Friday, June 2, 2017

A Change Of Tires

From time to time one needs new tires. For those that think a motorcycle is a cheap alternative to a car, think again. True you can get better gas mileage depending on the car and the motorcycle. But on a car expect to get 40,000 miles out of the tires. 
 
That ten inch sucker cost me $58 and if I'm lucky I might get 4,000 miles out of it. 70 miles to the gallon of premium gas, negligible insurance and registration costs but tires...especially for scooters. Larger motorcycle tires last twice as long but cost...twice as much! 
 
The front tire should last twice as long. So every time I change the front tire I replace the drive belt. Automatic scooters are powered by a toothed belt that is gripped by a pair of discs and the faster you go the tighter they grip. No gears and constantly varying gears just by twisting the gas...ingenious, easy to use but there are those costs involved. 
 
For me the scooter is a fun ride. I have been denying age related arthritis in my left hand and wrist which makes riding a motorcycle tough for me now. The riding position and the need to pull in the clutch to change gears exacerbates the pain which I offset with exercise rather than the pills prescribed for me. The Vespa offers a bolt upright seating position and a soft brake lever on the left rather than a stiff clutch like my Bonneville. 
So I have to ponder my future rides. For now I rely on my Vespas and ride the Bonneville to work once a week to keep it active. At 500 pounds it's also a heavy lump to keep upright if I have to rely on my left wrist to keep it balanced and upright. A few times, more than I'd care to say I have feared dropping it as my wrist let me down. Jiri my practical Czech motorcycle mechanic said dryly "keep your car" as we discussed the choice of automatic motorcycles available. 
Rusty is the main reason I use the Bonneville very little these days. If I want to take a trip I like his company so I have to take the car. He isn't complaining. 
Mind you he likes hanging out in Jiri's air conditioned shop playing with Jiri's dog.  Which is leashed as he likes to chase passing unsuspecting cyclists. 
 
So now the oil is changed, the tires are new and I am good for summer. Maybe by Fantasy Fest my wrist will have regenerated tissue and all this talk of aging can be set aside for a while longer. I doubt it.