Monday, November 17, 2008

The Airbrushed Model

During the course of a week I spent a considerable amount of time looking online at motorcycles for sale. Specifically, I looked at every Honda VTX 1300 out there. True, fall is not the time to look for a new bike, but considering the economy, I thought they would be out there. I was not wrong. There are a number of 1300 models on the market.

As I scrolled through page after page of motorcycles, one caught my eye. The photographs were beautiful! “Look at this baby!” I pointed out o my husband. “The description says ‘metallic red’ and it has the windshield, back rest and only 1300 miles. I want to go look at it.” With that came two days of convincing my spouse why I needed to look at this motorcycle NOW! This is how we came to travel for two hours one way to look at a bike for sale.

I have been considering moving up in size all season. Jade is a great bike, but like any child outgrowing the training wheels, I am ready for the change. Jade is not getting any younger either. It’s time. I have several specifications in mind when looking for a new motorcycle. A few of the items on my list are great suspension, fuel injection and tubeless tires. Now the VTX 1300 is carbureted, but considering that how it handles feels so great to me, I’m willing to forgo this option. When looking at the various models, the 1300 R is the one for me.

“But this is not the R” says Andy. “I know, but look at it! It’s the custom look I like, and the guy has some extras on it.” I protest. So we call and make arrangements to take a look. We travel the two hours by car to make the visit. We make our hellos and introductions and follow the seller to the motorcycle. As he opens the doors and reveals the bike something happens. Or should I say, nothing happens. I can’t put my finger on it, but I don’t feel anything. Should I? I sit on the bike. I roll it outside. The engine fires readily, the clutch is responsive and yet, there is no personality. Then I know what is wrong. When Jade and I met for the first time, it was love at first sight.

We spend about an hour there. We have after all traveled two to have this visit. So I take my time and check out all the specs. I look down at the spokes. Do I really want to clean spokes again? Didn’t I say I want tubeless tires? I can hear me talking myself out of it. I hear Andy begin negotiations. I’m giving him the eyeball from behind the seller, but he continues. Oh well, we are here and counter when the first offer is rejected. My offer is discussed with Mrs. Seller. “No thanks” they say. In a way I’m relieved. I get in the van before Andy indicating we should leave.

We take the two hour ride home discussing what I really want in a motorcycle. I have just begun the search and the right bike will come along I tell myself. “This bike did not scream ‘take me home’ to you did it?” Andy asks. “Nope.” I reply. It occurs to me that the photographs I saw online were like airbrushed models. They are beautiful to look at but they are not the reality. In person these models probably have no substance. So it was with this bike, all airbrush and no substance. We are home only ten minutes when the phone rings. “My wife and I have decided to take your offer” the seller is saying at the other end of the line, but it is too late. I am holding out for true love.

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