Motorcycle & MC Trip Photos
My primary hobby, objects of desire, and daydream material surround the motorcycle. Motorcycles are a capsule of freedom in today’s restricted, politically correct society. A place where you lose your thoughts to focus on the road.
The machine is an extension of the rider, and the rider of the machine. The bikes teeter on the bleeding edge of innovation and technology, but the experience is primal and instinctive. You are in the picture, not watching it through a frame.
I have not until recently been a “local rider”, eschewing short rides for the adventure and challenge of the 600 mile a day road trip. Your bottom hurts, your muscles cramp, your vision blurs. And after a late supper and a few hours in your tent, you can’t wait to get up and do it again!
It is a good idea to check back here for additional photos of bikes and road trips in existing collections. I’m trying to get more pages done rather than add whacks of content to just a few.
Much to my parent’s chagrin, I started riding motorcycles at about 10 years old. Most of what I remember about those times is the TOTAL lack of fear! On bikes with only a few inches of suspension travel, we jumped enormous obstacles. And, yeah, we fell off lots. But you just got up, dusted yourself off, and climbed back on the bike. I don’t think any of us ever said, “Oops, better not try THAT again!”
There were a number of years where horses, girls, cars and snowmobiles took focus. When I went off to college, I bought a 1971 Honda CB750 for the princely sum of $600. This was my only transport for the next six years. It was green at time of purchase, and was said to have been in service in Belgium as a police motorcycle. That bike and I went everywhere, in almost any weather.
The CB bike was written off, and Ruth and I went lightkeeping. Fast forward a number of years; I bought a Yamaha XV920RJ from employer and friend Bruce Hayton. This odd duck (the bike, not Bruce .. well, either way), had a Yamaha V twin engine of the same series as went into the Virago series. The bike itself was a Yamaha take on Moto Guzzi. There are almost identical tank shapes in the same era.
In 2000 I took on a project bike that was cluttering Bruce’s garage. Ruth and I started on a frame and five boxes of parts and ended up with a 1971 Yamaha XS650. We didn’t do a complete restore, but brought back the original parts and gave her gorgeous paint job.
Considerations of poor braking, aging issues, and two up capabilities drove a change from the XV920 to the next bike. Ruth pretty much picked it out for me, and we went and test drove a Honda ST1300. We brought it home, and dubbed her STormy.
Bruce, myself and Larry Brooks became a tight riding group, capable of long distances and hard riding. Larry moved from a heavy cruiser to a Yamaha FJR, and he and I hit many a twisted road in our journeys. We decided to enter the realm of Adventure touring, and each bought appropriate bikes. My choice was the Kawasaki KLR, which we dubbed “KLaRA”.
In the summer of 2009 I had a workplace accident, falling from a ladder to break my pelvis in four places, etc. Since, the ST1300 seemed too wide for my hips to straddle comfortably. As (hopefully) an interim fix, I bought a Buell Ulysses. What a great bike! You will either love or hate it, but you can’t say you saw another one on the last block!
In winter 2011, my sweety purchased a new Kawasaki Vulcan 500, which we brought home in threatening snow late February. It was a real motorcycle, with an engine that loved to start in all weather. The Buell can give you pause as it tries to swing those big pistons, but the little Kawi jumps to life, no matter what.
Over the summer of 2011, I realized that riding the ST1300 any distance was not going to happen, due to the intense discomfort the riding position caused my pelvis. After trying almost every bike on the market I tried the BMW R1200 GS. It was instantly obvious this was the right fit! It is named “Mo” after our best friend Mozart, who was fierce, loyal, and joyous through thick and thin.
In the summer of 2014 two motorcycle events occurred in our world. I traded the Buell to buddy Jari for a Shovel Head chopper. I wasn’t really too clear on why, but I liked the old bike. Ruth also made a trade; she traded her 500 for a Star (Yamaha) 250. The bike is smaller, lighter, and of course easier on gas. Ruth figures she rides little enough that she wants something she really feels in command of.
I am now riding the hard-