I’m Not Sick, But I’m Not Well

2016-11-30-14-10-47

“Sick bike, man.” This was a much younger fellow, parking his red Honda next to me earlier today. Because I am forty-five years old my first thought was to listen carefully to the big Kawasaki’s idle, to figure out what I’d missed, to uncover the audible diagnosis that my fellow rider’s stethoscope had picked up as sick. But he meant sick bike, that’s all. Sick means good.

His bike was very healthy. An NC700X, the sensible adventure-ish bike with an engine made by cutting the Honda Fit’s inline-four neatly in half. It has a trunk where the fuel tank should be. Same bike my ex-wife’s husband rode until he moved up to a red 2014 Interceptor in October. I like the reasonable utility of it. When I was this fellow’s age, I rode a Ninja 600R. But that was back when you could buy a fast used sportbike for under two grand and actually insure the thing before turning twenty-five.

Society has cucked these twentysomething men, and I’m not just talking about the process by which they have to get written consent in triplicate and enter a Facebook-official relationship just so they can use the requisite dental dam to go down on some pink-dyed-hair 250-pound Women’s Studies major with garbage tattoos and a pitbull attitude. Even if they could afford a real sportbike, they couldn’t insure it. The same is true for ponycars and hot hatches and whatnot. We Gen-Xers like to bitch about the kids but we forget that we were the last generation to be permitted any sort of entry into adult jobs, responsibilities, identities. And that’s why the guy who buys a Ninja or a Mustang GT now in 2016 isn’t the same kind of person who bought one in 1996 — he’s the same fucking guy, actually. Yet we still resent the Boomers, and rightly so, for being the last generation to have access to wealth, retirement, respectable society, and blameless drunk driving.


Oh well. Sucks to be him. At least the kid has a motorcycle. I can only imagine what kind of grief his parents give him. You ride a 47-horsepower twin-cylinder bike with a trunk and Mom thinks you’ve joined the Sons of Anarchy. So his NX700X is a much bigger statement of rebellion than my Ninja ever was. All of this went into my decision to give him a slow nod and a corresponding, “Dig that NC, man.” Good for him.

At lunchtime I fired up the ZX-14R again and headed a few miles out to an old-school restaurant on the West Side of Columbus, It’s been open seventy years, but it’s about to close. The area surrounding it has gone from respectable to problematic to outright murderous. The local prosecutors and some of the cops eat here, which meant that I felt safe parking my bike about three hundred feet from the project-housing stoop where five of the local vibrant youth were idly chittering, with the innocent menace of crows plucking at a crippled animal’s eye, about what they’d do if they could get their hands on the Kawasaki. But that doesn’t mean that people want to come here at night, and it doesn’t mean they’ll drive by twenty brand-new downtown restaurants to do it.

There was a mixup. I was supposed to have lunch with an old friend and client. I’d been his daughter’s BMX team manager and coach in 1991, when she was five years old and I was twenty. She now has a husband and two children. I’d arrived a little early so as not to miss my friend, but he’d been even earlier. And they’d seated him elsewhere. So for about half an hour, we both ate our appetizers and cursed the other one’s tardiness. Eventually he looked at his phone and came up front to finish the meal with me.

Before that happened, though, I saw a young woman holding a child bounce up to me and say, “Jack!” Without my prescription sunglasses, I’d taken her for my friend’s daughter, the former BMX racer who ended up being on the US Olympic team as an alternate. But it was not her, as I realized when I stood up and drew close enough for the two of us to awkwardly side-hug in a baby-respecting way. It was… well, let’s call her Eileen.

I met Eileen six years ago. She was the sister of a close friend I’d made working at Honda. She was beautiful, blonde with big eyes and a slim but slightly hippy figure, perfect skin, vibrating with a sort of barely concealed excitement all the time. I think I loved her the moment I saw her. Sometimes, as Margot Timmins sang, you meet someone and your guts just burn. I think she kind of dug me too. A professional music teacher who performed in a remarkably popular country cover band, she was not quite thirty, never married, dabbling her way through a series of men that predictably alternated between wealthy and handsome.

I wanted to ask her out and/or give her some sort of engagement ring, preferably before the close of the evening in which we met. Unfortunately for me, however, there was a minor impediment to all of this. I thought of her little brother as my little brother, too. Dating Eileen would mean that I’d lose my friend. Not right away, mind you; she and her brother lived together, they were thick as thieves, I could have been an easy third wheel. But at some point it would have come to an close and I’d have lost them both.

