The Road to Becoming a Gypsy (Part 2 - Starting Over) by Wild Bill

Gypsy Wild Bill in tug o war KIB rally 2007
"I think I am going to buy a motorcycle". I said one day as my wife and I sat at the the kitchen table.

"What?" she said, looking up from her plate.

"I said, I think I am going to buy a motorcycle." I repeated. "I have been thinking about it a lot lately, and I think I am ready to own another bike."

"You don't need a motorcycle. You'll kill yourself." she said.

"I used to own one, years ago. I sold mine back in '86."

"I remember you telling me that a while back. Why do you think you need a motorcycle now?" she said.

"I don't know, I just want to start riding again. I always planned on getting another one, I just kinda got side tracked over the years." I replied.

"You don't have any business buying a motorcycle. You'll get hurt."

"You used to ride, back when you lived in California," I said. "Do you think it's all right for you but not for me?" I questioned.

"Well, I don't ride anymore." she replied.

"Yea, but you still have your bike." I said. It was true. She still had her 650 Suzuki, in pieces just like her ex-husband left it ten years before, after he decided to clean and adjust the carbs.

"Well, if you want a bike, why don't you fix mine and ride it?" was her reply

"I don't want your bike, I want MY bike!"

"Why would you go buy a bike when we already have a bike?" she said, logically.

"I don't want a 650 Suzuki that is over 15 years old and hasn't run in ten years!" I was starting to get upset now, she just didn't get it! "I want a Harley!"

"Why, so you can play like you're a biker?"

"No, not so I can play like I'm a biker! So I can ride a motorcycle! You don't have to be a biker to ride a Harley!"

"Well, I don't think you need a motorcycle." she said. I realized that this conversation wasn't going well, so I let it drop.

The next few days, I kept thinking about motorcycles, and my desire to own one grew. I had owned a little Yamaha 400 back when I was in my early twenties, and sold it when I tired of riding. Now at 40, I just knew that it was my time to ride again. We were doing well financially, money for payments wasn't a problem. I decided to stop by the cycle shop the next time I was near there.

A couple of days later I stopped in at The local Harley Davidson shop. This was the first time in over thirteen years I had really looked at a motorcycle. I looked at the big touring Harleys almost in awe. Those things were huge! I knew I didn't want one of those. I knew my pocketbook and riding skills warranted something a little less. I really didn't know anything about motorcycles, especially Harleys. I noticed a really slick black motorcycle sitting out front. The name on the tank said "Sportster". It had a windshield. It had a luggage rack. It even had a backrest!

This thing looks kinda like my old Yamaha, I thought.

About this time, a salesman walked up and asked me what I thought of the bike.

"It looks good." I said.

"You looking for a bike?" he asked.

"Just sort of window shopping," I said. I think I want a bike, but I haven't rode in a long time. Tell me a little about this bike.

"Well, it's a 2000 model, used. Another guy bought it new last year, then brought it back and traded it for a bigger bike."

"What size motor is in it?" I asked

"This one's an 883 Custom. I have been riding it home and back for a couple of weeks now.
It's really a nice little bike." he said

As it turned out, he was the owner of the shop so he could ride anything he wanted.

"How much are you asking for it?" I said.

"$7300. It only has 3800 miles on it."

$7300! I thought. That's more than I had planned on paying!

"Do you have any cheaper used bikes?" I said. "I don't think I could afford $7300." (My wife would kill me!)

"I think we might have one in the back. Lets go take a look"

I followed him back through the building, past the shop and into a side room. He walked up to a little red bike. No windshield, no luggage rack, no backrest. The name on the tank said Sportster.

"This one we took in on a trade about a month ago." He said. "It's a '88 model. It runs good, needs a little work."

I looked it over. It all seemed to be there, handlebars, seat, tires.

"Can I hear it run?" I said.

"Let's see if it will start," he replied. "It's been sitting up a while."

He reached over the bike and turned the key on. The little green light came on below the speedometer.
He then reached over on the left side, pulled the choke out and twisted the throttle a couple of times. He pushed the start button, the motor began to turn over, then it caught and the garage was filled with the roar of the engine coming to life. He gave the throttle another twist, pushed the choke in a little, and the bike began to idle. It sounded good. You could see the handle bars vibrating. He blipped the throttle once more, then hit the kill switch.

"Sounds good." I said. "Whats wrong with it?"

"It needs a rear brake line replaced. Other than that, it's in pretty good shape.

I looked at the speedometer. The odometer in the face showed 38,000 miles.

"So how much for this one?" I asked.

He looked down at the bike, thought a minute, and said, "I would take $4400 for this one."

