Earlier in the Spring I bought an 89 Transalp from an inmate. He had put on a new seat, exhaust, speedo, tires, bash plate, givi guards ... you name it ... lots of goodies. The best part is that it had an Africa Twin tank, shrouds and fairing (the one with the twin lites!). My 12 year old loved it from the get-go. I rode it from the PO's down Knik Goosebay Road and then trailered it the rest of the way home to Anchorage. I spent a while trying to determine if I should just leave it with a bad white paint job for roughing it ... or go ahead and paint it up. My fear is your fear. All that time spent on the bike, and then laying it down in some parking lot. Yikes. Tough decision. But for sure, I wanted a new fender. Black or white? All it needed was paint and some tweaking. So after getting advice on painting, and checking out the costs, I decided to paint it. So after making a deal with Beezer, he came over and schooled me on painting. I built a paint booth in the garage and we got to business. As the paint was drying I carved a dash out of metal with my bare hands, and put on some ROX risers, heated grips, and SAE power outlets. And finally, I got it put all back together ... everything except luggage racks and decals. So in the search for decals, I wanted something to identify the Africa Twin part of this beast. The HOnda shop didn't have anything in that category, but my 5 year old found something he liked. So I ended up making my own decals. We'll see how they print up. They are in the print process now. So today I played hooky and went on shakedown ride. Went down to Cooper Landing to a friend's restaraunt. He's an advrider, and he officially opens up for summer this weekend ... so swing by when you are out on the road. Top Secret news: best ping pong area in the peninsula. And then it happened! My buddy and I rode down to Moose Pass. We had swapped bikes. He was testing out my new ride. I was riding his beemer. I pulled into the store parking, and put the sidestand down into the soft dirt. ANd then I saw him pass by me and drive my new bike right into the dirt ... sideways. My New Paint!!! But the Givi Engine guards did their business. The best pic of this ride report is still in my mind. It is a red face of a friend who slams your new bike right into the dirt. But all in all ... its a toy. A great toy.