Still shopping for a new four wheeler, the drudgery continues. Being a stockholder, figured I should try Ford first. Focus should meet my needs, but Ford’s web inventory search has been FUBARed in hopes of forcing me to establish a “relationship” with my maybe friendly local Ford dealer. Said local Ford dealer has on average something like 2.2 Foci, they’re all automatics, and most are over $20k and infested with Microsoft’s automotive trojan horse, My Ford Touch… As if I really wanted to go through menus on the not even in the line of sight video display to turn on the defrosters in the middle of an ice storm. At this point I have every Ford dealer within at least an hours drive ticked at me, and I really don’t care.

Off to Chevy, and an attempt to patronize the “home team”. The Cruze diesel had potential, but was shot down by turbo lag measured in seconds, and is now buried by Chevy’s threat to void your warranty if you as much as tow an empty wheelbarrow behind. Went looking for a plain old gas engined manual tranny Cruze and found a couple, no doubt doing duty as bait in the usual dealer bait ‘n’ switch ’em to a loaded car scam… If I get desperate I might buy one, though that might require the intervention of an Attorney General.

Even looked (on the web) at FIAT’s Dart/Alfa that’s been loitering on dealers lots, an inquiry to a dealer was responded to with “Do you know about U-Connect?”. Clueless dealers and marketers: I’m shopping for a car, if I’m looking for a device Apple or Android can meet that need quite well for about $20k less! Then I looked at the various Asian offerings, which looked impressive until I noted their anemic payload ratings… Only 700 to 800 pounds? Heck, I’ve hauled that much corn, etc. in the Golf TDI regularly besides my own rather gross weight. For the record, VW Golf TDI “light truck” is rated for 1100 pounds payload, but a portly passenger less than that of some so called pickup “trucks”. And the Golf’s hatch came in handy hauling that freezer, etc…. Focus hatches are hard to find and Cruze hatches don’t exist in this market. 

So looks like I’ll be watching dealer inventories for a new manual tranny TDI to come in, hopefully at the same time as my mutual fund goes back up so I don’t take a thousand dollar loss on that… Yup, I’m that cheap!

Meanwhile, I’m perpetually repressing and resisting the temptation to buy more bikes. It’s like an addiction… And the best I can do is keep the two (and three) wheeled fleet to a half dozen (my brothers XS650 and the MX bike don’t count, do they?) But the temptations are constant… there’s two Guzzi dealers within 100 miles, and both have the 750s I’ve been drooling over and  one has a discounted ’11 leftover Stelvio that’d make a great tug for the big ‘hack. Or maybe a Triumph Scrambler to pull the Motorvation Spyder? I could resist when the nearest dealer was 150 miles away, but now the dealer 70 miles away is carrying Triumph! And maybe a little dual sport for exploring the miles of back roads on pretty much a one mile apart grid around here… Dealer 80 miles the other direction has a good price on a DR650. 

And unlike the cars, they all let you shift for yourself, don’t insult your intelligence with video games, and you don’t have to pick through a hundred of ’em with automatics, rear view cameras, a dozen cupholders, and thousand dollar plus “packages” you never know you needed, and now that you know about them, you want nothing to do with them! And instead of dealing with a “sales force” that leaves you wanting multiple showers, With most of the bikes I get to deal with the dealership owner… Though I might have to wait a bit while they come in from the shop or the parts room. 

Memo to the auto manufacturers: Lose the video games and dozen speaker satellite sound systems, same with the slushboxes and power everything. Give us front wheel drive, a 3 maybe 4 cylinder motor, rubber floor mats, a big ‘ol hatch out back, and spring it for a ton because we’ll haul that much with it. Price it under $15k and it’ll sell like hotcakes. In the meantime, thank god for motorcycles!

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