THE REDBIRD
  
    
  When I went looking for a replacement for my XS1100 Yamaha, I did a lot of research and read a lot of motorcycle reviews. What I originally wanted was a 'plain' motorcycle - no luggage, no fairing, just two wheels and two exhausts with a drive shaft. The Yamaha had convinced me that drive shafts were a lot better than fussing with chains like I had on the Triumph Trident and the BSA Starfire. But once I rode the RedBird, I decided that this was the bike for me. She has carried me faithfully for over 150,000 miles into 49 states and parts of Canada. The only repaired required in that whole time was a front fork seal that got nicked by a rock. I did have the timing belt replaced at 100,000 miles (recommended by Honda at 90,000 miles) and they finally had to add 1 valve shim. I am not afraid to hop on her today and head for Alaska because she runs as good today as she did the day I brought her home. I have taken pictures of the Redbird in front of all 49 US statelines which you can see by clicking on the STATELINE button.   
 
  
 
HOW THE REDBIRD GOT HER NAME
  
 

One day when I was being stupid, I was running too fast for the road. I did not see the curve sign, so when I topped the hill I had quite a surprise. The road made a hard right turn and I was going far too fast to make it. If I had tried I would have done a low-side slide which would have destroyed the body work of the RedBird. Looking ahead, I saw a newly plowed field that was a few feet below the road surface and no fence. Dirt is softer than asphalt, so I scrubbed off as much speed as I could and deliberately went off-roading. The bike got airborne, and when we landed we parted company. As I was sailing through the air, I thought -

"You big dummy, you're gonna break something when you land."

I hit the ground and rolled and came out unscathed. But I just knew the bike was destroyed and I was a 100 miles from the house. When I got up and looked, the RedBird had come to rest upright, leaning on the tipover wing. One saddlebag had come off and the mirror covers came loose, but that was it. (I did later discover that the body work had shifted just a little bit, which I corrected). I reinstalled the parts, and rode her out of the field. Since the bike had flown, I started calling her the RedBird - and started slowing down. The fellow following behind me who saw the whole thing said -

"'What a spectacular crash to watch!"

My reply was simple -

"You should have been on the inside of it!"