Bikes and Change

We’ve just a comment on our facebook page in response to our announcement of our new bikes. I wrote a rambling response to it. It got me thinking and I wrote my reply freestyle, no editing and no rewrite. I hope it makes sense and after half a bottle of vino I hope it convey my sentiment and our feelings for two of the most amazing machines that we’ve had the privilege of riding around the world for over a decade.

We’d love to know your thoughts. Am I being hard? Do we still qualify as mechanical romantics now we’re on newer machines? Are we still real adventurers just because we’ve put out to pasture our original bikes?

See you down the road.

quotes_sin_BGThese look superb, but as an admirer of older models, part of the sheer pleasure of following your travels is that you’ve both been riding older, more down-to-earth and far less blingy models. I could relate to this aspect far better..”. David Harris, via facebook

My thoughts/response
David, thanks for your comments. Too be honest Lisa and I gave ‘this’ a lot of thought.

Do the new bikes change things? Sure, of course they do. But they don’t change what we do, what we hope to achieve, ride and experience or who we are as people and travelers. But let’s bare a few things in mind, that I can put ‘out there’ because we all live in the real world. Stay with me as I’m writing this off the cuff, I’ve has 3 glasses of cheap ass wine and I’m sleep deprived.

We’re incredibly sentimentally attached to our bikes, they’ve carried us through 400,000+ rough miles and through 78 countries where they had little more than on-the-road maintenance based on whatever oil, lubricants and crappy parts, that we could lay our hands on.

Will we ever sell those bikes? NO! Will we ride them again? YES! have they earned to live out their golden years without being beaten like sand blown desert donkeys? YES, YES and YES!

The bikes were relatively mechanically sound but with every issue I fixed, two more would come along. The latest issue was when a tech over tightened an engine bolt on my R1150GSA. Oil was pouring out of the front right-hand side of the engine case. I needed to drill the hole and retap the thread and install a larger bolt. So I’m looking at less than $5 in parts but I’ve got to find $2,000 in labour to drop the engine, fix the issue and reinstall. No matter how much love we have for the bikes, (we call them the kids) we just don’t have the bucks to keep doing this over and over. We never imagined we’d be in a position to be sponsored new bikes. New bikes, that come with a 3-year warranty. Warranty? I barely remember that as a concept.

So, does the ‘tech’ of the new bikes scare the crap out of me? I’ll be honest yes, but then I remember leaving on this trip and being terrified of this new fangled thing called ‘fuel injection’. Every naysayer we knew, told us we were crazy and should be going with carb’s. I’ve learnt a few things on the road and one of those things is not to let ignorance dictate angst. With these new bikes we’ve also picked up newer tools with which to diagnose and repair them. The Hex GS911 is a digital wrench, we’ve used for 11 years now.

No matter what the bike, with the type of riding and terrain we want to tackle in the future, they’ll break. Whatever happens at some point down the road we’re going to be fixing one thing or another on whatever bikes we’re riding. We’ve had the most incredible adventure when things/bikes don’t work as planned and we’ve looked for solutions, only to find support and friendship in the most remote and unlikely of places. At the end of the day i guess my ramblings come down to this. We’d hate to think that we lose people that have followed out travels because we’ve changed the bikes we’re on. It’s about perspective. For both Lisa and I, adventure and travel is about putting one foot in front of another and seeing what the world has in store for us. Adventure and world travel is not a latex T-shirt. There is ‘NO ONE SIZE FITS ALL’. Isn’t that the whole point. Adventure has no boundaries, no measurable limits. Real adventure, real travel is not done to impress anyone. It’s self sustaining and builds it’s own intoxicating momentum. It’s a drug. The bikes are the delivery method. We’ve swapped old and used syringes for modern intravenous delivery systems that will see us through another decade. From this point forward are our travels less authentic, less romantic, less…well less in any way? I don’t think so. It’s still about loading the bikes, strapping down the tent, locking the panniers and snagging the clutch, tapping into first and twisting the throttle and heading toward an unknown horizon.

Is change scary? It’s Fu#•*ng terrifying! But change is what we all do every day. For most people change is a reaction to circumstances forced on them. For us change is a pro-active move, a chosen methodology for life. Change is what we live for, change moves us and hopefully makes us better for the challenge and the experience of it. I’m looking forward to the upcoming miles, the new friends, the next curves and bumps we survive. We hope we keep you following along. Ride safe ride far. We’re now just riding a little faster and smoother! :-)

Oct 20, 2015
Updated: October 20, 2015