The day finally arrived. I asked for a few favors, stopped by the bank, and I bought a new motorcycle. I was on the fence for quite a while, but when the chips were down, I knew I wanted a multipurpose machine, and I needed a long term view on what would be the best tool for the job considering I have a one-horse stable. The Tiger 800 XCx (or XRx) would have done the job marvelously but that meant a commitment on my part that I was simply not okay with. Moreover, I have an unrelenting rebellious streak that answers “you can’t do that on a Scrambler…” with “watch me!”; so on Friday, Rosie followed me home.
15,000 annual miles means changing the oil at least twice and a valve clearance check. Obviously with a little practice, that task can be accomplished on the Tiger 800, but I already know the maintenance requirements, have all the tools, and trust the 865 mill. I’ve heard horror stories about the time needed to complete simple maintenance tasks on the Tiger (i.e. air filter change), which may just be hearsay, but I frankly don’t want to fart around with wrenching when I know I can be riding. In the end, the sheer stature of the challenge at hand (make a Scrambler dirt worthy), my concerns about reliability, and flat-out passion for the 865 twin carried the day, and 3 days in, I regret nothing.
If I hadn’t mentioned already, my cousin bought a Scrambler (not all that different from mine) this spring so I had a chance to ride it. My initial impression was that it was similar to my Speedmaster, but rode like a Bonneville, which is exactly what I was looking for. First day on the road (Saturday), the Scrambler brought torque in spades. Not all that different from the FZ-07 (obviously heavier…), the Scrambler does NOT have the top end power of a triple (or a four for that matter), but it packs a hearty kick in the ass through the twisties; so much so my face still hurts from grinning ear to ear all weekend.
Again, the Scrambler is by no means a sport bike, but the ground clearance is by far superior to the Speedmaster, so it’ll jump the curb and it leans over just the same. I can’t hang with supersports or enduros by and means, but I have a thing for underdogs, so the challenge of “keeping up” suits me just fine. One of my favorite movie lines is “I don’t care what anything was designed to do, I care about what it can do!” (Apollo 13). I assume it’s two years in the “sandbox” but I get guilty pleasure out of doing more with less; glutton for punishment I suppose.
How does that saying go; “Adventure is taking inappropriate equipment to out-of-the-way places”?
It may be all wander lust… be here goes!