It had been 5 or 6 years since the motorcycle was sold away. Grandpa passed away in the fall of 2008, his estate going the way of the bike. :] Last fall, September 29 I think, we were on the way to Hubby’s folks’ to borrow their truck for a trip that required a trailer hitch. Going along a residential street in the dark, Hubby hit the brakes momentarily and said, “did you see that???”
“That motorcycle back there? I think it was a Goldwing like your Grandpa’s!”
“What, really? Go back!” We backed up in the rain, and Hubby peered through the windshield.
“I don’t believe it. It IS your grandpa’s bike.” He pointed out the fog lamp, the horns exactly where he’d placed them. I jumped out to go write down the for-sale information (it was for sale!) and about passed out cold on the guy’s driveway. He wanted $3100 for it. THAT wasn’t going to happen, and was it really the same motorcycle? It was pretty dark, after all.
We were also getting ready to leave town for a week, so who knew what would happen in the meantime? Hubby wondered if I would be on board with a purchase like that (if the price could be negotiated WAY down).. I asked if he would be on board with selling his Kawi to finance the purchase. He was. We left it in God’s hands, trusting that if we were meant to have it, we would.
We left town and talked about it more than once. We told Gi-gi about it, and my uncle. When we came back to town, I saw it listed on craigslist for $2900. The guy was flexible, apparently. I called and asked about it. He went on and on… “It’s a classic. The original Goldwing. It’s been garaged its whole life. Original paint.” We arranged to go see it that evening, and I printed out blue book information and such. That wasn’t much help; some claimed a $900 trade-in value; ebay had listings for $10,000. It was obviously a borderline collector’s item. I raided my ‘barn stash’ and prayed. I withdrew a certain amount (far less than either of his asking prices), trusting that IF we were supposed to have it, it would be at that price or less. It was still a lot of money.
On the way there, I arranged some ‘code’ for Hubby and I. While I wanted to shout, “I think this is my grandpa’s motorcycle which was promised to us!” I’d been advised to hold my cards close. I would ask Hubby, “Is it everything you expected?” And if he was 100% certain about it being THE bike, he’d say “yeah.” Otherwise, “I’m not sure.”
We were quite a team, actually. Hubby did all the looking, checking; I held my clipboard and waited for my turn. The guy started again on his speel (he is a local public educator) “this is the first year they made Goldwings,” and was surprised when my husband eventually asked if it still had the removable kick-starter.
[When grandpa retrieved the bike from us, the kick-starter had been removed and put somewhere. Hubby returned it to him that summer, but it never made it back to its place. Hubby ran across it in Gramps’ garage after he passed away. He didn’t save it, sadly.]
“Oh this has an electric starter, no kick starter.” Hubby leaned over the bike and pointed to some little hole.
“Yeah, but no one trusted electric starters so they had the kick start option. The kick-starter is stored in the console, and you can put it in here.”
This lessened the wind in the seller’s sails. “Oh… I guess you know a little more about this bike than I do!”
[You have no idea…]
I asked Hubby our predetermined question, and he responded in the affirmative.
The seller repeated the line about it being ‘in the garage’ its whole life.
[Except for the time when we had to cut a tree out of the front forks…]
“Have YOU owned it its entire life?” <– that was me.
“No, uh, but you can tell. I’ve had it a couple years. [Title said 1 year]. Original paint, blah blah blah.” He spoke of adding on the fairing [You did not. My grandpa put that on when he first got it.]
It did have some fabric saddlebags and a tall bag behind the sissy bar that were new to us. He kept talking about how valuable those additions were. We really only wanted to take home the bike.
After Hubby did the looking-over part, I stepped forward in all my nerdy, clipboard-carrying glory. We started the negotiating, both of us pointing out different reasons for value, or not. He would come down a bit, and I would creep up a tinier bit. Eventually I landed on my high-end number, while he made dagger-to-the-heart motions and tried to get choked up. We had removed the saddle baggage [ah, now it looks right] and he agreed to the price.
I was so excited.
I don’t even ride motorcycles.
But it felt like a promise fulfilled; not by the faulty, fallen people (person) who made it, but by my Father, God, who sees and knows. And does not forget.
|Home, where it belongs.|
Eventually Hubby told me about finding the kick-starter in Gramps’ garage, but tossing it. The old weld Grandpa had put on the rear rack was still in need of repair (the saddlebag straps had hidden it for a time), but someone had replaced the windshield part of the fairing. I shared this story of God’s goodness everywhere, even the DMV when I got the title work done. I asked the lady a few things, and she confirmed that the bike had been held 30 years by my grandpa, briefly by my cousin, then it transferred to someone in Town before going to the educator who sold it to us. Hubby has already done something to it (carburetor stuff?) and a few other plans. We plan to sell the Kawi this spring to rebuild the barn fund. 🙂