Since Beth and I proposed the idea of this trip we’ve received lots comments from people saying, “Wow that’s cool…but not on that bike.” Plenty of others have said, “go for it, even on a smaller bike.” So here’s why we are taking the smaller bike.
- The Shadow has low mileage, at the time of writing about 9,200 miles.
- It is in excellent running condition with good tires.
- If I bought a larger bike I would still have to work it over and fix things (that was critical in deciding to rebuild the bike this past winter).
- I don’t want to buy another bike just for the trip and have to sell it right away when we move.
- I really enjoy tinkering so it was absolutely fun customizing the bike for heavier loads and longer distances.
- An 85 Shadow is a fairly powerful bike for it’s size (50 hp) and still get’s amazing gas mileage riding 2 up (around 52).
- We have a stop halfway through the trip at my brother’s place where I can rebuild any necessary parts.
- People used to go further on small bikes, so why can’t we.
- People in other parts of the world look at a 500 as a large bike.
- We want to prove to ourselves that we can live with very little.
- And last, but not least, most people don’t go long distance on a small bike, so we just have to be different and try it.
Well that about sums it up. We aren’t trying to be foolhardy, but don’t see any reason we can’t use what we have. And hey…if we fail we’ll still have a great story!