A motorcycle brings a quality to solitude, speed, and the open road otherwise unattainable, and as a specific catalyst in the fusion of these elements into what is commonly known as experience, I am here endeavoring to voice my honor, respect, and gratitude to my late motorcycle (which, happily, is extending the experience of a new owner on new roads to a new destination).
The distinct process that melds operator and motorcycle into a single entity during the transition from stasis to movement has never been adequately described by science. Certainly, there are a limited number of physical contributors to the transition: the separate and varied stimuli from the beneficence of the earth; the vision of the planned route stretching to infinity before you and beginning to fall away behind you; the (mostly) unconscious function of balance creating both risk and opportunity; the authority of the accelerator in one hand and the control of the clutch in the other; the constrained power of myriads of horses rumbling urgently through the seat and up your spine; the major muscle groups in your lower body gripping and guiding the restrained machine; and pegs tingling the bottom of your boots, feet poised to shift or brake as necessary. The result of all of these processes occurring simultaneously is not finite or empirical—rather, they together set the conditions for a metamorphosis that transcends the physical and approaches the spiritual. Concluding the melding process, the operator is now in a separate dimension I call the Zone. This Zone can be approached by a plethora of mechanisms, but never fully attained except by a two wheeled motorized vehicle.
Having imparted a poor (but nevertheless valid) description and identification of the Zone, I must qualify the dimension with the following modifier: Though all two wheeled motorized vehicles transport their operators to the Zone, some motorcycles provide a more full experience. There IS a Platonic Form of the Zone, and it can only be reached by the Perfect Motorcycle. Due to the vagaries in the human condition, it is conceivable that this is actually a different motorcycle for every person.
I’m convinced I found MY Perfect Motorcycle in my late Ride. This motorcycle put elation into acceleration, lent emotion to motion, put the perform into performance, ranked when cranked, created the “Oooooh” in smooth, personified the engine in engineering, became the tour in touring, demanded the look in looks, became the corner while cornering, amplified the lean in leaning, put the mean in meaning, put the “Q” in torque, was the fine in refined, all while instilling the vibes in vibration. After averaging over nine thousand miles a year for three and a half years, and having melded to transcendence on just about every road surface describable, I could do nothing less than pen this Ode to the Motorcycle I Rode.
Semper Fi, JarHedJon