Just picked this one up; it's a good story

Discussion in 'New Riders' started by jpacman, Jul 11, 2020.

  1. jpacman

    jpacman New Member

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    I'm sorry that this is a long first post. It's a good story about how I came to own this beautiful '00 VFR800.

    This VFR first showed up last fall near my house and I thought, "That looks like Steve's bike". A few weeks later, it went away and I said, "Great! That made someone happy." It came back to the same lawn last week with the same number to call on the "for sale" sign. "Curious," I thought to myself. Since I have a deposit down on a new bike, I didn't want to call and be tempted so I let it sit.

    I was riding by the other day and I saw a woman trimming the lawn so I stopped to ask about the bike. She said, "You should talk to my brother. He knows more about it than I do." I asked if it was Steve's bike. Her shoulders slumped, she looked at the ground, and welled up a bit. Turns out I was right; it was my friend Steve's bike. He was diagnosed with cancer in January '19 and was gone by April '19. He was 5 years younger than me when he died. We talked about how much he loved the bike, his travels, and my connection to Steve and the bike. We shared a laugh about his little quirks and his sharp sense of humor. Steve was one of the most gentle, quiet, and funny people I've ever met. A little distant until he got to know you then, wow, he'd make you laugh so hard! Why is it always the good ones that go too soon?

    I was introduced to Steve through a mutual friend. Together, we attended several Americade rallies, shared hotel accommodations, many fine meals, and lots of great riding. Throw in a bunch of day rides and we'd spent a good amount of time sharing our passion for riding. When I was first riding with this new group, I was on an ancient and ratty '78 Yamaha XS1100, wearing a black leather jacket and leather chaps (of all things), and work boots. They introduced me to "proper" textile riding gear with armor and waterproofing. I quickly ditched the leather for textile gear and upgraded to a lighting-fast '88 Honda CBR1000 Hurricane (remember that one? Mine was black with red cockpit inserts and red rims). In fact, I think the leather was strapped to the back of that '78 Yamaha on the way back from my first Americade having purchased new textile gear at the rally. I learned so much about group riding dynamics, being flexible with plans, and having fun with other riders.

    After a few minutes of conversation with his sister, I called Steve's brother. We spoke at length about the motorcycle. In the end, I made an offer. He had to clear it with his mother, the executor of Steve's estate. I got a call the next morning that my offer had been accepted and we made plans to exchange cash for keys a few days later. Exchange made, I checked the oil, pumped up the tires, filled it with premium gas, and took the long way home. Like 50 miles the long way home. I felt Steve on my shoulder, laughing with me as I giggled with joy, leaning deep into each corner, accelerating out, and flying down the straights. The evening ride in the stifling heat gave way to a cool evening and beautiful sunset. Perfect.

    It's everything I'd hoped it would be: fast, nimble, comfortable, smooth, and super fun to ride. This one is a fine example with just over 42k on the clock and just a few scratches to show wear and tear. It's basically stock save for the Corbin seat and handlebars. The color-matched hard bags are a bonus. It came with a 3" thick folder of paper work and several boxes of parts, manuals, and a nice bike cover. Steve was meticulous in his maintenance of this machine and I am honored to have it in my care.

    I know that Steve is watching so I'll have to take REALLY good care of this bike.

    Thanks for sticking with the story and I'm sure I'll be posting more when I start digging into this machine. DSCN3519.JPG
     
    VFRIRL, RllwJoe, zombie and 2 others like this.
  2. Jelorian

    Jelorian New Member

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    Nice story and I'm sure that your buddy Steve will be with you on every ride. I'm sure you feel good knowing that his bike is with you and not with some stranger that has no idea about the history of the bike. Pretty cool that you got the Corbin Beetle Bags also.
     
  3. jpacman

    jpacman New Member

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    That scuff you see on the right side and a couple broken panel mount areas are the only damage that I can see. The latches on the bags may need to be replaced. I'll try a little light machine oil and exercise the locks first. I know, oil attracts dirt into a mechanism. Just want them to work. The other side of the bike is spotless.

    Pretty much all it needs is an oil change, a clean air filter, new tires (they're old, not worn), and a good bath.

    Other future accessories will include a charge cable to the cockpit, gps mount, and an LED headlight. I'm sure there's lots of info on these upgrades around here somewhere.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2020
  4. ws6transam

    ws6transam New Member

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    If you contact Corbin and tell them you are the long-time original owner of those beetle bags, they might sell you the extra hardware. That's how I got new locks and latches for fixing up my beetle bags, as they don't want to sell them to just anyone, it seems. I recently had the whole bike repainted (early 2019), after doing some fiberglass repair and bondo filling on my beetle bags that had similar abrasions; It took about $1400 to get everything repainted but it turned out great. Yours looks like a clone of mine, and they are pretty fantastic machines for everyday riding. Good luck, I think you'll love that old machine.
     
  5. jpacman

    jpacman New Member

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    Since changing the oil, putting in a new air filter, and a bit of other tinkering (chain lube and adjust, other fluid levels, etc.), I've put a couple hundred miles on it in the last few days. Pure pleasure! This bike and I are going to get along just fine.

    And I don't know about "old". My other bikes are a pair of '82 Yamaha XJ750s and a '16 Honda XR650L which may as well be 30 years old as the tech it carries is ancient. This Gen 5 VFR with fuel injection and liquid cooling is a BIG step into the new century for me. First bike I've owned with either of these features.
     
  6. nunia720

    nunia720 New Member

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    That's a awesome story!! I am sure you will enjoy the bike and maybe bring a little joy to Steve's family if they see you around town!!!
     
  7. VFRIRL

    VFRIRL New Member

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    Lovely bike and great story, you might consider fitting a set of ngk iridium plugs as well, recently fitted a set to my 5th gen, running much sweeter now. wouldn't mind one of those sargent seats at some point.
     
  8. mello dude

    mello dude Member

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    Great story - I'm sure your friend would approve. Best of all wishes and luck.
    5th gens rock! :wheelie:
     
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