As I am sure you have read Joe’s letter to the world, “Sportbikes are the Problem”, I am your savior, I am here with the Solution.
Here is where Joe and I differ, he believes that the FJ-09 is an “Old Man Bike”. Listen here Billy, It is a semi-naked street bike with oversized dirt handlebars (comparable to hypermotard, speed triple, etc). There is no way it can be a touring bike. That ain’t no old man bike! It doesn’t have massive side storage pockets!
Unlike Joe, I actually went full AARP and bought myself a proper old man bike, a Honda ST1300. It’s this elongated, elegantly bagged and refined piece of Japanese craftsmanship. Straight from the early 2000’s this bike set the standard for long distance, mile munching comfort. What’s the catch? This piglet weighs in at something like 730lbs, its manly aluminum monocast frame and related giblets aren’t light. It’s a good thing that it makes rocketship like power from it’s 1300cc restaurant freezer like engine. Cause she’s hefty.
yeah….she hefty alright.
There is this new classification of motorcycle riding known as “ADV/Sport Touring”, these thing bikes have 19/17 wheel combo’s and race engineered engines (1290, GS, Multistrada), the classic sport touring bikes such as the ST, FJR and the Concours (Connie’s) allow you to participate in undocumented levels of hoon’n. While any gorilla atop an FJ-09 can cruise down the freeway at 5 or 10 over the limit or ride it as a dirt bike on the ho chi minh trail without fear, your crazy Grandpa Kevin will rail his Maytag washing machine at triple digit speeds for 10 hours straight without a shred of fear for the lawman.
There are a few factors in which why Grandpa Kevin can maintain a high average terminal velocity on major interstates without butt puckering when he sees a copper. First off, Kevin is probably wearing a yellow Aerostich Roadcrafter. But this isn’t a regular hi-viz RC, it’s seen 24 years of grueling interstate commute grim, its fibers are so densely packed with oil and fecal matter that it has taken on a new color almost entirely. No one wants to fuck with a black/poo colored onzie wearing man. Secondly, if you think about the run of the mill long distance touring rider, you probably imagine a man in his late 60’s to early 70’s. He’s a newly retired iron worker and his body is riddled with aches and pains. This classification of “touring” riders impregnates the image of someone who will sadly kick the bucket soon because of his high salt intake. So, since he is on his way out, why not just let the old man enjoy the last few years he has left? Let Grandpa Kevin go real fast, it’s probably the only joy he has left in life.
no one will dare tell Grandpa Kevin that his biscuits are dangling out…
Here is where hoon’n comes into play. The run of the mill person therefore thinks, someone atop an FJR/Connie or ST is Grandpa Kevin in looks, age and maturity. Little do they know, it’s this weird 26 year old with a hankering for speed! First gear power wheelies are often and abundant, and 0-100mph pulls are effortless behind the all encompassing, crystal clear windscreen. This is where things get interesting, yes of course the bike is fast… It pumps out 120hp! But, these original “sport touring” bikes also handle like “sportbikes.” Yes, you read that. My ST1300 handles like a spratbile (on public roads). With good rubber, these land-yacht supertankers carve up canyon roads at blistering speeds, all while being surprisingly agile and strikingly comfortable.
Every now and then you’ll hear a sportbiker telling his other flat billed sport biking bro’s about that one time they all rode past Highway Patrol at 87mph, boasting as if it was a sign from the eminent spirit of motorcycling to do more dank wheelies. Listen here my small, wee, uncultured child. I don’t dip beneath 90mph on the state’s network of roadways. Also, if you are riding atop the epitome of grandeur and luxury at hair raising speeds, many common roadway users believe you to be some sort of law enforcement. The sea of cars continuously parts for you and your glorious roadway machine.
Some of your concerns as fellow motorcyclists about these extremely large monstrosities might be, “they are too big to lane split on”, First off, you can in fact lane split on these massive plastic covered rocketships. I do it, every day in San Francisco. You might just suck as a motorcyclist and should go practice in a parking lot somewhere. Or “Gas mileage is horrible” actually most of these big bikes get upwards of 39mpg at all times! Your piss-ant 600cc rice rocket bee hive sound making fuckery gets less than that. And my favorite, “I won’t pick up any babes/they don’t look cool”, your bright green crotch rocket never will, never has, and isn’t currently getting you laid. Let that simmer for a minute.
So, why not sell of all your poser’ish, uncomfortable, race replica and upgrade to the delux package of motorcycling, get yourself a true OMB (Old Man Bike).
You’ll thank me later,