So I did nothing, or almost nothing. She became close friends with my girlfriend at the time. And then, around the time that I was moving said girlfriend out of my house, she married her childhood sweetheart, returning to the Capistrano of her hometown love after thirteen years in the wilderness. Shortly afterwards, she became pregnant.

I don’t know whether I was relieved or depressed to find that she was still beautiful after pregnancy, although she’d taken her hair to a mousy shade of brown and the scandalously deep decolletage of her typical dresses had been replaced by something that was almost motherly. We talked for a moment, inquiring after friends and children, a sort of verbal white noise so we could just stand in each others’ company. I asked about her brother; thanks to a series of unfortunate circumstances, I hadn’t seen him in a year. She said he was fine, safe, half the country away.

At that moment I realized that I had lost them both anyway, that my dogged and deliberate self-sacrifice had been for nothing at all. I felt that vertiginous advent of despair, the sick feeling that you have when you make a mistake halfway through a long BMX jump and you know that you’ll be landing on your knees or hands or face.

“We should get together,” Eileen lied.

“Absolutely. Immediately,” I pretended. Then we touched hands and she walked off.

Half an hour later, I started the bike and headed back to work. I’d wanted to savor that dark-chocolate sorrow of seeing Eileen, of having lost her. But it’s so hard to stay unhappy on this big-hearted Clydesdale Pegasus, this machine that warps time and space. I pondered the facts of the matter; I could never have loved that flighty, narcissistic girl the way I love Danger Girl. We had very little in common. She wanted a child; I only want to parent my son and be grateful for him.

This was the best of all possible worlds, each of us with the right person, having what we wanted. With a twinge of annoyance, I realized that I hadn’t managed to stay unhappy for even ten minutes. You’ll laugh but as a writer you need sorrow, you really do, you sow the field of your imagination with discontent then reap the whirlwind. A lane opened up ahead of me and I twisted the Kawasaki’s front wheel off the ground between Marconi and Front Streets, an oh-so-brief expression of mechanical defiance and joy. Touched back down. Back to the salt mines. How would I appear to my friend on the Honda NC700X, the earnest young man, if he could see the workings of my heart, the things that animate me, the worm-worn pathways of despair and triumph and longing and satisfaction? Me and my Ninja, roaring past the downtown bystanders, shift to third and blur the world, not sick, but also not well.

89 Replies to “I’m Not Sick, But I’m Not Well”

  1. Avatareverybodyhatesscott

    I’m over 25, have a car, a second motorcycle, and a house all on the same insurance and my yzf-r1 policy is still insane.

    When I called my insurance agent she said ‘That’s a bad ass bike isn’t it?’ That’s never a good sign.

    On the bright side for the kid, he’s got a motorcycle and Tinder. “Ever been on a bike?” was the easiest tinder pickup line I’ve ever used. Not the best way to find a wife, but he probably couldn’t afford one of those anyways.

    What gloves are those? I’m looking for a white pair of gloves and those are pretty sharp

    Reply
  2. AvatarDirty Dingus McGee

    I’ll bet that all of us have at least one “lost love” story. Some of us are fortunate enough to have motorcycles to work thru it on. Nothing like a ride, preferably a long one, to bring life back into focus.

    Reply
      • Avatareverybodyhatesscott

        @david

        My original quote was around 1100 for the year just for the r1 and I’m 32 and i was getting a discount for it being my second bike. After i got some combination discounts and paying the year all at once its around 1000 for both bikes

        Reply
          • AvatarEconomist

            Red 2014 Honda Interceptor master race member, checking in. My insurance is somewhere around $600 per year for a 36 year old with a multiline discount.

          • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

            Not bad.

            My VFR is $280 a year, but it’s liability only coverage. I need to find somebody besides Progressive to insure my bikes.

