Matt, I'll address con # 8&9. The question of M/F equipment on a motorcycle. I've been an active motorcyclist for 45 years. I ride and I photograph and to combine the two is perfect together.
Camera equipment is a bit tougher than you might think. In over 300,000 touring miles my equipment failures are, the battery cover falling off my M-6 and a loose inner ring in a 135mm Heilar. I have had more equipment problems with airline travel with gear in the cargo hold. It would seem that the vibration combined with temperatures of 40 below allow things to loosen up.
I have carried everything from a 35mm point & shoot to a 4x5 Crown Graphic. A TLR on a soft 1 inch foam bed in a tank bag is perfect. Attach 4 walls of half inch foam. I use a 3.5 F model Rollie but my first traveling TLR was a 635 Yashica. That was hauled around on a 185cc 2-stroke.
I cannot in my wildest imagination conceive of worrying about camera equipment should I centerpunch a power pole. I'll just leave it at that.
you could always build / buy a pinhole camera
Well, I do not think you made a bad move. Picking up the RH Designs equipment right off the bat.
Sometimes I think if I could do it all over again, where was my best investment? What can't I operate without? The investments in darkroom was what I would do again.
Thanks all, I've finished calibration of my first paper/developer combo with one other combination to go. Thus far I have only printed a few 'see how it works' prints and I'm very impressed. I see a step change improvement i think mostly derived from getting to a working print substantially more quickly (so far, there's plenty of learning to come yet!). I'm really looking forward to re-visiting some negatives.
I'm really pleased so far. At this point i think it's a very good investment.
Thanks again for all you support and comments,