Liking motorcycles can be a tremendous burden I tell you. A couple of months ago, my friend Tom came to me with an unusual request. ‘A friend of mine has left behind his motorcycle for me. Do you think you could hang on to it tell I sort out my life and license?’.
‘Well, I already have three motorcycles at the moment,’ I said, and all I seem to be doing with them is topping up road tax, insurance and batteries. Another one will be just too much for me.’ Even as I said it, I realized I was doing something completely preposterous. Me, refusing a motorcycle? I mean, if I was 18 and someone offered their Suzuki GSX-R1000 to me to look after, I would’ve written up my own contract for bonded labor and handed it over in triplicate. Since when did my life start getting governed by silly practicalities?
It’s a curious thing, this motorcycle ownership. Show me someone who loves one and I will show you how he’s always on the lookout for another. In fact, a few months ago I wrote an article about how it’s probably better for someone like me, given the time at my disposal, to have just one motorcycle and enjoy it completely rather than have three, that I had at the time. So how many do I have after a year of that nugget of wisdom? Er… still three. Albeit two of them are different from the time I wrote that article. Go figure! You see, this is an old problem. The only time I’ve had just one motorcycle was when I started to ride. After that, when I was busy skipping school and rebuilding motorcycles to get an education, I discovered the Yamaha RD350 and I just had to have one. The things about the RD350, though, is that ‘one’ is never enough. So usually you end up having at least two, even though the second might be in the form of a myriad collection of parts, to keep the first one going. Also, you needed another machine to do the commuting, unless your parents happened to have a petrol station at their disposal.
Then after school, once I got myself a real job, writing about cars and motorcycles, my garage was filled with long-term test bikes. At on point there were so many motorcycles at my disposal, my parking bill was competing with my fuel bill.