The pic above is a Rudge similar to the one we saw.
This is what the 1916 Douglass would have looked like, in use, in it's day.
Special thanks to Kieth and Al for their hospitality and allowing a bunch of moto-strangers into his cool ass barn to see his collection. I mentioned in an earlier post that the bars on the SV hurt my wrists. I have a bit of an issue with my wrists, apparently, anyway because I can never find a comfortable bar combination of that thing either. I did buy a set of Heli-bars but I have not installed them yet. They move the position up an inch and back an inch and a quarter and are wider. This should help. Lucky commented that I need to squeeze the tank with my legs to help support my core and take the pressure off my arms. I've heard this from other folks and I did try this but it was only a temporary cure. I found something that seemed to work quite well. Back when I was a kid, I had a fear of "looping out" dirt bikes so I had a habit of sitting very far forward on the seat. When I started riding street bikes this habit carried over. This made for an awkward looking position on a 74 GT380. I got myself out of that habit but I decided to give this a try with the SV. What a difference! Now, the tank on the SV is like most modern sportbikes in that there is a big "wall", if you will, of tank jutting up from the seat. I just slid all the way up to the tank in the "Monkey in lovemaking congress with football" position. The bike now seems sportier. I'm in a more attack like position, cornering feels more solid, and the whole deal is much more confidence inspiring. Not to mention I can use light pressure on the tank with my knees and there is little to no pressure on the wrists. When I am all the way up on the tank, there is a good 4 inches of room from my butt to the step up of the passenger seat. I guess Suzuki has to build these things for a wide range of asses. Of course, any quick stops can be a bit hair raising when the jumblies get smashed into the tank. That's fun. With my new found tank humping technique and the Heli bars installed the Wee will be a dream to ride. The bike is at 700 miles which is 100 past the first service so it will be going in tomorrow. No more short shifting.
In other moto-news, I stopped by the dealer and spied the Kawasaki Versys. It's pretty cool. Some sheep who are afraid of things that are different may be scared of it's looks but it should be a great compliment to the V-Strom which is starting to look like it was designed in the 80's. I don't like it enough to trade the SV for it, but if the two were sitting side by each on the floor and I was to pick one.... I'd be riding a Kawi. It's list is $6,800.
Speaking of what I'd buy... When I was bike shopping I had my choices narrowed down to the SV and a Triumph Bonneville Thruxton. A buddy of mine has one and he stopped by Sun. and we swapped bikes and rode around the block. I have NO regrets about the SV. The Bonnie is super-cool looking and very comfortable for a bike with clip-ons and rearsets. But...it steers like a truck and it feels like it has a five horse Briggs for an engine. I'm not Mr.Horsepower but my short shifted 650 out accelerates that 900 by what seems like an enormous amount. If you are looking for an old bike but want push button starting and a warranty by the Triumph. If you want a modern bike, you can't go wrong with the poor man's Ducati - SV650S. Like I said, I love my bike.