MonthJune 2009

No, not a ring. This is a magic JEWEL. Totally different.

I just found out that David Eddings died on June 2nd.

I’ve read the Belgariad and the Malloreon, and the Elenium and the Tamuli more times than I would care to count. They’re pretty much textbook Campbellian fantasy, and thus quite like crack cocaine if your mind is set up for that style of entertainment. Mine most assuredly is.

The Sparhawk novels (The Elenium and The Tamuli) are more matured and sophisticated than his earlier work, with more complicated characters than Belgarion and his mates. They departed a bit more from the traditional high fantasy model in those books, and made it work well.

I was interested to see if Eddings would continue that progression through another series. But clearly, it was not to be.

Brrrm.

So, I’m now prepping for motorcycle purchase. I’m getting a bike instead of the car we had planned to buy, and Annette will be using my old car for her occasional trips to the local post office. Eventually, further down the road, we’ll replace it with a better car.

My reasons for getting a bike instead of a new car are:

1) Bike is cheaper to buy, register and run than the cars we’ve been looking at.
2) Bike is cool, I miss having one, and I wants one.
3) See item (2), seriously.

So, my choice is now either a modern(ish) sports tourer, most likely a mid-to-late 90’s Suzuki RF900R, or an older Harley Davidson.

The RF900 is a very robust bike – the engine is the bottom end from the Suzuki GSXR1100R, and with a 900cc top end, is very very un-stressed. The GSXR1100R engines are themselves notoriously bulletproof, and when you down-stress the engine by reducing the displacement, they last even longer. It’s also a very pretty bike design, I’ve liked them since I saw a new one in the shop in the mid-90s. And there are many Suzuki service agents, and parts are easy to get, etc.

The Harley Davidson is likely to be an older sportster, probably quite a ratty one for my budget. But they’re about as classic a bike style as you could want, and hey, very cool. Plus, uncomplicated enough to actually be a project bike. I wouldn’t hesitate to rewire a Harley, but I sure as hell WOULD hesitate to touch the inscrutable japanese mystery of the Suzuki wiring looms.

At the moment, I’m leaning more towards the Suzuki, simply because this would be a daily driver of a bike, and I’d therefore be less tolerant to the “character” of the older Harley. Where “character” is defined as “Won’t actually start” or “Doesn’t run if it’s raining” or “Wheel falls off sometimes”.

You all know what a Harley looks like. This is the alternative:

..although I’d probably prefer one in black, rather than red. Red’s still OK, though.

Your input, gentle readers, is welcome.

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