Friday, December 14, 2007

Is It Alive?

For many bikers (myself included), the motorcycle becomes not only an extension of oneself, but also a seperate, living entity. It lives and breathes like us, and in many cases has it's own personality. I remember reading a comparo of sport-touring bikes in a MC magazine a few years ago, and although the reviewers griped about the always hot FJR, or the lack of oomph from the BMW GT (old model, not the new one), they didn't have much to say about the Honda ST. One guy finally admitted that the ST didn't really stick out because it didn't have any flaws... but that also made it somewhat bland and uninteresting!

At first, I thought the comment was curious, but when I got to thinking about it (a dangerous endeavour - I admit), it made perfect sense to me. As time passes and mileage accumulates, there's a relationship that develops between rider and machine. You get to be more familiar with the sounds coming from your bike; the chatter of the chain when it needs tightening, or the sound of the intake when the throttles need to be synched. To this day, I can easily tell when the throttle bodies are out-of-sync by simply sitting on the bike at idle.

A parallel could easily be made between motorcycles and mates. Although I'm sure my wife would start loading the shotgun if she heard me saying such things! But the truth is, life just wouldn't be that much fun if everything was predictable, consistent, planned. Having a "Stepford Wife" may have been every guy's fantasy at one point or another, but it would make for a rather bland relationship.

I need my bike to have its quirks, or its little demons. There's something oddly comforting about knowing that my bike sometimes does unpredictable things that only I understand.

Just like my wife ;-)

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