When I realized that I was going to become a full-timer one of the things I wanted to get for my travels was an enduro motorcycle. I wanted something I could carry on a rack on the back of the trailer and use it for, running to the store, scouting for Boondocking spots, following a Jeep trail up into the mountains, or just playing in the dirt. I envisioned a bike light enough for me to load up by myself, but powerful enough for short trips down the interstate or climbing up a sand dune. I figured a 250 cc motorcycle would be about as small as I wanted to go, and a 500 cc would be way big enough. The Motorcycle would have to be reliable enough that it wouldn't leave me stranded somewhere far from home, and didn't cost an arm and a leg. [Say goodbye KTM ]
After months of searching on the Internet for the perfect motorcycle, I came to the realization that there is no perfect motorcycle, I could get most of what I needed but not all. I was going to have to give up a little over here, compromise over there, but hold firm on the things that were most important, such as affordable, lightweight, and the power to cruise at 75 mph for short distances.
2016 Yamaha WR 450
I was cool at school On one of these bad boys
And the motorcycle that appeared to have most of what I wanted was the 2016 Yamaha WR450. I took a serious look at the Yamaha 250cc motorcycles, but some of them were either too heavy, or didn't have the power to cruise on the interstate without changing the gearing. The 2016 Yamaha WR450 I believe weighs 273 pounds wet, and that's actually lighter than some of the 250s. It has more than enough power for anything I would need to do, and can run down the interstate at 75 without sounding like it's going to explode, .
Now for those of you familiar with the Yamaha WR 450, you know that it is not street legal when you buy it. But the state of Colorado is very understanding about such things and with the installation of some turn signals and A few other doodads it's easy to get a license plate for it. Unfortunately in some states its difficult if not impossible.
Last summer when I first thought about getting a 2016 Yamaha WR450 a dealer told me they should be out by November 2015, then I read on the Internet that had been changed to before Christmas, and now they're saying March 2016. It's a good thing I'm not in a hurry, there still some things I need to do like get a rack built that I can carry it with. I've already talked to the Northwood factory that makes the Arctic Fox, and they said carrying the motorcycle on the back of the trailer would be no problem. Since I had planned on visiting the Northwood factory in LaGrande Oregon this summer, I was hoping while I was there I could get a motorcycle rack built by someone familiar with the Arctic Fox, so I guess it will be late-summer before I can even think about getting a motorcycle.
Boondocking out in the desert like I'm doing has made me miss not having a motorcycle. A lot of other RVers here have quads, and four wheelers, and some of them have motorcycles. I see them out running around in the desert on all the old mining roads that head up into the mountains and it makes me want to get out there and ride along.
I've had motorcycles most of my life, starting with a Cushman Eagle scooter when I was 13 years old. I grew up riding Triumphs, BSA's and Harley's. Then later I got interested in dirt bikes and owned, Yamaha's, Suzukis, and Kawasaki's. I have no illusions that I can do the things I did on motorcycles when I was 20 years old , and thank goodness I no longer have the desire to do those things. But I haven't owned a motorcycle for a while and I think it's about time I get one before I get too old to pick it up off the ground when it falls over.
So with any luck this summer I might be riding around in the high country of Colorado visiting the old ghost towns and mining camps, which will open up a whole lot of opportunities for my photography hobby, and give me more subjects to write about on my blog.