          • AvatarDavis

            I wish my bike was only $1700 to insure. My last full year policy was $3580…..and people ask me why I don’t ride anymore lol. This is what happens when our lovely government takes over vehicle insurance.
            The worst part is they justify the high rates by taking all damages for claims out of the motorcycle pool. If a semi runs me over and I live my lifetime disability only comes from what us 2 wheelers pay. In any other society they would asking fault to the truck and take it out of the commercial pool.
            Other than the forced insurance racket it’s not that bad up here in canuckistan though

  3. Avatarjz78817

    Being “cucked” has nothing to do with why they can’t get insurance. They can’t afford insurance because they all ride like reckless assholes on public roads. I live about 3/4 mile from an interstate, and every night during the summer I’ll hear the repetitive screaming of squids bombing up and down the freeway popping their sick wheelies, over and over and over until at least 4:00 a.m. Or do it in the middle of rush hour traffic, popping wheelies in the left lane over and over showing off to people who at best couldn’t give a shit. Or like the one back in July who was weaving in and out of dense traffic at 70 mph and came within literal (LITERAL) inches of clipping my front bumper and wiping himself out.

    Insurance is expensive because the insurance companies have scores and teams of data which tells them you are very likely to cost them a lot of money in the future. Same reason it’s hard to rent a car if you’re under 25; they know you’re inexperienced, irresponsible, reckless, destructive, and feel you’re invinvcible. Maybe instead of whining about not being able to afford insurance, they should act like the adults they legally are instead of total shitheads.

    Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      But none of the kids you’re talking about even have insurance. The stunt bike crowd is beneath the notice of civil enforcement. They don’t pull over for cops and they don’t pay fines.

      And all of the same things you’re talking about were also true in 1993, when I was able to get insurance at the age of 21, and in 2000, when I was able to get insurance on a new YZF600R at the age of 28.

      Reply
      • Avatarjz78817

        it doesn’t matter. simply being in that age group means insurance companies see you as an enormous risk, and with good reason. Most of these dickheads haven’t grown up enough for the adolescent “I’m invincible and need to show off” part of the brain to have dissipated yet.

        Reply
        • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

          We’re not disagreeing, Jim.

          What I’m saying is that it was far more affordable for young people to insure a GSX-R or a Mustang GT thirty or twenty years ago.

          You might well point out that insurance companies are simply doing the math when they raise rates. But that doesn’t change the effect that it has on would-be Mustang or GSX-R owners.

          Reply
          • AvatarDavid Walton

            What does a young punk pay to insure him-(or her-)self on a high powered bike these days? Ballpark suffices, of course.

          • Avatarviper32cm

            It also varies across state lines. Part of the reason I bought my first BMW seven years ago was the high insurance rates in the state where I lived at the time (a direct action state with fairly liberal insurance bad faith law). Perfect driving record and past my 25th birthday, the 350Z and G35 were something like $275 per month while E90s and Z4s could be insured for around $200 per month (my 10 year old *V6* Mustang was ~$150 per month). This was a major disappointment because 350Zs and G35s could be had for cheaper than E90s and Z4s, but not cheap enough to counteract the increase in insurance premium.

            When I moved to my current state my rates dropped by 50% (not a direct action state and relatively limited insurance bad faith law).

      • Avatarbaconator

        100% this. Warren Buffet is slightly richer than God precisely because he owns Geico insurance. He has been successful in moving that entire industry from the olden days (of the 1990s!) when they would lose money on insurance underwriting in order to make money investing the premium float, to the current situation where they make money on insurance and also have even more premium float to invest.

        He has done this by using his bully pulpit to hector competitors into pricing their premiums similarly to Geico, in lieu of actual anti-competitive collusion. He’s a shrewd guy. But he’s collecting that extra $500/year from millions of quasi-housebroken young men with high-horsepower death chariots.

        Reply
          • Avatarrambo furum

            First, in a free market we’d be free to not buy insurance.
            In perfect competition free markets, there would be minimal barriers to entry so that new entrants that did not collude would swiftly replace the overpriced colluders.

          • Avatarviper32cm

            Insurance of any form in this country is far from a free market. Highly regulated at a state and federal level, and that’s not even getting into the court system and the plaintiffs and policyholder bars.

            Also, interesting thing about Buffett is that he’s managed to make money buying up old policies covering asbestos companies and then managing the claims process with an iron fist.

        • AvatarKen

          I’m a little lost, are you saying that Buffet got everyone to match GEICO’s prices… which typically are lower than most insures so they could make more money on cheaper insurance?

          Reply
          • AvatarKen

            Above comment was @baconator

            @viper32cm
            A regulated insurance market isn’t necessarily a bad thing. There are some markets that shouldn’t be totally “free” of law or restrictions. Insurance, healthcare, environmental services, etc.

            Without lawsuits, the insured would have no recourse for denied claims. And without government regulation, insurance companies can get very aggressive with high risk investments and risk solvency. Or deny coverage to “high risk” pools.

