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Alembic Club » Miscellaneous » Archive: 2007 » Archive through November 01, 2007 » Help with midlife crisis « Previous Next »

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Senior Member
Username: byoung

Post Number: 794
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Saturday, October 20, 2007 - 10:00 am:   Edit Post


I'm thinking about getting a motorcycle. I'm 6'3" and no lightweight. I'm looking at
"adventure touring" bikes (with an emphasis on street performance), mostly for commuting, but some camping (fire roads). I'd want to have at least a passable 2-up.

I've looked at:

Buell Ulysses: price is at the limit, 2-up looks good, passed the "leg-over" test (comfortable for "normal-sized" guy like myself)

Ducati Multistrada: I'm sure it's a great performer, but ugly and expensive

Suzuki V-Strom: price is right, good fit, good aftermarket parts, etc.

KTM 990 Adventure: didn't ring my bell, and pretty spendy.

Right now, it's down to the V-Strom or the Ulysses: what would you recommend?

I'm open to other recommendations, and yes, I'll be taking a motorcycle safety course.

(Message edited by byoung on October 20, 2007)
Senior Member
Username: flaxattack

Post Number: 1706
Registered: 4-2004
Posted on Sunday, October 21, 2007 - 8:57 am:   Edit Post

stay in the car....
most people only have 1 cycle accident

if your having a midlife crisis i would recommend large amounts of vanilla ice cream.......

Senior Member
Username: 811952

Post Number: 1180
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Sunday, October 21, 2007 - 1:51 pm:   Edit Post

The V-Strom is an excellent bike.

This site is all about adventure touring, and is a wealth of information:

And while you're at it, my favorite ride report of all time, Angola:

I've got a KLR, and now the wife wants one too. There are worse things in life! (fish are dangerous too, flax!) :-)


edited to add this very informative site url:

(Message edited by 811952 on October 21, 2007)
Senior Member
Username: the_8_string_king

Post Number: 882
Registered: 9-2005
Posted on Sunday, October 21, 2007 - 2:15 pm:   Edit Post

It's not clear to me if you have motorcycling experience or not.

If not... maybe start with a smaller bike... around 500 ccs, +/-...

Another thing to maybe consider is a moterized trike... most of the benefits/aspects of a motorcycle, but more stable for the most part... less likely to tip over. (Although 2-wheelers are more maneuverable, and superior in other aspects/respects).

I used to have a Yamaha Virago 920 -till it was destroyed in an accident that I thankfully and luckily survived.

Motorcycles are great and awesome... and also surely dangerous -mainly due to the many idiots out there who have no business being on the roads.

Hope you get something good for you, and something safe, and use it safely.

Another thought would be alternatives such as jet-skis, and/or sky-diving...
Senior Member
Username: 811952

Post Number: 1181
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Sunday, October 21, 2007 - 2:28 pm:   Edit Post

The motorcycle safety course will probably have you on a 250cc bike, which is a great size for a beginner. A V-Strom 650 (aka "Wee-Strom") has good manners and should be very easy to adapt to after you've had the course. It's got enough power for 2-up, good ergonomics and the brightest headlight out there.

You'll need protective gear for you and your passenger. The advrider site will be a wealth of information in this regard as well.

As Jeff alluded to and Mark stated outright, you'll need to learn the strategies to not get creamed by cell phone-toting SUV pilots at every turn. You'll be amazed at how unaware of the traffic situation people in big cars can be, but a little vigilance on the part of the rider does wonders. They really are trying to kill you sometimes, but it's entirely manageable if you keep your eyes open and know how to react.

Paging Kevin to the white courtesy phone... ;)

Feel free to email me at any time if you want to talk about any of this in greater detail..

Username: pas

Post Number: 100
Registered: 3-2003
Posted on Sunday, October 21, 2007 - 4:17 pm:   Edit Post

In the nursing field bikers are known as "Organ Donors". If you need a mid-life indulgence, get another Alembic...a much safer endeavor.

From a practicality standpoint, transporting your Alembic (not to mention yourself) on a bike seems like a rather risky proposition.

As my dad used to say, "Better safe than sorry..."
Username: palmann

Post Number: 65
Registered: 6-2005
Posted on Sunday, October 21, 2007 - 4:25 pm:   Edit Post

I'd recommend buying an(other) Alembic...

Gruesse, Pablo
Senior Member
Username: 811952

Post Number: 1182
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Sunday, October 21, 2007 - 5:38 pm:   Edit Post

The "organ donors" reference is catchy (I'm particularly fond of "donorcycle" myself), but I think statistically it is young people in general who are most likely to become organ donors, not just squid bikers ("squid" being the helmetless, T-shirt and flipflop wearing guy doing wheelies down the street on his crotch rocket). The odds of dying on a bike go way down as people age, and down an order of magnitude again for people who wear the proper protective gear (helmet, armoured suit, gloves and boots). Of course it's not the safest of all leisure activities, but I doubt it's more dangerous than real mountain climbing or many of the things we adults are inclined to do for excitement. Heck, just getting laid killed Entwistle!

So, I guess my point is that *if* Bradley really wants to do this, then there are resources aplenty to help him learn how best to do it safely, and so that he'll live to play again and again and again.. A couple of years ago I thought riding a motorcycle was the next best thing to suicide, but I've been converted by what some of the members here have had to say (Kevin, Deano, J o e y, Rami and Olie, among others) and by lots of what's going on over at the advrider site (which has a long-running "for bass players" thread). Also consider I've done more than a few adventurous and dangerous things all my life and can't see living any other way, so when I spot what is possibly a like-minded soul among us I'm inclined to want to help nurture that..

And today was an awesome day for a ride with my wife!

Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 2668
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Monday, October 22, 2007 - 7:03 am:   Edit Post

Used to have a motorcycle MANY years ago. (Yamaha 305 2-stroke?) Traded it for a guitar. Motorcycles are wonderful, fun, and exciting. Unfortunately, there is one insurmountable problem with bikes: they share the road with cars. As the old saying goes, "whether the stone hits the pitcher, or the pitcher hits the stone, it's going to be bad for the pitcher". Another custom Alembic does a mid-life crisis just fine ... the insurance is a lot cheaper ... it's also MUCH easier and cheaper to replace its neck than yours.

Good luck either way,

Bill, tgo
Advanced Member
Username: terryc

Post Number: 309
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Tuesday, October 23, 2007 - 2:19 am:   Edit Post

Well as the owner of a Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade I can honestly say that they are the best fun you can have on the road BUT as everyone knows that smoking is bad for your health then so can motorcycles if you a) ride beyond your capability and b) get hit by another road user ie cars.
We have a road in the UK very near to where I live and it is called the North Yorkshire TT(Stokesley to Helmsley Rd)..there have been a lot of motorcyclists killed there and serious accidents and now they are making it illegal to overtake on that road. I for one love riding that road but unfortunately the minority make it bad for the majority.
Being 50 years old(as you all know from my June post) I don't ride like Rossi, Stoner et al but enjoy the experience and if you do get your chosen machine think survival and treat everyone on the road(including the police) as idiots.
I don't agree with some of the threads here stating 'don't get one' do something else but if you don't you may regret it in the is to be experienced not cucooned. Go for it

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