If I could offer you only one tip for improving your life, wearing
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 flipflops means you will experience a trip to the emergency room.
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.
Bull(shoot). 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. Pass slower bikers on the right inside of the uphill curve
When they will not let you pass to the left.
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 (donkey hole) down the highway dressed in leather.
Leather is as sexy as you imagine.
Don't worry about what your Mom thinks; or worry about what others
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 stationwagons, 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... Lanesplit.
Ladies, learn to ride and then ride often. Nothing is more of an
Equalizer than a woman, dressed in leather, astride her own machine.
Gentlemen, respect the ladies who ride, for they could very well have been the
Rider that waxed your fanny in the mountian curves you just came through.
Sing into your helmet. Use mouthwash first. Keep mints handy.
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 paintjobs; 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.
Watch cage drivers to not signal before pulling into your lane. Be
alert for brainless cage drivers to pull an opposing left turn in front of you.
May the fool on four wheels in front of you have working brake lights.
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.
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.
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.
Wrench... even if you have nowhere to do it but in your hotel room.
Do not read American motorcycle magazines, they will only make you wish
you'd bought a British one instead. Read British motorcycle magazines
and laugh at how the brits laugh at americans. Stay away from German
motorcycle magazines, they are too serious and difficult to read.
Read the owner's manual, even though you won't remember any of it.
Get to know your brake pads, you never know when they'll be gone for
good. Remember, brake pads let you stop. Be nice to your tires; they are your
link to the pavement and the things most likely to save your butt from a
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. Ride in the Ozarks and learn the trick of the
curve. Ride the Blue Ridge Parkway and learn to be smooth. Ride through
Deals Gap and live to tell others about it. Stop and watch others ride
through Deals Gap and applaud when others do it well.
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.
Stop and offer help to the stranded motorcyclist along the open road,
For the next you come along could very well be yourself.
Don't mess too much with your carburetors, or by the time your done,
you'll be walking home and your pipes will be blue.
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 of
pulling the past from the dustbin, degreasing it, painting over the
rusty parts and dumping way more money into it than it's worth. Indian
restoration is a truely refined ailment that is only cured by death or an unlimited
But trust me on the leather...