            Granted each has room for improvements. The US in particular is a high litigation, high nuisance claim market for insurance and too much regulation can strangle a company. But each check, even as flawed as they exist today, is better than none.

          • Avatarviper32cm

            There was no value judgment in my comment, just a statement of fact. In fact, without all those lawsuits, I wouldn’t be able to eat. That said, our legal and regulatory systems are horribly flawed, but I’d probably start at not throwing people in jail and/or ruining their lives for stupid malum prohibitum, victimless, petty, strict liability, no intent/low intent, contrived, mandatory minimum, bullshit “crimes” first.

  4. AvatarSbc350gearhead

    Tommy’s diner is closing?!?!? Man, they have great breakfast food. They have have been packed every time I have been in there. The bottoms is a bad location though.

    Reply
  5. AvatarChris Tonn

    The old “one(s) that got away” trope. Works for cars, bikes (I’d assume), and lovers.

    Social media has actually eased my sorrow on the latter. An occasional glance at her FB page shows me that she’s living a life incompatible with mine. No matter how stunning she is, no matter how much I ache – it’s not worth tossing what I have for an uncertain-but-likely-painful future.

    And yet..I still check.

    Reply
      • Avatarhank chinaski

        And then there’s the bullet dodged. I got the generic baby picture Christmas card from one and reflexively did the math in my head.
        *shiver*

        Reply
  6. AvatarBryce Himelrick

    Brilliant piece, you are such a great writer, I both envy and try to emulate you at the same time. Your writing, taking a trivial moment, something that would escape the average mans mind ever so quickly, and make it into a deep and thoughtful piece. It has truly inspired me.

    Reply
  7. Avatarmopar4wd

    I like adventure bikes always have (I like all bikes despite not owning one). My wife on the other hand would prefer I had a fatboy, vrod or streetbike. When I express my affection for gold wings she makes fun of me. I think one of the reasons I don’t have a bike (other then low funds) is that my parents would have been fine with me having one.

    I have also more then once found myself going out and looking at the Honda Pacific Coast. I think it really means I’m a 6’4″ tattooed, 8″ long beard dork.

    Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      So. Every time I go to San Francisco I see the SAME faded-to-Honda-pink PC800 street parked down near Iron&Resin or whatever it’s called. The bike is beat to shit. It’s awesome.

      Reply
      • Avatarmopar4wd

        Yeah I love them but I don’t know why. My dad always had bikes and when I was a kid we used to go to the local Kawasaki dealer which was also a Honda dealer. I think that’s where my like of Goldwing’s comes from sitting on one when your 8 or 9 is the coolest thing ever. I remember he for a while got a few bike magazines and when I was about 10 there was a full page ad for the Pacific coast. Ever since then I kind of want one.
        I think bikes were less cool when I was a kid to me, because my Dad had them. So instead of bikes I bought power boats and 4×4’s. (my dad is a sailor and was a van driver)

        Reply
        • AvatarApuleius

          When the PC was first released I was working for Honda and they put on amazing demo days for employees. In ’89 I got proper rides on the melted-soap Hurricanes, the surprisingly fun Magna 750, and the PC. My own bikes were a Suzuki RG500 repli-racer and a noisy CB900F but I still loved the PC and probably would have grabbed one if I’d had anywhere near the money.

          One of the best all-round bikes right now is the very practical Kawasaki Versys 650 – it goes, stops, handles, and carries stuff brilliantly. But it doesn’t sell pirate costumes.

          Reply
    • Avatareverybodyhatesscott

      I think one of the reasons I don’t have a bike (other then low funds) is that my parents would have been fine with me having one.

      When I was in college my parents said, ‘if you get a bike, we’re not paying for your school’

      School cost 30k a year so I waited on the bike.

      When my dad was the same age, my grandma said the exact same thing to him. My dad ended up paying for his school.

      I like adventure bikes always have

      Ditto, I’m tempted to sell my street triple to finance a Triupmh Tiger or Yamaha Tenere (I love the bmw but they’re so damn expensive) Then I’d have something stupid (My R1) and something a little more sensible.

