Red Echo

October 22, 2008

I cut out of work early today, when the movers showed up to shift all my stuff to a different office, and headed for Ballard to pick up my old Maxim from the shop that has been working on it for the last month. After chatting with Steg for a while, I paid up and took off.

It has been over a year since I last rode this bike, and it startled me to feel how different it was from the FJ600 I’ve been riding since July. In my memory the bike had become larger and more sprawled-out, cruiser style; it’s actually a compact machine, with pegs in the same position as the FJ600’s, but the handlebars are much taller and there is no fairing. You don’t lean forward; you just sit down and go. That’s great until you reach 70 mph, when the wind becomes a problem. The speedometer doesn’t read past 85; I’m sure the engine is capable of more, but it is hard to imagine exceeding that figure in any comfort.

The engine, it must be said, is in beautiful shape, the transmission shifts with a nice satisfying click, and the exhaust positively purrs. It sounds great and feels solid. The bike has a few remaining problems: I need to tack the seat down more securely – velcro, it seems, is the answer – and I need to find a blinker relay on eBay. Then there is cleaning to do and some paint damage to fix…