In 1983 I did an odd thing for a 23 year old man: I purchased a brand new Gold Wing Interstate. Considering most people think of a Gold Wing as an old man’s bike I guess you could say I was “ahead of my time!” I rode motocross and woods bikes up until I got my license and then I began dabbling in street bikes. The first one was a dual sport, but I still spent most of my time and energy riding a two-stroke RM 125 motocrosser. Then I bought a Suzuki 550, strapped on some soft luggage and hit the road for the very first time. It was then that the two-wheel traveling bug took hold and I’ve never looked back. Occasionally I dabble with buying another off road or dual sport, but the thought of sore ribs and broken bones has kept that in check…for now.
I will admit it; I’m in love with the road. I want to see everything, everyone, everywhere. And I want to see it on a bike. That’s why I bought the Gold Wing. I thought; “What better way to travel than on a bike that has so much wind protection, comfort and luggage capacity that its almost like driving a car.” And I suppose that was the problem. It was too good. Too smooth. Too refined. I sold it after a couple years.
In the interim I’ve had everything from sport bikes to adventure bikes. But over the past few years I’ve been experiencing what I call the Benjamin Button effect. Instead of buying the bikes that most guys my age buy, you know, comfortable sport tourers and ADV bikes like the BMW GS, RT, FJR, Connie, etc, I’ve been going the opposite direction. Smaller, lighter, faster. Less of just about everything. First it was the Street Triple R, a bike that I kept longer than any bike I ever owned. I still dream of the sound and feel of that triple engine! Loved that bike.
Then I bought the KTM 690 Duke. This 300+ pound menace may only be a one lunger, but it is an absolute balls to the wall, thrill a minute roller coaster of a ride. Which brings me to my latest purchase…yes, I just bought another bike. But instead of waiting for the KTM 1290 Super Duke GT, I chose to go naked and took advantage of a smokin’ deal on a leftover 1290 Super Duke R…aka “The Beast.” 416 lbs dry, 180 horsepower and 92.4 lb-ft of torque! I pick it up in two weeks.
I’m pushing 56 years of age. I’m supposed to be more mature, wiser…you know, an adult. But I’ve got to admit, when I twist the grip on the Super Duke and feel that power between my legs, I get giddy like a 17 year old kid who has just made it to second base for the first time!
I refuse to go out quietly. I’m not going to act my age…no stuffed animal strapped to the back of my bike, no 800 lb Miata on two wheels for me. If that’s your bag, that’s cool, you should go for it, no criticism from me. To each his own. But me, I’m going naked!