I am now in a quandary.
My XT trailbike, which was my bike of choice over its stablemates (a Ducati GT1000 and a Honda Pan European) for two years, is now sulking. Regular readers (hi, both of you) will remember that I got the Triumph to replace the Honda as a touring bike, and I fully intended to keep the Yam as my daily driver. When I got the Triumph I expected to use it a lot for the first few weeks until the novelty wore off, and then I assumed I would put it in the garage and keep it for the next big trip.
Of course, it hasn't happened like that. I rode the Triumph a lot, and then I kept riding it a lot, because it's a nice bike. I took the Yam out every week or so, just to keep it turning over, but when it came to a choice, it was the Bonnie every time. It's got to the point where the Triumph feels natural to ride, and the Yam feels awkward - the clutch lever is just slightly loose, and the brakes aren't quite as good, and I miss the way the Triumph picks up its skirts and razzes off down the road to a booming soundtrack. And, of course, it's shabby. That was the point of it - a bike I could ride in any conditions, that didn't need polishing or preening, that would always just be there to be used. But now the torn seat cover and the rusty rims are starting to look ugly rather than scampishly charming.
I had a shopping mission to accomplish today, on Anna's instructions. When the list grew to beyond rucksack size, I realised that I would need to take the Yam as it has a top-case. Of course, it handled the task without any drama, but when I was riding home I was struck by a thought: if the Triumph had a reasonable luggage capacity, I wouldn't use the Yam at all.
I'm scanning eBay for a set of Hepco and Becker panniers to go with the rack I fitted a while ago, but nothing has been on the site for many weeks now. The plan was to get them when a pair became available, in time for the next longish trip. But I am now wondering whether to bring that forward by buying the panniers new, and then retiring the Yam.
I couldn't sell it: there's too much of me in there, and it would be like taking your old teddy-bear to the tip. And I doubt if I would get more than a few hundred for it anyway in its present state ('100% maintained, reliable but shabby' doesn't sell as well as 'uncertain but shiny'). So what to do? I have had a long-term plan for a while to take it off the road at a suitable moment and give it a full or partial restoration. Perhaps that moment has come.