Ladies and Gentlemen .....Wear Leather.
If I could offer you only one tip for improving your life, leather would be it.
The long term benefits of leather have been proved by serious bikers
over many highways and many years, whereas wearing something unreliable
like shorts and flip-flops means you will experience a trip to the emergency
There, uncaring nurses will scrub gravel out of your wounds, and
doctors will dispense ineffective painkillers and meaningless advice...
Like telling you to trade that "murdercycle" in for a Camry.
Bullshit. I will dispense some real advice right now:
Enjoy the power and beauty of your ride; If you don't already; you
can fully enjoy it by doing block-long smokey burnouts in the parking lot
at the local drive-in.
Trust me, in 20 years you'll look back at the photos of you and your
pals on your bikes and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much fun you
had and how fabulous you really looked hauling ass down the highway
dressed in leather.
Leather is as sexy as you imagine.
Don't worry about what your Mom thinks; or worry, but know that
worrying about what other people think is as effective as trying to scratch
your nose in a blinding hailstorm at 80 m.p.h. with a full- face helmet and
winter gloves on. The real troubles in your life are apt to be Volvo
station wagons, driven by some dipstick talking into his cell phone or
doing her makeup; the kind that blindside you at 4 PM on some urban roadway
and then claim you crashed into THEM.
Do one thing everyday that scares other drivers...
Sing into your helmet. Use mouthwash first.
Don't be reckless with other people's bikes, especially if you don't
have insurance. Don't put up with people who mess with yours.... in fact,
beat them with a chain.
Don't waste your money on chrome, or fancy paint jobs; spend it on
racing or partying.
Sometimes you're fast, sometimes you're slow. Sometimes
you're hungover. The ride is long, and in the end, a cold beer tastes pretty
Remember the good rides you've had, forget the cuts and bruises; try
To wear out the sides of your tires before the middle.... if you succeed
In doing this, tell me how.
Keep your oil changed, throw away old traffic citations.
Don't feel guilty if you ride faster than the posted limit ...the most
interesting people I know didn't know at 22, how to ride
conservatively, all the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don't.
Get plenty of saddle time.
Be kind to your passengers, you'll miss them if they fall off.
Maybe you'll crash, maybe you won't, maybe you'll have surgery, maybe
you won't, maybe you'll ride a cruiser off a cliff doing 40, maybe you'll
get a new motocrosser for your 75th birthday ...whatever you ride, don't
congratulate yourself too much - your choices are 90% foreign,10%
domestic, so are everyone else's.
Enjoy your bike, use it every way you can...don't be afraid of it, or
what other people think of it, it's the greatest instrument of pleasure
you'll ever own, not counting porn sites and a fast modem.
Wrench... Even if you have nowhere to do it but in your hotel room.
Read the owner's manual, even though you won't remember any of it.
Do not read American motorcycle magazines, they will only make you
wish you'd bought a British one instead.
Get to know your brake pads, you never know when they'll be gone for
Be nice to your tires; they are your link to the pavement and the
things most likely to save your butt from a nasty highside.
Understand that mechanics comes and mechanics go, but for a precious
talented few you should pay them well and buy them sixpacks. Work hard to
bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle because the older your bike
gets, the more you'll need the mechanic who worked on it when it was
young and still not paid off.
Ride in New York City once, but leave before you get killed; ride in
Northern California whenever possible, but leave a plausible excuse
when calling in sick for work.
Do lurid wheelies.
Accept certain inalienable truths: prices will rise, traffic will get
worse, you too will get old, and when you do you'll fantasize that
when you were young, gasoline was cheap, the highway patrol couldn't catch you,
and Harley owners weren't all yuppies.
Respect your rev-limiter.
Don't expect anyone else to see your bike unless it has really loud
Maybe your bike has a big gas tank, maybe a smaller one; but remember,
either way you'll have to make bathroom stops.
Don't mess too much with your carburetors, or by the time your done,
you'll be walking home.
Be careful whose advice you buy, and save your receipts. Don't take
advice from those who supply it for free, especially if they own a Britbike.
Motorcycle restoration is a form of self-torture. Doing it is a way
pulling the past from the dustbin, degreasing it, painting over the
rusty parts and dumping way more money into it than it's worth.
But trust me on the leather...