You are probably sitting there with your morning coffee yawning and thinking, â€œPlease notÂ another lecture about bike safety
Yes there are more comments, lectures, blogs, pontifications on this touchy subjectÂ than records of Bob The P@%$ Mugabesâ€™ farm acquisitions. So why do people likeÂ the Bling King persistâ€¦â€¦?
Very easy Comrade â€“ there are too many riders flying faster than their Angels andÂ finding themselves sitting in a dimension that doesnâ€™t belong to Planet Earth.Â In short, too many freaking bike deaths on our roads of late, capish!
So until we can all be good boysâ€™ngals and learn to look after our precious asses, I am going to carry on
ramming these tales down your throats in the hope that you might back it off aÂ notch or two and live to fly another day!
Why the heading for this epistle you might ask?
One of the most dangerous breed of riders roaming our awesome roads and tracks isÂ the one I encountered when running the Dealership â€“ the Middle-aged Buppie!
We all live under this common turtle shell of thought that the first clown that isÂ going to crash is the laatjie that just got his greasy fanny-scratchers on hisÂ first boney. Yup, a bunch of this section of our riders do find themselves onÂ the wrong side of talent loss!Â But let me take some of your time andÂ highlight a class of throttle headÂ that is way more dangerous and now finding themselves top of the meat wagonÂ chain.
It is easiest to box up the description of this Middle-aged Buppie in a real lifeÂ encounter (well he was aliveâ€¦.once!)
In saunters Mr X (an appopriate name as he is now as Monty Python once aptlyÂ described, a deceased parrot) He instantly fell under the MAB banner (as theÂ Middle-aged Buppie shall now be known,) clause as he was atypical. This beingÂ one that has now come into disposable income/no more rugrats to pay for/emptyÂ nest syndrome/just got, getting divorced/male menopause or, all of the above!
Thereâ€™s usually two thingsÂ that the MAB wants to do when any of the above comes hisÂ happy smiling way. Get a sports car, (yawn) or, REALLY fast track the need to spring his sagging libido back into life again. Get a bike of course. Why? Well a bike is the quickest way to to an adrenalin rushing, buttÂ clenching, bugs in the teeth libido fix. It is a simple formula, add two wheels and aÂ crap-load of horsepower!
I can see your speech bubble chinaâ€™s, youâ€™re thinking, hey I have been there,Â what is wrong with that? Simply answered by taking you back to Mr AtypicalÂ X at the BMW showroomâ€¦â€¦..
Also atypical of the MAB, he had to deal with the Boss, so IÂ went thorugh the de rigeur sales process by asking a whole bunch of questionsÂ to try and get a handle on what bike would suit Mr. X.
Why a bike?Â Mr X was literally getting a divorce and she had made him sell hisÂ boney when they got engagedâ€¦..aaah! (I have heard this story many a time, now remind me why I have never been married?)
How? No problemo, Mr X had plenty ash as a top Orthodontist in Fourways.
What bike Sir? Right here come the real start to the problem. â€œWhat has Mr X previouslyÂ ridden?â€ Well he rode the crap of an RD350LC back in the dayâ€¦.hmmmmm. MyÂ pip wanders back a decade or twoÂ to try and put a timeframe on this manâ€™s last journey of epicÂ greatness. Ah got it, I raced one in â€™83, so thatâ€™s not so far back, only likeÂ 23 years back (at that time)â€¦â€¦seriously?
In my own innimitable, insensitive, sarcastisticÂ way I might have made some reference to himÂ being a long time out of theÂ saddle, but we allÂ know the customer is always right. Anyhow, a determined Mr X assures me that it is just likeÂ riding a bikeâ€¦â€¦..
So at that time, the K1300S had just come out, boasting 175 Bhp. Mr X wanted one of these so badlyÂ it hurt. My speech bubble probably read, RD â€“Â 47 Bhp, K1300S â€“ 175 Bhp,Â wtf dude, are there not one or two issues with this picture? However, I could haveÂ stood on my noggin and tried to whistle Handels Messiah out of my starfish, itÂ wasnâ€™t going to change Mr Xâ€™s mind, he was going to twist the ear of this Lava Orange beast that wasÂ beckoning his libido to come andÂ fix!
