The yearning biker

AS MENTIONED a time or two in the past, I’ve been hankering for a motorcycle. This hankering started last year, and I wrote about it in the appropriately titled Geezer Dreams.

I came perilously close to buying a bike, but common sense prevailed. I’m no spring chicken, and I’m enjoying life too much to jeopardize it for a few cheap thrills.

The dream still erupts occasionally, and I tamp it down.

I considered Honda, Kawasaki and Suzuki, all of which are sold in Mexico. There are dealers for the three makes down the mountainside in the capital city.

I also seriously considered Italika, which is the largest-selling motorcycle in Mexico. It’s not sold above the border. It does export to a few other Latin American nations.

Italika is 100 percent Mexican in spite of its name, and the bikes are made in a factory in Toluca. You can buy one online, and it’s delivered directly to your front gate.

A crash helmet is included!

You see Italikas everywhere. They don’t make big bikes, just small to what once was considered mid-size. They very recently added a new bike that is their beefiest at 300 cc.

It’s called the Vort-X 300,* and there’s no price yet.

The first motorcycle I ever drove on a regular basis was my Air Force roommate’s 305-cc Honda Hawk.

I barreled it 100 mph down a California freeway one black night, and I wasn’t even drunk, just young and nuts.

Italika bikes are pretty, and I think I would look quite sporty astride one. They are remarkably affordable.

This likely will remain an unfulfilled desire.

But maybe I could start a biker gang, the Gringo Geezers. We could terrorize anthills and roof dogs.

* * * *

* In the course of my “extensive research” for this piece, I discovered there is also an Italika Vort-X 650.  It debuted last year. However, it is nowhere to be seen on the Italika website, and it is not made in Toluca. It is made in China, imported, and has a BMW design although BMW plays no part in its manufacture. It’s something of a mystery.

22 thoughts on “The yearning biker

  1. You are not too old to ride. I had never heard of the brand, but I think you should buy one to support Mexican manufacturers — you know, make Mexico great again.

    I think you and the missus would look fabulous on the TC200B.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ray: Of course I am not too old to ride. Neither am I too old to fall off, nor to end up in the hospital in traction. Or in an ash urn. There are all kinds of things I can do.

      Yeah, I like the looks of the TC200. I was giving that one serious thought.

      No surprise that you’ve never heard of Italikas since they are not sold in your country. Down here they are all over the place.


  2. I too am a former biker — and the dream of buying a new one bubbles to the surface now and then. I have my eyes on one of the new Norton Commandos. The motorcycle people, not the anti-virus software guys.


    1. Señor Cotton: I owned a Norton Commando Interstate for a spell in the 1970s. Apart from the exhaust pipes’ endless desire to get loose from the cylinder heads, I loved that thing. It would really haul butt. Simultaneously, I also owned a Norton Atlas from the mid-1960s. Look that one up.

      However, if one buys a bike in Mexico, it’s likely a good idea to get something that’s easy to find parts for. Internet sleuthing reveals Nortons are only available used here, not new. No dealerships. MercadoLibre has them.

      I recently spotted an Indian dealership in Toluca.


  3. Yearn no more, mi amigo. I just so happen to be selling a Suzuki DR200SE, 200CC that I bought about three years ago, during a late middle-age brain fart. This baby is practically new, never been in an accident, and it has 3580 km on the odometer. We put in a new battery about three months ago. It comes with TWO yellow helmets (one for you the other for your child bride) and a Shad luggage box. I’m trying to sell it through the local Suzuki outlet in San Miguel. We are asking $2000US or peso equivalent at the time of sale. Hey, why settle for a cheap Chinese knock-off?


    1. Señor Lanier: I saw a photo of that baby just now online. Not bad, kinda cute. However, I think I’ll stick with four wheels and surrounded by steel and airbags. Brain fart indeed. That’s what I would have to do to buy a bike now. Why are you abandoning your biker life so soon?

      By the way, I deleted your email address from your comment. I have access to the emails of everyone who leaves comments, so it was not necessary to announce it to the world. Best not to.

