Norton

On May 23, 2013

I decided to buy a motorcycle while walking in the crowded metro. The decision was one of the best yet. I had considered sailing as crew for a few months until this idea was solidified with the help of Eric, Erin, and Zach, three other motorcyclists.

The first thing to do was buy a motorcycle. Eric easily convinced me of the awesomeness of a Honda C90, but after trying to buy one used I realized the paperwork headache would take too much time and wouldn’t be worth it. The easiest option was to buy new. Eric also generously offered to teach me to ride, assuring me it was easy.

After walking through a few dealerships, I decided on the Bajaj Boxer 100cc bike. I wanted a super small engine and a brand that was known outside of Colombia for resale purposes. Wouldn’t have thought of that myself… The dealership was happy to sell me the bike with just my passport and drivers license. They then directed me to the Academia Automovilismo to “get my name in the system” or something like that. Luckily I was with Joanna at the time who served as my translator. I paid her in (non motorized) bike maintenance lessons and a vegetarian lunch. What a good deal. At this place they demanded a Colombian drivers license and refused to accept my Nebraska one. They wanted us to go to a notary for some document or license. The notary was as confused as we were so we headed back to the Colombian DMV expecting the worst. Well, lets just say I wasn’t feeling lucky. After Joanna spoke to the lady, they finally decided to try to enter me into the system using my passport. They stated that since I bought a motorcycle I must know how to drive. Joanna looked at me and said, “uh…. sí…” We continued through the form, making up my blood type, address, and phone number to fit in the blanks. At the end we (Joanna) called the dealership to notify them that I was ready to go. Whew…..

It took a day and a half to get the paperwork done at the dealership. In the meantime, Eric taught me to ride a little on his 400cc KTM dirt bike. That’s a beast. I only tipped it over once… It was good to get the hang of starting and stopping in a straight line.

Today I was able to pick up my moto. I had Eric drive it home for me since I’m not street-ready yet. Everything went smoothly and the result of the Colombian DMV is this official looking card for my bike with my name and fingerprint on it. I think it’s similar to a Colombian drivers license or maybe just an ownership card. Either way it looks like I know what I’m doing on paper. Practicing today I got up to 2nd gear (not too fast in a small bike) and worked on turns and stopping. I can’t believe how exhilarating this is and can’t wait to get going!

I could not have done this without Joanna to translate nor Eric to patiently teach me to ride. It’ll still take a few days of practice and learning how to pack my moto before I’m ready to leave the city, but once I do I’m glad it’s not by bus!

6 Responses to “Norton”

  • Dude, this is so cool. I’m so jelly. Seriously, seriously jelly. That sounds like way too much fun.

    Also, this picture, is really, really, really fantastic. It’s worthy of Facebook. http://pleskac.org/4559/20130523-221245-jpg

    Did I miss it or do you have a new mini-trip or route planned for your bike? You going to ride with your new crew or you have a destination in mind?

    • Doh. Now I see, Argentina.

      • Nope, Peru :p

        • Well somewhere down there! Geography is my weak spot, I’m sure it’ll be fun whatever the country.

          Is there like a good tour for taking a moto down there or you just traveling along with the others and going where it takes you?

          • I’ve got birthday plans and I want to surf in Ecuador and go to the jungle in northern Peru. Everything else is up to my whim.

  • The boys want to tell you that crazy picture of you on your new moto is hilarious and they love it. Bash wants you to bring it back so he can ride it. 🙂

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