A few days ago, I said that I was considering a big decision (for me) that would simplify my life.

After a bit of discussion, my wife and I have decided that we're going to sell our motorcycles (though we may replace them with off-road bikes). This is a somewhat painful thing to do.

Let me explain.

Way back in college, I drove a 1968 Citroen Safari station wagon. Citroens have a very interesting hydraulic suspension that is unsurpassed in ride quality. They do have a few drawbacks.

First of all, Citroen is not known for their horsepower, with the exception of the Maserati-engined SM.

The second is that they tend to have timing chain problems when they get high mileage. The timing chain runs from the crankshaft to the camshaft, and opens and closes the valves. At least it does until it breaks, at which time the pistons come up, whack the valves, break them, and then proceed to embed the valves in the tops of the pistons. All the while making a most horrific sound.

So, there I was in my senior year, and I need a mode of transportation, and I had $800 I could allocate to the effort. That would either buy me a pretty poor car, or a halfway decent motorcycle, so I soon had a Honda FT500, and was commutting on it.

That led to a bit over a decade of commutting almost every day (even through some snow), riding somewhere around 80,000 miles, and teaching a fair number of classes for the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (if you're thinking of riding, make sure you start there). I upgraded bikes twice for me and twice for my wife, and we used to spend a fair amount of time riding.

Then, we bought a house in Bellevue, and commutting by bike no longer made sense. I still rode occaisionally, but over time I've gotten more busy, and the bike hasn't been out of the garage since last October.

It's sad. I still really, really enjoy riding - the power to weight ratio is far better than nearly all cars (at least those I could justify buying), but it's something that you need to do often to be proficient, and I just don't have time these days. Or, to put it differently, there are lots of things that rank higher right now, and we're paying for both depreciation and insurance on both bikes.

So, I put ads for a 1997 Honda VFR750 and a rare 1994 Honda CBR400RR Japanese home market spec in the MicroNews.