Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Terre Haute, In.
It's summer. It's Tuesday. It's Saturday... I was 25 years old.
I didn't have a lot of money. I had a lot less, the day after I bought the Norton.
"If you buy that thing, you're a dead man!" Friend after friend. I can still hear their voices.
I had no garage. I shared a big house with some friends. The Norton spent the first night in the living room.
People stared at it, and at me. This was IT. The most deadly, most awesome and fearsome bike in the world (that we knew of, anyway). And there's one IN OUR LIVING ROOM !!!
It's absolute, gloss black malevolence muted the room. In my eyes, it was a thing of unmatched beauty. And death, itself. And it wouldn't start.
Checked the spark. Pulled a plug - checked the compression. Opened the gas tank, then it started. Used a small nail to poke a bigger hole in the rubber thing under the gas cap...
The thing scared the he77 out of me! Nobody knew that, except me. It had 60 horsepower! My death was not only immanent, but certain.
I return from my daydream as my FJR has run for about one minute - long enough to get oil everywhere in the motor/trans, and get going.
I move off on a machine with 145 horsepower - something that renders that Norton into the joke it really was. Something more than twice as powerful and many, many times more deadly. And I, quite literally, think nothing of it. I'm not scared, at all...
Of late, a question haunts me. "Did IT change, or did I?" Are all the radical and mostly miserable changes I perceive external, internal or some combination, of the two?
An image from my hippie days crosses my mind. It depicted a middle-aged, burnt out female, dressed like a young chickie, saying "There hasn't been any good weed since 1952."
And so to those that say the FJR is "boring" I suggest YOU have lost the ability to become excited, by a motorcycle? You and me both, I guess.
To test that theory, go find a Norton (or whatever antique you desire), ride it and see if it still scares you into being awe-struck, and starry-eyed. Or take my word, as someone who has done just that: It won't. Not even close.
*I* have changed. Now, instead of a jag of raw fear, I appreciate... I SAVOR being able to ride a world-class motorcycle. Which is something of which I never even dreamed, in 1974!
Every once in a while I go to an on-ramp, way out in the middle of nowhere, and I wind the FJR out in second, then third... Yeah, the scare is still there. But I don't enjoy it like I used to.
2012 Gen 2
"The closer you get,
to the meaning,
The sooner you know,
That you're DREAMING"
(HEAVEN AND HE77 - Black Sabbath)