Even just talking about and being around motorcycles can lead to a slippery slope for the re-entry rider.
Story and Photos by Walter Eisenbeis
My last bike was a BMW R69S, which I sold in 1971 but have never forgotten. If, like me, you haven’t ridden a motorcycle for 45 years or more, don’t visit your brother-in-law and ride one of his bikes. This is the first step on the slippery slope of a re-entry rider. It’s the beginning of thinking about your previous bikes, imagining riding again and noticing bikes everywhere.
My brother-in-law has a couple of motorcycles and we talk about riding when together. He tells me how much fun it is and I tell him how much fun it was. He has modern technology and creature comforts on his bikes, and I tell him he’s a wuss. In my day, if it rained, you got wet; if the crud came up off the road, you wore it. We had no radio, cellphone, GPS or heated riding gear. I lie about how tough I had to be without all this sissy stuff, but I didn’t think I was hard up or deprived. I got where I wanted to go and had fun. That was the way it was and it was fun recalling those rides.
After my visit to the wuss-in-law, I noticed motorcycles more often and began talking with my wife about them. She has no interest in motorcycles whatsoever, but since I do, she listens. She’s kind to other dumb animals, too.
The motorcycle theme grew when I went to a bike show with a friend. I was overwhelmed by what I saw: so many bikes, new technology, riding gear and accessories! What a choice, and how does one make it? The desire for a bike went up a notch, but I resisted.
I attended another bike show and spent more time looking and imagining myself riding again. I was naturally attracted to the BMWs, but unable to buy. A new bike was expensive. I started looking for bikes online, where I found many that I would like. Still, I resisted the final decision to purchase.
I talked with my wife and she encouraged me to get a bike. In spite of her anxiety about me riding around on a motorcycle, she thought I would enjoy it. She must have realized how much I wanted to get back into riding.
I watched the online ads for motorcycles, and eventually I started to take notes on what was available. I still hadn’t decided on a brand, although BMW was still my brand of choice. I saw several that were attractive, but still couldn’t take the plunge.
A friend of mine who used to ride a BMW K75S thought a K75 would be a good option, and not long after, a former Toronto police bike came up for sale. I didn’t really want a K bike, as I was enamoured of the boxer series – I liked looking down and seeing the cylinder heads sticking out like the wings of a low-flying airplane as I rode along.
Despite this, my wife and I did go and look at the K75. Looking at a bike is not a good thing to do when consumed by…