Why Motorcycling Is A Love Affair
I have a “girl friend”, a separate love interest, that I simply cannot keep my hands off of. This passionate affair dominates my life, is never far from my heart and mind, and oddly, my wife not only tolerates it, she approves, even encourages it. What a great woman.
I’m speaking, of course, of my love for motorcycles. First inherited from my dear old dad who rode back in his younger years in the 1950s, it’s a generational passion passed down from father to son. It’s one that I shared with my two daughters as they grew up, and maybe one day, my little grandson will catch the fever as well. We’ve long had a love affair with all things two wheels and a motor.
Ted’s VFR and a Ferrari. What choice would you make?
Recently while at a stop light in town, a gorgeous red Corvette pulled up next to me. Eyeballing the beautiful lines and hearing the open throated growl emitting from within, I thought, “That would be a thrilling ride, for sure.” Then it struck me- if faced with the choice of giving up motorcycles in order to own and ride one of those world class sports cars, I wouldn’t do it. I’d take a garage of motorbikes over a super car any and every time.
My current main squeezes- Bonney and Lucille.
Four wheels transport me; two wheels truly move me. If you’re reading this, I’m guessing you feel the same way. When I look at my pickup truck in the driveway, I see function and utility. “Clyde” I’ve named it. A work truck, a means of transportation. When I see my 2017 Triumph Bonneville 900 or 1978 Kawasaki KZ650, I see passion, freedom, enjoyment. “Bonney” and “Lucille” they are called. They carry me away from the day’s cares, roll me to and through God’s glorious creation, bind me to fellow two-wheeled travelers, and help keep me centered in a world losing its collective mind.
My 1998 Yamaha Royal Star (photo Glenn Matlock), and the ill-fated 1993 Suzuki Intruder, prior to winding up in the salvage yard.
As many of you, I’ve owned a number of bikes over the years. And I’ve loved each one dearly, during the time they occupied space in my garage and in my heart. I first returned to motorcycling back in 1997, after a nearly 20 year hiatus. My first street bike was a ’93 Suzuki VS800 Intruder. I loved that motorcycle, recapturing my adolescent passion with her. I spent a couple of years off after an inattentive driver destroyed the bike and nearly me, then found a 1998 Yamaha Royal Star that captured my heart. The wife was a bit reluctant to indulge me, but eventually gave in. I rode that bike all over the country, made countless new friends, enjoyed experiences from “Bertha’s” saddle I’d otherwise have never known.
The crazy fast and crazy fun Triumph Sprint ST, turn 5 at Road Atlanta. Highside Photo.
A Triumph Sprint ST introduced me to speed, acceleration, cornering and track days, while the current Bonneville and KZ have connected me to not only the bikes of my father’s youth, but my own in the 1970s. About 20 “fixer-uppers” have come and gone in the garage, each delightful to massage back to life and ride for a bit before turning them over to new owners. Some I wished I’d kept.
Somewhere in Baja. A bike, and open road, and nothing but time.
I’ve been enriched by my years and miles on my various mechanical mistresses. It’s an addiction, maybe an illness, but I don’t want a cure. As long as I can ride, however many years I have left, I plan to keep rolling. And if a day comes where I can no longer hold up two wheelers, I’ll trike it until I either go toes-up, or am no longer physically capable. Then I’ll cherish the miles and memories until the good Lord takes me home.
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Very well communicated, Rob. Except for a couple gaps of years I’ve had motorized 2 wheels since Jan/1971. There’s just SOMETHING about the wind rushing by and through my helmet….the mind cleansing solitude of a chillin’ ride on my new-to-me 2011 VStrom 650 or an adrenaline inducing, wow that was close ride on the recently traded away FJR1300 that can’t really be explained. Is it dangerous to ride 2 wheels? Sure it is, but it’s a risk I’m willing to take.
Well-stated yourself, Jimmy. You’re exactly right. Those who ride know.
Bonney and Lucille are both ”lookers”! How do you decide which one to ride?
My mood, mostly. The Bonneville is my more “go-to” ride, but some days I just need a taste of my adolescence, so I hop on the old smoker, screamer and bone-shaker, the KZ. My red Lucille is a Ball to ride!
Rob, love is beautiful. l love my Suzy (Suzuki gsx 1250).
Yes indeed. Give Suzy a hug for us.
Rob, it’s good to hear from others that have a passion for riding. It lets me know I’m not crazy. I didn’t start riding until I was 35, initially just to save money commuting. But as time went by (a very short time) I fell in love with riding. Then as I bought new bikes I fell in love with each and every one. If I had to pick one favorite it would be my 2000 VFR. But my current 2020 ZX14 is a close 2nd. I will ride until I’m physically unable.
Good word, Paul! It’s in your blood, for sure. By the way, editor-at-large Ted Edwards loves the VFRs too, so you guys share a common affection.