Saturday, July 25, 2009
Easy Riding...Aloha Style
As noted in my previous post, I was asked to come out to Honolulu for business reasons. I consider myself very fortunate to be able to travel to some nice places and meet some very nice people in the course of my business. Hawaii is a beautiful place - the natural beauty of the Islands and the friendliness and hospitality of the people of this state is simply amazing.
After completing my business responsibilities, I decided to do something I had been thinking about doing for some time, ever since I got involved in motorcycling, which was to ride in Hawaii. There are many places to rent scooters and motorcycles in Honolulu, and a few rent Harley Davidsons. I chose Cruzin Hawaii (http://www.cruzinhawaii.com/) as they had an excellent selection of Harleys, plus some Triumphs to choose from. If you are ever in Honolulu and want to rent a bike, I recommend Cruzin Hawaii - the motorcycles are in excellent condition, and the staff there will give you some great suggestions for riding on the Island.
I ended up renting a 2007 Sportster 1200. After we went over the bike, I was ready to ride. The first thing I noticed was that this was a HUGE step up in power from my 250cc bike! The Sportster is like a wild horse - she wants to run! I ended up staying in first gear most of the time as I was driving along busy Waikiki, as I could get up to 30 mph in that gear alone. I was surprised at how easy it was to handle this bike - I think the Sportster is nearly 200lbs heavier than my GV250, yet it didn't feel that much heavier. The pegs are more centered on the bike, unlike mine, which are more forward, and I actually felt more comfortable on the Sportster. One weird feature of the bike (apparently this applies only to the 2007 and beyond Sportsters, and does not apply to the other models in the HD lineup) is that you must actually be in neutral to start the bike. You can't just pull in the clutch to start it. I don't really like this feature, as one time I stalled the bike and had to walk it to the side of the road, find neutral and then restart it.
Once I got out of town, the road opened up more, and the views of the ocean were fantastic.
The picture below is taken from the famous Halona Blowhole - the blowhole is a natural occurrence formed by molten lava tubes from volcanic eruptions thousands of years ago. The lava tubes run to the ocean and, when the surf is right, the blowhole shoots water up to 30 feet in the air. It was hard to time my pictures with the water shooting out of the blowhole, but it was an amazing site.
Further north and inland there are some beautiful scenic lookouts showing the island valley floor - I took this picture of the Sportster from one of those stops.
Probably the most popular lookout is called the Nuuanu Pali lookout. To get here, you travel about a mile of two off of the Pali Highway, and you are rewarded with fantastic views:
I ended up riding about 4 hours. I'm really glad I did this - I got to test drive a bike I had been considering for my next bike, I got to actually ride a motorcycle in paradise, and got some amazing views of the Island.
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Beautiful pictures and a neat looking bike. I'm jealous!
And all this time I thought you were at Lake Shawnee up by Topeka.
Wow Lance..great stuff man...ecellent post, real nice pics..I'm glad you were able to do this....great job
Jim - thanks. It was great to see all of the scooters and motorcycles in use in Honolulu - it's the best way to get around the island.
Baron - I appreciate your kind words. It was one of those things on my "list", and I am glad I did it! I was remembering your recent posts on demoing different bikes, and so I now know a lot more about the Sportster - on to the next demo!
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Great pictures. You look good on the Sporty too.
You lucky duck. Riding in Paradise on a Harley. Enjoy the rest of your vacation
bobskoot: wet coast scootin
Danny - thanks. I was surprised at how comfortable I was on the Sportster - this one didn't have forward controls like my GV250, and my legs felt much more comfortable.
Thanks Bob - I wish I could spend more time there, but I am back in Seattle now. It was fun while it lasted!
I didn't know you had a blog also, and a love of fish & chips.
I nearly bought a GV250 here 18 months ago, the bike fitted me very well but I could not agree on a price with the crook in the showroom lol..
Nice photos Lance, I shall be back regularly,
Dave, thanks for your comments! I hear a lot of great things about the Transalp - it's a bike many wish was sold in the US.
Actually the Transalp was sold in Canada for a couple of years. Too old to consider one now, and they have just introduced the Varadero this year
bobskoot: wet coast scootin
Thanks Bob - didn't I see that new Honda in one of your posts?
They are nice bikes, I am just to short for them - I could probably get going on one of them, but who knows what I would do when I had to stop and reach for the ground!
Oh Brother (literally)! What we all feared. Harley fever!
Yes indeed Brother Mark! As you know, the direction has changed slightly, but I think a Harley will be in my future!
Lance...you look good on that Harley....!
Excellent...I wonder how I would like the Island....I've never been...I'm glad you got to ride the 1200...it is a great rider...it's also the rubber mounted engine Sporty...which makes it quite comfy....
Catch ya on the highway, Lance...
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