Monday, August 10, 2009

First consequences of the crash

September 23, 2008 - Tuesday

I consider it a wonder that I'm still sane.

I feel sure that one of these days - evenings, most likely, when I've got the most time to think - something will snap and I'll turn into a useless, heart-broken wreck, just like it happened back in June or July when I smashed up the Beastie's back. I'm sure I must still be in shock, because I haven't even really cried about the wreck, and the Buell is, after all, the most precious thing I own.

I stayed home from work yesterday, Monday, partly because Mom insisted, and partly because otherwise I'd have had to take the train and my foot really wasn't up to walking those short distances. I spent most of the day painting, nearly finishing Ski's pink kirin Aphrodite. One thing off the list.

The mech hadn't called me by lunch time, so I called him. I know they're fairly busy right now, but I got Fabio on the line, told him what happened and asked him what he thought.

I'd been half-expecting it, but it still felt like a kick in the stomach when he told me that with the kilometers I'd already put on the machine, and the potential of the frame being cracked or bent, it was most likely a total loss, and there wasn't much sense in repairing it. He said he'd look at it, make a list of everything that would have to be replaced and give me an estimate, but that if I'd smashed into a guard rail, the chance was there the frame would be damaged. In order to be sure, they'd have to give the bike to an external firm, strip it down and make measurements, and that would cost plenty.

Pushing that grim vision aside for a moment, I asked him what a new front fork would cost. He said that a complete fork with installation and work would be about 2500.- That was along the lines of my expectations.

I said I'd appreciate if he could put together that cost estimate, and in the mean time I'd look into my second option, Nico's XB12.

After I hung up, I felt rather naseous. But the idea of a complete wreck just wouldn't sink in. I still hoped there was a way to save the bike.

My head was full of conflicting thoughts all day. I'd take the XB12; no, I'd fix up the 9er and not bother with the frame; no, that was too much of a risk; I needed to know what Nico would be asking for his 12er... It's a wonder I got anything done at all.

During this, I was looking forward to Florian and Dad coming home. Since Saturday I'd been looking at cars; I need to buy one, this week. There were several I like, some that came into question. Originally I'd set my limit at 3000.-, but it looks like I'll be spending 5000.- instead. Dad arrived home and we drove into Zürich to check out a Buick Skylark being offered for 2900.-, only to find it was already sold. (Should call ahead. Dur.) The garage boss offered me Grand Am in good shape for 5000.-, but Florian says that's not such a good deal, compared to his Daytona.

In two hours Florian will be here and will pick me up, and we'll meet with a guy who's offering this Buick Regal for 4900.-. If it's in as good of shape as the pictures make me think, I'm buying it.

(I know, I could get a little Jap box on wheels, or an old Golf or something boring like that, but I want something just a little bit special, something I can look forward to driving when the Beastie is out of commission. I remembered driving Grandma's old battleship of a... Pontiac, wasn't it? and I want something like that. I have a motorcycle to drive fast and furiously on; the car should be something elegant and stately, a good ol' cruiser. It's white, and it's an automatic, but over here, it's a special car, and I think I'd like it. Plus, with a mileage of 13 liters in the city and 9 on the autobahn, it doesn't drink that much.

Looking forward to buying that car - I've noticed that I rely on gut feelings an awful lot in regard to vehicles, and they haven't let me down yet - has been one of the things keeping me in working condition, I think. That and the fact that I still haven't accepted for a fact that the 9er ist totalled. (The concept of "Beastie" is a working machine, and at the moment, I'm not sure if it's a 9er working machine or a 12er working machine, but we better figure it out quick or I'll go nuts.)

I calculate as follows:

2500.- for the front fork
700.- for the airbrush repairs
1000.- for small parts and work
300.- for a new front fender

Sum total: 4500.- without a frame check. I figure a frame check would cost at least a thousander, and if that determines the frame is shot, I can uy a new frame for double that, or go for Nico's 12er after all.

Florian says he seriously doubts the frame is too damaged to use; my United buddies are all telling me to play it safe and not rely on the old frame. I don't know who to believe or what to do, but a lot is pushing me in the direction of the 12er.

There are a few problems with that, though, too, and they all have to do with the fact that Nico put in a Power Commander and sharp Nockenwellen, upping the horsepower from the standard 101 to 142.

First off, the little 9er's 92 HP was plenty for me, especially considering that I should be crawling around with 34 HP until May 2010. Secondly, I don't even know if the 142 HP can be brought down to 34 HP at all. I'd have to show the bike at the DOT in order to buy it from Nico, and it would have to be limited to 34 horses. Thirdly, those 40 extra horses and the 150 Nm are quite a strain on the belt drive, not to mention the engine, which was hardly built for that kind of power and torque.

Florian says that shouldn't be all too much of a problem, though, since the XB engines are only built to last about 50,000 km. (I was vaguely counting on doing a general overhaul or replacement of the Beastie's engine in 2010, not replacing the entire bike less than a year after buying it...)

I'm hoping I can talk to Nico tonight, so I can channel my plans and efforts in the right direction. God willing, I'll have a car by Friday, and a bike next month.

And for those of you who are still wondering about the castle - no go. Six and a half million is just a little bit over our budget. Says Dad. Mom says we could afford it. I'll trust the guy who's got the bank account in his name. Besides, I wouldn't want it anyway if the whole family moved there.

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