Love at First Bike

Sep 28, 2013 View Comments by

Love at First BikeWhat was the first bike you really fell in love with? You know, the one that managed to find that mystical mix of form, function, and foibles and work its way into your heart. For many people, this happened with their first motorcycle, and it’s no surprise since they didn’t have anything to compare it to. I certainly thought my first bike was the most beautiful thing I’d ever laid eyes on, rattle can paint job and all. But the first bike I truly fell in love with was my third, and current ride. I started out on a beat up old 1975 Honda CB750. Three working cylinders, one working brake, probably illegal in at least 12 states, you get the idea. Bike number two, a 2002 Honda Shadow Spirit 750, was a vast improvement in safety and reliability, but it lacked the “soul” of the old CB. It was bland and boring and it didn’t take me long to start looking for something else. Trolling Craigslist one day I came across a guy with a first generation Suzuki SV650 with barely any miles on it, and the magic words at the bottom–“looking to trade for a Honda Shadow.” Well, it was a match made in heaven, we met up, rode each other’s bikes, and then swapped titles at a notary. No money involved, just how I like it.

While the CB750 got ridden whenever I had the 20 minutes required to kick-start it and the courage to ride it, the Shadow, in spite of starting promptly at the push of a button, was taken out maybe once a week or so. The SV, on the other hand, was used every single day unless the weather looked really, really terrible. I had found my bike. The ‘Zuke has taken me on tour, run sweep at the RoadRUNNER Touring Weekend, and often takes me to and from work. I’ve experienced plenty of newer, more expensive bikes as well as much more powerful motorcycles. But the little SV is just so fun in the curves, that V-twin is rough, but I love the torque, and, most surprising of all, it’s actually pretty comfortable. All this and it (usually) starts with only the press of a button!

What bike initially captured your heart? Was it your first, or did it take you a few tries to find the right motorcycle for you? What bike do you wish you’d never sold?

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About the author

There’s something relentlessly romantic about riding a motorcycle. I’m blessed to know that feeling. With a background in photography and a love for motorcycles, I’m interested in the beauty and honesty of the open road. You’ll find me riding Carolina’s roads on my Suzuki SV650.