Mechanical Hypochondriac

| 8/18/2008 11:28:01 AM

Alison and BMWs 

Alison and her bike of choice, BMW's great GS80 

All of my life I have been in the lucky position of assuming that good health is the normal state, and that anything less is an aberration that will soon pass.

Not that there haven’t been periods of serious discomfort – but almost always it has  been of the easily identifiable, structural sort: sprains, bruises, stitches and such like. This is pain of a known source – and I can cope. I also am usually acutely aware of just what caused the injury and make mental notes to myself to not perform that particular foolish maneuver again. One injury per stupidity is plenty, thank you.

On those rare occasions when internal plumbing has caused me discomfort for more than minutes, I become absolutely convinced that I am going to die immediately of some rare and untreatable disorder – likewise headaches become aneurisms for certain! I do not read medical books for the same reasons; there just isn’t time for one body to suffer all of the maladies that exist, and I would soon become the world’s worst hypochondriac.

Where am I going with this thread? Motorcycles and mechanical hypochondria! Working as I do for long weeks in a camp environment, I spend far too much time on the internet. There are discussion forums on every conceivable topic, and innumerable ones related to all things motorcycle. Name the model and make and year, and there will be a discussion board pertaining to just that bike. Great stuff – but I’m beginning to think that some of these guys (almost always) must spend about 23 hours per day creating instructions for others. When do they sleep? Ride? Work? Given this new perspective, I’m now convinced that venturing beyond the driveway on my bike might be tempting the fates …

8/27/2008 7:55:02 PM

I understand exactly what Allison is saying. About 7 years ago, I bought a 1979 naked Gold Wing that had about 4,000 miles on it. Apparently, this bike was completely detailed after every foray on to the street because it was absolutely immaculate. My crazy idea was to ride this bike regularly on public highways. "Experts" told me that riding a vintage motorcycle regularly was inviting disaster. There are undoubtedly some mechanical conservationists praying for my slow and agonizing demise, but forty thousand trouble free miles later, it still looks better than most and I have no concerns about riding a 30 year old motorcycle anywhere I choose. I meet so many people because of this bike. It seems that everybody either had one or knows someone who did. Ride em, don't hide em!

8/21/2008 10:49:26 PM

Ah, yes...ignorance can be bliss! I must admit to envying those whose car/motorcycle is dirty, rusty, dented, etc and they are perfectly happy with that! And, usually, the thing keeps running on just fine. I once had a boss who extolled the virtues of his early 70's Pontiac..."best car he ever had" ran on 7 cylinders!