At about 14 years of age, I got a Honda step through, drooling at everyone else’s machines who where older and had FS1E and AP50 etc. I thought unprintable things, but I had something and that was at least a start. I soon learnt to strip it down and maintain it, the good thing was it was a 4 stroke engine, and I learnt to polish ports and grind valves. Hey, I know it was only a 50cc but from little acorns and all that stuff.
I started hanging with some guys soon after that, and was taught the basic’s and beliefs of the bikers world through them, and others I came into contact with. Now some 25 years later, yes I’m still alive after 25 years of biking, and have had these AP50(Suzuki) and a fsie fitted with a beeline racing kit, an X7(250)(Suzuki),GT380 (Suzuki),Honda 550K3, Honda 750, XS650, GS850, GS750, XS650c, KH400, VN750, Honda 1100, KH1, Trike, Z750, zepher1100, FJ1200 … sorry if I missed any, but hey lot of years and that doesn’t include the borrowed ones.
I think what I’m trying to put over to you is time served here. You see I don’t believe the present system works. Oh well, now I’ll just have to pay to pass a test”. Sorry but understanding the machine gives insight to how it rides and knowing the good sounds and bad sounds forewarns of problems etc. Learning comes from the want to learn, forced learning doesn’t work the same. I mean don’t misunderstand me, we all have to learn and the present way teaches how to stay alive, but surely you should learn to respect your machine, treat it well, listen to its problems, and it will help you though the valley of idiots out there, Hell bent to knock you off. You can’t expect to ride a horse without learning its little quirks and dislikes, and although a machine is not alive, you are, and you’re on it.
That’s basically where lifestyle comes into biking. So what is the biker’s life style ? Well of course this is where we can get political and I’m sorry I don’t do that bit!! I respect any one who has the lust to ride on two / three wheels, yes I used the word lust and that’s what it is to me. That and the togetherness I have always got when around other like minded people, anyone who knows me knows that it’s not just the wind in my hair, nor the thrill of speed and the daring to push just that bit further by making that little adjustment. I was taken to loads of rockers do’s and made the trip to Brighton front as a pillion for many years before taking someone myself. Biking is meant to be fun, although there are loads of things that aren’t fun about it – the cold and wet weather, ice and snow, walls and wing mirrors, the idiot who puts bike parking where you can’t get to it, and my favourite … skip lorries who don’t net a loose load – grit in your face is no fun.
So what am I on about? I suppose it would have to be said I’m a biker that’s a bit bemused at the constant battering that the lifestyle takes. Someone asked me the other day “Did I vote?”. My answer took them back … why would I vote in an election where the represented parties have no intention of fulfilling their promises and ideas, so that hundreds of old farts have an excuse to sit back and vote on my behalf when the have no idea of my view , needs or thoughts. Show me an MP that considers that quality of life of all walks of life, and consideration of others rights and needs before themselves, and I’ll show you someone I’ll vote for.
I hate politics, politicians and all that they stand for … they have no respect. Even the nastiest people I know respect the old, I’ve seen hardened bro’s helping out granny and granddad in a time of need.
Also, there’s always one in a crowd, not all bikers are what they seem. I went to a rally with one lad who just wanted to get drunk and have a go at everyone. After considering the outcomes, I got him plastered and he slept for 3 days solid, but he didn’t bother anyone again at that rally, and after a stiff talk, I think he’s sorted himself out, and now he’s gone into accounting, say no more !
It’s just the same in every walk of life … wannabees, idiots prats, money grabbers, freaks,
So what’s next, well of course they will make it even harder and more expensive to get on yer bike, kids will stop coming into the biking life and go for cars that are cheaper and all that, but hold on a moment. Lets look at this a while, bikes are bullets, but so are cars, even push bikes are dangerous if you want to look at it properly. If it’s the speed thing that everyone goes on about, on a bike you have to have the nerve to do speed. It has to be a reasonable day, and you need to know the road, but in a car weather is unimportant, you’re warm with that heater going, you’ve got four wheels to hold the road with, believe me on ice two or four it will make no difference and as for speed. Well OK, so a car doesn’t do it for me, but even the smallest car will do a ton nowadays.
OK, the last words I’ll say … don’t look at me like that. 🙂
Bikes are dangerous, but so is everything in life. Personally speaking I feel dying is not nice, and I wouldn’t do anything to put myself at risk of death again or anyone around me for that matter. Stop building bikes that do over the ton, and make them more sexy and smart to look at, as you can only see the marvelous mechanics of any bike when its standing still anyway. You don’t hear, “Hey look at those polished ports” as a bike passes by? Make it cheaper for kids to get into biking, you’d stop hundreds of them doing it illegally and have safer roads. Change the idea that speed is the goal to achieve, as anyone can buy a Vmax and go really fast on it, but can they set up the carbs or change the head bearings? I’m sorry but in my books a 16 year old who can do the above gets more respect than a 50 year old on a fast 1000cc plastic rocket.
Stop politics within biking, I’m to old to be bothered with that and so will all of you be sooner than you think, get out there, ride your machine, have fun, and experience the wonder of life and what it offers you. If you don’t, you’ll look back one day and wonder why you didn’t, I DO and I did it, just not enough, and now I’m struggling to catch up to a level that I want to be at.