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AMY'S RIDE

On a beautiful day in late July a friend and I took off on an afternoon ride. After about 70 miles we stopped at a cemetary to relax and talk. Two hours later (we can get pretty long winded *grin*) we hopped back on and... no power to my bike at all. The 1982 Maxim 750 was just dead. We tinkered with some fuses and wires but nothing. The battery was dead. It appeared that some short had zapped the battery.

"Well at least we have transportation out of here," my friend commented. I'd always admired his bike, a 1986 Shadow VT1100.

'91 was the year that I fell in love with the Shadow. At that time I decided that at some point, I'd get one. But the usual "good sense" riders were attached... when I had the time, the money, etc.

Let it suffice to say that after 70 miles on the back of his bike that I was literally lusting after a new bike. Right then and there I pledged to save all the cash I could and buy something sweet in the spring. The Maxim is an okay bike, but I've never LOVED it like I used to love my old KZ400LDT or the mear THOUGHT of a Shadow.

The next weekend my husband lightly commented about a great deal that another friend's uncle was offering on his used Shadow. Our friend's father was interested, but didn't think he could scrape up the cash either. I later learned that at the time, Scot said, "I want that bike for Amy." Due to our friend's great generosity he bought the bike, went and picked it up (it was in Michigan, we're south-central Indiana) and we are paying on it (anyone want an organ? I'm sure I can spare one if you've got cash...).

That weekend I went up and saw it the day after it arrived. The description had been great. The bike was a 1986, however it had sat at the dealers in the original shipping crate for two years! So the first owner bought it in 1988 with only the test drive miles on it. It was garaged every day of it's life, and only had 8600 miles on it! One owner, a known owner at that. Sounded great. No cosmetic problems.

But even that description rendered a bit more enthusiastically didn't prepare me for what I saw. If anything in life has taken me near to dropping to my knees in worship it was the first look at my new bike.

Even better it was a STEAL and that's almost a literal. Honda said that a good price for that bike in "decent" condition was $2500. This bike is in MINT condition, so even that would be a good price, right? Well... we bought it for $1900. The guy picked the price which he intended to go low for relatives and friends anyway, but THEN called Honda to find out what the blue book was. "That was a mistake," he admitted, but he wanted to be sure the bike went to a good home.

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A week later I rode it, just a short way down the road. I was scared to death! This was a nice big highway that I had all to myself, but still. I went to change lanes and did the standard procedure that would have moved the Maxim and... I swear the bike didn't move AT ALL. NOW WHAT DO I DO? It was an adventure.

But that left me even MORE excited. So once we paid a bit on it and got insurance and such worked out, my friend turned it over.

I had to ride it home 60 miles. By the time I got it home I was feeling very comfortable. The next day I put almost 200 miles on it by myself. By then... I was really in love. The next weekend my husband and I along with a friend riding pillion with me went another 250 miles and it literally felt like I'd always been riding it.

Amy Young-Leith