Yes, it is true that most of us here at Four Wheeler have hobbies beyond our jobs. That isn’t to say that we are a bunch of posers writing a four wheeling magazine, quite the contrary – everyone on staff wheels for work and for fun, but when it is time to change it up a bit we enjoy other kinds of R&R.
For me, my second love behind wheeling (and way behind my family, obviously) is riding my motorcycle. I have a 2006 Buell XB9SX CityX with some different plastics and wheels from a ‘08. I originally had a café-style Harley Sportster with a 100hp 1250 for maximum hoonage, but the Harley’s suspension and chassis was never up to the fury of the engine and was a chore to ride fast, however nothing looked quite as cool cruising.
As my riding skills got better, I wanted something that would handle any twisty road thrown at it, but also be tractable around town, in the city, and commuting. I had always been drawn to Buell’s innovation (mass centralization, under slung muffler, ZTL rim-mounted front brake, lifetime belt, etc.) and unique design and the reliability of a fuel injected, air-cooled V-twin was attractive as well. It doesn’t hurt that I regularly see 50mpg per tank, which is nice for those days I go in to the office.
It only took one ride on a CityX with is wide dirt bike style bars, torquey V-twin, and immediate handling to know that this was the bike for me. Two weeks later I picked it up from the dealer and have had a $----eating grin ever since. It is seriously one of the most fun machines I have ever piloted. The 92hp 982cc engine is plenty powerful for me, and never has me wishing I had bought the 1203cc version of the bike.
Laugh at me if you will, but I guess I am just a weird V-Twin guy. It’s nice to have bragging rights with your Metric liter bike (and no doubt they are awesome at the track), but I love the low down useable torque of my Buell, which has a powerband like a truck. I can ride The Pace all day long in 3rd gear and never have to touch the brakes or the clutch. It is the ultimate street machine – for me. I highly recommend Buell to anyone who is considering the brand.
It is also really comfortable for a naked bike, and despite being exposed to the wind, I have done several 400-miles days on it with little wear and tear on the body. A little Aleve in the morning helps to maintain the iron butt. I recently went on a 1000-mile weekend ride to Yosemite with some like-minded friends, what an awesome experience. I am looking forward to exploring more of this world by bike if my schedule ever allows it.
I recently got in to dirt bikes as well when Honda invited me to try out their new little dual sport trail bike, the CRF230L, which I’ll have more of in the October issue. What a blast! And totally different than street riding - more challenging and much harder on the body. Hopefully I’ll get more chance to get some dirt riding under my belt soon.
So, anyone else in to bikes? What do you have in your garage?
--Sean P. Holman
Tech Editor – Four Wheeler Magazine