An Amazing Machine for a Simple Guy

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The long old road of truth awaits those who ride motorcycles. We somehow find our way to places we think we’ve been only to find this time it’s different. It isn’t always about what we see, but more of what we find. Finding the truth about myself and giving validation to everything that goes on inside this pretty little head of mine is exactly what I need when the moment is right. Sure, sometimes those moments are few and oh, so far between. Winter can be longer and harder for a motorcyclist as we need the constant motion and the tilting of horizons to be plumb again. The less vertical we get our bikes, the more true we feel. It’s all about calibration.

“The less vertical we get our bikes, the more true we feel. It’s all about calibration.”

When we finally find answers to questions we never asked, it becomes apparent there is more to us than meets the eye. We ride to not only lose ourselves, but also to get an understanding of why we desire to get lost in the first place. Having ridden motorcycles for so many years it has proven itself as a vehicle for answers. What’s over the next hill and around the next curve? My motorcycle will answer that question. How cold is it and how hard is it raining two miles down the road? Yep, you got it. How far is the next gas station and will I make it? I’m confident my motorcycle will let me know the answer to that one. Not every answer is something we want to hear or see for that matter.

Those answers to life’s questions come to me in the form of reflection and contemplation. I’ve often said my motorcycle is where I do my best thinking and this remains true. The longer the ride, the further I reflect. Reflection seems to put me on the road to find what I search for internally. I don’t know if we are designed to find all the answers to life’s questions as I think it is the search for these answers that keeps us moving. As long as I’m moving, I’m good.

You have your own reasons for riding as I do. Our motorcycles provide us with the stimulation for all our senses and it’s hard to give just one reason. Transportation, recreation, motion and emotion is a lot to expect from our bikes but they handle it well. I can do my best thinking when I’m not thinking about much at all, and I often see more of my surroundings without even looking. An amazing machine for such a simple guy like me.

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In Search of Definition

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We can ride mile after mile searching for the meaning of those feelings we have every day. To say a motorcyclist is passionate about riding is one thing, but to explain it is another. To find the true meaning behind our passion for riding motorcycles, one must first ride. Even then, it’s hard to put it into words. We know how this motorized wonder makes us feel therefore we should be able to say it out loud. Not so much. Much like inspiration, it comes from a place that involves clarity to understand. Something may inspire you but to put that inspiration into words can be difficult. Clarity. Definition. Both are distinct and both we search for equally.

 If a picture is worth a thousand words, my motorcycle is the photo album of my life. I flip through the pages of my album every time I roll down the highway, looking at this long road I call life from the best seat in the house.

But the search never seems to end. Every time I get on my bike I’m still looking for answers and explanations for the thoughts in my head. If a picture is worth a thousand words, my motorcycle is the photo album of my life. I flip through the pages of my album every time I roll down the highway, looking at this long road I call life from the best seat in the house. And it never gets old. Even though every one of my senses is being affected while riding, I still find that being completely vulnerable to my surroundings is the only place I want to be at any given moment – vulnerable to the elements and my emotions all at the same time. Of course, to enjoy the ride and the scenery around me is still possible, I also look inward to find things I’ve long since put away for another day. We’re all different when it comes to our photo albums, but the search is always the same. We are looking back to get that same warm and fuzzy sensation that only memories can provide and we enjoy how that makes us feel.

Some things are just meant to be felt not said.

We don’t need words or explanations for everything. Some things are just meant to be felt not said. The understanding is present and I don’t need the definition to get it. To find the beauty of the countryside by way of it, doesn’t need to be explained, but rather appreciated. How it makes you feel is good enough for me, and that goes for all those other things I can’t explain. But that won’t stop me from searching.

 

How It’s Going to Be

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“I have seen the past and its future is looking bright.” There are certain events or objects we encounter that evoke a sense of where we came from and where we are going, and in the re-introduction of the Indian® Motorcycle brand, we have seen the past and it is truly the sign of things to come. So, is it possible to hold the idea of “days gone by” in your hand, and feel the same wind as it brushed up against those early riders of this iconic Indian® motorcycle? Of course it is. The Thunder Stroke™ 111 easily pulls you into the here and now.

Few brands have this kind of power. The power to move us physically and the power to evoke emotion. After all, it is those two elements that have caused hearts to beat faster and memories to be made. Memories that withstand time. Just like an old, dog-eared black and white photograph that speaks volumes about its subject; the stories, the people and the times, all in a single snapshot that only took seconds to create. That split second, when time stood still, has preserved the moment for all to see. Indian® Motorcycles were there. There when life was hard and the people were harder and on the verge of there own destiny, much like we are today. We take it all for granted, but as they lived in the early 1900’s things were happening and happening fast. They too, took it for granted.

We are no different from our predecessors. We seek the freedom and adventure that life brings to us every day, and we desire what the future brings – without giving up our past. The past that defines us and made us who we are; Enthusiasts. We “make history” each time we ride, only we aren’t aware of when exactly it’s happening. It just happens. Somewhere, someone is taking that memorable photo right now that will be looked upon by another generation and their reaction will be the same then, as it is for us today. A different time and a different place, telling stories of how it used to be. Or rather how it’s going to be?

