A few months ago I bought a used motorcycle, a 2009 Honda Shadow Spirit.
My reasoning for purchase may be a little suspect, but here it is: My other bike, a 2012 Kawasaki Vulcan 900, had been in the shop for more than three months. The shop manager said there was no projected date when the bike might be repaired.
Obviously, to me at any rate, I had to get another bike to ride in the meantime. Vickie noted that I had the money for it, so I began shopping. I looked at a lot of raggedy bikes, all of which had been modified by the owners. I don’t mind cosmetic changes but all of these had the mufflers modified to make more noise. I am not a believer in the “loud pipes save lives” nonsense.
Then I visited with a couple in Hot Springs who had a pristine Honda Shadow with no modifications other than an added windshield and saddlebags. Less than 7,000 miles on it, and it looked showroom fresh. Rode it home and enjoyed the trip immensely.
I’m not sure if my good wife realized that buying a bike is just the start of the expense. To save money, I went by the shop that had my other bike and took some of the accessories off, mainly a roll bag and telephone holder. I also took the phone charger.
For Christmas, I got an engine guard as a gift from my wife. I might point out here, she is somewhat amazing.
With the engine guard in place, I bought some highway pegs to install on it. I also bought a throttle boss, which helps hold the throttle open on longer rides.
The only big purchase left is a luggage rack. Once that is in place, I won’t HAVE to get any more accessories.
That’s when we get to some stuff I don’t need. Like a tachometer. I absolutely don’t need one. But watching the needle sweep to the right when you lay on the gas is exciting. Maybe I also would enjoy a handlebar-mounted clock.
It is fun accessorizing. A couple of bikes ago, I had a Honda Goldwing. There was simply nothing to add. It took some of the fun out of owning it.
Now I just need to order up some nice weather and get some miles in.
In honor of Black History Month, I will conclude my columns in February with the “Sarah Sanders Black History Moment.” Hopefully, the moments will contain a few things this less-than-progressive governor doesn’t want you to know.
For the inaugural installment, we’ll look at some of the more famous black Americans with an Arkansas connection:
- Composer Florence Price
- Mifflin Wistar Gibbs, the first elected African-American municipal judge in the United States
- Boxer Sonny Liston
- Singer William Warfield. I heard him perform live in Helena. Amazing voice.
- Civil rights pioneer and newspaper publisher, Daisy Bates.
- Lawyer, prosecutor and civil-rights leader Olly Neal.
- Writer and political activist Eldridge Cleaver
- Singer and guitarist Sister Rosetta Tharpe
- Poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou
- Lawman Bass Reeves
This is just a small sampling of the amazing black Americans from Arkansas. Next time, we will look at a significant black history event.
Robert Shearon spent 30 years in journalism, working as a reporter, editor or publisher at newspapers in Arkansas, Mississippi and Oklahoma. His e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org