Sunday, December 14, 2008

A different motorcycle culture: high on adventure, low on chrome and noise

The mint condition 2001 Kawasaki Super Sherpa.

I have to remind myself to drive this bike every month or so. It is nearly eight yrs old and has just 1170 miles on it. It just sits in the shed covered and shiny. Today I put a few miles on it, polished it up, and put it away.

I have an identical twin to this bike that I use a lot for commuting and off road adventure. So, why do I have two?

Well, this bike is ideal for me and they stopped selling it in the US in 2003. They replaced it with the KLR 250 which is nearly 30lbs heavier and 3 inches taller. A WORLD of difference on the trail. So, I thought that I'd kill one with my rugged off road riding and and keep one in reserve after I ruined the first. Guess what. This bike has proved to be extremely tough. It fell off the back of my truck last month and even that didn't hurt it much (slightly bent handlebars but I was able to correct it). Yea, it has a dented gas tank, ripped seat, and scratched up fenders ... but it spins like a top. Extremely reliable bike.

Well, guess what (again)? Kawasaki is reissuing the Sherpa for 2009. I guess they realized what a great bike this was.

I'm not impressed by the big custom Harleys and road bikes I see. I guess I'm more utilitarian in my perception of mechanical beauty. Unlike those bikes that sound like highly amplified farting going down the road, I'll stay with my quiet and nimble Sherpa, thank you. No chrome, noise, tattoos, minimally protective helmets and gray pony tails for me. Not my culture.

In fact, I feel sorry for those guys... confined to the pavement, trying to be cool like everyone else. They'll never be able to go where I do.

This is my motorcycle culture:


Anonymous said...

How about us 'scoots'? We're not loud, don't have pony tails; but we're very, very cool!!

William said...

confined to the pavement. sorry.