A couple weeks ago we shut our doors for a few days and got the hell out of town. It was a forced escape — a strategic retreat. Truth is, we needed it. We needed to give a little ground and take a fresh look at why we do what we do. Our vantage point for surveying the battle against time and neglect was the AMHRA vintage motorcycle races at Road America. We pitched our tent on a grassy overlook in Wisconsin to watch an angry mob of mad racers battle wheel to wheel on motorcycles older than some of our crew. From this perspective we could see the “why” of it all.
Regardless of what one may choose to ride, be it a vintage British Single, a Japanese Four, a German Boxer, or an American V-Twin, everybody….EVERYBODY enjoys, in some shape or form, the traditional motorcyclists’ get up: black leather jacket, sunglasses, engineer boots, and maybe even riding sans helmet. For some of us, riding while dressed like this is a guilty pleasure – giving in to our teenage dreams of wanting to look as cool as Marlon Brando in The Wild One. For the others, dressing like Brando is guiltless – it’s just what they do.
Either way, it’s inevitable that motorcycling will always have its conventions of style be it clothing, music, and even a loaded choice of coffee or tea. There is a time and place for each of these conventions, and each is enjoyable in its own right. But as fun as these conventions may be, there’s something to be said about finding what makes motorcycling enjoyable to you, and on your own terms. After all, once all the meet-ups, group rides, and festivals fade out, motorcycling is fundamentally about being alone. So here’s the question…when you’ve been alone on the road for hours in the wind, what is it that keeps you going? What is it that keeps you coming back?
It happens the same way for most of us – the anticipation leading up to the first real ride of the year. Some of you may have been lucky in these intervening quiet months, coaxing your bike out of hibernation and to choke down a carb bowl full of StaBil tainted gas for a quick spin around the block. But days like today, among the first 60 plus degree days of the year, this is what we’ve been waiting for…
Meet Rob Savela, or “Sav” as he’s known to the guys around the shop. As a local artist and longtime friend of Ryan’s, Sav is our fixer for all things arts related in the MSP and beyond. In addition to our regularly scheduled programming, Sav will be contributing music and arts reviews and forecasts to […]
In most of rural America, this 1972 Yamaha DT360A would be dismissed as a “barn bike” tucked away in the back of a shed, uncovered and left to choke on a carb full of old fuel. More than likely, it would have been used as a farm bike and eventually dismissed in favor of it’s me-want-shiny distant American cousin. I’m just as guilty of this dismissal as the next guy, particularly in my pre-riding years. Now that I’ve owned several bikes, my eyes have adjusted and I’ve learned to see and appreciate the beauty in the lines of a bike like this.