05 July 2015

A new motorcycle... or two

I need to stay off fcuking craigslist!

While planning my upcoming trip to the U.S., I looked into renting a motorcycle for both my three-day off-road and one-day on-road courses. The KLR650s were both booked, so I had to go with a BMW. It's a nice bike and it'd be interesting to ride an F650GS, BUT they wanted over $200 per day for the bike and insurance. I need it for six days because I need to pick it up the day before each class... $1200!!!

I decided that it would be a LOT easier and cheaper if I just buy a bike and then sell it when I'm finished. If I can't sell it before I leave, then friend Liz said she'd store it for me and I'll have a bike to ride when I'm in the U.S.

In reading the forum comments from other adventure bikers, I decided to buy a Suzuki DR650. It's the big brother to the DR-Z400 I ride here in Việt Nam and I love that bike!

The DR650 is also extremely customizable, weighs less than a KLR, and holds its value--a 2000 model will sell for within 10-15% of a 2009 model. Searching the Adventure Rider forums, eBay, and craigslist, I found a number of interesting candidates, some of which were on the East coast. Because I have to pay to ship the bike, I wanted to find something closer. And I did!

This gorgeous 1996 Yamaha Royal Star Deluxe Touring is now sitting in a secure storage facility in Chehalis, Washington, waiting for the transport company to pick it up and take it to Liz's warehouse.

Fcuking craigslist!

Even those of you who don't ride will see that this is NEITHER an off-road bike, NOR is it NOT suitable for the three-day course... though it WILL be sweet for the on-road class! I love its looks and according to the magazines at the time, it was the top-rated cruiser of its day. At 1300cc, it's lighter and easier to handle than the 1700+cc Victory I sold last year with the rest of my stuff. I cannot WAIT to wrap my leg over this beauty!


I still didn't have the bike I need, so it was back to, eBay, and craigslist. There's also a site called that gives you every DR650 or KLR or whatever minibike, motocross, trail, enduro, or dual sport bike you want. The best DR for my purpose was a 2003 in Valley Springs, CA that I found on ADVRider (Adventure Rider). It already has hard panniers, skid plate, upgraded carburetor and seat (two separate modifications) and a number of other "farkles" that I like. It also comes with spare parts, off-road tires, and a pair of gloves I can use. I bought it all for $3200... plus $380 for shipping to Tacoma. For another $120, the same truck will pick up the Royal Star on the way.

After the off-road course the DR will go back on ADVRider and craigslist in the hope that I can find a buyer before I leave three weeks later. If I still have it on the 19th, I'll probably ride it to the Horizons Unlimited Traveller's Meeting in Naksup, BC. I say probably because the Royal Star would be more comfortable for the two-day ride each way. It would NOT, however, be any good for any potential off-road riding available during the four-day event. There's also the possibility that someone at the event would be interested in buying the DR.

Either way, my plan is to sell the DR while keeping the panniers to bring back for the DR-Z for my trips to Thailand and north of Hà Nội.
Because the DR650 market is softer in California than in Western Washington, there's a good chance I'll be able to recoup my entire investment. Even if it costs me a little, it will still be less expensive than a $1200 rental.

What keeps running through my head is that less than 4-1/2 years ago I bought my first motorcycle, a 2007 Kawasaki KLR650:

Then, on my first trip to Việt Nam, I bought my second, a 1999 Yamaha YBR125:

Upon returning to the U.S., I sold the KLR and bought a 2007 Victory Kingpin:

The Victory went to a nice guy in San Diego; I came to VN and bought a 1999 Honda Steed 400 VLX

and the DR-Z400

As I write this, I have (am about to have) FOUR motorcycles! LMAO

Yes, I know... it's not craigslist, it's my lack of self-control when it comes to motorcycles.


  1. It's called Multiple Bike Disorder. You should have let me know, I have a BMW F650GS I'm trying to get rid of, pretty cheap.

    1. Thanks, Chris. MBD... I'll remember that. Is there a cure other than buying another bike? I think I should at least ride these two new ones before I consider a fifth--unless it's a fifth of Jack. If you post your F650GS on it should sell pretty quickly.