Since it was a delivery bike after all, Mr X decided to finance it through hisÂ practice. Ex-Wifey-to-be had to co-sign the papers as I presume the divorce hadÂ not been concluded. The F&I Manager told me afterwards that STBES (soon toÂ be ex swambo) went down kicking and screaming, not wanting to sign theÂ contract. Given her new status, she was told it had diddly-squat to do with herÂ anymore. Sadly her retort was, oh well, â€œitâ€™s your funeralâ€ About those self-fulfilling prophesesâ€¦â€¦â€¦..
So Mr X takes delivery and does make me a promise that he will attend a trackÂ school as I was trying to get all of the K series buyers to do.
â€˜Side-bar:â€™ I was very involved with safety track days and Think Bike and other aspects ofÂ safe riding at that time. I struck a deal with the BMW Motorrad Rider AcademyÂ to provide new riders with a discounted course to try and get their brains andÂ ability up to speed before they stuck 175 Hp between their trembling thighs andÂ headed off with a subliminal appetite for destruction.
The reason I was so keen to make this a new buyers habit, was that Mr Xâ€™s profileÂ was very typical of a large majority of buyers we had coming through the door.Â Some customers used their grey matter and took up the offer, sadly most didnâ€™t.
In case you didnâ€™t get why the MAB is such an impending riding disaster, I will try and illustrate further. AÂ typical MABâ€™s last ride was some ill-handling low-end piece of crap with limited
horsepower, 20 or more Â years ago. The MABs general rule of thought was thatÂ because they still had a valid licence, they were well qualified to hit theÂ roads on their new steeds. Often with quadruple the ponies that they pilotedÂ all those years ago. No amount of modern day aids, like traction controlÂ and ABSÂ are going to save you when you are in a warp 90 Km/h than you ever rode before. Newtonâ€™s Thrid Law of Motion is going to take you to the scene of the accident.
Fast forward four months, the day after the International MX event at Sun City, weÂ get the sad news of Mr Xâ€™s demise on the back road coming back from Sun City. IÂ hate that road, I have lost three good friends on it. It is one of thoseÂ stretches of tar that invites high-speed hooliganism with a deadly combo ofÂ rural traffic idiocy.
Mr. X hit a car piloted by a bunch of locals who turned in front of him, apparentlyÂ he was doing a moersa speed. That combo was never going to end with a happy MillsÂ & Boon finish.
Apparently the course I had invited him to take hadnâ€™t been done and Mr. X is now aÂ distant memory and another white cross on a crappy stretch of road.
Yeah, not a funky, happy feel good story I guess. But with a site readership of nearlyÂ 12 000 visitors so far, I am hoping there is possibility that just one orÂ two will change their buying process after reading this.
If I might take the liberty of suggesting a buying process to you:
Research what bike you want to buy. (This is the place where I do my best not to sayÂ â€˜Bugger it just buy the BMW GS Adventureâ€™ LOL)
Research what Rider Gear you are going to invest in. (If you are spending anything lessÂ than R20K on your protective gear, go back â€“ start again!)
Next step, take that Lafe/Nava/Bell/Simpson helmet that you have coveting for 25 years andÂ this monumental occassion and throw it in the bin. Yes the bin, in case someÂ Kamakaze kid delivery chap gets his hands on it!
Now start researching where you are going to do your rider training. Blah, blah,Â blah, I can hear your protests. Â I donâ€™t give a rats botty how skilled youÂ think you are, chances are, you arenâ€™t! If I can make a suggestion there areÂ two people well qualified to teach both road and off-road riding. Given that
you are actually very clever and have been one of the 26% that did actually buyÂ a R1200GS or GSA, it is good to have both aspects taught to you.
One is the BMW Rider Academy at Swartkops Raceway and the other is the Sabie ValleyÂ Rider Academy, in Sabie of course. Is there any better place in the country toÂ learn to ride a bike again?
Now that you have followed the above bit of sage advice and now know how to rideÂ your awesome new steed in a safer manner, the only thing you needÂ Â toÂ do nextÂ is plan your December bike holiday.
Thatâ€™s easy â€“ take your new 26 year old chicken (with the yummy pert boobies) and headÂ off to Botswana and Namibia and discover exactly why us clever okies and chicksÂ have not had the 25 year break that you have had to suffer in silence with!
Try and be safe peeps and let the only cross in your life be the one on top of yourÂ Xmas tree while youâ€™re swilling Jaegies in Swakop with your new found perkyÂ breasted chikken.