Last year, I lost my riding buddy. He got a sailboat which took most of his weekends, then he had some surgery "down under" and he found he couldn't stay in the saddle for more than 30 minutes on the initial go and then 15 minutes at a time after that. He sold his 6 month old R1600. Ouch. With no bike, this summer he's going to be on the sailboat most weekends. I'll miss riding with him because he pushed me to ride better. He is much more accomplished on the bikes than I am and an afternoon of chasing him through twisties improves my skills. I'd take my turn at lead and he'd critique me so I could improve.
Without him to create an excuse for getting out on the LT, I have not been getting out as much. Today, I needed to make a run to Columbus (about 75 miles each way). I took the back roads so I could avoid the I-70 super slab. The morning started at about 75 degrees and then it got up to 88 on my thermometer on the return leg.
As I was riding, I kept thinking about how much I like riding. I kept asking myself, "Why? What is it about riding that I like so much?" I really wanted to be able to explain it to SWMBO*. But, I couldn't explain it to myself. I told SWMBO that I was trying to figure it out and she thought it might be the solitude. But, I do enjoy riding with others. I continue my introspection.
So as I am trying to figure out why I like riding, I'd like to know your thoughts. Maybe you'll have the right words to explain it to myself.
Dave (in Dayton)
* SWMBO = She Who Must Be Obeyed
It is all about physics. God created us to maintain our acceleration vector vertical through our feet or butt. Only motorcycles and airplanes do this since they bank during turns. Cars, trains, etc., cause the acceleration vector to tilt giving a lateral component that makes you want to slide sideways rather than just get pushed straight down. So, that is why I like motorcycles (and airplanes as I am a pilot also). Just a simple matter of physics!
Ok, I am being a wise guy. I really have no way to explain it. I just like it and always have since starting on mini bikes at age 10 or earlier. Probably a combination of the aforementioned physics, but also the minimalist nature of feeling the wind, rain, sun and, yes, snow occasionally. Smelling the smells, feeling the temps rise and fall as you go up mountains and down into valleys. Hearing things you miss in a car. I think dealing with the risk is also a part of it.
I like to travel and the bike will take me places a motor home can't and even many cars can't comfortably such as cow paths in the Alps and Scotland and Wales. And my wife likes to ride so that helps also.
As to the minimalist comment, that seems incongruous with an LT. I am thinking about a simpler bike so I can so some off-roading again as I enjoyed as a teen. I recently test rode a KLR650 and it was a hoot. Simple and light. Only negative is a stratospheric seat height. The light weight helps offset the height. I sat on the bike in the showroom and when I stood it up it went over center more quickly then expected. I am used to the 100 lb shove required to get my LT vertical. I thought I was going to tip over to the right and domino a row of new motorcycles. However, as soon as my right toe touched down the KLR650 instantly stopped motion, unlike the LT which would have required a 200 lb push to stop it from toppling.
I haven't pulled the trigger yet, but when I return from my business trip I probably will call the dealer and but one. Brand new they only cost about what two LT ABS modules cost!
I can then leave the LT home when I just want a fun local ride or want to explore some fire roads or trails. In my research I have found the KLR to have a following even stronger than the LT and huge aftermarket support. The array of accessories is mind boggling. Deciding what to buy will be a real challenge.