In the quest to downsize, I’ve sold my Buell. I know Mr Frugal Toque Experienced bliss after he sold his CBR 600F2, but tonight, all I feel is sorrow. Drowning my sorrows in one of my Hand Crafted Beers only seems fitting for ending an 8 year relationship with my 2004 Buell Lightning XB9S. How could I not love Buell, It’s an American sport bike made right here in my home town of East Troy, Wisconsin. I could take a 10 minute stroll right now to the building where they made it. Feels like only yesterday I bought it. I stopped in a tiny used motorcycle shop next to a gas station just to check out the store with no intention to buy. But there it was, a black Buell with the factory racing kit added and low miles. I had watched videos of them online dreaming of owning one some day. I’m pretty strong against impulse buying, but on that day I signed up for my very first vehicle loan. A total rip off high APR loan through GE money. I was about to get my first harsh reality of the pain of debt when a couple months later I lost my job at Geek Squad and struggled as I started freelance computer work. I watched in frustration as a huge chunk of my motorcycle payment went to interest. I tried my best to pay extra principle each month as I tried to sell it. But it turned out I had overpaid a little bit and I was stubborn to sell for less. A few months later my loan issue disappeared and I stopped trying to sell.
The remaining 7 years and 10,000 miles with the Buell has been a blast. It is like no other bike I’ve ridden. It’s not the fastest sport bike but I dare say it is the funnest. Carving back roads effortlessly with a roar fitting of American muscle. You can’t think of it as a high performance Porsche or a Corvette. Its a Mustang or a Charger, it just feels like an old school american muscle car in a sleek modern motorcycle. It was with me all through college and has traveled with me the past 4 years since I graduated. I’ve ridden it through everything except snow, including one severe thunderstorms at 4 in the morning. Never once dropped. It’s also been a very low maintenance vehicle and gets great 50+ MPG fuel economy. I think I could have gotten over 70 MPG if I geared it right, but it’s not simple on a belt driven motorcycle.
As I’ve been settling into my post college years, I haven’t ridden the Buell nearly as much as I used to and the miles driven have been declining every year. Last year I took it out only a few hand full of times, including a huge 200 mile round trip to Illinois, and this year I have not taken it out of my neighborhood once. I knew it was time. I think it’s hard because it’s a big link to my college years, the years I dared to tackle a tough major, learn a lot about myself and attempted to start a small business. Like many, it was years of major change. I dealt with heartache, depression and major family changes. The Buell became my escape from the frustrations of growing up. Carving out my back roads was blissful freedom from life’s bull shit. I love that bike, love it enough to not let it sit in a garage gathering dust. It needs to be enjoyed and well taken care of. I sold it to a guy from Iowa who was really into Buells and seemed like he’d take great care of it. The world seemed to reflect my emotions as I loaded the bike into the back of a Ford F150 in torrential rain as the sun went down. Feels like a major chapter of my life has closed.
On the upswing, I have a small chunk of cash now of which I can invest. I’ve maxed out a Roth IRA for 2015 and I’m attempting to max out my SIMPLE IRA. It also frees up $30 per month that was going to insurance and increased a sizable space in my garage. Another small step in my quest for financial freedom.
The Buell wasn’t my first motorcycle. I’ve had a 1980 Suzuki RM80, a 1980 Honda CB500 where I rebuilt the engine and a 1987 Yamaha FZ750 that I also rebuilt the engine.
Harley Davidson closed Buell but Erik Buell restarted the company as Eric Buell Racing a couple years ago. They were recently gearing up for mass production when they lost funding. EBR is now in receivership. I hope they make it though.
Has anyone else gotten this irrationally attached to an inanimate object?