It has been quite a while since NMBL posted back in August about buying bikes, offering her sage advice on why it’s OK to buy a bike with some kilometres on it. Or miles if you’re into that sort of measurement. And though it’s been a while we haven’t been idle. NMBL and I have looking at how we want to get out on the road… more specifically what kind of roads we want to get on to. Its started with me putting a bug in her ear.
Me: “You know, if we want to get away from the crowded campgrounds and find places that are a bit further out we’re going to have to get bikes that can handle it. The FZ-6’s just aren’t built to go on anything but asphalt”
Her: “What are you thinking?”
Me: “Adventure bikes.”
Her: “Those are expensive.”
Me: “Yeah but we can go down more dirt roads and into areas we’ve never thought of. Think of the great hammock hangs we could have”
Her: “… I don’t know… I love Little Red. Not right now.”
Me: “Ok. By the way, here’s a great deal on a 2017 Suzuki V-Strom 650 that would fit you well.”
Her: “Can we go take a look at it?”
*Head to the seller’s house*
Her: “I’ve arranged to take it for a test ride.” *Rides off, comes back* “MINE!”
Me: “What the heck?”
So I had to get a new bike as well. Gotta keep up with the NMBL’s after all. After a couple of months of hunting I found my new steed.
Oh yeah… that my friends is a 2017 Honda Africa Twin. There’s a bit of a story about how I came across that fine machine.
I was looking at different ADV bikes around Vancouver. The V-Strom 1000 was on my radar but so was the Triumph Tiger, the BMW R1200GS, and the Yamaha Super Tenere. I wasn’t even thinking Honda. But after doing some research and coming to the conclusion that I didn’t want to pay an insane amount for parts or insurance premiums, the Honda Africa Twin came into the race as the right bike for me.
This one I found in Wetaskiwin, Alberta via Kijiji. The gentleman I bought if from had originally purchased it in BC so the bike has come home. He was incredibly patient as I fumbled around with escrow, a remote mechanical check, and cartage. Hats off to him. I got the bike I wanted with the extras I wanted at a price I was happy with and he sold the bike for a price he was happy with. Win win as it should be.
NMBL really did have an easy time with her new bike purchase. The gentleman she bought the V-Strom from was local. He was selling the bike not long after purchasing it on account of health issues. He had already loaded it up with the Givi hard cases, crash bars and a skid plate, GPS with mount, and a phone mount. It was ready to go. She bought the headlight protector and radiator guard for it to round out the protection plus a centre stand for ease of maintenance. Oh, and she has affectionately named it Sluggo.
The Twin came with the Outback Motortek protection package: crash bars, skid plate, and luggage rack. I’ve since added the rear brake reservoir guard (lest I kick it off), a radiator guard, the Camel windscreen brace, centre stand, and a headlight guard. I think I’m ready. Other than a good tool kit because the ones that come with both bikes are crap.
Since we’ve bought the bikes we’ve been doing a LOT of riding. As long as the weather is above freezing we’re out getting a feel for our new toys. I’ve also introduced NMBL to dirt roads. Not for the first time but for her most challenging time. She’s more accustomed to paved tracks so it will take her some time to get a feel for how free dirt can be under the tires. She’s doing great though. We went up past a little place outside of Squamish called Evans Lake. After rev bombing a bear on the road we climbed up what can be described as a goat track with tire ruts. She let me know when she had had enough and we went back down to a wider expanse of dirt and mud. As you can see these bikes are going to get us to the places we want to be.
Basically the only time we haven’t been out riding was during the week we had snow. We’re in Vancouver… eat your heart out rest of Canada! With all that time in the saddle during the winter months it’s no wonder we haven’t been blogging. On that note I do want to let you know of the new tack we want to take for the blog.
While we will still be blogging about our journeys we also want to give you more about the ins and outs of travelling via motorcycle AND hammock camping. We really believe that hammocking is such a natural companion to motorcycle touring so we’re going to do our best to help you come to that conclusion as well. Call it pushy, call it proselytizing, I don’t care; all I know is that you’ll never sleep in a ditch with a bivvy sack again once you’ve tried a hammock.
Oh. We still own the Yamaha FZ6’s. Wanna buy a bike?