Sunday, January 8, 2012

SR500 Chopper

I just got back from a short ride on the SR500 to test out these bad boys:

I now have two bikes, the W650 and the SR500, and they're rather similar. Which inclines me to think I should do something different with the SR. There are several directions which attract me:

I don't like extravagant choppers, nor do I like that psychologically see-through bad boy image, but I really like the simple soft choppers of the 1960s and '70s, the light-weight skinny ones made from British bikes, which expressed the counter-cultural ethos of the times. Riding the SR today with those ape hangers was a lot of fun. The bike still handled surprisingly well - albeit with a slower and wider turning circle - and it was quite comfortable. Most of all it felt very groovy, which is the main thing.

A different direction I could take the SR is to go for flatter bars and a more racey style:

Or perhaps this simple, comfortable, dirt-capable cruiser:

I have been thinking, now that I have the W650, to sell the SR500 to buy an Indian Royal Enfield Bullet, or perhaps one of the humble British single 250 or 350s. This is a highly attractive move for me, as although I've had some great years on the SR I have always lusted after one of these other bikes as well. And so perhaps it's time to try out the next adventure. But then again, the SR is so reliable and cheap that it makes a wonderful back up bike. I am sure the alternatives would not be as easy to live with. This is why I am experimenting with alternative styles for the SR - if I settle on a style which I like enough that I am not tempted to sell the SR, that will be a good thing for my wallet and my sanity. I will take my time experimenting and deciding on this. Ultimately if the temptation to get one of those other bikes outweighs my love of the SR over the next 3-6 months, then I will make the move to something else.