As you probably know by now, Allison and I are making preparations for a departure to Europe and, eventually, Africa. Among those preparations was a bitter-sweet parting with a motorcycle that I’ve owned since 2008. A 2000 BMW R1200C.

untitled-0571

untitled-0510

IMG_20131025_001556

It was hard to sell her, I suppose, but not as hard as you might think. My dad once told me:

“Son, never love anything that can’t love you back.”

That maxim has proven itself numerous times since I first heard it. I’m reminiscing about it now because these truths have saved me from more than a few unhealthy relationships with some vicious lovers, women and vehicles alike. So when the time came to say goodbye to my Bavarian companion, it wasn’t too painful. And I was excited, because it means Allison and I are that much closer to leaving the States. The hardest part wasn’t that I missed a possession. It was that I missed riding.

My withdrawal pains we short-lived.

Time for a context-tangent:

You see, Allison and I are planning to ride motorcycles in our overseas travels. Being practical, wise, and brave as she is, Allison suggested earlier this year that she should learn to ride motorcycles in the event that it’s our only mode of transportation and I’m unable to ride. I was thrilled at the notion, of course, and enrolled her in a beginning rider’s course conducted by the Utah Rider Education folks. This all took place earlier this Spring.

So, in July–now sans moto–I got an itch that needed scratching. I saw an opportunity to get an inexpensive, vintage bike; small enough for Allison to practice on a bit, and something I could fix up and learn some maintenance on. A fun old 1981 Yamaha XJ550 Maxim. Here she is on the day we bought her:

20140707_173906_HDR

20140707_175529_HDR

20140707_182225-2

The idea has been that we’ll sell her just before we leave for Spain.

At first, my plans for fixing her up were very small. It has turned into much more of a project than I ever expected, but all for the best. I’m learning a lot about this stuff, which is quite satisfying AND will serve us well on our travels. I’ll post more photos of the project soon.