Me and My Connie: My First Ride


Ahhhhhhhh. I don’t know what is sweeter, the sound of my newly carb-sync’d engine purring away underneath me, or the feeling that’s I’m riding on the back of my own rocket-on-rails. For anyone reading this who is considering what sport touring bike to buy, you would do well to consider a Kawasaki Concours. After getting expert, reasonably-priced and friendly service from David at Autostrada in San Mateo, CA my new 2001 Connie rides like a dream. I now know what my ex-Chippie friend Julio was talking about. The Connie is a beautiful blend of nimble sport bike, and comfortable tourer. I’m writing this after only riding it back and forth to work twice, less than 50 miles. But…wow!…what a ride.

I did a really odd thing as readers of my previous blog entries already know, I bought the Connie without taking a test drive. I normally would never do such a thing, nor do I suggest it to others. However, a confluence of factors led me to know that I wanted a Connie in the first place—the right price range, readily available used inventory, lots of aftermarket parts and knowledge, the right blend of sport and cush. The rest was just “details”—like finding one that was reasonably priced, without too many miles, no detectable flaws, etc.

Once I got it home, I was dismayed to find that although the bike started up right away, it would not run. My mechanic said that the carbs “were loaded with green gunk” and needed thorough cleaning. I was getting more and more disappointed that I wasn’t riding my Connie even though my brother-in-law Rich correctly counseled me that I should expect to have some start-up glitches getting a 10 year-old bike to be ship-shape.

Well I am now thoroughly happy. Happy that I chose a Connie. What a smooth and powerful machine. It is the perfect bike for a 54 year old rider getting back into motorcycling after a twenty year hiatus. Happy that I found David at Autostrada. A fantastic mechanic who knows what he’s doing, who is honest, and who gives a damn—a great combination. Happy that I have a new activity to do with my friends who have also recently gotten back into motorcycling. For all of us, this is less a “mid-life crisis” solution, rather, a “relive our youth” activity. So as far as I can tell, it’s for the right reasons. My final happiness is that I’m getting back into motorcycling, an early passion in my life that I am thrilled to rekindle.

So far, so very good in regards to my new affair with Connie. I have a wealth of old motorcycling experiences to relive on the roads around the San Francisco Bay. And now I have a trusty steed to get me there. I’ll let you know about my ongoing adventures as they unfold.

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