I am hurried into reluctance to create this writing. Why? I guess it is for so many will read and not have the madness needed to understand the meaning nor taste the value of the message spirit.
I suppose the same amount of members reading this will accept or reject it but I need to continue as something caused me to stop holding back what I have noticed. A real change happening to a very honorable lifestyle - motorcycling. Albeit over time or brought on by cultural or society influencing the romantic passion by the technical spirit.
When you read comments on people traveling around the world on their own, they read about madness and respect. So much more when it is done on a bike without any adventure or dual purpose qualities. On a scooter, a super bike, a cruiser, chopper and all different models. First the comments are about how wrong it is and how insane the rider happens to be. Then later on as the thread progress and the photos get more the comments change to respects and solutes and request for advice.
So why is this? It is that these riders do not attack the roads and the world of challenges, but they are attacking the very soul of the modern day techno riders. They are breaking into the judgment of people that have been brought on through years of marketing and the dangerous one of all; the enabling of fools to play with stars.
So who are these brave riders and who are the fools?
Well, the brave warriors are the small build, unimpressive faces with small budgets, even smaller skills, and simple bikes but with gigantic hearts of adventure and faith. Giving a name to the fools is simple, they are us technologically advanced teachers, us the comment givers and wise forum dwellers.
So what I am talking about so far? I am trying to present my own madness. Madness gained through experience and predefined weaknesses and the severe lack of biker and biking knowledge. If a wise forum member explain why a tire is wrong for a route, I think, why not? When one bike is compared to another I think, how fortunate one must be to own any one. When oil, shocks, gas, drive shafts and chains, when tube less and tubes are discussed and discredited, I think why and what for?
When I bought my TransAlp, I knew nothing about tires and bikes or for that matter what the biking spirit is all about. Then as time went on I got to understand that my wonderful dual purpose tires that worked well are called Death Wings (Trailwings). The bike I was riding is not a pure dual purpose bike. I sometimes wonder if that was not the reason why I went on those ‘impossible’ solo trips to places that was only meant for MX and BMW bikes. Just to prove everybody wrong. Because I did not know what a true dual purpose bike supposes to feel like, I was always amazed at the TransAlp not stopping for any obstacle and never breaking down. If this is not then what is a true dual purpose bike?
Yes that must have been one of the two reasons; the other one can not be mentioned. As I read more I changed my tires to more dual purpose but the TA still went where it gone before on the Trailwings.
That is when I started to realize the devastating reality of the fact that the true biker romance is being raped by technical judgments. A sin in its own form. In this time I got the Caponord and even more mistakes was pointed out to one of the most amazing bikes I had the honor to own. After a trip up to Malawi with the GS gurus, their comments became less and their silence more.
Now today I own a Versys. A bike described as a city bike only good for going to work and play on tar. I chose the Versys above the KLR for the main reason of ability and reliability. Ye, that doohickey just sounded like maintenance and I do not carry tools. So I started on a journey across USA that changed my life in a way I could never imagine. I can write a book about my experiences and love found, but what I did find was the madness of the true biker spirit. The romantic lust presented to a machine that do not deserve any respect from the technical forum gurus. The bikers who look like hobos and hippies riding their cruisers and Harley Davidson's. Each one of them having passion for their bikes. Admitting to stop every 30 minutes or so to check the motor and give their bodies a well deserved rest from the continual thumping and vibrating. Cleaning their glasses and having a drink.
I envied them. I realized that although I own a bike I was not a biker. Not even close to understanding the spirit people label madness. I felt jealous. Jealous of something I might never understand.
Over the years I did know that my understanding of biker is close to the real spirit, but never did I for one moment think that I am that far away. I was brainwashed by reading to many opinions on to many forums. I was mind fucked by trying to fit in. To be part of an acknowledgment for making the right choice in machines, tires, seats, screens, luggage, etc. scared to be laughed at or to be judged.
Their bikes were old and dirty and smelly but when you look at the riders they have smiles. Always ready to share their love for the road and their machines. Point out something wrong and they will have an empty stare of confusion. For them all the technical knowledge is just part of their luggage. Taken out when something breaks. Knowledge put away for time and place. But when you talk about places, people and the open road, albeit dirt or tar, no place they have not been or will visit. No technical knowledge or lack of will hold them and their non-dual purpose bike back to get there. As if they lost the ability to think of excuses. Or is it the true biker spirit that handicaps them to think of reasons not to.
Them that we regard as backward bikers that will not pass you without putting up a hand in greeting. Walking up to you without hesitation to chat about your journey. Never giving advice but giving support.
There is no humiliation in breaking down. It is a chance to meet someone who stops and help. Becoming good friends for life. To get stranded without gas, just so that a Good Samaritan stops and laughs with you as he helps you out.
This is my mixture of judgment and challenge to all. Let us try and get back to what lies within the spirit. To not judge on the basis of self. It is not what bike you ride that determine the rider’s passion. It is the undying desire to share the crazy mentally ill experience and love of romance of being a biker. The spice of life is made up with different horses for different courses. But when the horses goes to the stable after running the courses, it boils down to two main role players which without the other can not exist. The bike and the rider.
Posted by Zonkelnut on the Wild Dog Forum