I joined about a month ago and I’m hooked. I love this forum!!! I jump on almost daily just to see what the conversations are for the day, and sometimes just to get a laugh (thanks Barton). I’ve already posted a few times, but I thought I would formally introduce myself and how I became a 919 owner.
First of all my name is Ben, I work as a machinist and general fabricator for the engineering department of the United States Air Force Academy. Before you ask…no I have never served in the Air Force or any other branch of the military, I just fell into a job in which I work for the government. One of these days I will put my skills as a machinist to good use by making one of kind mods to the 9er. I’ll be sure to post plenty of pics.
I also am an engineering student at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.
On to the bike(s)…It all started about a year ago when I got a raise at work. I had(have) a car with over 200k miles on it and started looking to replace it. One day while searching craigslist at work, a co-worker (who rides) pointed out that my car still ran. He was right! I abandoned the car search and started looking at motorcycles. I have been around motorcycles my whole life, but never owned one. My dad has owned a Harley since I was a kid, and I have never past on an opportunity to ride a dirt bike. But, since I had no experience riding street, I enrolled in the MSF safety course I could get into.
I passed the course with flying colors, and proceeded with the bike hunt. I knew I wanted a naked bike from day one. The first bike that caught my eye was the Ducati Monster, but quickly realized that it was way out of my price range. The next bike…you guessed it…919. By the end of March the weather was getting warmer and I was looking all over the country for a 9er. Then a craigslist add caught my attention; 2002 Honda 919 only 3000 miles. The bike was in Brighton, about 100 miles away. Went up one weekend to look… then went back four days later to buy. Enjoyed the 100 mile ride home in 30F weather.
Everything was great, I finally had my own bike, and I couldn’t stay off it. In two months I put 5k on it. Then on June 27, 2008, a friend of mine and I went out to dinner on the bike. On the way home, as I was approaching a major intersection in Colorado Springs…I saw reverse lights, and a late model Chevy Suburban hulling @$$ toward me. It had rained earlier in the evening and the road coming up to the intersection curved to left just before light, so when I went for the brakes before I could get it completely upright (rookie mistake I know, and I have worked on this since)…BAM…low sided it…I was on the ground before I knew I was falling. The bike slid up next to the Suburban, if the road had been strait it would have gone under it. My friend and I where both able to walk away for the accident. My left foot had got caught under the bike and dragged a ways. I had a sprained ankle and some wicked road rash (chicks dig scars). My friend had landed almost completely on her left knee and had to have arthroscopic knee surgery (she is recovering well, she even went skiing last weekend). The cage rider suffered no injuries.
He said he forgot something, and that he was just trying to turn around. I’ll never forget what he said to me “I looked and no one was coming, you came out of nowhere”, as if that made it ok to reverse Dukes of Hazard style up a major thoroughfare.
The bike was totaled, the water pump had been forced into the crank and the repair estimate was over $6000. The other guys insurance took liability and covered everything. I got the full value that I had paid for the bike, my gear replaced, and all of mine and the girls medical bills covered with pain and suffering.
I wanted my bike back the moment it went down. I started searching the day after I found out the old one was totaled. Fast forward 6 weeks from the accident…Thank you craigslist again!!!
2002 Honda 919 in Durango, about 350 miles away. It had 15k on it which was more than the old one, but it also had some mods that I had wanted anyway; Chopped rear fender, LED turn signals, and the smoke wind screen just to name a few. Also the guy was pretty desperate to get rid of it, so I easily talked him down to $3500. I had a friend (who threaten to pick me up on his FZ6, thank you Justin for showing up in a cage) drive me the 350 miles to get the bike, and I rode her back. It rained the whole f-in way, which unfortunately has become the mantra of the bike…every time I take it out for a long ride, I get at least a little bit of rain. Oh well, I got my bike back, and I have never been happier.