      Reply
      • Avatarmopar4wd

        My parents regularly asked me thru my late teens and 20’s why I didn’t go out and get my MC licence (seriously). They both had them since they were teens (I have never seen my Mom on a bike in either position but apparently she had a little Honda back in the 60’s. ) I ‘m seriously considering taking a one day rider course/exam and getting it this spring. I have ridden a little but mostly off road other then a few quick spins on friends bikes back in high school.
        My dad’s old KZ400 is still around but I may be to big for it. I tried riding his Virago but the seat was so low I felt like I was riding a a kids bike.

        Reply
        • Avatareverybodyhatesscott

          Do it. Just remember to sign up early. The spring classes fill up fast. I tried to get my gf to take the msf in October cause the fall classes are empty but it fell through.

          Reply
  8. Avatar-Nate

    Well said .

    I had the psycho-bitch I had to cut loose after I wound up on the front page and she went off to jail…

    She once was having one of those events where they yell and scream and said ” I suppose for you all you needs do is ride your Motocycle and everything will be fine, right ?! ” .

    Yep, pretty much so =8-) .

    -Nate

    Reply
  9. Avatardon curton

    That’s two articles in which you equate adventure bikes with cucks. It sounds like you have issues. I’ve heard therapy helps, never tried it myself.

    Instead of using a horribly insulting term, try realizing that today’s young men are noticeable different from how we were back then (I’m a shade over 50 myself). They were raised in a world where bicycle helmets were mandatory. Every kid got to play a certain amount, didn’t matter if the team was winning or losing. All playtime was supervised by adults. Risk wasn’t allowed and excessively aggressive behavior punished.

    And it was our generation that caused it. I blame women, and maybe even us men for allowing women to do this. My parents would have scoffed at the idea of spending every evening and most weekends running their kids all over creation to play in special sports leagues. Yet your brother does just that, and worries whether his son is having fun. Me and my brothers rode in the bed of the truck more often than in the cab. My wife obsessively reads reviews on child safety seats. All risk is neutralized. And behavior controlled by Ritalin.

    And you expect these kids to buy monster sports bikes?

    They’re not being cucks, they’re just behaving in the exact manner in which we raised them.

    And give ADV bikes some love, man. They’re a perfectly respectable substitute for basic 4-wheeled transportation.

    Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      I’m not anti-ADV. And I’m particularly not anti-NC700X… I might make my ex’s husband an offer on his.

      What upsets me is the idea of young men riding them. At 45, I could ride an NC700X or a “Wee-Strom” for the same reason I could ride a Wing or a Roadmaster; I’m supposed to be settled. But instead I’m on a ZX-14R and the kids are on ADVs. Something’s wrong, both in my refusal to terminate the adolescent state and these kids’ fear of flying.

      All of your points are fairly made.

      Reply
  10. Avatarjz78817

    “I blame women”

    So do the cultures which force women to wear burqas out in public.

    Sounds like you’re the one with issues.

    Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      Easy, now.

      He’s blaming women for the feminization of young men. And he’s right to do so. But if you want to be absolutely fair about it, you could say that all the men out there raised by single mothers also have their absent fathers to blame.

      Reply
      • Avatarjz78817

        If that’s supposed to be true, why is it solely the woman’s fault? What about non-absent fathers?

        (so far, no accusations of being a SJW. I expect that to change.)

        Reply
        • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

          I don’t think anybody is saying “solely”. But would you stipulate the following points:

          0. Women have more “say” in raising children than ever before, even though many of them are no longer staying home;

          1. Today’s young men are more likely to possess qualities traditionally considered “feminine”.

          Reply
          • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

            You mean the 18th century where dueling accounted for nontrivial casualties in every European army? That 18th century?

            I’m not talking about man buns or wearing sneakers to work. I’m talking about an entire generation of young men that expects to depend on women and not the other way round.

          • Avatar-Nate

            “1. Today’s young men are more likely to possess qualities traditionally considered “feminine”.”

            If these Young men are properly raised up this will be an incredibly good thing .

            -Nate

          • Avatarviper32cm

            Apropos to Don’s original comment and all subsequents: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIlv17AwgIU

            Bear in mind, that was filmed in 1999. Additionally, large portions of the stand up special focus on the “pussification” of the American male. One could see this as evidence of generational critcisms recylcing themselves, but I think George was commenting on societal trends that we are seeing the effects of today.

          • Avatareverybodyhatesscott

            If these Young men are properly raised up this will be an incredibly good thing .

            Ehh, the other side of the coin is it seems we’re raising women to be more masculine. Feminine men and masculine women doesn’t seem like a good idea to me.

