Define "Freedom"

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by Zeid, Feb 19, 2014.

  1. Zeid

    Zeid Adventurer

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    Today, just like many days when I get the chance, I walked out of my house with all my gear gear on. Big textile adventure pants, my big adventure jacket, my adventure boots and adventure gloves, my modular helmet with the drop down sunshade and fog protector. I felt like an astronaut. I climbed aboard my gigantic, top heavy adventure machine then had the missus climb aboard on back. With her on it, I have to set the suspension into the "two up mode" which makes the bike even taller and more top heavy than it already is. We slowly hoist away and fight through the near-rush-hour traffic of Phoenix to get to the outskirts, the highways where I rode around for a short bit before realizing I was just uncomfortable. Behind the big windscreen, behind all the farkles and astronaut gear...

    It was then that I realized I felt more protected and enclosed than I do in my car. I've always been a huge advocate of ATGATT and have thousands of dollars worth of gear- boots, jackets, gloves, pants, helmets. I began to think about how, "I guess this makes me an adventurer?" and realized that due to a heavy work schedule and other things needing done during my off time that I don't always (never) have time to just take off across the country with the wind in my h-... Farkles.

    I realized most of my "adventure" rides are around the state or within a one state distance (which is some of my favorite riding anyways). My favorite "adventure" rides are out to Wickenburg, Cave Creek, Apache Junction, Sedona, Jerome, Flagstaff, places within a couple of hours of Phoenix.

    Don't get me wrong. I think my bike is a brilliant one and I love it with all my heart. I take the utmost care of it and pamper it like a baby born to a royal family. Even so I wonder, is it the bike for me? Or even, for the missus who dreads the "ordeal" of taking a little ride.

    I like all bikes, I think they are all brilliant in some way, for some one. I began to wonder though, is this the right bike for me? For right now?

    Not long ago I took a ride on a Harley Davidson Fat Bob. I wore my full face helmet (WILL ALWAYS WEAR A HELMET), a T-shirt, some Jeans and my tennis shoes. It felt amazing. It felt like what I felt back when I was a kid and began loving motorcycles. I could actually feel the wind and see the road around me. I felt... Free. I'm sure if I fell on the asphalt, I would feel a lot of other things to, very close to sandpaper and fire, but is the risk worth it?

    I would LOVE to be able to ride every single piece of beautiful road this marvelously picturesque world we live in has to offer, but until then, until I have the chance and can afford it, shouldn't I have something more suited to my lifestyle to enjoy more often? Besides, if- or rather, when I visit Europe at some point I'll just end up renting a bike over there to avoid all the troubles of shipping anyways. Same goes for any other country I visit.

    Is all this wrong? Am I crazy? Is this normal? I'm trying to make sense of it in my brain.
    #1
  2. Akronorka

    Akronorka Adventurer

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    My advice
    Get a 919
    #2
  3. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

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    You need better gear that fits you better. I hop on my DR650, all geared up, and still feel like I'm a little kid again...riding my dirtbike illegally on public roads.
    #3
  4. Al Goodwin

    Al Goodwin Long timer

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    I dress for the crash....not the ride.

    I love to ride....ride my Tenere with the wife, my TY trials bike in the rocks, my XR in the hare scrambles, and my KLR on the trails....they're all equally as thrilling as the other, and I wear ATGATT on all if them...including ear-plugs.

    I AM FREE when I'm riding....our personalized tag reads "NOWR 2B", that's the way we travel.

    If gear takes away from the joy of riding....I can't help you.:ear
    #4
  5. sarhog

    sarhog Ride far...

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    How much gear you choose to wear (or not) is not predicated by your bike.
    Apparently, you feel that you can ride a Harley with just a T-shirt and jeans, but you cannot wear that on your "adventure bike".
    Why is that? I'll tell you why... you're worried about "fitting in" with a motorcycle specific crowd.
    The roadblock to your freedom ain't your bike, it's you...
    #5
  6. SRG

    SRG SRG

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    Mucho fun can be had on a trials bike. Going slow, not taking big risks allows one to wear minimal gear. Boots, gloves, and a 3/4 helmet is enough.
    #6
  7. Albie

    Albie Kool Aid poisoner

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    This, if you dress because of what you perceive other people think of you, then that's where the real problem lies.
    #7
  8. Offcamber

    Offcamber Long timer

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    I hear what you're saying...sometimes when I ride I think the only thing missing is the sound of a respirator (think Darth Vader). However the few times I have gone without a jacket and riding pants I felt a like something was missing, like driving my car without a seat belt. Just have gotten so use to wearing all the gear.
    #8
  9. fastdadio

    fastdadio Still gettin faster

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    Get a wave runner and ride it nekkid. That should give you your fix.
    :lol3:rofl:lol3
    #9
  10. Chico

    Chico Thief and Saboteur

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    I once read a cycling article about single-speeds with the line "...capture that feeling from childhood--before you had to dress up to ride your bike."
    Totally applies to motorcycles. Once you are aware of the risks and the rewards, do your thing.

