Monday, February 7, 2011

Yamaha V-Star 1100

Our son brought us along to be the voices of reason, strength in the face of temptation, shining examples ruled by the mind and not by passion. He probably should have brought someone else.

He sold his pickup, and was looking for it's replacement, a four wheeled replacement that is. There were several options to be viewed up in Portland then after that a visit to one of the motorcycle stores to do a little shopping. I wanted try out some jackets - the never ending quest for the perfect jacket.

We should have known it was a mistake to even point the car in the direction of Portland. We knew there was a bike up there, exactly what he was looking for. The whole auto shopping thing was just a ruse, a deception. We were really there to look at bikes. We were only fooling ourselves.

I went to the apparel department, father and son went to the showroom. The bike of his dreams:
2006 Yamaha V-star 1100...with ape hangers

Later when I joined them I found my own Yamaha...don't laugh...a tw200. It was cute, it was short, and it made me smile as soon as I pulled her up off the sidestand.
Yamaha TW200
It's the first dirt/dual bike (or whatever it is) I've sat on where my feet reach the ground. Puppy love! Later I looked it up online and found it gets no respect beyond a "learner" bike, and a "spare" for when company comes along for a ride. Whatever, I was charmed.

Okay back to the real subject, After checking the showroom offerings I returned to jackets and gear. That's where my son found me some time later. It started with, "would it be stupid to buy a bike..." and went downhill from there.  We went to lunch to ruminate over our options away from the passion and heat of the moment. Dealerships are dangerous places.

We formulated a plan and returned to the dealership. I went to look at more jackets. Can you tell I don't like the business end of bike shopping? I looked at jackets, I looked at bikes. I looked at jetskis. I looked at quads. Peeked into the showroom...they're still at the bargaining table. I took another lap around the shop.
I sat on a V-Strom: still too tall. Sat on a sportster, the bike that started it for me....meh. I'm just not a Harley gal. I sat on an FJR...which couldn't be budged from the sidestand. I left the Hayabusa well enough alone, it looked like trouble standing still. Made Ron try a BMW when he had a few minutes away from the wheelin' and dealin'.

I found a Symba. Fun!!

The test ride was at he goes.
Ape hangers! Where did I go wrong??

Yeah, he likes it. SOLD!

An hour or two later after all the paperwork is done, they lend us a helmet, and Ron picks out some gloves. He grabs every spare layer that is in the car or on us and rode the new bike to Salem. From Salem Chris took it on home via the backroads.

I don't like driving while my loved ones ride. I'm fretful when I ride with them, especially my children, but riding distracts me somewhat. Driving in the car is not distracting, and I fret and fuss all the way home. I'm good, I keep it too myself...most of the time.
We make a rather odd family...a sport bike, an old-school Suzuki, and now a classic cruiser with ape hangers...I wonder what the daughter will pick when she starts to ride?


Troubadour said...

Ha, do you have any more pics of Ron with the ape hangers? Would love to hear what he thinks of them. And I never knew Bob's sold bikes, wait didn't Elvira come from Bob's too?
Glad your boy has his priorities straight, bikes before trucks, but he better get some rain gear soon, this dry weather won't last.
Congrats on the new addition!

Trobairitz said...

Sounds like a great day Kari. Even though your son bought a cruiser with ape hangers, you didn't go wrong..... some kids have a way of straying from our parents' likes.

My mom's last two bikes were Harleys and my brother is the sales manager at a Harley shop yet you couldn't pay me to ride or own one. Not too sure what she thinks of my riding choices, but I know she is happy as long as I am careful and wear all the gear.

I am sure you are the same way. Doesn't matter what he rides as long as he has the gear and training.

Will be interesting to see what your daughter chooses to ride.......

Thanks for sharing the pictures. Nice to know we aren't the only ones to spend time wandering around the shops in Portland. Bob's doesn't have as much ladies gear as they used to unfortunately. We found that out last weekend.

RichardM said...

So, did you find a jacket?

Years ago, I looked long and hard at a V-Star 650 but decided not to get it since the dealer wasn't hungry enough. I thought that it was a nice bike but I'm not too sure about the ape hangers on that particular one. It seems that I would quickly loose all feeling in my hands. Thanks for for sharing pictures and the story.


SonjaM said...

Kari, where did you go wrong... ape hangers ;-)
Everything two-wheeled thing is however better than a truck, so you must have done something right in straightening the young man's priorities.

I had the same reaction as you when mounting the TW200, I wanted to take one home to play with.

With the different bikes and styles your family owns now, I am sure that your daughter will also make an extraordinary selection.

Roger said...

I know what you mean in your search for the perfect jacket, I think I am on my third and still not happy. Looks like a great day out, your garage must be getting very full!

Stacy said...

The TW200 has quite a cult following. Yes, it gets poo-pooh'ed as a learner bike, but those in the know love them.

Ape hangers! Eyahhhh!

GF said...

Isn't it amazing that our kids always have to do something different? my soon to be 21 year old son likes nothing I do, but if he liked motorcycles I'm sure he would go for sport bikes just so he could be different from his dad :-(
Oh well, at least now you have a chance to ride different styles, you have tried his bike haven't you? :-)

BeemerGirl said...

