Sunday, July 5, 2015

Confession: I've been having an affair with a 20 year old.

1996 Honda Magna VF750C V45

Well, if I'm being honest it's been going on since she was much younger, but so was I. 

You'd probably never guess looking at her, but according to it's manufacture's production sticker, this old girl is 20 and one quarter years old this month. 

Engine: 748.8 cc LC 90° V-4
Top speed: 120 mph (well, 124, but just once

I'm the second owner since she was new and I know that both of us had similar feelings about how to treat her. We spoke at length about proper maintenance, cleaning and tuning before I agreed to the purchase. I happily paid for his girlfriend to get "a boob job they both wanted" in trade for a pristine and uncommon, if not semi-rare motorcycle. Fifteen years and 59,000 miles on, this has been my most reliable and longest owned vehicle surpassing any car we've owned by more than a decade.  In it's first few years with me, it faithfully carried me to Park City and back home to Clearfield, 5 days a week throughout much of the summer. Then to South Salt Lake and around the valley for almost 13 years whenever called upon.  Too many times to count it's been the date-night vehicle of choice for Sarah and I, as well as a get away for hours of private thought and contemplation over life's complexities or trivialities. I know this machine like I know a limb. How it maneuvers, accelerates and it's limitations as well as strengths. It's rare to become this acquainted with something that doesn't grow out of you.

The solid yellow color was only an option for this year
model. Other year models only offered two-tone, most
commonly black and yellow (bubble-bee) style paint.
Though it's been said in many ways and more eloquently than I capable of, riding a motorcycle is a sensation that cannot be compared to anything else. It's not for everyone, but then again, so many choose to live life entirely risk averse. I'm a cautious person, nervous around heights and many nightmares built on irrational fears to prove it. However, it's the small risk that is part of the reward which makes riding something special. Of course that's true of all risks taken. I've been warned and scolded, had it implied time and again that I'm less of a father, husband and provider for taking a risk so meaningless as owning and operating a motorcycle. I'm proof that there are reasonable odds when it comes to riding using caution. When driving with a sense of respect for what it is, you will not only live to ride again, but do so uninjured and possibly a happier person for it. If I wreck tomorrow, I'll still stand by this opinion (or rest by it whatever the case).

I'm no gear head or daredevil.  I'm not interested in sport bikes or speeding (much). I wouldn't pop wheelies if I could and (save for one time on a nearly bald tire) I don't do burnouts to prove my testosterone levels are in tact.  However, with the notable absence of beer in my fridge and my vocal distain for sports, this bastion of macho-ness may be the only proof I have that I am, at least to some extent, manly.