Thursday, January 10, 2013

Pristine and Showroom Condition?... or ... The Patina of Many Miles?

I've seen some blogs lately, and had a conversation or two about the nicks and dings bikes get goin' down the road.

Many riders work and spend hundreds, thousands even, keeping their rides in showroom condition. The other end of the biker spectrum bein' the rat rides that are kept together mechanically... but look like rolling wrecks otherwise. ;)

I gotta say... there's something about those battered but not beaten bikes that capture my imagination. I can't help but wonder about all the roads that old Indian I crossed paths with, up in Tok, has seen...

*a 1936 Indian I met on my Alaska run*

You can't help but wonder about the stories behind that scratch or this scrape... or that bent fender...

When I see a clean, unblemished motorcycle the first thought in my head, right or wrong, is; Too bad that guy don't ride much. He'd be a lot happier! ;)

I've talked and schemed a lot in the past about hangin' some fancy paint on Sonja and some other flashy farkles... For a bit the scratches, dings and worn spots bothered me.

Somewhere in there that being bothered about it got to bothering me and I really started looking around and thinkin' on it. Do that and you start to see a lot. Some riders polish... and some riders ride.

I came to the conclusion that other than making repairs to the mechanical faults, keeping her sound and road worthy, doing much in the way of cosmetic repairs... simply erases miles of joyous memories.

Leaving that road patina alone is like maintaining a 3D rolling book of memories! ;)

That was in my mind when I started doing some mods on Sonja this past summer. I began moving away from that spit and polish motorcycle philosophy as I changed over to the blacked out Hard Chrome pipes and powder coated Yamaha Backrest. The main motivation was to improve function, with little thought about the Showroom appearance.

In the bargain I discovered all that chrome really didn't suit me very well. I ended up with her showing a personality I'm a lot more comfortable with. Awesome!

I believe that the future will continue to see Sonja wearing the battle scars of her travels like badges of honor, and a visible testimony of the miles she's carried me.

*The road is nowhere for a weak spirit*

I can't hide the dings, limps and scars I've picked up. I don't believe I should hide those. They're more like beauty marks to a travelin' man whether they be on me... or... my motorcycle. I can't bring myself to call 'em damage. I want people to know... neither me nor Sonja are some prissy trailer queens! ;)

We ride in the rain. We rattle down the back roads. We take our lumps and we keep it in the wind!

And if somebody thinks it's wrong... He can sit in his garage polishin', paintin' and primpin' all he wants. Me and Sonja will be out in the wind somewhere, dusty, dinged and weathered! ;)

Grab Your Handles and Ride


Trobairitz said...

Every ding, every scratch, even gobs of mud all tell a different story. Wear them like a badge of honor.

My bike was in showroom condition once, not it has some scratches, cracked handguards from a tip over and I rarely wash it. Still looks good when polished up, but give it a few more years and as it ages it will show more "signs of life".

Erik R said...

I've put a few miles on my bike. I'll wash it to get most of the dirt and bugs off of it, but I don't spend hours in the garage polishing and detailing like my old neighbors used to. I'd rather spend my time riding. It's got a few marks on it, but it still looks OK.

Motorcycle Exhaust said...

Well this is relative, you can't say that since my bike is pristine it does not have years of riding on it. I simply means am a a street rider...I don't do much off road riding. My thing is long adventurous road trips.