"$4400 and fix the brake line?" I queried.

"Yea, I can do that." he said.

"Ok, let me go talk to the boss," I said. "I will have to get permission!"

"Yea, you better make sure it's Ok with the wife!" he laughed.

I went home that evening, and waited until what seemed like a good time to resume our previous conversation.

"I looked at a motorcycle up at the Harley shop today," I said, once we had settled in for the evening.

"Oh, yea?" she replied.

"Yea. It's a 1988 Harley sportster. Pretty nice looking little bike. It's only got 38,000 miles on it, and it sounds good. Cranked right up, even after sitting for a while in the back of the shop."

"Why was it sitting in the back of the shop?" she asked.

"Well, it needs a new rear break line." Other than that though, it's in pretty good shape. They only want $4400 for it."

"You don't need a motorcycle." Oh, Oh. I remembered the last time she started this line of reasoning.

"Look, I don't have to ask your permission to buy a motorcycle, you know, but I would like your blessing. Either way, I think I am going to buy this bike."

"You are really serious about this, aren't you?" she said. "Well, can I see it before you buy it?"

"Well, Sure! We can meet down at the Harley shop after work tomorrow, if you want to."

"Well, I want to see it. Ok, I'll meet you there after work."

Wow! That wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it was going to be!

That next afternoon, I met my wife at the Harley shop. We went inside, I got a salesman to escort us back to the rear of the shop, and nervously introduced my wife to my "find".

"It looks a little old." she said, looking at the bike sitting on the floor.

"Well, It is a 1988 model. That’s nearly 12 years old."

"I thought you said you didn't want my old bike."

"I DON'T want your old bike." I said. Here we go again.

"They want $4400 for this one?" she asked. "and it needs a new break line?"

"They said they would replace the break line."

"How nuch will that cost?"

"It's included in the purchase price!"

"Oh, ok."

The salesman decided at this time to enter into the frey.

"Would you like to start the paper work this afternoon?"

"I think we should go home and talk about it." My wife said.

"I guess we have some more talking to do", I said. "We'll come back tomorrow."

As we exited out the front door, my wife spotted the sleek little black 2000 Sportster Custom I had looked at before finding the bike in the back.

"What about that one over there?" she said. "It looks nearly new."

"It IS nearly new! That one is a 2000 model. Some guy bought it last year, then brought it back and traded it for a bigger bike." I said.

"Is there something wrong with it?" she asked.

"No, the guy just wanted a bigger bike."

"Well, If you are going to buy a bike, why don't you buy that one."

"That one costs $7300!" I said.

"Well, Can't you borrow the money for it instead"

"Of course I could, but it's nearly twice the price of the other one!"

"But it's so much newer than the other one. I think I would rather have this one."

My hopes soared. "You would rather I buy this one?" It's a lot more money.

"Well, maybe you should buy both, then we could both start riding again."

"What!! Weren't you the one that said you didn't want to ride anymore?"

"I never said I didn't want to ride anymore! I said I didn't ride anymore."

"So, you would be ok with me buying two bikes, instead of one?"

"I like this one better, I think. I don't know. Why are the foot pegs so far out in front?"

"Huh? Oh. They call those forward controls, They let you stretch your legs out in front of you instead of having your feet underneath your body."

"I don't think I would like that. My old bike had the controls farther back."

"Your old bike had mid controls, like the Sportster in the back."

"I think I like those better."

"How do you know, since you have never rode a bike with forward controls?"

"I don't know. They just don't look as comfortable."

"So, you don't like this bike now?"

"I like it, it's cool. But I don't know about those footpegs."

"Well, if you want me to buy both bikes, then you can try both and you can have which ever one you like better."

"But the other bike doesn't look as good as this one."

"Ok. if we buy both bikes, and you like the older one better than this one, then we could fix up the older one like you want it."

"I guess that would be ok. Do you think you can get a loan for both bikes?"

"I don't know, but I don't see why not. The only reason I was buying a cheaper bike was because I didn't think you wanted me to spend that much."

"No. I didn't care about what you spent, I just don't think you need a bike. But if you are going to buy one, then if you buy two then we could ride together."

"Well, you could ride behind me on this one, and we would not have to buy the older one."

"I don't want to ride behind you. I would rather ride my own bike."

"Why don't you fix up your old bike then, and ride it?"

"I don't want to ride that old bike! It hasn't ran in over 10 years!"

"But you wanted me to fix it and ride it instead of buying a bike. So your old bike is good enough for me to fix up and ride, but it's not good enough for you to fix up and ride?"

"I don't want to talk about it. Lets go back inside and see about buying these two bikes."

I love women!!