding and possibly falling (whether on her own bike or as a passenger on her husband’s bike) terrified her. So they parked the bike and put it on the market: hence the very low mileage.
I went on a test ride with the husband on his Honda CBR1000RR. I feared that he’d speed off and lose me, but we took a reasonably-paced ride through pretty country and I felt immediately at home on the bike, despite the fact that it was at full, stock height. I’d had my old SV raised to the middle position, so this was just a bit higher, and I was surprised that it was comfortable. I wasn’t entirely flat-footed, but it was OK. So, of course, I bought the bike and brought it home. The transaction was less like buying a vehicle than like adopting a puppy; they both hugged me goodbye. I sent them a Christmas card, and they call now and then. Very sweet exchange.
But I wasn’t about to leave it in the parking lot to be stolen, so when we got home, we wrestled it into the apartment living room. I laid down plastic carpet runner and parked the bike on two layers of plastic tarp so there would be no danger to the carpet (no need, really: it was tight as a drum, and I swear the owner had cleaned it with Q-Tips). It made quite a nice conversation piece:
By gosh, nobody’s stealing this one!
Of course, this just wasn’t a viable long-term solution, so I began looking for a house with a garage. That worked out about as well as buying the bike: I met a great real estate agent through fellow riders from my MSF class, and 6 days later put a contract on a great house out in the country. My main stipulation was that the house have a 2-car garage; essentially, I was looking for a garage with a house attached. The bike now lives there, and the cars are parked outside 🙂