by Victor Wanchena
This month’s test ride is a strange machine. Riding a sidecar rig you gets lots of looks and high signs. Some think it’s cute, others think it’s cool, either way a machine this vintage looking doesn’t intimidate. I normally don’t ride sidecars but a motorcycle is a motorcycle and this one was worthy of a decent running. So as I’m running along the road enjoying the spring air, it dawns on me that motorcycling has an abundance of humor in it. I am riding along with a picture in my mind of myself as some sort of gallant adventurer off to some far corner of the world. But I realize that, in, fact I am bundled up like the Michelin Man bouncing down the road on a bike about 1 size too small for me that was described by the last gas station clerk as “cute”. Humility is always good for the ego. With that said I have come up with a few items and stereotype images from motorcycling that I find funny. In no particular order here goes:
1. Classified ads are always fun, like the ad that contains the words “mint” and “damage” in the same line. Or ads that contain the phrase “Or Best Offer”, when they meant to say is “My bike is overpriced, please offer me less.”
2. Have you seen a chopper try to turn around on a city street?
3. Anyone who attempts to cover the fact that they lost control of their motorcycle and instead uses the excuse, “There was nothing I could do, I had to lay ‘er down.”
4. I love the guys who despite being a few pounds overweight themselves will spend a grand or more on an exhaust system that saves them 5 pounds over the stock system and then claim to really “feel” the difference. I suggest you save your money and try a few sit-ups and less beer/pizza instead.
5. I really get a giggle out of bikes with tool bags that contain no tools. It is especially good when you are asked by another rider for something from this “tool kit” but can only find a cell phone or an iced cappuccino inside.
6. From the touring set we often see the fashion slaves. Everything matches and is clean. I have fallen prey to this golden idol and was rewarded with the question “Are you a Power Ranger?” This is especially true if you’re wearing more than 3 items of the same brand as your bike.
7. The over application of chrome invariably produces fun results. A friend with a sea of chrome on his bike remarked that he needed a visor for his speedo. When I asked why he said the glare off all the chrome made reading his gauges a blinding experience.
Often as motorcyclists we take ourselves much too seriously. If you found yourself becoming angered by any of the above observations then you are definitely taking yourself or motorcycling too seriously. Relax and enjoy the fact that we all ride different brands and styles of bikes. We all have different likes and tastes. Variety is the spice of motorcycling.
So this month, ride fast, take chances and keep a smile on your face.