      By the way again, Italikas are not cheap Chinese knockoffs. They are made right here in Mexico!


  4. One should never give up on a dream, no matter how grand. I am a tad older than you, rode my bike from Vancouver to Mazatlan and back last year. It is the big beast Harley touring, amazing memories, some good, some not so much so. I am looking for a bike, a tad smaller, still a Harley because the weight of the big bike is just over 900 lbs, but all the new ones have fuel injection, computers and if they have a problem and shut down, you´re stranded.


    1. Bob: Yes, I recall your last trip. You dumped the bike twice, right? I’m glad you’re still able to walk. You, mi amigo, are a walking argument for my not buying one.

      You want a smaller Harley? The obvious choice is the Sportster. Don’t fret over the high-tech. In 2017, it’s highly unlikely to fail. Highly. Anyway, riding a motorcycle is all about taking risk.

      I had a Sportster. Loved it. Of course, that was 40 years ago, but it’s still about the same size.


      1. Hadda Sportster once, made a chopper out of it. Looking at a street glide, dyna wide glide or maybe a softail. We’ll see. In Mazatlan there is just too much humidity, that produces oxidation, and that really makes a mess of the wiring and plays hell with anything computerized. Yeah, getting blown over in 85-mph winds was a humbling experience, but that was my own fault. No need to be out there in the first place, stubborn Canadian that I am.


        1. Bob: Maybe if you lived in Mazatlán, yes, but for a week or two? Nah. You think all those late-model cars full of computerized gear under the hood are not running just fine in Mazatlán? Sure they are.


      2. Go for it — you will never have more fun. I’m same age as you, 73, been riding here in Mx about five years now.


        1. Ben: Sorry it took so long to get your feedback out of the moderation pile, but I’ve been out of town, and I almost always do not carry the internet with me.

          Oh, I know it would be fun to get another bike, and maybe I’ll do it. Your encouragement is appreciated. But, ahem, I am not 73. I’m a mere lad of 72. Let’s not rush it.


  5. Yes, me too, I had a neighbor in NCal who had a Harley Sportster, then a BMW and finally he got the big hog. I drooled every weekend when I heard him start those bad boys up for his weekend rides.
    I think I’ll keep my good memories as long as able, since the memories of broken bones ( not from falling or motorcycle related ) trump the draw of getting on the seat and revving up the motor.
    Besides, if I rode a bike now like I did years ago, I would be in the hospital or 8 feet down for sure.

    I thought of getting one of those Italicas for running back and forth to town for errands, but because I would have to get on the 4-lane road with loco local drivers, I quickly extinguished that idea.

    That being said, you don’t have a super highway between you and town, so you would look spiffy on one of those jobs.


    1. Tancho: Actually, the highway stretch between where we live and downtown is a factor in not getting even a small bike. I’d feel better on your four-lane than on this loony two-lane.


  6. I sold my last Harley just days before moving south from Atlanta. Couldn’t stand not having transportation on two wheels so I bought a Vespa GTS300, the big one. Two months ago I also had a large brain fart (in a good way) and bought a BMW R nine T that’s a blast to ride. The Vespa is now for sale due to lack of space in the garage. I’m just a few years younger than you and hoping you change your mind. I actually feel safer riding on two wheels than four…most of the time!


    1. Wes: That’s quite a flip from a Harley to a Vespa and then to a BMW. When you wrote BMW R nine T, I thought you had garbled a typo till I looked it up. Never heard of the thing, but it sure is pretty. We get lots of people on BMWs visiting here on weekends, but I’ve never seen one like that.


      1. Yes it’s a beautiful bike that draws a lot of attention from the locals. I did have another BMW in the early 2000’s so it wasn’t a stretch to buy another. Another Vespa in the mid 2000’s so buying one in MX wasn’t that much of a stretch either!


  7. Being a pedestrian is risky enough for me to keep from getting run over by kamikaze Mexican drivers. I observe near collisions nearly every day. It is healthier to be risk adverse.

    As they say, the difference between men and boys is the price of their toys.


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