Okay, okay, okay! Before you get your panties all in a bunch, I’M not saying sportbikes are the problem…I’m just saying that sportbikes are the problem. Allow me to explain:
Over the last 15 or so years, I’ve owned a handful of bikes. All fully faired, “crotch rocket” style bikes as far as the uneducated masses are concerned. The kind of bike where you see assholes doing wheelies up and down the freeways like lunatics with no regards to anyone else, being menaces to society and probably dealing drugs to kids at the local middle school. You know, sportbikes.
Until last year. I bought what I’ve dubbed an “old man bike.” I got a Yamaha FJ09. It’s the first upright, “non-threatening” street-going motorcycle I’ve owned.
Over the last year and 12,000 miles I’ve put on the bike, my habits in the twisties around other cars haven’t really changed compared to how I was on spr0tbiles back in the day. I still roll up on cars and give them a bit of room. I wait em out for a few mins to see if they’re going to use the turn out like they’re supposed. I’ll gently pass them giving them the shakka when they do in a display of exuberance… or blow their doors off in a look-back wheelie-scowl as I pass them—DY be damned—if they don’t move.
“I hate everything.”
Today, I just finished up the last leg of a 1003 mile ride over the weekend. My journeys took me from Reno, NV to the northwest of California, across to the northeast of California near the Oregon border and back down to Reno.
Today, in particular, while on a stretch of Highway 139, I was trying to make good time. I already know there’s NOTHING out there. No homes, no ranches, no people. It’s a very lonely highway with some pretty fast sweepers. I was trying to make good time. ;)
About half way through, I happened across a sheriff who was just getting into his truck on the side of the road. I looked down at my speedometer and saw Marc Marquez staring back up at me with a sly grin, fist-pumping vigorously.
“He made me do it, officer, I swear!”
I very, very slightly cracked off the throttle. Just a tiny bit. I didn’t want it to look like I knew I was totally guilty. I turned my attention back to the sheriff with chagrin. He is standing prone, one foot in the door of his truck, arm resting over the driver side door, with only his head turning as he’s watching me as I fly by. It was a sort of guilty stare-off, on my part.
I go over the crest and around the bend and disappear from his view. I slowly roll out of the throttle to +5 over the posted 55 limit and await my fate. I looked back several times waiting to see the red and blues, but they never came. As I crossed the valley, I had a perfect view of about a mile back and I still never saw a berry flashing those high beams. There were no helicopters. Or murders…..or pagers….
Sportbikes are the problem.
Another thing I’ve noticed recently is that nearly all cars will move for me. It’s almost always at their first opportunity and I’ve grown more patient because of it. People see me in the rearview mirror and must think I’m a swell fella because I’m on a swell bike doing swell touring things and saving kittens… and not one of those damned crotch-rocket-death-machines-donor-cycle riding assholes selling drugs to their children.
I always show a bunch of appreciation every time someone moves for me too; a thumbs up, peace, a beep-beep and a vigorous wave…or a wheelie if they’ve got an FMF hitch-plug that’s eye level with me on their bro-dozer covered in 3 foot Fox stickers. Posers always appreciate a good wheelie. ;)
Little do people realize that there’s a genuine fucktard piloting such an unsuspecting machine with hard-cases and top bags and handguards and big pointy mirrors. Thanks goodness.
Sportbikes. Are. The. Problem. And sadly, it’s not because sportbikes are a problem.