Monday, June 18, 2007

The Timex of motorcycles

Above: My current Kawasaki KLR-650 loaded down for a multi-week cross-country tour

I've been lusting over one of those swoopy new 2008 KLR-650's with the more powerful engine and dual headlights and prettier fairing. Only problem: I can't justify it. My current KLR is slow and ugly, but it gets me where I'm going, whether where I'm going is on pavement or off of it. So I say "Hmm, okay, maybe when I wear this thing out". But Gordon over at Fixer and Gordon's says the beast is likely to outlive me. Gah, how can I justify a new motorcycle if my current one is going to outlive me!

So anyhow, a FedEx guy walks into the office, looks up at the cubicle tops, and spots my helmet on top of my cube. He comes over and says, "Is that your motorcycle out back?"

I say, "Yeah." Thinking, maybe he wants to ask me what kind of motorcycle it is because he wants one just like it or something.

Instead, he says, "I just hit it with my truck and knocked it over."

Oh boy! I get a new motorcycle courtesy of FedEx! So I rushed out to the parking lot, ready to see a flat motorcycle and then pound on him for insurance info etc. And... and...

Total damage: One scratch to side of topbag. One scratch on sidebag mount (sidebags aren't mounted for commuting). One scratch on footpeg mount. One scratch on handguard. Looking at the pavement, it appears that he shoved it for a couple of feet with the bumper of his truck, but the damned thing just slid along like it was meant to travel on its side. And I can't even justify hitting FedEx up for fixing the scratches, because that's the same side that the bear knocked the bike onto and so it was already all scratched up!

I'm starting to believe Gordon is right. The Kawasaki KLR-650 is old, slow, crude, and ugly, but the damned thing is as close to indestructible as you can get for a bike that can take you around the world, on pavement and off, in (relative) comfort. It looks like I'm just going to have to wait another five years or so before I can say "Okay, it's ten years old, *now* it's time for a new bike!". Oh well, I don't need a swoopy new KLR anyhow, it'd just get all beat up and battered looking within a few months anyhow given the travails of a motorcycle in an urban commuting environment...

-- Badtux the Motorcycle Penguin


  1. Hey BadTux,
    You wouldn't be headed anywhere near Wisconsin on this cross-country trip would you? If so, let me know when and maybe we can hook up. You can drop me a line at bulldog[at]bulldogsays[dot]com.

  2. As should be obvious by the fact that my motorcycle was at work, I'm not on a cross-country trip right now :-). That photo is from a previous trip, and was taken near Lake Isabella in the southern Sierra Nevada.

    -Badtux the Motorcyclin' Penguin

  3. I must be a real idiot. Can you teach me to read and comprehend Oh Great Penguin?

    Anyway, if you do head out on another cross-country venture on said Kawasaki Timex, let me know if you're headed my way.


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