Growing up, I was never really a motorcycle guy. I had never driven one, never contemplated owning one; I never even sat on one until I was 24 (stupid me). I always thought they were dangerous and the likelihood of owning a motorcycle with my parent’s approval was blasphemy.
Now, I have two of them...how things have changed.
In high school, I was gifted an ovary-pink Honda Elite E that my parent’s purchased from my cousin for $250 bucks. It was an ‘88, the same year I was born. It had a downhill top speed of 32.5 miles per hour, it had 49cc’s and weighed 8 pounds...it was shit...but it was MY shit. An oil-guzzling, hernia-kicking, blue-smoking son of a bitch and I loved every kick.
One look at the two-tone seat and you knew this was a machine crafted by the gods themselves; this was my genesis. I rode it on every 25mph street I could find, I commuted to school on 30-degree days, revved that sheeaatt at stop lights and even took it to college in the back of my Subaru Baja (oh you thought Baja’s were only for lesbians with no style, wrong).
This was where I learned to ride. Discovering that nobody can see you; one mistake could spell disaster quickly and everybody smiles and laughs at a grown man on a pink moped. More importantly I learned how incredible the wind and the cold air and the smells and the machine really felt. I looked forward to getting up and riding to school, I really looked forward to leaving school and poking around town. The idea that engineering, metal and gasoline could actually evoke emotion for me on a daily basis had a lasting effect. Not to mention the pure unadulterated speed...
Eventually I left home for Chicago and the “Pink Panther” had to stay in its cage. Time went by and there weren’t a lot of practical reasons to keep it around, it was sold to a family acquaintance shortly after.
The last few months before it left my ownership the seat lock had broken. It was something that frustrated the hell out of me. Something so simple, but at the time I didn’t know how to fix it. I think about it now and hope it’s still broken; that the new owner declined the $60 repair fee from the local dealer. I can’t remember what was left under that seat, but I can picture myself opening it again one day. Reclaiming the worthless tokens that were once mine, kicking the living bejesus out of that motor, smelling the old oil in the air and ignoring all the people I don’t know laughing at me while I take it out for one more spin.
Dan Feidt is the creator of Chase The Wild Air, he’s currently living out of his adventure-mobile with his motorcycle and traveling the U.S. – To see more visit ChaseTheWildAir.com