The OKC Motorcycle Show and Swap Meet, 2010

I drove the Range Rover to the Oklahoma City Bike Show and Swap Meet on Saturday. I swung through Moore and picked up my good friend, Titanium Hitch. Can I still call him that? He sold his titanium hitch Chevy Blazer in the big Cash for Clunkers. He bought a Jeep, which as you know has already had to be rescued by the Range Rover. Perhaps I need to find a new superhero name for him. In any event, my friend loves the Rangie Classic.

The day was a rainy chilly one. Not the sort of weather you ride motorcycles in. I’ve always thought motorcycles were pretty cool and lately I’ve been thinking about getting one. My wife is dead set against it, and that is holding up the purchase for now.

I know that when and if I get a motorcycle it can’t be just ANY motorcycle. I drive a 1993 Range Rover Classic LWB. That says a certain something about who I am. It’s a perfect example of my personality. Utility and preparedness, its rugged yet refined, its comfortable but not pretentious. I would consider the Range Rover the “Boy Scout” of automobiles.

So what kind of motorcycle would some one like me get? I love the old classic bikes. That should not surprise anyone that knows me. My good friend Bettina looked at a bike at the show yesterday and said that is you. She gets it. These two fine examples really spoke to me.

The Harley Davidson’s of today are kind of blah. They are pretty, and you can do a lot to them to customize them, but they just seem like pretty pictures with no content. My Range Rover has personality; I will need that in a motorcycle as well.

Price has a lot to do with anything you buy. Wow, that sounded like something Yogi Berra would say. I think what I’m saying is I can’t afford a classic Norton Commander. A new one is going to be in the 27,000$(US) range. If you want an old one, rebuilt Colorado Norton Works will be happy to rebuild yours for 25,000$(US). So with that in mind I’m going to have to find something a bit cheaper to putt around on. I’m a practical man, my first house cost me 29,000$(US), I can’t imagine a motorcycle that costs that much.

There were a lot of custom Harleys and only a few of the bikes I was hoping to see. There was only one BSA at the show.

There were a couple of Indian Motorcycles. Which fit in the truly classic category and would totally be me, except for their cost and the fact you are driving a museum piece around. That is probably not a good idea for a novice rider. And honestly…I’m not sure I could pull off the level of COOL I need to extrude to ride those bikes. If I could build a bike that looked exactly like an Indian or a 1940s Harley, that’s probably what I’d have. New parts made to look old.

There were a lot of Japanese bikes at the show. If you consider cost, this is the entry level and the most economic way to ride. They have great mechanics, are very reliable, and I was surprised at the designs. Several of them had the cafe racer look. And man, did I take notice. Except for the color, I would actually consider buying this bike.

I took a survey online a few months ago. Are You a Mod or a Rocker? I guess I’m a little of both. I love me some rock-a-billy but for the most part I grew up listening to the music of the mods and like the bikes of the rockers. Maybe I’m a Mocker. And that really does describe my feeling about bikes. I’m only a tourist in the culture. I don’t live it everyday like some guys who ride their bikes EVERYDAY. And honestly if I had a bike except for the odd ride on the weekday, it would be a weekend pursuit. And I can safely say, if I had a ski boat, I would probably use it more than a motorcycle.

Can a man ever have too many toys?

My dad had a small motorcycle when we lived on Guam. I know it tossed him off a couple of times. I think the last time he took a spill, mom made him get rid of it. Some of my fondest memories of the island are riding on the motorcycle with my dad. A motorcycle on a tropical island sounds like a good idea. But when you factor in during the rainy season it rains EVERY DAY. Getting caught in a rain storm is not such a good idea. And he had to ride it at night as well. He worked 2 days, 2 mids, 2 nights, most of the time. That had to suck as well.

I was happy to see the 1971 Honda Super Hawk at the show yesterday. This was the only motorcycle I know of with any of my family members. My dad dearly loved cars, but never could afford the one he liked most. I asked him one day if he could afford any car what would it be, he said, it would be a Jaguar. This is what he was driving when he answered that question.

I could probably get a bike, just to ride around town, but I’m told that’s where it is the most dangerous to ride. So any bike I got would need to be for “the open road”. I love the BMW motorcycles, which strangely I didn’t see at the show this weekend. (edit: My friends reminded me of the BMW K bikes that we saw)  They had a couple of Ural Tourists which look like R71s from the 1940s but are made in Russia and China today.

But hands down an old R90s would probably fit the bill. Classic, café styling, and unique enough that I would not be “one of the crowd”.

This is the motorcycle from Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Ad you can see from the advert. It was special. So in my pursuit of a motorcycle I’m going to say it would need to be BMW. Maybe if the wife finally lets down her guard and doubles my life insurance, I’ll get one.

“The only Zen you find on tops of mountains is the Zen you bring there.” — Robert M. Pirsig

I’ll keep filling my bag with Zen, because when I get to the top of the mountain on my motorcycle…I want it to be really special.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

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