A Year In Review My 12,000 Mile Journey

Back in December of 2014 I started the journey to own a motorcycle after never having ridden before. It was a scary prospect, but one I was looking forward to pursuing.

I looked at all kinds of bikes, all ages and all styles. I wanted something that I could commute to work on as well as ride on the weekends for fun.

Finally someone asked me if I knew how to work on motorcycles or cars. Did I know how to "wrench." When I said "No" they told me to "buy a new bike." And so, I did.

Meet Raven, a 2014 Honda NC700X DCT

So, on December 31, 2014 I went and started the paperwork to purchase the Honda NC700X DCT. And on January 2, 2015, with the help of a friend, I finished the paperwork, we loaded her up and brought her to my house.

It was COLD, so my rides were brief and shivering. But in less than 3 weeks, I had put the first 600 miles on and she was ready for the break-in service. Within a month after that, I was at 2000 miles, and before spring closed out I was over 5000 miles.

Some random shots from the first few months of riding.

As spring came in, I had a few different rides scheduled with groups. One was called an Ice-Breaker, and boy was it. We rode out on a Saturday morning at 24 deg f. The next was one I planned, the "Get out of Louisville for Derby" ride to Red River Gorge. in there as well was the Moonshine Lunch run to Moonshine, IL, population 2. The ADV Riders Eastern Rendezvous in May, and just day and weekend trips mixed in as well.

Various selected photos from different trips and rides.

With summer coming on and June being a pretty rideless month due to other responsibilities, my first been Moto-Related event was the AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days in Ohio with the Louisville Vintage Motor Works group! It was a weekend to remember, big time. I had some work done on Raven, due to recalls and rode all over the area.

AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days in Ohio

I learned that, with warmer weather, came different issues to overcome. The chief among them? Bugs. I will always have a full-faced helmet just to keep the bugs away. The other issue was the heat and making sure I stayed hydrated. I also learned to start my rides early in the morning and be home before the heat of the day sets in.

Various rides throughout the summer.

As I pushed into fall, I had new gear, some upgrades on the motorcycle and a lot of experience. Well, at least compared to the same time from the year before. Speaking of experience, I was able to check off a few "bucket-list" roads this fall, including the Tail of the Dragon, US28 and Cherohala Skyway. All in one trip.

I even had the "fortune" of the first time I drop the bike to be going about 5 mph in the mud trying to go up a hill in a storm. On street tires. That's ok, no harm, no foul. Bike still runs normally, looks fine other than a few scratches on the end of one of the grips. Took a trip to a friend's farm and a distillery along the way and participated in my first "Distinguished Gentleman's Ride."

From various rides in the fall. Tail of the Dragon and beyond!

This last photo is of my old 1984 Yamaha Razz. It had been sitting in my parent's garage since I was in high school. As you can see below, I have most of the plastics off of it ready to get her cleaned up and running again. I do not know if I will be keeping it or selling it, but either way, I want to get it going.

1984 Yamaha Razz - my first vehicle!

As you can see, my first year riding a motorcycle has been a lot of fun and has offered me the chance to learn a lot and meet a lot of good people. Both local and across the US and world. I am going to provide some links below so anyone else who wishes to get more information can do so on their own.

Thanks for reading, be sure to check out my motoblog site (first link above) for a full account of the doings of Raven. There are even links to some videos I have created of the rides. If you wish to contact me, please do so through that website.

Created By
Brad Buskey
All photos belong to the author.

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