First Time Motorcycling

Motorcycle of Choice: 1999 Yamaha Virago 1100 (also known as the XV1100)

Current Mileage: 29,051

My family has been riding motorcycles longer than I have been alive. Primary sports bikes and cruisers, they are no strangers to life on two wheels. I spent many years trying to understand why they lived the sport everyday, and one day I decided that I needed to know more. So I ventured off to take a Motorcycle Safety Foundation course for new riders at a Harley Davidson dealership locally. The new Street 500 were an amazing bike to learn on, and I was even awarded “Most Improved” in our course’s superlatives.

After the course, my wife wanted me to have the best time I could on a motorcycle, so I rented a 2015 HD Sportster 1200T. It was a great experience! I was able o travel through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and see a lot. My father in law was finishing a 10 day, southern states loop covering the Natchez Trace Parkway, the Gulf of Mexico and several states. It was an amazing experience, I was a little nervous but I managed to cover 460 miles just under 48 hours.


After my rental, I bummed as many rides that I could, from borrowing my uncle’s VTX1800 to my father in law’s Vstar 1300 Deluxe. After a while, I couldn’t take it, and knew I just had to have one for myself. After many months of looking, in December of 2015, I requested a day off so I could drive 3.5 hours into Georgia to view an old Honda Shadow at a Mountain Motorsports dealership. When I arrived that next morning, I was told the motorcycle needed a new battery and I needed to upfront the money on the battery to see how it would turn out. Because I wasn’t sure about the motorcycle, I was shown a different motorcycle.

Enter the XV1100


It was an AMAZING ride. I’ve put more than 8,000 miles of riding during my first year of ownership (primarily over 8 months between my broken leg and the winter season). I’ve ridden through the Smokies, on the famous Tail of the Dragon, the Devil’s Triangle, and many state routes and back roads in between. I’m looking forward to taking a multi-day trip in 2017. I can’t wait to share my newest experiences with you and hope that you all will push me to do more.


2 thoughts on “First Time Motorcycling

  1. Great pick! Excellent story, thanks for sharing. I recently bought a Shadow Ace 750 and love it. I missed out on some incredible bikes, this season has been hot for buyers. As soon as I found a good bike to check out, it was gone in an hour. But I love my Ace750. Taking my skills test tomorrow for my endorsement, then heading off to Big Bend National Park. Why do people even drive cars when you can be on a motorcycle!? I hope you share more of your travels! Safe travels!


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