            And it seems women don’t actually like dudes who are feminine so you end up with a whole bunch of incels who play too many video games.

          • AvatarKen

            This hits too close to home…

            HAD a bike since I was 24 (which was in 2006) road a lot in 8 years, averaging 10-15k miles per year and riding almost year round. Absolutely loved it.

            My wife never liked the bike, but would tolerate it before kids. Sold my bike at 32 when my first was born. Before kids, if I went “splat”, my wife would be heartbroken, but she’d eventually move on. Despite my wife and family’s general disapproval (admittedly they were not active discouragers) – it was never enough for me to give it up. The happiness on the bike outweighed it all.

            The day came that I met my son, and the thought of him not knowing me was enough for me to give it up. My Wife and family certainly agreed.

            Still, it gnaws at me. Its been two years and I struggle with the neutered safety I’ve imposed on myself and the message this will send to my son. I feel he should know some risks as he gets older and that he (if he wanted) should ride. Though if anything were to happen to me because of my “selfishness” it would be terrible – not to mention what bringing a bike back into the house would do to my marriage.

            I bought a toy car thinking it would fill the void the bike has left. It hasn’t.

            I continue idly peruse CL for Bandit 1200s.

  11. AvatarWulfgar

    And you drew me again under the guise of another motorcycle article 😉

    I had ’em all back in the day – 500 Interceptor, FZR400, FZ750, GSX-R, Ducati. Being young and part of the working poor never stopped me from what I loved. And while I think of the fun times, and the racing, and the wrecks, I still don’t miss those bikes. But the once in a lifetime ones? The ones you gave up on, gave away, drove away? Those haunt the memories of a 55 year old man.

    I had the luxury of one of each at one point when I was young and foolish. The bike? Suzuki RG500 Gamma. The pinnacle of Jnapense two stroke racing technology; square four, twin cranks, unobtanium. The woman? Built differently but equally unobtainable. And yet here they were in my life at the same time.

    When you wake these days, creaking and limping from the folly of youth, you Iike to tell yourself the memories are better than the truth of the time. But it’s just the lies you repeat to get through the day.

    Keep up the good work.

    Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      I saw a Gamma for the first time when I was at Revival Cycles in Austin last year. It was like meeting Marilyn Monroe. You have my deepest envy.

      Reply
    • AvatarYamahog

      I am a young man with some means – I have been very, very financially conservative since I graduated college and I’d like to buy something worth remembering.

      I have an FJR1300 (which is delightful but also a little too similar to my Clinton Era Lexus insofar they’re both velvet gloved, iron fists). I think there are two directions of improvement – something substantially faster (only the Superduke, zx-14, and H2 seem to fit the bill), or something lighter and rawer

      If you were to purchase an exhilarating bike now, what would it be?

      And what do you think of this idea – getting a Bimota 125cc GP bike frame or Norton featherbed frame, dropping in a YZ250 motor with wide ratio gearing, converting it to fuel / oil injection, and making it street legal? I think it could be unusually fast and light for the street.

      Reply
      • Avatar-Nate

        ” But if you want to be absolutely fair about it, you could say that all the men out there raised by single mothers also have their absent fathers to blame.”

        They _ARE_ to blame ! .

        That being said, my Son was born in 1979 and although I’ll never ride him in the bed of my pickup, I certainly made a deliberate point to teach him risk assessment and not to be afraid to go after what he wants .

        Naturally he’s far better educated than I am, a *much* faster, better and SAFER motocycle rider than I am , makes more $ , seems to be a good Father on and on and…

        I have to work diligently at this with out Teenaged Foster boys, no one ever takes the time to TEACH them , rather they give them way too much rope then yell at them when the inevitable happens .

        There’s always a choice, if YOU decide to allow your Child to be a wimp that’s entirely on YOU .

        Plenty of gentle, intelligent Children growing up in The Ghetto where I live, they’ll never be in the boxing ring but they’ll be well adjusted and successful rest assured .

        Just this morning I was talking to one about the COWARDLY gang bangers at Washington High School on Denker .

        -Nate

        Reply
  12. Avatar-Nate

    ” I’ve heard therapy helps, never tried it myself.”

    ? You don’t ride ? .

    FWIW, riding Motocycles *is* Theraputic and in a very positive way .

    If you don’t ride you don’t get to comment on any aspect of riding apart from the pinheads with tiny sicks who ride like fools in traffic .

