Saturday, May 21, 2005

Sputterin' Saturdays

So I took a couple of days off from writing to catch up on my Real Life. For instance, I finally picked up my motorcycle from it's annual spring tune-up. It's been ready for weeks, but every time I was home, it was snowing; when it was nice, I wasn't home.

So yesterday I went to Boulder and bought it out of bondage. It's a fire-engine red 1994 Honda Magna cruiser, which happens to be one of Honda's bigger failures. The idea seemed sound — take Honda's hot 750-cc sportbike motor and put it into a cruiser frame, but with a real suspension. The result was a hot cruiser — yes, I know that oxymoronic! — a bike where you twisted the throttle and the sucker took off. Horsepower, torque, handling...all the things that cruiser owners traditionally did without.

Well, of course it failed! Cruiser riders as a group aren't necessarily looking for performance. And the Magna had four, count 'em cylinders instead of the requisite V-Twin two cylinder. Those four big pipes were a dead giveaway. I had this idea that I'd get another metric cruiser, but the ones I rode were all a little (some a lot!) lame when compared to the Magna.

I am not one of those "anti-Harley" wanks. I love Harleys...the bike that Barry Waldren built for Larry Crow of Competitive Edge Gunworks is a fine piece of minimalist art — a hard-tail frame and brand spanking new 120 cubic -inch Panhead engine. Black, chrome and horsepower. The drawback, of course, is the $20,000 you need to get Barry to whip you up one!

The Magna got new tires (I had 'em special order Metzlers), the front end realigned and a mega tune-up. I ran the bike up the twisty canyon roads leading up to my house, and it tracked like it was on rails.

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