It’s a funny thing, tearing the bodywork off a motorcycle. There is little else I can think of that has the ability to serve as a more intimate introduction to what makes the thing so beautiful. Often times, it’s also an exercise in trying to decipher what the hell they were thinking when they put it together in the first place. A lot of layers to peel away in order to set the thing free.
Armed with little more than a set of sockets and just enough knowledge to get into trouble, I went to work. The one thing I have going for me when it comes to being a home mechanic is that I’m fearless.
Unlike any other bike I’ve prepped to race, this one had not one superfluous piece to it. No plastic rivet whose sole purpose seems to be to discourage any would be do it yourselfer to go further, no unnecessary flap of plastic whose presence seems to communicate that the factory knows better than you, so why bother?
No… this was different. This was something new to me. Each bolt led to the other, serving as a roadmap into the palm of the engineer’s hand responsible for its physical creation. This was a machine that carried with it into my garage a message. “I’m here now… I’m here to race, or to become whatever it is that we will become together. I welcome you to join me, and I will not stand in our way.”
An old racer once told me that a motorcycle is nothing more than a collection of parts.
I believe he was wrong.
For, behind every part is the hand that placed it there. And behind that hand is the soul of a human. And a piece of that soul’s energy finds its way into every element of that motorcycle. Every smile, drop of sweat, and heartbeat that transpired on the assembly line leaves a little bit of itself in that machine.
Collectively, this combination of energy, metal and plastic came together to form this motorcycle… from this ore of the Earth. the gold is refined.
Though we have ridden together, this is the first time we’ve truly shaken hands.
Nice to meet you, friend.