Blue Cat Motorcycle

Viva Midwest

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Atrophy is the enemy of speed

Posted on 08 Mar 2011 in On The Lift | 0 comments


Some things in life work in the opposite way you expect them to. Nikon camera lenses screw on anti-clockwise. Lady Gaga’s music is catchy as hell. Electric cars can be fast. The term is “counterintuitive” if you want to get all brainy about it.

With motorcycles — especially older ones — you’d think that if you wanted to keep it in good working order, you’d want to preserve it. You’d think miles would be the enemy of good running. You’d think that an inactive bike would be safe and sound warm in the garage or tucked away in the barn.

You’d be wrong. A barn isn’t a preservation chamber. It’s a tomb. Just letting a bike sit, the gas turns to embalming fluid. The rubber starts to rot — tires to o-rings. In time, the bike cover is but a burial shroud, and a once living machine is but a cob web encrusted relic more valuable to archeologists than petrolheads. There’s a reason the restoration of a barn-kept bike is so often called “a resurrection.” We’re literally bringing a dead thing back to life.


But long before the rubber turns to sandstone or the chrome starts to pit and rust, even a garage-kept bike can start to ail from inactivity — even just a winter’s worth. Old cruddy gas can leave a mess in the carbs so bad you’d think we’d found the bowls on the ocean floor. Jets become plugs. Needles become corks. Vital passage ways block up with crud and that motorcycle isn’t going anywhere under its own power. Sure, we can fix that, but you know what they say about an ounce of prevention?

The moral of the story is this: A garage queen may be royalty, but she’s a mummy. Feed the beast. Exercise it. Care for it. Put consistent miles on your bike and take them off your soul. Your motorcycle will thank you. When it does come time for storage, do it right, or better yet do it with us. If you’ve got a dead bike, let us know. We have The Books of the Dead — a whole library of service manuals and smart people who know how to use them. We can bring your machine back to life.