I went out for my first motorcycle ride of the season today. Nothing too crazy or long, just a short trip to shake the dust off and enjoy the first glimpse of warmer spring weather. Not too warm, mind you. I know some places are fully into beach season by now. I’m at 9,000 feet. In Colorado, this is the first day my driveway has been clear enough of ice and snow that the bike could make it up. Nowhere on my ride was above 55 degrees. But it was warm enough to enjoy the ride.
It’s a 1984 Moto Guzzi V65 SP. My bike. Bone stock and a survivor. It’s far from perfect, with plenty of dings in the original paint. The odometer shows 28,000 miles, but it hasn’t worked for a while so it probably has three or four thousand more. One of the side covers doesn’t fit right and I haven’t spent the time to fix it. The windscreen has a crack. But it’s been a surprisingly dependable bike. I spent the whole ride thinking about how I simply don’t want anything else. This bike is perfect “enough” for me.
This is the first and only motorcycle I’ve owned and I’ve had it for 5 or so years now. When I first bought it, every motorcycle owner I knew told me I’d outgrow it in a year. “It’s a 650,” they said, which would be “great to learn on” but I’d “want more soon.” Give it a year or two, and I’d be “looking for a liter bike for sure.”
That day has not yet come. Maybe someday it will. But for me, I just enjoy the ride. I like being on two wheels, riding through some twisty mountain roads on a bike I can lay over to the extent of my abilities, and fast enough for my abilities. I really don’t think that more power, more handling, more whatever would improve the experience for me.
I guess it all depends on your goals for a bike. This isn’t a cross-country tourer. I get pretty sore after three or four hours. After six or seven I’m done for the day. My wife and I will ride 2 up sometimes, and it’s fun for a while, but neither of us would really be happy to spend 10 hours in the saddle in a day. It probably wouldn’t be great for track days, and I agree they would be fun, but that doesn’t really fit into my life right now. I can ride some dirt National Forest roads, and sometimes I do find myself wanting a KLR or the like (the new Africa Twins look pretty sweet), but with young kids, that type of riding doesn’t seem to fit well with the family life, and that’s fine, too.
I’m not trying to say that a V65 SP is a perfect bike for everyone. But for me, right now, it’s perfectly “enough.” That thought has made me realize I could probably use a little more “enough” in my life. It’s not really a concept I’m good at. I’m pretty damn good at “more.” There’s something to be said for a nice ride to clear your head and help you reassess priorities. I’m looking forward to some more warm weather. With any luck, a few more rides may help me learn to be happier with “enough” in other areas of life, too.