I'm taking this little jewel up to my daughter in Austin this morning. It's a 2001 Yamaha Virago 250cc cruiser, and is exactly Rachael-sized. We've both gotten the motorcycle bug, and it's her fault.
She got the disease first, and ended up with a 1988 Honda Elite CH80 last year. The Elite is Honda's classic 80cc scooter, so good that it's remained unchanged from 1985 until today. It'll do 45 mph on the street and gets 90 miles to the gallon. Good used ones can be easily found for about $1,000, though prices seem to be going up as gas gets more expensive. When my last car suicided this summer outside San Marcos, I drove her scooter for a few weeks while plotting my next auto purchase.
Gradually, I realized that I was having a blast bombing around all over town on the scooter, and I didn't miss having a car at all.
So I bought one for myself, too, a 1986 model. Mine's ratty and has broken off plastic in several places as a result of previous owners dropping it over. I adore it. I've affixed a large Harley-Davidson decal to the left rear panel as an upgrade. The Harley riders, so far, haven't killed me for this heresy.
We took our Motorcycle Safety Foundations course together in the middle of Texas July. It was hot as the boiler-room of hell. We almost toasted that weekend, but we passed and got our full licenses shortly therafter. It was an amazing father-daughter bonding experience for me.
The Virago surfaced in the For Sale section of Two Wheeled Texans, and Rach bought it through me a week later. Much credit to Road Weazel, for posting the above pic in the TWT sale thread and turning her head when she saw it.
The thought of her riding this thing around town, and especially on the highways, scares the bejeebers out of me. But, she's grown-up now, and is gonna live her own life. Birds gotta fly, fish gotta swim. And daughters gotta ride motorcycles, I guess.
I'm saving my pennies to get a somewhat larger bike for myself come next spring. If all goes well, me and Rach will be in the wind together for a long time to come.
Uh, have I mentioned that Rachael is Awesome?