And so it begins :)
Some of you reading this may have heard me mumbling about some motorcycle trip or what ever.
Its getting closer to reality!
In December, 2011 I found a great deal, a 2003 Kawasaki KLR-650, on sale for around $3500. It was extremely low miles, and in near new condition. For essentially half price. Only problem at the time, well, 2 problems. First, I didn't have the money, and second, I couldn't get ahold of the owner.
The bike was on consignment at Recycle Motorcycle Salvage, but the current owner of the bike was off on vacation or what ever. So about twice a week, after first driving out to look it over, I'd call Russ and make sure he knew I was still interested. Eventually he got to know the sound of my voice! Finally, in late January, 2012, we made contact with the owner, and he agreed to my terms, of $500 down, and then $1000 a month for the next 3 months.
Great, now I was permanently poor, but I had something to look forward to, so it wasn't so bad.
Then monthly, I'd drive out to Stony Plain from Edmonton, to go "visit" the bike, and make a payment. Each month we'd joke that it will probably blizzard in April, because it seemed like every time I drove out, it was sunny, roads were bare, and life was good. So, you guessed it, I drove out last week, on the 3rd of April, and made the final payment. Still good weather, but of course I'd not had time to get the insurance and plates yet, so couldn't pick up the bike. The next day, Wednesday I got insurance. Thursday we got around 8 inches of new snow. Sigh... But not one to lose hope yet, Saturday I got the plates, and now I'm ready to get the bike. This next week!
Pictures to follow!
Oh, and a quick explanation about the background of the bike, my attachment to it, and the picture at the top of this post.
The USMC had the KLR-250s in Desert Storm. At some point after that, they started to get the KLR-650s. And then there was a conversion where the motorcycles were engineered to use Diesel fuel. I was trying to find actual dates of when the changes were made, but for my purposes its not very important!
What is fun, is that the motorcycle I bought, a 2003 model, is USMC Green (and some extra stickers that I most likely will be taking off...). The current versions are available in Green, Red, or Blue. It was just my lucky day to find an older one in Military Green.
The picture at the top of this post, shows some Marines riding the KLR-650s, wearing combat gear, across the deck of what may be a US Navy "Wasp" class LHD Ship (Landing Helicopter Dock)
WASP LHD on Wiki
Bonus points there, because I used to work on the same kind of helos, the H-46, during Desert Storm. So there :)
Oh, and where am I going? Well, eventually South. But first North. More details later. Plan to actually start the trip in August. So we have time for details right?