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I reached an agreement today to buy a motorcycle. Its current owner bought it last year for $11k, but just got a bonus and wants to upgrade to a $20k sport bike. He’s paying off the remainder of the $8k he currently owes this week, and next week will sell it to me for $4k.

It was a deal too good to refuse.

There are some hassles associated with motorcycle ownership, at least around Fort Rucker. Every month or two, there is a mandatory motorcycle inspection; you have to spend an hour for someone to look over the thing, dip the oil stick, measure the tread depth, then send you on your way. I’ll probably have to retake the Motorcycle Safety Foundation basic riding course, as I have no idea where the certificate is from the first time I took it. Base policy requires that I wear a reflective belt over my reflective motorcycle jacket; otherwise in the event I am injured riding they may make me pay for any resultant medical care.

Even so, there are also advantages: the military gives motorcycles better parking spaces than even handicapped people get, and commanders all up the chain officially support motorcycle use: last month, my company commander gave anyone with a motorcycle a Friday off in order to participate in an organized ride. Beyond that, it is nice to have to fill up the tank only every second week, and then to spend only $10 on it.

The best reason is the simplest, though: motorcycles are fun.

For those interested in the bike itself, it is a 2007 Buell XB9R Firebolt.

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