2-4-6-8 Motorcycles are really great

I liked being on two wheels, but wanted to be lazy.  As a Microsoft Intern, I took MSF’s RiderCourse.  It’s great if you’re curious about motorcycling & want to learn to ride.  It’s also great if you’re already riding, and want to learn some safety skills.  It’s directly derived from studies of how & why motorcyclists get into accidents.


A year after joining Microsoft, I bought a 1978 Honda CB400 T2 ($400).  I figured that it was enough like a bicycle to maintain myself, so it’d be cheap to own. 


After a year of riding, I took MSF’s Experienced RiderCourse, with Eric Gunnerson as my instructor.  It was a good class, and made me a better, safer rider for sure.  If you ride, I’d recommend you take it periodically to brush up on your skills.


The gas tank was really rusty, and the rust would travel through the fuel line and jam up the float valves, causing them to overflow & drool gasoline on the road.  I’m sure that would have looked very cool if it caught fire.  It was always breaking down, such that I carried tools everywhere I went.


Once I hopped on the bike at 7am and rode to Canada.  It took 3x longer than in a car, because of limited top speed & the need to refill the small gas tank every 55 minutes. After I ate lunch, I called my wife up at work and said “guess where I am?”.  “Downstairs?” she asked.  “No, Canada!” I responded.  Heh.  The things we live for…


The other big ride on that bike was Seattle, WA to Eugene, OR.  It took NINE hours. Wife in the Saturn, trunk full of tools & parts, just in case.  Riding back it rained the whole way, and my hands turned purple from the dye in the gloves.


I haven’t had the time to maintain it, so it’s been in non-working condition for a long time.  It’s hard to find a mechanic that wants to work on an old piece of junk like this.

Comments (10)

  1. Victoria French says:

    I wonder how many of us programmers are also bikers? There should be a geek biker club damn it.

    I ride a 86 Honda Magna 850CC.

  2. jaybaz [MS] says:

    I would say "I wonder how many of us programmers are *really* bikers?"


  3. Jerry Pisk says:

    I ride an ’01 Kawa ZX-6R, I like my bikes the same way I like my code – fast. Well, it’s actually not that fast (it tops out at some 160 mph or so), but it’s a lot of fun, especially down here in SoCal. Personally I don’t even want to think about what’s it like riding in WA, it’s gotta be freezing.

  4. jaybaz [MS] says:

    Rain & cold never stopped me from riding. I have good rain gear, heated grips, heated jacket. Ahhh.

  5. Jerry Pisk says:

    Rain and cold never stopped me either 🙂 It kinda rained today (it was more of a light mist than rain), I think it was the first time since early March. But heated grips sound really nice…

    And I just realized – Victoria is a geek, a programmer and rides a bike, hmmmm 🙂

  6. I’ve got a Honda VTX 1800C. I had been away from riding for a few years, so I took the MSF class, too. Well worth the time and money!

  7. christoc says:

    I hate you guys. Talk about making a guy long for his bike 🙁

    I sold mine last year shortly after getting my 350Z because I never rode the bike. Lately it’s all I can think about. I think next spring I’m going ot have to buy another. I had a 95 GSXR 750 that had 4k miles on it!

  8. Victoria French says:

    NEVER RODE IT!?!?! Ahhh I am going to pass out! lol.

    And Yes Jerry… Victoria is a geeky biker bitch. lol.