A strange thing happened the other day after a longish ride on the BMW. Had a good ride, parked the bike on the centerstand in the garage, went to bed. A couple days later I want to take the R90 out for a midnight run and the rear tire is flat. So flat I could take the tire right off the rim with one hand... Fuck me, put some air in it and couldn't hear any leaks, spin the tire and can't find any punctures or tears, check the rim for cracks and the like and nothing... Decided to let the bike sit overnight and see where my tire pressure winds up... Wake up fresh and head to the garage where the tire pressure is exactly where I left it. It being exceptionally nice out for a January, I just want to make sure my tube is good, without spending the time myself to whip out the tire irons and dunk the tube in our claw foot bathtub - I think my wife would've killed me anyway - so I take it to a shop.
The whole ride I keep looking down at the rear tire, waiting for a flat and the inevitable dilemma of limping along or getting a tow - it never came. Made it to the shop, checked the pressure, awesome. They dunk my tube, can't find any leaks, but I tell them to replace the tube anyway because all that air had to get out of the tube somehow and I don't want to risk it blowing out going 110mph on rt. 440 - took all of 20 minutes and a little chunk taken out of my wallet. Honestly my pride wasn't hurt that much because tire mounting isn't something I pride myself on, in fact I've only had to do it once. Since I've owned my BMW I've replaced most of the electrics, clutch, rear main seal, trans. input seal, had my flywheel lightened, redid the top end (well a machine shop did the major stuff I didn't have the tools for), rebuilt my final drive, and alot of other crap I can't remember now. Part of those involved the complete removing of the entire drivetrain and trans, or taking apart the engine and that's cool, I don't shy away from mechanical stuff, but I did rip a tube my first attempt at mounting a tire.
The thing that did hurt me, quite a bit actually, was seeing someone else test ride my bike. It's how I imagine it'd feel to catch a dude banging your wife, well maybe not. Here's a bike that I built, that I've been inside so many times it's now romantic. There's not a part on the bike I haven't had my hands on and I know every detail like it's in my DNA, and some stranger is taking it out for a couple miles. I never want that to happen again.
There was one benefit though. I've never seen how my bike looks with a rider on it because it's only been me on it and the roads in NJ aren't curbed with mirrors. I've also never heard the sound of it from any other perspective of being on it, along with the wind and other vehicles. That was something... my pipes sound damn good, and the bike looks good with a rider on it. It was interesting to see the riding posture assumed by the test rider, and it was cool seeing him come back with such a huge smile on his face... This brief spat of moto infidelity sucked, but it offered me a fresh perspective of MY bike and made me appreciate all my work that much more...
And that got me thinking about sex... kinda
Sex in general is probably on my mind more than most, I blame it on the fact that for half the year I can't sleep with my wife, it's the nature of working rotating shifts. I really never think of it relating to machinery though. I've always had an affinity for German stuff, and that's about as unsexy as it gets. Function over fashion triumphs every time and I love that. I love the boxer engines on my old VW and my BMW, I love that the BMW one looks pretty much just like an aluminum box with cylinders sticking out of the side. I get it and scoffed at people who referred to their cars and bikes as she, especially the harley guys.Then I saw a show on MagRack about Italian bikes...
They featured this guy with a collection of vintage Italian motorcycles and he was breaking down how the early designers (the Benellis, Tonti, Bianchi, etc.) were designing bikes in the feminine form. He had a few backbone frames like the Macchi I have an was going over the details.. "See this is the spine, see the shapely curves in this tank and how the frame narrows at the waist..." Now I see it, now I get it... If any culture could be said to be opposite the Germans it'd be the Italians, I only have to look at my mom and dad as proof. They also take the cake in the category of appreciating fashion over function.
I am enlightened, and richer. Thanks to a football pool I won (first time ever), I should be able to swing some Borranis to replace my rusty Radaellis :-)