Almost immediately after Ragnarok I started to make changes; anything I thought might get me closer to where I wanted to go.  I knew I wanted to go on an epic trip.  I knew I was a student and would not be able to foot the bill like people who saved for years to make this their retirement plan.  I knew I was going to need to do something that would allow me to sustain time on the road.  I knew that was all I knew and there was no way anyone would take me seriously, unless I knew more.  So I learned. In so many ways I will always be learning, but I at least started knocking out the basics.  I took classes, read everything, asked anyone; research, research, research – whatever I could to get some idea of where to start.  And eventually a visual started to take place.  No viable plan, but an idea.

One of the first things I read was if you are planning on a coast to coast motorcycle trip you should do it on nothing smaller than a 750cc engine.  Mine was 440.  So I set out to get a new bike. I visited motorcycle shops, talked to people, read tech spec after tech spec just to see what would be most ideal.  Fun fact:  I have extremely short legs so most  touring bikes don’t work for me. There was, of course the God Emperor of touring bikes, the BMW GS 1200 Adventure which came with a lowered option.  It says adventure in the name, guys, you know it’s amazing – if you have about 20k just chillin with nothing better to apply it to than the most practical impractical vehicle on the market, it comes highly recommended.  But I did not have 20K just chillin, more like $5 and I already spent that on Ramen for the month.  Even used those suckers hold their value, so I put a pin in that for maybe when I have retirement money.

About 6 weeks later I was chatting with one of my favorite biker nerds I had yet to meet, and he tells me that Ghost decided to sell his ZRX 1200R.  Cheap.  The escape vehicle used to ditch the crowd, with the person who inspired me to do this, on the bike that started it all?  Ghost had finished his trip and decided it was time to move on to other things.  It was only natural that I continue that momentum with that bike.

This was the bike that melted the ice cream because it didn’t like going home.  This was the bike I accidentally did my first wheelie with, my first overnight with, my first solo trip, my first distance trip – this was THE bike. This bike was reliable, powerful, fast, already built out with GPS and a luggage rack, completely outfitted with dead bugs, and it just worked.  I was SO excited.  I named it Beefcake.

And I loved it.