In the last 2 months I have only driven my car once, for a short weekend vacation trip. I have kept my 1984 Honda XL350R for hauling groceries, and to help me remember and compare between the two bikes. I'm glad I did because there is a lot of sorting for me to do about what I love about the GPR-S and what I might love about any modern bike.
For instance it is is a huge luxury for me to drive on a bike with working turn signals. It is equally luxurious to drive on a bike that doesn't have to be kick started. But just about any bike nowadays has those features, so I can't recommend the GPR-S based on that. In addition, my commute has been reduced from about an hour average round trip to about 40 minutes round trip. Rather than parking several hundred yards away from the building where I work if I am lucky to find a spot, I now park forty yards away and so far have always found a spot during the worst parking period of the year. But again, I could have achieved all these things with any motorcycle.
There is some irony that my commuting time has been cut down, because I actually would prefer to be driving the machine longer, rather than less. I keep trying to compare the GPR-S to my XL350R to discover why I like it better. The GPR-S doesn't sit high off the ground and afford a bit of a view like the 350, and it is threatened by small bumps in the road that the 350 wouldn't even notice.
But the GPR-S is much more attractive to drive than the 350, even though I haven't lost my attraction for the older machine. It's not greenness. I'm not that kind of guy. If I get my recyclable plastic and glass distributed into the correct bins I tend to feel more resentful that I had to bother with worrying about that kind of crap rather than smug and self-satisfied about being "green".
I'm pretty sure it is the noise and vibration, or lack of it, that really make the difference. You can't ride a gas motorcycle if you don't get used to the noise and vibration, and sooner or later you associate the noise and vibration with an accumulation of bike-riding pleasure so that you start to feel happy at the roar of an engine just like Pavlov's dog drools when the dinner bell rings. But no matter how much you associate that noise with pleasure, no matter how many times you feel like it's become such a part of you that you can't even hear it or feel it any more, it's still there. Hundreds of tiny explosions are occurring immediately beneath your butt every minute. It's brutal, primitive. An implacable, roaring steel monster had to be summoned and commanded for you to enjoy your gas motorcycle ride.
But the battery-powered machine doesn't shake you and blast your ears. It floats all smooth and effortless like a magic carpet rather than a quivering, snorting, armored war horse. There comes a time on the 2 bikes, for me, though, when neither one feels much better than the other. Around 50 miles an hour, the wind is blowing hard enough so the sound of the XL350 isn't much louder than the sound of the GPR-S. At that point the bikes are almost equal, and as the speeds rise from there, the XL350R starts to feel stronger because it still has a little bit more throttle left before it tops out in speed.
But it's been a long time since I made up some lame excuse that I needed something at the store just so that I could go out and kick start the old XL350R monster...