From a young age motorbikes have fascinated me. My family always had bikes for as long as I can remember. One of my fondest memories of my childhood is my father riding a brand new Honda QR50 down our house hallway on Christmas day. A present for my brother and I, our first bike. Three year old Curtis was pumped. I crashed that little red QR50 over and over again till I finally got the hang of it. From that day forward I would ride round and round the house. Sometimes I’d crash (my favorite was going through a barbed wire fence and hiding for hours because I was too scared to tell my parents I’d crashed) but most times I’d just ride around like it was the greatest thing ever. And nothing’s changed really. Bikes still give me the same feeling, except now I’m too scared to tell Mrs Onthebackwheel I’ve crashed.
When my Tuono arrived it was like I was 3 again, except this time it was a man with a truck delivered it not my dad. I could have kissed him when he rolled it out (the bloke with the truck, not my dad. Wait, that’s still weird). And when I fired up that V4 for the first time…and then my first ride…bliss.
So why do I ride? A car can fit more things in it and they are safer. Plus, you don’t get wet in a car. My Volkswagen Golf is also more economical than my Aprilia and ultimately much more practical. The train is a cheap way to get to work and I don’t need to pay for its registration, fuel or insurance. A plane is a quicker and easier way to travel long distances. So, why do I ride? Because motorcycles are bad-ass. Because they sound amazing. Because they are fast. Because they are slow. Because they have character. Because no two are the same. Because I can lane filter through all the caged warriors on the way to work. Because I can do wheel stands on them. Because they can be lent over so far in corners I can scrape my knee. Because I can power slide out of corners with just the twist of my wrist. Because they take me places and give me experiences like few other things can. Because they push my limits. Because when I ride I can feel the subtle changes in temperature. Because they make me look at the weather forecast each day to see if I should take my wet weather pants. Because when I ride home on night they keep me awake because its 2 degrees outside and I’m freezing my balls off. Because motorcycle riders are friendly and always up for an in-depth conversation even though you’ve only just met them and will never see them again. Because you can get bikes that do 3 litres/100km’s, cost $15 to fill up while covering 450km’s and only cost $160 to service once a year. Because you can get bikes that do 10 litres/100km’s, get 150km’s out of a tank of petrol and destroy a set of $500 tyres in 1000km’s. Because they make me feel alive. Because I’m 47% more attractive while riding one. Because a $3000 bike can beat a Ferrari. Because conquering a steep muddy hill after crashing 10 times is amazing. Because…because I like bikes. I think they like me too.