This clever bit just came to us from vintage bike collector and friend of the magazine Burt Richmond. Burt’s note read : “Just a tad bit late or really, really early for Dec. 24, 2012!” It’s too good not to share. Enjoy, and best wishes to everyone during the holiday season! — Richard Backus
The Night Before Christmas By Kathy Gehrhardt
T’was the night before Christmas at the motorcycle store.
The salesclerks were gone; they’d locked up the door.
Back in service, the tools were hung with great care,
The floors had been swept, the workbenches bare.
Sales had been brisk, filling staff with elation
As they headed down south for their winter vacation.
The new shiny sportbikes had all been sold out,
And all that was left was an Indian Scout,
A Norton Commando, a Rudge Multi too,
And a black BMW R32,
A Vincent, a Matchless, and a Velocette,
And a drippy old Brough that wouldn’t start on a bet.
“This stinks,” said the Norton. “We’re just as fine
As those Japanese bikes the kids buy all the time.”
“You’re right,” said the Vincent as he grew agitated.
“All I need is to get my back tire inflated,
Then I could compete with the best of `em yet.”
“Me, too! I’m still fast,” cried the old Velocette.
“If someone was handy, somebody smart,
They’d know how to fix us and get us to start.”
And so while they grumbled and whined and complained,
They didn’t notice a visitor came.
He was dressed all in leather, black head to toe,
And his helmet had reflective stickers that brightly glowed.
His beard was snow-white. It reached to his chest.
How he got in the door was anyone’s guess.
He looked them all over. “Merry Christmas!” he said.
“Are you fellows available to pull my big sled?”
“Who, us?” laughed the Matchless. “We’re rusty and old.
Nobody wants us, that’s why we’re not sold.
Kids want electric, not our old kickstarts.
These young punks think we’re just bikes for old farts.”
“My Lucas headlight hasn’t worked well in years,”
Said the Rudge. “And my gearbox is missing some gears.
I’d be much obliged if you’d look at my choke.
And the earthing brush in my magneto is broke.”
“My mix is too rich, I think,” said the Beemer.
“Does anyone know how to set the carb leaner?”
Then Santa said, “Hey, stop the whining, you guys.
You’re legends and history in many men’s eyes.
So what if you’re rusty and don’t look brand new?
Hypermotards and `Busas wouldn’t be here without you.”
Then the vintage bikes lights started glowing with pride.
And the Norton Commando said, “Let’s take a ride!”
“I’m ready, let’s go, come on!” said the Brough.
“Let’s get it in gear and show `em our stuff.”
They took to the road, their pipes roared like thunder.
And Santa sat back in his sled, filled with wonder.
And he said as he watched them race into the night,
“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a safe ride.”