07-08-2010, 12:12 PM
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Cordelia, CA
Loving my Sammy
I picked up my Samurai on May 30th 2010. My main reason for buying it was so that I could explore the off-highway trails surrounding the San Francisco Bay area. I honestly expected it to be little more than a toy, something that was pulled out for exploring those trails.
For the past year and a half, since I moved to Northern California from Texas, my primary transportation has been a Honda Goldwing 1800 motorcycle. For hauling cargo and/or passengers, I utilized a 1996 Impala SS. For road trips in a car, we most often used my girlfriend's 2006 Miata. I had no intention of changing that.
That was before I actually owned a Samurai. Since May 30th, I have driven the Samurai almost 4,000 miles. Over the July 4th weekend, we took it just over 1,000 miles. It has become our road-trip vehicle, even when off-road is not in the plan.
We have taken it on 3 off-highway trails that a carefully driven passenger car would have found impassable. About 150 miles so for, and that has been a hoot, but we have found that we love the Samurai in all conditions. We have found that it is perfectly fine for a 12 hour drive. I have purchased a bikini top, a Windjammer, and a mesh safari top, to compliment the full top, and with those tops, it is good in all conditions.
You do have to be willing to take it slow, but that is not a problem for us.
My biggest suprise has been the comfort on long trips, and the joy my girlfriend feels when riding in it. I have also been suprised at how well it handles twisty roads. Of course, it is no Miata or Impala, but it has a good handling balance and is fun to push through the curves while not worrying at all about speeding tickets.
It has not been problem free, but that just makes me appreciate it all the more when everything is going right, and it has never threatened to end a trip, just made the trip a bit more trouble, mainly due to loss of idle.
I've only ridden the motorcycle once since getting the Samurai, when the starter went out in the Samurai. I've only once wished that I had the motorcycle during a road trip, but that was on a trip that included the most challenging off-roading to date, so the bike was not feasable.
I'm looking forward to many more (s)miles with my Samurai!
'88.5 Samurai JX, mostly stock