    (they’re fair game as Darwinian Subjects)

    -Nate

    Reply
  13. AvatarDonald Curton

    -Nate ? You don’t ride ?

    Actually I do. Been riding since the 1970’s. It is theraputic, but that didn’t really fit the snark I was trying. Sorry.

    jz78817 – If that’s supposed to be true, why is it solely the woman’s fault?

    If you read my post, you’ll see that I blame both women and men. When people talk about the feminization of young men, the general consensus is that women lead that effort and men passively allow them to. You may disagree with that view, but it is a prevailing view. And in that view, women shoulder the majority of blame (but not all of it). And the fact that your first response is very hostile and aggressive leads me to the dreaded SJW accusation. Yeah, I’ll go ahead and throw it out there.

    Let’s try a thought exercise. Can women be just as responsible as men? I’d say yes, they can be. If they’re responsible, then can women also be accountable? I’d say it stands to reason, yes. If women are responsible and accountable, then logically they can also be fairly blamed if things turn out in a manner in which we don’t like. If you get overly upset that someone is “blaming women”, then maybe you don’t believe women are responsible or accountable. That would make you the sexist, wouldn’t it?

    I actually believe it is largely a cultural thing, in part driven by women but also driven by a lot of other factors. Including poor performance by men. So don’t go all SJW on me just cause I blame women for their role in it.

    Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      Don, I don’t know why this got stuck in moderation. Sorry about that.

      IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH ADVENTURE-BIKE BIGOTRY I SWEAR

      Reply
      • AvatarDonald Curton

        Probably cause I posted the second response from a different computer. But I’m ok with anti-ADV bigotry. 🙂

        Reply
      • AvatarDonald Curton

        Thank you, I do have a pretty nice life. I’ve had to work hard for it, and I intend to enjoy it. I hope you can do the same.

        Reply
  14. Avatarrambo furum

    BTW, I find adventure bikes to be the two wheeled version of the CUV in most cases. The riders want a plain jane UJM but are either too lethargic to actually seek one out, or they have some Walter Mitty fantasies about transcending innocuously sensible commuting with a vehicle with an optimistic image announcing that it might one day ford a stream or slide around on sand dunes. The problem comes with the inauthentic make-believe, which seems to happen much more often than not. This is compounded by frivolous farkling. If the rider is actually blitzing fire trails or other unimproved roads, great.

    Reply
    • AvatarDirty Dingus McGee

      I got into what are now called “adventure touring” bikes in the early 80’s (still own my 93 BMW R100GSPD). At the time BMW was about the only game in town, which worked out fine as I was already riding one. There is little that can compare to the looks from someone on a 250-600cc off road bike, when they meet you on a fire road pounding a 1000cc boxer BMW, with hard bags. The only look that comes close is when I “stoplight gran prix” a 600-750cc sport bike on my 87 FXRS Harley. It’s been worked over (111 inch motor), runs high 10’s in the quarter mile with a top end just north of 140mph.

      Viper32cm posted a link to a George Carlin piece further up the thread. This one is one of my favorites;

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSrzwB1DVFs#t=81.119818

      FWIW, I’m starting my 60th trip around the sun. I still average 18-20,000 miles a year. The ones that Carlin refers to, we call WHORES. We Haul Our Ride Everywhere.

      Reply
    • AvatarDon Curton

      “The riders want a plain jane UJM but are either too lethargic to actually seek one out”

      Since I can’t leave well enough alone, I’ll start with back in 2007 I did want just a plain jane UJM. And there were basically none to be found in new, showroom condition, so I ended up with a Wee-Strom (and loved it). Ignoring the task of buying, restoring, maintaining, and riding a 30+ year old bike, what new bikes are available today that qualify as UJM in your opinion?

      I did recently purchase a CB1100E, so I now have one, but I wouldn’t necessarily call it a plain jane version. I’ll throw out there that the Suzuki Bandit, when it’s available, qualifies. And now that I’m actually thinking about it, maybe the Honda 919, but I don’t know if it’s still in production. There certainly wasn’t one at any of the dealerships I visited. Anything else?

      The only reason I ask is that I honestly didn’t feel “too lethargic”, I just couldn’t find anything suitable back then, and not too much today. In fact, my opinion, most ADV bikes are the new UJM’s. I visited a half-dozen Suzuki dealerships in the past year – no Bandits but plenty of Wee-Stroms. The market has spoken, apparently. Anyway, always interested to hear another opinion on motorcycles.

