Separation Anxiety – Part 2

I’ve been a huge fan of the Gladius since its unveiling for the U.S. market. I remember being excited about it sitting in the wholesale office where I worked at the time. I figured I’d be able to sell a bundle of SFVs. Little did I know the bike would be such an epic flop in terms of popular acceptance.

In 2011, I had an opportunity to get an outstanding deal on mine, with an incredible finance rate of 0% I just couldn’t pass up. I couldn’t believe how much I enjoyed the Gladius bone stock, but the itch to modify it consumed my every thought, so over the course of the summer of last year, the rear fender was replaced with a Targa eliminator, eBay cheapo bar-end mirrors replaced the stock chrome cruiser mirrors, a Suzuki Tall Seat and Cycle Pirates adjustable footpegs gave me a more comfortable riding position, a Juice Box Pro smoothed out my throttle response, and an IXIL Hyperlow exhaust coupled with a fabricated mid-pipe from a muffler shop turned this thing into a snarling animal.

Two of my co-workers bought SFVs the same time I did, and both sold theirs this Spring. I thought they were nuts – what a great bike! Then, unexpectedly, an undeniable deal on a Yamaha FJR smacked me right in the face.

After splitting time at first between the Gladius and FJR, I became more and more spoiled by the electric adjustable windshield, the big-enough-for-a-helmet saddlebags, the grocery-getter rear trunk, and the oh-so-heated grips.

I rode the Gladius less and less, and threw an ad for it on Craigslist and on SVRider (a forum for enthusiasts of Suzuki’s V-twin sportbikes), but didn’t really want or need to sell it. Insurance was cheap, and with 0% interest, my $65 monthly payment was barely noticeable – it was the equivalent to one less trip to the vending machine every day at work.

I bought a shed this summer with plenty of room for both bikes, plus one of my old bikes can fit in there too. So, I didn’t need the money, and I didn’t need the space, and I didn’t dislike the bike. It will always be my first modern bike. First with fuel injection, electronic ignition, disc brakes, electric start, or functional speedometer.

So why did I sell it yesterday?

It’s a shame every morning when I unlock my shed and pull the FJR out while the Gladius collects dust. I’m not the type to only ride when conditions are perfect, but when it’s cold or rainy, the choice of the full fairings and windshield is a no-brainer. I carry a lot of stuff on my commute to work and back every day, like extra gear, and it’s a lot more convenient to toss that stuff in the side cases than carry it in a backpack.

I’m going to miss the Gladius when I see someone on a super moto murdering switchbacks with a vengeance, or when it’s a beautiful summer afternoon and I can’t feel the breeze through my windshield, or when I ride with my friend Tim and have to listen to the blissful sounds of his SV1000.

But more important than all that, I got to put my Gladius in the hands of a fellow SVRider member who will get to fall in love with it the way I did. And someday when he’s done with it, I’m sure it will still be a great bike for the next guy (or gal) who’s looking for his first exciting machine, or for a fun addition to his garage.

And now I have room for another bike.

-J

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~ by hamiltonjacobs on October 21, 2012.

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