Riding a motorcycle is fun. Purchasing a motorcycle in a foreign country is terrifying.
Luckily, I have had many local angels to help. Jared (my host here in South Australia) pointed me to Gumtree for used bikes. Chris (our neighbourhood letter carrier) told me about Pickles Auctions for postie bikes. Brett (an experienced Harley biker) offered gentle support and helped me find my Honda Rebel.
Another help is that I speak the local language—albeit with a Canadian accent.
Travel Tip: If you learn how to order a beer in another language, know how to ask for the toilet.
If you’re an international traveller, you know how important this is. It’s near impossible using body gestures to ask where the toilet is.
But I digress.
If you speak the local language, you understand the words on local websites. You can phone and speak with local sellers almost fluently. You can phone government call-centres and come close to deciphering their requirements.
I am now the owner of a 1997 Honda Rebel 250. It’s got a mere 45,900 kilometres on it. It came with all the riding gear I could need: a full-face helmet, DriRider jacket, Draggin pants, gloves, boots, saddlebags, a gear rack, and much more. And they all fit because the previous owner was the same height and shoe size as me.
I’ve got six weeks left in Australia.
Kangaroo Island, the South Ocean Road, the city of Melbourne, Tasmania, the Flinders Ranges, and the state’s campgrounds await. That’s the exciting part.
The scary part is waiting to hear back from the bank…where I applied for an account…so I can register the bike with the South Australian government…so I can ride it safely and legally.
It’s driving me crazy, but this is the kind of test we travellers face when we feel the fear and do it anyway.