      Reply
      • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

        Agreed on the idea of the ADV bikes being the modern UJMs. And double-agreed on modern-day UJMs being few and far between.

        Reply
      • AvatarEconomist

        I was looking for UJMs before I bought my Interceptor this year. Modern UJMs (at least the Honda ones) are actually quite expensive. If I could have bought a 919 from the showroom floor, I would have been all over it.

        Reply
  15. AvatarAoletsgo

    Weird, I have been hearing that songs chorus in my head most mornings lately. Must be the fact we are rolling into another holiday season with the combination of less exercise, dark/cold/damp days and nights, excessive eating and drinking. However, I do hate that line “that only stupid people are breeding the cretins cloning and feeding and I don’t even own a TV” – smug, self rightous, little turd.
    Also the high cost of auto insurance really bugs me and I am no where close to being in the high risk category.

    Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      I always thought that the addition of the “I don’t even own a TV” part was meant to be a knowing wink to the listener there.

      It’s not true that only stupid people are breeding, of course. A more accurate way to look at it: only religious and/or poor people are breeding.

      Reply
  16. Avatarviper32cm

    If language matters, which of course it does, it should scare the shit out of anyone that the term “breeder” is now used as a pejorative for people who have kids and that there are enough “incels” that someone coined the term “incel.”

    Reply
  17. Avatar-Nate

    @Ken ;

    So you’ve decided to never know the joy of riding off to nowhere with your young Son holding onto you, enjoying life ? .

    Wow, that’s harsh .

    -Nate

    Reply
    • AvatarKen

      Twist the knife Nate!

      Sadly, at the moment there is no bike.

      I struggle with it. I may get back to it. Time will tell, how strong the urge gets and what my son takes to will play a part.

      Reply
      • AvatarDirty Dingus McGee

        I think you will find that just about every boy between the age of 2 and 20 likes motorcycles. And a good many girls in the same age group do also.

        CSB time; About 15 years ago I was seeing a woman who had 2 daughters, the oldest around 10. There were times when I would pick the oldest up at her school, due to her mother being tied up at her work. The daughter liked when I would pick her up in my hot rod, but LOVED when I would pick her up on my bike. She would want to go slow out of the parking lot so all her friends could see her, but when we got to the road she wanted some speed. Not 35-40, I’m talking 60-70. I ran into her in a restaurant about 4 years ago, married with 2 kids of her own, and she remember those rides with a wistful look on her face. I’m 1/2 certain if I had offered her a ride ride then, husband and kids would have been left sitting in the restaurant.

        TL;DR Get a bike, take your kids on it, live life large. You could just as easily get squashed by a bus in your car, as on a bike.

        Reply
      • AvatarEconomist

        I can agree that my 2 boys, aged 2 and 5, think my new motorcycle is the coolest thing ever, much to their mother’s chagrin.
        I’m trying to figure out how to get an electric bike similar to the one Jack’s son has for my older one’s 6th birthday.

        Reply
      • Avatar-Nate

        OOPS ~ .

        I forgot the _salt_ .

        My Baby Boy called me to – day and asked me to take him to the PO-mona Swap Meet to – morrow…=8-) .

        There’s still time Ken.

        -Nate

        Reply
  18. AvatarDirtRoads

    I rode for 45 years and never once bought insurance. And I didn’t do sick wheelies on the Interstate.

    Although there were moments…

    Point is, I never lived where motorcycle insurance was required, and maybe never had a bike worth enough to insure. But I never lost one to a wreck either (special thanks to my Grampa who resurrected my SL350 when I was 16 and hit a dog).

    Reply
  19. AvatarCharles

    Back in those halcyon days of 2011, I took up motorcycling at the age of 25 while in graduate school.

    Within 3 months I was on a VFR800, two years later on a homebuilt-from-everyone’s-spare parts RC51.

    In neither case did I pay more than $300/year for insurance. The key: the bike was considered expendable in a bad enough crash to injure me. Neither of them was worth three grand, though I’d pay five to have the Plywood Flyer back.

    If you’re expecting a grad student to pay a monthly bill for a new shiny bike and cover the insurance on it, you’re overestimating a Millenial’s risk tolerance and willingness to have outgoings exceed income. Motorcycling saved me roughly a grand a year on gas, insurance, and repairs relative to my car.

    Reply

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