Riding Update November 2012
I bought a second home on a lake in the Ozark Mountains about a year and a half ago, and since have purchased 3 additional motorcycles while keeping my 2003 Bonneville T100.
My extremely modified and hot rodded Bonneville probably puts out as much rear wheel HP as just about anyone's (without a turbo or supercharger that is) and it likes to be ridden fast - that is 85 mph+ (it starts to get unhappy at about 115 mph, probably because it has the roadster screen on it). Many of the Ozark mountain highways are ideal for fast, thrilling rides - good surfaces, rare traffic (not unusual not to encounter another vehicle for 10-15 miles) lots of curves and altitude variations, and reliable signs with curve speed recommendations (add 30 mph for knee dragging turns). I love to see signs that say "steep and curvy roads next XX miles" and "truck runaway lanes" or "truck climing lanes". I truly believe some of the Ozark highways within 30 minutes of my lake house are as awesome as any in the world.
However, now at age 64 I have finally found an understanding of the Harley appeal (despite having owned several in my younger years), and I find I am riding my FXDC Superglide Custom (one without forward controls) more than my Bonneville. It likes the same roads but its happier at 50-55 mph, and the foot pegs scrape if you try to take a curve at 5 mph more than suggested by road signs. The only thing I cannot tolerate on the HD is the low, bucket seat; I don't think your knees should be higher than your rear end when riding a bike - so, I have modified the seat position upwards by about 4 inches (HDs are made for dwarves, midgets and women with little short legs).
My other two bikes are Suzuki DRs - a 200 and a 350. They're very light, will go anywhere and are the only dual-purpose bikes with halfway comfortable seat. The 200 is awesome - it will do 75 mph and I can lift it off the ground by myself - so what if it falls on me! The 350 has been hot rodded and is almost too much power for anything other than racing, but then sometimes the lust for more power cannot be denied.
Right now I am lusting for the rush of power you only get at higher rpms from a 750 - 1,000 cc inline 4 cylinder bike - I don't want a plastic covered crotch rocket, but a naked superbike like they made in the 80's with a standard seating position. In my area, you never see any of these for sale - lots of HD clones, overpriced HDs, lots of chinese scooters, and very little else. Maybe one Triumph for sale each year and its usually an old chopper with a Triumph engine.
If you ever get in the Hardy, Ash Flat area of Arkansas look me up in the Horseshoe Bend telephone book and I will show you some awesome Ozark roads. Gary Duncan
Unsafe at any speed. First Terranaut.
Last edited by GaryD; 11-14-2012 at 11:35 AM.