    If you're missing the visceral experience of motorcycling, maybe you need to minimize. At some point, I realized that even the smell of gas and hot metal of an older vintage bike makes me happy so I got one for cheap and kept my 1150gs for longer rides and traveling.
    #10
  11. No False Enthusiasm

    No False Enthusiasm a quiet adventurer

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    "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose..." Kristofferson

    Jeans, T-shirt, fatigue jacket, and jump boots... '70s riding gear.

    Now, I'm all the gear, all the time. Gear got better, and I got smarter...

    NFE
    #11
  12. vecchio Lupo

    vecchio Lupo Diplomatico Di Moto

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    I think I know what you are getting at. My bikes got bigger and faster with years, my gear improved at the same rate. I am a faithful member of the church of full on ATGATT. Then it was too much trouble to get dressed up to ride to the hardware store. The ritual and uniform reached a point of diminished return unless high mileage was on the table. A friend of mine, about ten years my senior began riding smaller bikes and adjusting his risk management. He has a new-ish Bonneville that he goes e erywhere on, but short hops in town are more like they were in the 70s when a Ramones biker jacket and an open face helmet was considered full gear.

    I have a 1000cc BMW that sees big mileage days, but I have an 03 Triumph 790cc that goes everywhere else and even some big days itself. I am guilty of a cortech armored textile jacket, good helmet and gloves, and boy is it fun. I feel like its 1979 and I just got off my shift at the Amoco station. You don't need the whole long way down uniform to run up the street. Just quality gear for the minimum level you are ok with and be extra vigilant and rely on experience.

    I feel in my quest to express my opinion, I only made this worse, and I fell into the trap of over sell. Somedays you should ride with minimum gear and remember why you started riding in the first place, and then be extra careful.
    #12
  13. Zeid

    Zeid Adventurer

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    Some good replies in this thread and lots of truth. Thank you folks! :D

    I'll totally agree, the big-bmw-adv image has almost more peer pressure than any other including HD. I've taken this bike down some incredibly tough trails and on some pretty long adventure rides, so I don't want to be viewed as some dude who just laid out a bunch of cash and has no idea what he bought just because it looked cool. I usually don't give a crap how people perceive me, I usually wear jeans and a t-shirt just about everywhere except those I'm absolutely required not to. I gave up on image a long ass time ago, but still in some situations you subconsciously do something to feel... I don't know the word for it. Not accepted, but rather, to feel like you know what you're doing?

    I ask myself, even if I take a nearby trip, do I want to suit up like an astronaut? Or do I still want to feel the wind in my- non-helmet regions.

    It still is a fact that the bike is very top heavy two up for cruising around town on. I guess I like the appeal of a simple, low to the ground bike made for cruising around and be the kind that suits something like that up for a long ride in my t-shirt and jeans. I dunno, I guess it's that classic romance of a motorcycle appeal.

    I do agree though and thanks for the advice, I think I need to kick my gear down a notch when I'm just scooting around locally. Some people don't understand the risks, I know that's why some here are saying "dress for the crash, not the ride." It's very true, I've even heard some idiots laugh and say "I don't plan on crashing." I know full well the risks and pain I undertake when not wearing full gear, but am I willing to accept that to feel what a motorcycle is suppose to be giving me?
    #13
  14. vecchio Lupo

    vecchio Lupo Diplomatico Di Moto

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    Good thread and good responses. The question you asked seems to resonate with riders of a certain age, I'd say over 50, we remember seeing the R100RS and the first generation Katana sport bikes and thinking "man that's a lot of plastic to worry about." Crashbars or highway pegs was all the accessories we could think of. Now I'm trying to lose weight to fit I to my 25 year old Police leather jacket and I ordered a pair of Gasolina shortcut engineers boots.

    Long live rock and roll baby.
    #14
  15. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    Begin Op Zoom

    :loco
    #15
  16. Zeid

    Zeid Adventurer

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    I'm a good few years under that age bracket. I guess I just aged way too quickly :rofl
    #16
  17. Zeid

    Zeid Adventurer

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    Get out of my head!
    #17
  18. tkent02

    tkent02 Long timer

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    Buy a Smaller bike that is Fun.


    What he said.

    Big bikes are more like work. Less like freedom.
    #18
  19. KirkN

    KirkN Been here awhile

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    Jeez, what's the big deal?

    "my bike sometimes seems too big and heavy for local short hops / cruising two up"

    "sometimes I don't like all the gear, all the time"

    "the bike IS brilliant for it's niche, and I DO like all the gear some of the time"



    Get a second bike, or a third or a single, different bike and quitcher bitchin'...

    Wear whatever you want that particular day and quitcher bitchin'...
    #19
  20. vecchio Lupo

    vecchio Lupo Diplomatico Di Moto

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    Must be the desert sun, UV takes its toll.
    #20