“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.
Who would have thought. Who would have thought that an inanimate object could be such an emotional thing? Certain bikers get caught up on fuel economy, horsepower, quarter-mile times and the like but what about the statistics of fun? Sure, horsepower can be good fun. Good gas mileage can be a kick in the pants when you know deep down you are “sticking it to the man” at the pump. But just for a moment, stop and think about the fun you have in between gas stops and those few times when you aren’t twisting the throttle to its stops. Feel that? That, simply put, is fun. You can’t really measure it on a pie graph, and you sure can’t measure it by sitting on the couch. It mostly happens when you can feel the wind in your face and the road beneath your tires. Sometimes it happens when you walk out to the garage and just – stare at your ride.
We often forget “fun” when talking about our bikes. We talk about customization, where we’ve been, how much we have invested in our bikes but rarely say “and I have a lot of fun riding it.” Maybe it’s implied, I don’t know, but you would think it would come up in conversation. I’ve seen motorcycles that just scream for someone to rip it down the quarter-mile. I’ve seen custom bikes that raise the question if it can be ridden at all. I’ve seen a smoky burnout in a cheering crowd that looked like a lot of fun (not on my bike please) but was it any fun riding it there? I guess after a few beers who cares, right?
Could it possible that saying we are having fun riding our motorcycle takes something away from the image we are trying to put forth? I bet those “nice” people on Honda’s are having fun, (you know – the ones you used to meet?) but what about the rest of us. I’ve had a few rides where it wasn’t a lot of fun during the ride do to the weather or something like that, but when I look back on that ride I don’t have much to complain about. And overall I think we all ride for the fun of it – at least I do. Where are the patches sewn on leather jackets proclaiming “If You Can Read This – I’m Having Fun” or “Loud Pipes – Having Fun.” If you’ve seen one, let me know.
It appears that the culture of riding is based around the lifestyle and attitude of it all. We ride to have fun for sure and I know it goes beyond saying it out-loud, but to measure it like torque, horsepower or gas-mileage isn’t as easy as hooking your bike to a machine. I think, and this is just me, that it all boils down to perception. Fun isn’t built into our bikes, it’s built into us. We determine the fun we’re going to have in anything we do, and its up to me to decide if what I’m riding or where I’m riding to, is fun or not. And it’s revealed in what my perception of fun is compared to yours. It’s no different from our jobs, chores, or life in general, we can either make it enjoyable or make it suck. You decide. Can you measure suck on a pie graph?
There is never enough time in the day. Well of course not, because if there were we would be “all caught up” and that just can’t happen. We need to always be behind and scrambling to fit all that’s on our list of things to do into a five-pound sack. That is to say our list weighs ten pounds, or something like that. It’s crazy how we feel the pressure to do it all to make time for…what? What are we trying to make time for? We have a good idea of what we want out of life, but are we going about it the right way? We spend so much time working and worrying about the small stuff that our lives are happening right before us. Everyone starts each day with an equal amount of time so how do they get it all done when I can’t even fight my way out of this so-called five-pound bag?
I know what you’re thinking – time management, right? What I really need here is to manage finding a little time to sit in the shade. When I say “sit in the shade” I really mean I need to spend more time working on a balance in my life. Of course there is still a list of to-do’s to get done, but once in a while I need to sit and just take it all in. You know the feeling, the sound of “outside” and nothing else. In the sun or in the shade, just taking it in and realizing that I am alive and there are things that I worry about that probably don’t deserve the energy.
There are those people who are very good at taking it easy and there are those people who make it look like they are taking it easy but still manage to fill their five-pound bag. I envy those folks for they are the ones that have truly found that balance I seek to find for myself. But as we all know, there is always something to do or get done no matter how hard we work at it. So when is that moment when you sit down and take it all in?
What we don’t realize is we really are making time to take it all in – a little bit every day in those little things that we find enjoyable. Maybe you find gardening or cutting the grass enjoyable. Maybe its walking the dog or painting. Or in my case, my daily commute – riding my motorcycle to work and back every day. It’s that time when our hands are busy and our mind is clear or we are putting ourselves in a state of meditation to find that peace of mind to relax. That few moments when we are actually doing something all the while taking a moment to breathe and realize that yes, we are alive.
So when you need that mental vacation from time to time and you just want to sit and listen to the sounds of “outside”, remember that as you go through the day you are doing just that. It may not seem like it because we are focused on the task at hand. But with a little effort, stop and look around and you’ll be surprised at what you see. Your life is happening right before your eyes…take it all in and see how fast your five-pound bag fills up.