Published on July 23rd, 2014 | by Boris
THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE BUYING YOUR FIRST BIKE
So you’ve decided you want to ride motorcycles?
Outstanding. It’s the most bestest thing you can do to un-dull your dreary life ever.
A great man once said that most men lead lives of quiet desperation. But motorcyclists are not “most” men and thus we do not lead such lives.
But before you lay down your money, pull on your nice new helmet and wheel yourself onto the roads, please consider the following…
Do you actually, truly, cross-your-heart-and-hope-to-die burn with the desire to ride? You’d better. Because if there is even the slightest doubt or hesitation that riding bikes is what you have to do, do not buy a bike. Motorcycling is a harsh mistress. It’s like getting into a hyper-intense porn-sex relationship with an insane supermodel. Big highs and big lows, pilgrim. If you’re not really sure, finding out it’s not for you will usually happen as you’re looking at a truck axle as the wheels turn your limbs into meat-jam.
Motorcycling does not suddenly provide you with beaut new mates who will take a bullet for you, hide bodies you have murdered and kill all the witnesses. If you’re socially awkward, you will remain socially awkward. But you’ll have more fun on your own since riding is better than sitting on your couch and masturbating into a sock over Miley Cyrus music clips.
Motorcyclists are not one big happy family of brothers and sisters of the handlebar. The dickhead-to-good person ratio is actually somewhat higher than it is in normal society. Motorcycling, for reasons that should be obvious, attracts more than its fair share of tip-rats, knob-garglers, douche-asaurs and shit-plaiters. Happily, they are usually easy to spot and can be avoided. Look for and avoid like the plague, fluoro vests, marketing exercises disguised as social clubs, urine-soaked pensioners styling themselves as motorcycle lobbyists, and anyone who has a microphone on their helmet.
Be prepared to be intimate with pain. No, it’s not true that everyone falls off. But a lot do. It’s like that crazy super-model analogy. One day, her hunting knife might slip and she will cut you during the greatest sex you’ve ever had, and then because she’s crazy, she’ll put on a little black dress and go clubbing while you bleed out on her bathroom floor. Motorcycling being what it is, ie. You sitting astride an engine between two wheels and largely relying on laws of physics you cannot understand not to die or be maimed; and when shit goes wrong, it goes wrong large. If you cannot accept this, buy a car.
Temperature extremes will need to be dealt with. So if you’re a delicate flower who cannot abide extreme cold or extreme heat or being hammered in the face by tropical thunderstorms, you might need to reconsider your decision to ride. As a beginner, you will not buy all the gear you need in the first few years of your riding career. But even when you do, you will learn that there is no such thing as a totally ‘waterproof’ piece of riding gear, and that sexy Italian leather racing jacket you had to have when you bought your bike is as good at keeping you warm as fire-hose.
You will never learn how to ride like a god. The entire length of your riding career – be it as brief as summer thunderstorm as long as Kevin Costner movie – is a constant learning curve. You will know more about riding a year after you start, but you will still not know it all two decades into your love affair. In fact, you will never know it all. That is why it is such a glorious thing.
Motorcycling is inherently and magnificently and stunningly dangerous. I assume that is why you want to do it, because that is certainly why you should want to do it. Now that we’re crystal clear on that, please never try to make it safer. Would you want your supermodel sex-goddess not taking cocaine and dressing in a rubber maid outfits when she secures you to the bed with spiked chains and injects tequila into your femoral artery? Of course you wouldn’t. Motorcycling is the purified and distilled essence of all that it means to be human – great risk equals great reward. If you’re shaking your head at this, it’s not for you.