Third Time and No Longer Charmed...
...or, the ongoing chronicle of the store-bought hip and the GS...
For those joining the story late... back in September, my right hip gave up the ghost. Got it replaced with a shiny new plastic-and-ceramic one on Halloweeen (some people get candy; I got a new joint). The orthopedist gave me a semi-stern lecture about how putting my leg over a really tall motorcycle runs an increased risk of hyperextending the new joint and dislocating it, and advised I should really replace the GS with something not so tall.
So, dutifully, I removed my accessories (GSA seat, Rox risers, GPS mount, etc.) and put the bike up for sale through a local shop in late September. It sat on the floor for a month, got nary a nibble, so I rode it home and parked it two days before my surgery (actually rode it again the day before the operation).
Tried again in January, this time with a free online ad. Ran for four weeks, not a single response. OK...
Meanwhile, by February I was experimenting with ways to get on and off the bike that didn't kick the new hip out at odd angles. Got pretty good at climbing on from the right side as if I were mounting a horse (right foot on peg, grab the bars, stand up on peg and swing left leg over).
Made my third attempt to sell in April. Paid online ad this time, reduced the price a bit (to right around NADA average, well below most of the other GSs listed on the site). In six weeks I got four contacts. Two did not respond to my follow-up. One wanted to trade for an Audi with a zillion miles. The last one actually came out, looked at the bike, made me an offer, and promised to call back within a week, when he had cash in hand. Four weeks later, not a word from him, and no reply to a follow-up phone call.
I think these things are a sign.
So... last week I put the risers and GPS back on, put the seat into the forbidden-by-the-manual high-front/low-back position (didn't go with the GSA seat because I found my foot dragging on it when I got on and off), and went for a ride. Wanted to see if I could ride enough miles in a day to take it on the upcoming 2000-mile romp to North Carolina.
Now... I need to pause for just a moment and note that this bike seemed to have a magic charm on it: in three years and 20,000 miles, I had only once ridden it in even a light sprinkle of rain. I am not the type to run away from bad weather; in the same period I was absolutely drenched multiple times on the Harley (the highlight was getting caught on the Ambassador Bridge between Detroit and Windsor, in the middle of construction, during a storm that dropped six inches of rain in two hours). It seemed the GS was just... magical.
Well, the magic charm's warranty seems to have expired! I left in sunshine, but 40 miles in the sky had gone to "Surrender Dorothy" black, and shortly thereafter the rain started. No biggie; I have my Aerostich Roadcrafter suit on... Stopped to take a picture along the Rock River. The camera, of course, auto-exposes to make the weather look much better than it actually was.
Just as I got back on the road, the clouds really opened up, and for the next 50 miles I was in a major monsoon. I am pleased to report that the GS ran like a top in the downpour, the Continental TKC 70 tires stuck confidently, and I did not look like I had peed in my pants when I got home (my shirt was wet, but that's because I was ten miles into the rain when I discovered I'd forgotten to cinch up my collar). I am less pleased to report that the GS windshield doesn't do squat to block rain; my KLR650's "Afrika Single" shield did a better job. Oh well...
All in all I rode 174 miles that day, about 100 of it in some amount of rain. Got on and off several times without objection from the new hip. Upper back did OK (the combination of risers and stock-height seat seems best for the back). So, I think the GS passed its audition and will be hanging around for a while longer after all. Sometimes ya just gotta pay attention to the signs life throws at you.
Whizzy brakes, no FD drain plug, what's not to like?