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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone:

I'm a latecomer in life to motorcycles. Ever since riding on the tank of my dad's CB750 in the mid-70s, I have wanted one, but found reasons not to for most of my life. Was big into bicycling for a long time, though, as both a rider and a mechanic. But when I dreamed of a motorbike, the SV always seemed like the one for me.

When I moved to India for a few years of work, I finally just did it. Despite the psycho traffic, I looked at Grandma on her old scooter with 5 kids hanging off it and figured that if she could do it, so could I. Also turns out to be eminently practical over here. Wife needs our car and driver to get the kid around during the day, so having independent and quicker transport's a great thing.

So inevitably, I got an Indian-made Royal Enfield. Rode it for a year happily, joined a rider club which is against my nature, but very helpful in a foreign place. And then I traded my bland, modernized, relatively reliable spiffster 2010 in for a salvaged military 1977 model (350cc) that I've morphed into a little street-tracker. It's been heaps of trouble in a classic motorcycle sense since I got it on the road, but it is fun and unique and has taught me a HELL of a lot about the basics of what goes on inside an internal combustion engine.

Still considering bringing it back to the States; I was planning on upgrading the engine significantly (535cc hot rod kit) and maybe going full-on cafe ergos. Plus, it's unique and I could probably re-sell it for a decent price if I decided it wasn't worth hanging on to.

But honestly, the labor and emotional investment in the Enfield is starting to seem overwhelming, and I'm getting to the point where I'd rather focus on the ride than the machine so much.

My SV dreams are getting annoyingly persistent. I lust after a stock 1st-gen SVS. Then I want to do some simple work: fork and rear shock tuned/upgraded, awesome tires, HID lights, a decent exhaust and appropriate jetting. Seat that feels good, ergos adjusted to me, and some luggage. Nothing exotic, nothing that will require endless fiddling with the engine! Had enough of that, and 60-something HP is all I'll need for my skinny butt. Even if I keep the Enfield, I think I'll want a modern bike to go along with it. (Annoying that the Enfield is right-shift, though...certainly has cache, but makes day-to-day transitioning difficult.)

I am in India for another year, and will follow that with an assignment away from my family for another year...then probably one more "good" (Hopefully, Europe/New Zealand/cool place in Africa or something) assignment as a reward for my year away from the family.

So maybe I'll pick up my SV and take it along on the dream assignment, or maybe I'll have to wait until I'm back in the States. Maybe, depending on where I go, I'll get a dual-sport/adventure type bike. Till then, I hope to keep my ears open and mouth shut on this forum to soak up the knowledge. The FAQs have been awesome.

Here's my street-tracker and my future riding buddy...I may have to keep the bike until she's old enough to kickstart it herself. It does seem a pretty cool heirloom to pass on.

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