Nah! I think you were good voices of reason to have along! You are supporting his dreams. Only need to make sure he has the maturity. And I am sure that he does. :) Except for the ape hangers, as everyone else says. But hey, he's young and will bounce back!

I do get a good kick out of the variety of bikes in the family. :)


Keith - Circle Blue said...

The TW200 is a great bike! Got love that rear tire! Heather has always been partial to the blue Symbas.

I get that "fret-ting" thing.


Gary France said...

Although I have never had any myself, I totally get the ape hangers thing. They are different and cool. Maybe your son didn’t want to be uncomfortable on a sports bike or look like almost everyone else on a standard layout bike. Good for him! I hope he enjoys his bike.

Ken said...

Riding with one's experience that is both beautiful and nerve wracking at the same time! Congrats to you son on the new ride!

Bluekat said...

Hi Troubadour,
He said they actually aren't all that bad. They weren't uncomfortable or weird handling. The only thing was at freeway speeds he couldn't really lean into the wind. Strong arms and a strong neck would be needed to counter the wind.

Chris has the priorities of bike over truck, but we're still working on the gear priorities. He's showing all the signs of a year-rounder, so hopefully some cold and wet weather will convince him to get some gear, rather than a slide across the asphalt. Dad and mom sometimes ride in jeans, so we haven't always been good examples.

Bluekat said...

Hi Trobairitz,
I like to tease him about the cruiser. It's a nice looking bike with nice sound. I really don't mind cruisers (or Harleys, or even ape hangers, lol), I just like giving him a hard time.

I'm sure you're mom is quite happy to know you enjoy riding, even if it's not on a Harley. :)

So true on the woman's gear. I've been trying to get a look at a certain jacket, and no one has it.

Bluekat said...

Hi Richard,
No jacket yet. I had plenty of time to look at them all...several times. Per the ride, Ron said it wasn't too bad to ride. Kind of like having your arms up on a steering wheel. His arms/hands didn't go numb, but there was no way to lean into the wind. I thought it would be strange to ride, but he said it really isn't. :)

Bluekat said...

Hi Sonja,
Yep, the priorities appear to be sound! lol
My daughter lives in the Portland area. I'm not sure I want her riding around the big city! At least if she develops an interest she has a variety of options to try just by visiting home. Actually I think she likes scooters. :)

Bluekat said...

Hi Raftnn,
I have several jackets. What I want is one jacket with certain features from all of them. Go figure. The garage is getting full, but then it's always been full of one thing or another, and rarely room for the car. It was a fun day to be sure. :)

Bluekat said...

Hi Stacy,
I looked all over the showroom and not a DR200 to be found! :(
I just know a little dual-sport is in the cards someday. You know I'll have to take the cruiser for at least one ride. Should be interesting!

Bluekat said...

Hi George, lol
Haven't tried the new bike yet, but I will. I sat on it, and it doesn't feel too heavy to handle, so I'll give it a go. It's a much bigger bike than I've ever ridden. He'll kill me if I drop it!! :)

Bluekat said...

Hi Lori,
I think he secretly brought us along to talk him into it! Maturity? Well, young men full of testosterone on two wheels isn't always the best combination, but he's pretty sensible most of the time. least, that's what I tell myself...

Bluekat said...

Hi Keith,
Yeah what is up with that tire on the TW200? It's so fat! I thought of you when I spotted the Symba. It's the first one I've seen in real life. I liked the blue too. Pastel colors look so good with the retro styling. I think it would be fun for my errands around town.

Bluekat said...

Hi Gary,
I hope he enjoys his bike too!
We just like to pick on each others choices in bikes. It was the same when he was a skate boarder and I was an inline skater. :)

He's wanted nothing but a cruiser from the get go, and hates the look and riding position of a sport bike. He hates riding my ninja (and thinks she's ugly!) - lol. He's always known his own mind and his own style. We both agree his bike would look great with a solo seat.

Comfort is an issue for him. He is too stretched out on his honda 500, and it hurts his back. He finds it much better leaning back slightly. We know a couple people who prefer that position.

Bluekat said...

Hi Ken,
You hit the nail on the head! Thanks :)

Anonymous said...

Hey, just found your blog on I am in Oregon. as well and part of a family that rides. Cant wait to read more.

Mike said...

Wow, pretty cool that you came to the big city and went home with two more wheels. Bob's is a fun place - much to see and straddle! You should've gone on a test ride on that FJR. They get lighter when you twist the throttle - they're fun. :) Congratulations to your son!

Bluekat said...

Hi mtajudy,
Thanks for stopping by. Awesome to hear from another Oregon Rider! :)

Bluekat said...

Hi Mike,
That was our son's first visit there. 'Tis a fun place but dangerous as I found many bikes to adopt and bring home. Alas, I cannot give them all a home!

Chris has taken his bike out a couple times already this week, and so far really likes it. It's a lot more power than his old 500.

Unknown said...


congrats on the new bike. I prefer the upright position but not necessarily a cruiser, esp with the Ape Hangers, but have never tried one. Maybe they are more comfortable than they look.

Go for the TW. I would consider one if it were a TW250 instead of a TW200

Wet Coast Scootin

Bluekat said...

Hi Bob,
They say the apes are comfy. I haven't had a chance to try her out yet. I prefer being more upright too, and I like me feet under me, not forward. I can totally see you on a cruiser with ape hangers! :)