Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Newbie training...

With the newbie ride earlier this month, some nice sunny days, the OSU Visibility Day, some nice sunny days, chowder runs to the coast, some nice sunny days, Saturday morning rides to the coffee shop and a few bike nights, Brandy hinted to me about getting her own bike. Oh Boy!!! All I had to do was find the bike and have her pull the trigger. So off we went on an official, sit on some bikes, search. I've been perusing the Craigslist ads, Cycletrader website and bike shop sites but this was the real thing, this was the window of opportunity I've been waiting for. She gave me the parameters, it had to be small, un-intimidating and manufactured within this century. I think she was a little apprehensive when I was showing her a Craigslist ad for a 1982 Honda Cm250,

and although a 1977 Kawasaki KZ250 really piqued my interest (the ad is gone so I'm sure it was a good deal) this was for her bike.

We drove North to Salem on Saturday, checked a few shops and came upon an 07 Suzuki S40, but it was just outside our budget.

She fell in love with the new Suzuki TU250 but again, fiscal responsibility prevailed.

So off to Portland we go to check out some 'demo' Nighthawks. Which turned out to be training bikes, so every visible surface had been scratched and had the telltale dent in the tank. Fortunately, they also had an S40 and a TU250 we could compare side by side with the 250 Nighthawk. We hummed and hawed and went home knowing that a better Nighthawk existed somewhere.

A quick Sunday morning Craigslist search revealed a silver 2006 Nighthawk 250 in Beaverton with just over 800 miles on it. A brief email and a phone call later we were in the car headed back up to PDX. It was a great little bike in new condition sans a few minor scratches and I knew it'd clean up well. After giving it a quick inspection and getting the nod from its new owner I was riding it down the back roads toward home.

Although a bit small for me, this little gem was starting to impress with every mile. It does keep you busy shifting around town but once up in fifth on the highway it just motored along at 60 mph happily sipping fuel at 70+mpg. The 80 mile ride home didn't drain the tank and after 100 miles more of training rides I took it to work today just so I could use up any old gas that may be in there. Assuming the previous owner reset the tripometer at the last fill up, it now reads 216 miles.

It seems to suit her well...

and she doesn't think I can see her smiling...

but it is great when she asks me to go for a ride.



  1. Good thing you are such a patient teacher. I appreciate all the pointers and tips you have given me and look forward to many years of riding together.

  2. Bradley:
    I also read somewhere that the bike will run better with "fresh" gas . So if you need help to run out the old stuff I can help too. Looks like a nice bike, and being light and small should instill confidence. I think you scored with a bike with low mileage

    bobskoot: wet coast scootin

  3. Sorry DC, intense debate didn't acknowledge your comment so I ditched it and went back to using blogger comments.

    Congratulations to you both!

    I am awaiting the day when my wife makes this revelation. She frequently looks interested but is afraid of the learning/inevitable crash while getting started with no previous experience. When her courage is up, she informs me that she wants the Ducati to be her new bike. Hrrmmmm...


    and thanks bobskoot for the comment.

  4. That's the same motor as the one in the Rebel and it's a good one. You can get a surprising amount of power out of it, but it loves to rev. When in doubt, Rev'it!

    I'd run some Seafoam (1/3 can) through this new tank of gas. 800 mi in 3 years is not much and the Seafoam is a champ at cleaning gunk out of carbs.

    I'm looking forward to riding with you, Brandy!


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