A Dirty Mind

Yeah, well, get your mind out of the gutter! I’m sure I’ve been accused of having that  kind of dirty mind more than once, but that’s not what I want to talk about. It is real terra firma, you know, dirty dirt that’s on my mind. The kind you played in as a kid, though I’ve got to confess that most of  my playing in the dirt as a kid involved two wheels and a combustion engine.

Dirt bikes have been occupying my cerebral space a lot lately. Ditch diggers as my father fondly referred to them. Seeing as how I was only 6 or 7 years old when I started riding, my first motorcycle was a dirt bike…a pretty lame one at that. Actually the first motorcycle that I really learned to rip around woods on was a Honda SL 70 which wasn’t much of a dirt bike. Here, see for yourself:

Just like mine
Just like mine

I absolutely trashed that bike. I mean, I gave it a beating until it could take no more. Eventually I had to move up and by the time I was a teenager I had the motocross lust. My first really exciting dirt bike was a Suzuki RM 125. Loved that thing and did my best to help Dad keep the fields aerated!

As I got older, I picked up a few dual sport bikes and eventually another RM. However, it seemed I rarely made the effort to load up the dirt bike and haul it somewhere to ride. Eventually I gave up on those and played around with a few more dual sports before giving in to street riding only.

My 2nd RM
My 2nd RM

When Adventure bikes became popular, it seemed like the genre was made just for me; a street bike with dirt bike “pretense” and at least a little capability. I’ve owned several of them and can safely say that I will likely own more. They have their place and I can certainly see myself wanting to put another one in the garage eventually.

MY 1150 GS
MY 1150 GS
Exploring
Exploring

However, what I really want right now is something lighter and more dirt worthy…a real dual sport. It’s not that I wouldn’t like a true dirt bike. Heck, I’d love to have a KTM Freeride or a 350 EXC, but I’m afraid it would be just like before; I’d never take the time to load it up, drive 100 miles away, unload it and ride. Plus, in case you didn’t know, I’m getting older. Not old yet, just older…and I bruise easy these days…and get sore…and probably break bones! I tore my hamstring a year and a half ago and it still hurts when I stretch my leg. On top of that, the 26+ years I spent working on the assembly line have taken their toll on many of my joints, so I’m thinking a full on dirt bike is not the wise choice for me.

wish this was me!
wish this was me!

Aside from loving to ride and having a history steeped in woods and dirt riding, maybe one of the things pulling me back toward this type of riding is the fact that I live in the city these days. A pretty large city. And on top of that, I live in a condo…and will be moving permanently to a patio home soon. Having been raised on a farm, I feel like I need to reconnect with the woods and rural America…walking, hiking, mountain biking…sure…but even better, riding!

I’ve owned several of the old school Japanese dual sports like the DRs and I had a brief relationship before moving to Kentucky with a WR250 and would consider one of those again if it comes to that. But what I’m really lusting for at the moment is this big boy: the KTM 690 Enduro.

SAMSUNG CSC

Only one problem that I see: well, maybe 2. First they cost $10,000, which is a lot of money for a bike I plan on crashing regularly. Secondly, they are tall…and I am short. If I decide to cut loose with the cash sometime over the next six months or so, I will see if my friend and mechanic, Chad at Commonwealth, can bring this beast down to Earth a little bit for me.

So, keep your ears peeled for any news…sirens, hospital admissions in the local newspaper or rescue stories on the Six O’clock News…any of which may signal I have reentered the dual sport/off road market once again!

Later,

Shep

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