I believe Indian® Motorcycles are here to stay. Over the years they have come and gone, much like a dream with hopes of “someday.” But today is that day. History has repeated itself and Indian® Motorcycles has a future derived from a time when pride, excitement and a passion was the main ingredient to ingenuity. Just like it is today.

Moving Bodies and Souls – 110 Years

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One-hundred and ten years is a long time in anyone’s book, especially when it comes to building motorcycles. It’s hard enough to feel passionate about anything for so long let alone beyond generations. That’s why you have enthusiasts building motorcycles for enthusiasts because nobody else can. Some dreams die with the dreamers, but in the case of the Harley-Davidson Motor Company it has kept the dream alive in all of us. In a time when wool suits were the proper riding apparel to ride your motorcycle, Harley-Davidson has been there to see the transformation of the culture and lifestyle of bikers to where it is today. Roads were being built, highways were being connected and destinations became real. What started out as a different kind of transportation 110 years ago, became a form of recreation and a lifestyle for so many. A combination of steel and style moves a nation both physically and emotionally and Harley-Davidson Motorcycles have been there through it all.

Just as any company knows, as time ticks by there are ups and downs, twists and turns, but it turns out that is the exact same thing we enthusiasts seek out when it comes to the roads we travel. It is “the ride” that gets you through it and whether it’s business or pleasure, we take the road less traveled because it is who we are and always will be. Nobody said “the ride” would be easy, but if nothing else, it has always been fun. Moving bodies and souls at the same time was probably not something the Harley and Davidson boys thought much about, but that’s how things ended up. It is Harley-Davidson that represents this country in a way that only it can and it changes you. Freedom, Pride, Emotion and American are a few things that come to mind, and we haven’t even looked at what it’s done to so many from a life-changing experience – and Harley-Davidson Motorcycles change lives. It’s brought people together and created a community around the world to the point of being a universal language – and it knocks down walls that are invisible and man-made.

Nobody said it would be easy, because easy wasn’t a concern 110 years ago. You rolled up your sleeves and you worked hard. You got your hands dirty and you brought your lunch in a pale. You were happy to be working with your hands and you didn’t think about life 100 years from then; we still don’t. But we dreamed, and we still do. And it is dreams that makes this country great, so we keep dreaming. For every road we travel down on our Harley-Davidson, someone before us has traveled that same road on their Harley-Davidson. Whether your ride in Rome Italy or Rome Wisconsin, there’s a good chance you’re not the first one there with your motorcycle. But knowing that also gives you a sense of belonging to something greater than the road traveled. It was created by men with a dream and a willingness to chase that dream on the creation before them. Just like we do today.

It has become a passion for which we have no control over. That passion is transformed into an expression of who we are, and where we are going – both in the sense of motion and emotion. To say Harley-Davidson has changed the way we put our lives into perspective would be an understatement. Some things have no explanation, and we accept that. This motorcycle has helped people through their ups and downs and the twists and turns that life has thrown at them, and it has been a member of the family that has been passed on through generations. It is a symbol and extension of our inner selves that only we know, and that only a few can understand.

So we ride. We ride like those did 110 years ago, and those that will ride when we no longer can. I’ve seen where Harley-Davidson has been, but I can’t see where this road will take us, but I guarantee it will be a great ride. Here’s to 100 more years Harley-Davidson!

The Wheels Keep Turning

The road has a way about it. A way of taking your inner thoughts and creating a one-sided discussion with no one but yourself. A dark side that reveals your hopes and dreams and mixes them with thoughts you are trying to suppress. A life of what could have been, what might be, and what will never happen. Alone with just these thoughts and feelings, they somehow become reality if only for the ride. The highway disappears beneath your rolling wheels into the back of your mind, taking you places that few people know. The sound of the motor is there but you can’t hear it as it pulls all of this to the surface to be seen only by you.

Each ride starts out the same, but as the motion begins and the miles become a blur, the thoughts of where you are in this life becomes apparent. Some answers to questions are clear, some are not so forgiving as they become buried asking only to be answered another day. So you ride. Riding harder and faster than ever before. With a hope of pulling all that tangled confusion in your head back into a straight line. The feelings and emotions owned by no one but you. We twist the throttle as if demanding our head to become clear. But the ride is never long enough. I don’t know if any ride is long enough to create the world I see in my dreams.

On every ride, our reality is right around the corner. It is the Destination, the Stop sign or that final turn down the driveway. Like a bookmark, we mark our place until the next ride. We will pick up where we left off as we try to figure out where this story is taking us. Who knows what lies ahead, but we keep searching for it. The truth. The truth as we see it or as we want it to be.

We may never untangle the mixture of feelings we carry or unload the burden of mistakes we’ve made, so we keep the  wheels turning. In our mind and on the road.