My Perfect Motorcycle


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The other night while lying in bed I was pondering the age old question, what is my perfect motorcycle? This cognitive dialogue was spurred by the back page of Motorcycle Classic’s Nov/Dec issue. It revealed an auction of the Lee Roy Hartung collection. And since my wife isn’t much for conversation during mid-snore, it lead me to research the collection on MC’s website, which lead to watching hours of YouTube videos related to motorcycles, which kept me up all night. Then with burning retinas, I had to check Craigslist just one more time prior to putting on my coveralls to fight the frosty morning air and heading off to work on my 82’ CB900. If any of this describes you or anyone you know, then you may get a kick out of this short contemplation.


That morning on my ride to work, I thought of the nearly 20 motorcycles I have owned in the past 2 years. It seems I have a strict affinity to Japanese motorcycles. In fact, every last motorcycle I have owned has been Japanese (the majority being Honda). And I think that may be due to my lack of wallet thickness or the maximum dollar amount my wife restricts me to. In any case, I am always on the “look out” for MY motorcycle. I think one day I will find the one motorcycle that meets all my criteria and I ride forever on. My wife rolls her eyes as I proof read this to her because she believes she will never see that day. Just as I roll my eyes and know she will never have enough shoes nor refrain herself when Macy’s has a blowout sale. But, I must prevail, the day will come (she will never buy any more shoes one day)!

Anyway, the previous night, while watching some of the videos about the antique collection, I wished that they still made motorcycles like these today, except a little more up-to-date. To me, what made them so remarkable was that dusty, oil splattered, cob-web covered, chrome free, Marlon Brando “I’ll kick your…” look. Thoughts like these are what I want my perfect bike to shout back at me. For many people, that perfect ride shouts from the Harley Davidson showroom, with upswept black pipes ‘neath black bodywork wrapped in the dirt track legend re-birthed in the new XR1200X. For others, the perfect motorcycle might be the Honda Goldwing, which may actually be capable of going to the moon had it real “wings”. And for some, perfection may be on a Kawasaki ZX10 twisting through the Tail of the Dragon.

For me, I need something with character, like the BMWs Ewan & Charley rode around the world. You know the ones that tell a story when you look at them, saying the rider of this bike has cheated death more than once. The rider of THIS bike has ridden on some remote highway halfway around the world sharing meals with locals consisting of “mountain oysters” and sheep intestines. A bike that drips of Jeremiah Johnson, survival, and hardcore adventure is a must in my search.


12/4/2011 9:34:14 PM

Another vote for the Triumph Bonneville T100. Mine is a 2008 and I could not be happier. I owned only Hondas before because they were cheap, reliable and fun. The T wasn't exactly cheap but it's reliable, low-maintenance and as much fun as I can stand. My next tires will have more tread because I like gravel and grass but modern road tires don't. With better tires I'll have a machine that can cruise the freeway or chug up a trail. Although ideally I'd like a bike like Bronson rode on the TV show "Then Came Bronson." It was an 883cc Sportster that turned into a 350cc Sprint when it went off-road. Nice trick.

12/4/2011 4:49:24 AM

We live in the small town of Stratford which is in Victoria Australia.We have beautiful places to ride, from places like the 90 mile beach to the mountain cattleman high country to snow covered mountains.My wife of 40 years rides with me and although we suffer badly with arthritis we enjoy our rides together.Wendy rides a Harley 883 Sportster 2010 model,these are a very underated bike given the name out here as skirtsters but they do everything that a good Jap bike can do with a bit of attitude thrown in,her latest bike which is still brand new is a Kawasaki W800, these bikes are what the Poms should have made, they feel like an old vertical twin with superb handling faultless fuel injection and no oil leakes or vibration.My ride is a simple 2003 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 with Cosy chair attached great bikes although underpowered this bike has done 40,000kms and starts first kick every time and runs like new.We are looking forward to chatting with other bikies from around the world.

Tim Robins
12/4/2011 1:38:32 AM

1983 XR 1000 or an XLCR;they may not be good on gravel,but they go from point A to point B;no frills,radio,cupholders or any other unnesessary crap.

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