Beckett's Corner

Scrambling for Space

in Beckett's Corner

A little while ago I was contemplating giving up riding completely and selling off my collection... a few nano-seconds later the thought had passed and I decided instead to get my collection all running again, or as many of them as reasonably possible.  The garage was a mess though, well not really a mess, but cluttered. Yes that's the right way to put it.  With two vintage cars, 4 motorcycles, my bicycle, my daughter's bicycle and all the other stuff that just amasses and absorbs space in a garage things were getting a little tight.

Starting to clear through the clutter I stumbled across a set of casters that I had forgotten that I had.  After removing three of the motorcycles I could see this wall space that was remarkably the same size as the '67 MGB.  I slipped the casters under the wheels of the MGB and carefully pushed it over tight to the side of the garage.  Stepping back I had the dawning realization that I had room for a fifth motorcycle, and so...

My mind turned to scramblers, or rather returned to scramblers as I had been researching off road capable bikes for some time, even considering the all electric Zero DSR.  That bike was a real thrill to ride and I had no doubt it was the right design for the mix of road and trail riding that I want to do more of.  The two deal breakers though are the high price and the lack of range.  Even to get a modest 160 mile range out of the bike (under controlled conditions!) you'd have to shell out an extra $2,500 for an extra battery on top of the high price of the bike. And that battery would sit so high on the bike, basically sitting where a gas tank would be, that it upsets the balance of the bike.  If you didn't buy the battery, but bought the fast charger you are still in for an extra $2,500 and then you have to carefully plan the logistics of your rides to get you to a fast charge station when you need it and hope that nobody else is using it, so you can grab your hour of standing around to recharge your bike.  No, electric is not there yet, but I have no doubts it is going to get there and the thrill of that instant torque and adrenaline pumping acceleration is hard to beat.

Read more

Do Dandroids Dream of Electric Bikes?

in Beckett's Corner

It's been a while since I contributed to the site and I have a lot of catching up to do with my trials and tribulations of multi-bike ownership. Aside from the obvious impacts over the past 2 years by "V who shall be nameless", in recent months one thing after another has made it such that I have been unable to ride at all. I had seriously given thought to hanging up my boots and calling it a day! However, by happenstance I started talking to a fella beside a beautiful Velocette MSS at the IMS Atlanta show and he turned out to be Keith Kizer, the Executive Director of the Antique Motorcycle Club of America (AMCA https://www.antiquemotorcycle.org/), where I had previously been a member, but had allowed my membership to lapse in recent years. Anyway, long story short, Keith got me signed back up in the club and encouraged me to pull my 1950 Velocette Mac off display in my basement and get it back on the road. Yes, that seemed like such an easy thing to commit to at the time, but I have removed said motorcycle from my basement and it now resides in my garage, though not quite running again yet...more to come on that adventure.

It seems that the 2021 IMS show in Atlanta was a day for new beginnings for me. While at the show I took advantage of a Zero electric motorcycle test ride, opting to ride a very slick SRS model. The acceleration, balance, handling, control, basically everything about the bike exceeded all expectations and a seed was planted about ownership of an electric motorcycle. As they say, with age comes maturity (well maybe sometimes), so I allowed the idea of purchasing a new motorcycle (it would be number 8) to settle to the back of my mind for a while. And there it sat buzzing away periodically, nagging at me, zipping and zapping across my mind and it would not rest. I began to search for options on electric motorcycle ownership. Frankly there is only one game in town at the moment and that is Zero Motorcycles. They have a good range of models, if not a good range of miles (yet), but memories of the sheer fun and enjoyment of whooshing down the street almost silently on the IMS test ride would not leave me.

Read more