Whatever! – The Incredible Tightness of Being

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By John Burns

Maybe what made us all fall in love with two wheels is simply that they’re cheaper than four wheels? That was true for me; I loved my Camaros and Panteras as a youth (not that I’d ever seen a Pantera in person), and couldn’t get enough Car and Driver and Hot Rod. Road & Track was a bit highbrow, but when I saw the checked upholstery in the new V8-powered Porsche 928 in there, I could see myself graduating into one someday…

Someday got here sooner than expected, but the budget never kept pace. Finally I’ve reached a financial position where I can afford (some) nice cars when they’re about 25 years old, but now I really don’t wanna go anywhere unless I can lane-split.

I knew my dad would approve because he had a sportcoat made of the same fabric. An MSRP of $28,500 was a lot in 1978 but seemed doable once I was out of high school. Maybe. Not.

Best I could do exotic-car-wise when I was young was a Triumph Spitfire, which it turned out had nowhere near the speed its looks implied. Somewhere right there in the transition period from automotive fantasy to reality, somebody rolled through on a nice early Kawasaki Z1, and it was just sort of decided without much thought. I’ll have one of those, then.

But my first motorcycles were products of the cheapskateness which had already taken root like crabgrass in my psyche; decades of self-therapy has led me to deduce my fondness for the bottle derives from the fact that none of us Burns kids ever enjoyed our own personal soft drink as a child: It was always, “Share that Coke with your sisters.” Now that I’m grown, I want all the bottles, mine, all mine! The pickings were pretty slim …read more

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