Thursday, September 17, 2015

Signing Off

There were some strange emotions as I cleaned out Max for the last time. 

I went thru the underseat cargo area, decided what to keep and what not to. It was mostly tools and some accessories. Bungee cords, strap tie downs, duct tape and a road tire repair kit. Most of these tools I kept except for the silly tools, (yes, silly) that Max came with. 

I texted my son in law to see if he would like to have the tire kit and maybe my battery tender. He was interested in both. I told him "They're Yours!"

The temporary tag when Max was first acquired. Don't ask me why I kept it.

I  also cleaned out the top case. It contained a pair of "not so great" winter gloves, some glove liners, 2 balaclavas, other misc stuff. I decided to donate some of this to a new owner.

I also had a bag in the garage that had a motorcycle cover. Decided that a new owner could use this as well.

I also had a notebook with receipts for repairs and accessories that I had bought. I found the receipt for the top case and recalled the day it arrived and I put it on Max. Was a pain in the ass to install, but turned out well. Found the temporary tag from the dealer when first bought. Threw out most of the junk but kept any papers related to the bike itself, the owners manual and a lengthy parts diagram and parts list. Made a note that there are multiple places on the internet where a detailed repair manual could be downloaded for free.

Just yesterday This is what I paid for gasoline. When Max was acquired gas was approaching $4/gal and got as high as $4.50/gal. Still, I don't think I ever paid more than $6.00 for a tank of gas.

I took off the license plate tag. Ironically, we had just paid the property tax and insurance for another year. Should get some refund on that. 

Max has a new battery and a new spark plug and all the gear oils have been changed. He's ready to roll except that the carburetor needs some cleaning. 

The little cardboard emblem resided under the license plate. I bought it from Aerostich and I was very proud to display on Max.

There's a couple of things I'm keeping.

1) My helmet. I just might take a ride with my daughter or her husband some day. 

2) My summer weight Aerostich gloves. I literally cannot part with these! Don't ask me why I'm so attached to them. It's illogical! But they're mine and nobody else can have them. 

3) Lots of great memories. Can't adequately describe this. Over 9,000 miles, most of that in first 2 1/2 years. Met some great friends. Two longer trips to Lincoln NE and Topeka KS. 

I did a lot of commuting on Max, an excellent machine for that purpose. He's quick and agile.

So, you ask why. 

Ultimately it is health reasons. And no, I'm not dying, but I'm not sure I'm as competent a rider as I was. My reactions aren't as quick and I'm quicker to fatigue. 

And I'm not going to do it if I can't do it right! 

I'm just that way.

So there you go.

I tried to sell Max. Didn't work! Not even a bite. There was a story recently about a guy with a young family that had his scooter stolen. Tried to donate Max to him, but I insisted that he have the motorcycle endorsement on his drivers license. He didn't.

An early morning shadow on the way to work.

So I donated Max to our local public radio station, KMUW, through the "Car Talk Vehicle Donation Program". I even got an email from "Frau Bluecher" Fenollosa if you can believe that! #carsintoprograms

And this may sound a bit like a funeral, but it's not!

 It's a celebration!

So here's a final "wave" from Max and I. 

Had some great years with Max! Now it's time for him to find a new friend. I know he'll take good care of that new owner.

Ride On, Max!

And Ride On, and Carpe Diem, my very very good friends!


  1. Kind of a sad moment but I can understand your reasons.

  2. Best of luck in your future endeavours....

  3. I understand, and I hope that I will be as rational and reasonable as you are when my time has come to put the helmet down for good. All the best for you.

  4. A wise decision of course but not without regret- even for me. I wish I'd have had the space to own another scooter., I really quite like the Syms.
    I am planning my own tactical withdrawal from riding, the strategy is to yield as little ground as possible and the tactics will involve downsizing, a sidecar and if necessary a trike. and then a coffin. I cqam to riding too early in my life.
    Give em hell on four wheels and don't even think about Morgans.

  5. I certainly can relate; many of my close friends are where you are or getting close and it's something I'm very mindful of personally. There will come a time...mine just isn't here yet.

    All the best to you in your next chapters, seems that you're thankful and very appreciative for these you've moved through.

  6. I can't imagine and don't want to. I will ride until I am blind or cannot maintain my balance at all or lose both arms. Otherwise, there is always a wonderful putt around slow roads and neighborhood streets on a 49cc, if nothing else.

    I think I'm blessed that I started out riding like this and continue to do so. I don't put myself in situations where I feel unsafe with traffic.

    I am not trying to preach or say I am better and that your decision is not right for you. No way. I am sure you feel that you did the right thing FOR YOU.

    Just saying that there are always ways to modify old habits without totally "throwing the baby out with the bath water".

    I've sold scooters to pay the rent and eat because I am quite poor, though I never talk about it. I know the pain of letting go of a beloved ride.

    I wish you well and hope that if you are inclined that you will one day be able to find a way to feel the wind in your hair and experience the joy of smelling the honeysuckle along the roadside as you glide along at 10mph on some quiet back road. Find a way to not lose touch with what scooter riding gave you, if you can.


  7. This is hardest decision a rider will ever make, but better to make it on your free will, than have a accident and tragic ending. You are a wise soul and I tip my helmet to you. Hope though you will keep on blogging!

  8. At some point we'll all get to this stage of our lives. I hope I am half as wise as you are to bring it to a celebratory close rather than live in denial and risk my life. You've stored up many great memories for those days when you miss Max...

  9. At some point we'll all get to this stage of our lives. I hope I am half as wise as you are to bring it to a celebratory close rather than live in denial and risk my life. You've stored up many great memories for those days when you miss Max...