I think we both have to say that getting the dirt bike/motorcycle has been one of the best things we could have possibly done for our lives as vandwellers. We can jump on at any time and hop over to the grocery store, get out of camp for a bit, experience a change of scenery, whatever we want and we don’t have to move the van…its been great for the mind, body, soul & our gas budget!
Jamie has always had bikes, he grew up on them and as he has gotten older has kept his love for motorcycles alive. Before our journey began, back in 2012, we sold our 2003 Harley Davidson V-rod to help along with the funds for the beginnings of our new life….and oh what a beautiful bike…..
We sold the V-rod knowing it wouldn’t be the most practical bike in our new lives and we also knew that another bike would be in our future. We’ve been looking at dirt bikes for a few years and while we were in San Carlos this Summer, we found one…or maybe it found us! One of Jamie’s longtime friends had this bike, it was in great condition, & had barely been ridden, so J’ worked, paid it off, and then worked on it to make it street legal as well as a few personal touches.
Our new bike is a Honda XR-400
Along with the street legal kit; hi/lo beam headlight, brake light, license plate light, turn signals, horn, rear view mirror, Jamie switched the 2.5 gallon gas tank for a 4 gallon gas tank (cost $23.50 on ebay) and put passenger (foot) pegs on for me. We started with these foot pegs (cost: $10 amazon)
We knew when we opened the box that we would need better ones soon, but these were something to get us by, so I could come along for the ride. Once we were back on the road, I rode along about two times before one of the pegs fell off, so we ordered Rescue Pegs (cost: $68), they attach onto the existing foot pegs…like an extension.
I really like the Rescue Pegs. I am 5’7 with pretty long legs, and with these pegs my feet/legs are able to rest lower & be more at ease, plus it’s nice to sit comfortably on the back of the bike. The more we rode the bike together, the more Jamie figured out they were in his way at times; starting the bike, at stoplights, etc. And if ya’ll know him, you know he’s always keeping his research fresh, so the passenger pegs he wanted for the long haul were already on his wish list!
One day last week we went to town to run errands, our first stop was the laundromat. As we were turning into the plaza, the police officer behind us turned his lights on and stopped us in the parking lot. What was the reason he had pulled us over? We were waiting to hear what it was too, because we know we are current & legal on everything, ’cause that’s how we roll. First, he asked us about our foot peg situation and after we told him all about it he said, “Hmm, I’ll have to check if that’s legal.” #2- He said we did not have a rear view mirror but we do, he just couldn’t see it. So that was a no-go. #3- He said we didn’t have a license plate light…but we do it’s just harder to see in the daylight.
No-go. #4- He didn’t like where our license plate was attached and told us we needed to get a bracket and put it on the side or on the back where it can hang down…he thought that was his “go”…but it wasn’t! We stood by the bike while he ran both of our I.D.’s along with the bike and even checked into the foot peg statute. When he came back over to us he said he wasn’t going to give us a ticket but he was going to give us a repair order to get safer passenger pegs for me…and for Jamie.
We were given 5 days to get the “right” passenger pegs plus have them installed, before a citation would be issued… so either way he gave us a ticket!!
Later that day when we got back to the van, Jamie got online and ordered his wish list foot pegs, costing us $137.76, almost $40 bucks of that went to shipping because we had to overnight them.
They arrived the next day, earlier than we expected, so we went and picked them up and then headed over to a local welding shop, http://www.thepropellercompany.com/ where Presley welded on our new passenger pegs. (cost $50) We thought that was a little steep but it seems to be a good price around here.
After that hit to the wallet, we had to go to the police station to have an officer sign off on the “fix-it ticket”. Funny enough the same officer that gave us the ticket was the one to come out to sign us off…it was comical and made the whole experience complete! All in all, in the end, everyone was happy, he was happy we got it done so quickly and we were happy that we got the pegs we truly wanted…could have done with different timing for the bill, but now it’s done and we won’t have to worry about getting pulled over for something so silly.
Now that we’ve had them on the bike for a week, Jamie loves them & I’m still getting used to them. As you can see in the pictures they sit much higher than the Rescue Pegs, so the first couple of days I felt like my knees were hanging out by my ears…but I’m slowly getting used to the feel of them and in the long run it will be safer for both of us.
I guess the next best thing will be getting my own bike…….right!?