MY BIKES

How many bikes do you have? I get asked this question a lot. People see me riding a lot of different motorcycles on television and in videos and they wonder if I own all of them. Simple answer – I wish!
Over the last decade or so I have had the privilege of riding a variety of motorcycles in connection with the production of my television program. I have ridden Harleys, Hondas, Kawasakis, Yamahas, Ducatis, BMW’s, Triumphs, Suzukis, even a couple of Indians; but when it comes to the bikes that “live” in my garage — right now there are just two: My custom 1999 Yamaha Road Star and a 2013 Harley-Davidson Street Glide.
At times there have been others. A black and silver Anniversary Heritage Classic and a solid black 2010 Star Stratoliner Deluxe have been long term rides as well. But today as I write this there’s just the pearl while Road Star, with the ghosted lip prints imbedded in the paint and the stunningly red Street Glide.
The Yamaha has been with me the longest. It was the first bike I bought after graduating from Harley-Davidson’s Riders’ Edge program in 2003. I had ridden bikes when I was younger, but I had never owned one of my own, so in a way the Yamaha is my first bike. Here is a picture of how the Star looked when I took possession of her.

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Over the years I have made a lot of changes to my “Lipstick Bike” including the gangster fenders and custom paint with the tiny lipstick kisses throughout. The Road Star is somewhat a reflection of my personality. On the inside she is a big 98 cubic inch v-twin with a lot of strength muscle when needed, but on the outside she is every bit a lady.

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The Star and I have been a lot of places together over the years and she has never let me down. Except for one roadside flat, she has never left me stranded and that one was my fault since I steered her over the nail. In fact that was one of the very few times she rode on a trailer. I don’t think she cared for it very much.
When Yamaha designed the Road Star, they did it right. It is a good looking, reliable piece of machinery, built to ride and built to last. Although I have picked up other rides here and there, I have never once considered selling the Lipstick Bike or retiring her. We still have a lot of miles to cover together and we will.

So what about the Street Glide? Well that’s simple. He is red and he has luggage. Not to mention, that to me, the Street Glide is the best all-around motorcycle in the Harley lineup today. Since I ride solo, I have never seen the necessity of a big two-up tourer. The Street Glide is the perfect compromise for me. You will noticed that I referred to my Harley as “him”. Yes my bikes have gender and the Street Glide is definitely male. He is a handsome and strong and a show off too. You won’t find many “girly” things on Red Ryder, except me!

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The Road Star has a set of detachable leather bags, but they are pretty small and there is no sissy bar to tie anything on to either. So when it came to overnight travel I always had to rely on the kindness of friends to haul around my clothes and beauty products – hey, a girl has to look her best!

So for some time I searched for a bagger. I had ridden a number of Street Glide rentals as well as an occasional loaner so when Red Ryder popped up on my radar, I swooped in.
Did I pick a bike, because of its color? Well, sort of. Everyone knows just how much I like the color red. I like red cars, red trucks, red clothes, red lipstick, red jewelry, you name it. Somewhere in a past life I must have been a fire fighter.

When I got a call last year telling me there was a beautiful almost brand new Street Glide sitting on the showroom floor at G.N. Gonzales in Baton Rouge, the only question I asked was “is it red?” Of course the answer to that question was yes!

I have enjoyed traveling the highways and byways on the Street Glide. He has taken good care of me and never complains about all the stuff I make him carry. Plus he looks good sitting next to the Lipstick Bike. They make a perfect couple.

Yes, in my garage there are two motorcycles – my Road Star and my Street Glide. I love them both equally but for different reasons. I guess you could say that together we make for a perfect “Motorcycle Menage a Trois.” Which also just happens to be one of my favorite wines!

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See you on the road!

T.W. Robinson

~ by larider on May 22, 2014.

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