Any Motorcycle is a Touring Bike if you want it to be…

Posted: November 10, 2020 in Life and Memories, Motorcycles, My view of the world
Tags: ,

In the mid 1990s, I rode my motorcycle into a Hardee’s for coffee in East Tennessee and, as cyclists tend to group together, I parked next to a sportbike I had spotted as I pulled into the parking lot. After I got off my bike, I stared in wonder and amazement at this bike that hailed California license tags, it had a seat that seemed about 3 microns thick and saddlebags that appeared to be attached by divine intervention to this grimy, road-worn cafe style racer. In the 1990s, you didn’t see that many motorcycles with out-of-state plates…and you certainly didn’t see uncomfortable sportbikes traveling from out of state unless they were traveling in the back of a truck.

At the time, I was in my early forties and traveled quite a bit and I couldn’t believe anyone could have been riding that misery machine across the country and still be ambulatory enough to walk into the restaurant. I went inside lookin for the rider and spotted the kid, which was easy seeing we were the only two with bikes there, and I walked over and spoke with him. It seems he was headed to DC from Cali and he told me he had been averaging 600 to 700 miles per day. I asked if he felt stiff or cramped after riding all day in a position akin to being stuffed into a pringles can (I probably didn’t mention the pringles can, but that was the image I was seeing) and he said no, not at all and looked at me a little oddly as if this were one of the sillier questions he had heard. For decades I have thoroughly enjoy traveling on cross-country camping trips and at the time, I did it astride a BMW K100RS and toward the evening of hundreds of mile days, I would often feel mind-numbing stiffness and pain from my neck to my hips, while wishing they made portable traction machines I could carry along with me. At the end of our short conversation, I shook his hand and wished him the best and walked away thinking that guy must have been one of those rare humans born without pain receptors.

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