I was caught off guard the other day when someone asked me, “if you could only have one bike for the rest of your life, what would it be?” That is of course one of the hardest questions known to man, up there with centuries old conundra like “What came first, the chicken or the egg?” and “Was Jesus really white?” And it’s one that got my grey matter all in a tizz. But if threatened with death by Um Bongo, if I didn’t make a decision, I’d simply have to get my thinking cap on. And I imagine, if I had to choose one road bike to have for the rest of my life, my thought process would go something like this…
I definitely subscribe to the school of thought that says you can have a lot of fun on a modestly powered bike. That said, like most petrol-heads, I like going fast. I like to be in charge of something with plenty of power. So if I had to choose one bike, and only bike one to have for the rest of my life, I think it would have to be a biggy. I’m talking 1000cc, and lots of ponies. That way, I know I’d always have enough power for any given situation.
There are a lot of bikes with big power figures, superbikes and super-nakeds are all up there, but there are some big tourers and adventure machines that have got big engines, and are fairly fast too. So it’s still wide open at this stage in the deliberation process.
If I was stuck with one bike for the rest of my life though, I’d have to make sure it was capable of making me grin on track. Don’t get me wrong, a trackday on an adventure bike or touring bike would probably be quite funny at first, but I think the novelty would eventually wear off. So for that reason, I think my ‘till death do us part’ motorcycle would have to be fairly sporty. Not necessarily an out-and-out sports bike, but something with a little bit of fight about it. It could be a sportsbike, or it could be a naked sportsbike, because both fair fairly well on track.
Of course if it was solely for the track, it’d be a full-on sportsbike. But I do a lot more miles on the road than I do on track.
Practicality and future proofing
Because of the fact I ride more on the road than I do on the track, practicality is important for me. I’d want something that’s comfortable and easy to get on with. And if I’m to keep this bike forever, I’d want something that I’d still be able to ride when I’m a grown-up. The fact that I’m only thirty, but already struggle to bend down to tie my shoelaces, or haul myself out of my favourite armchair suggests to me that by the time I’m sixty, I’m going to be absolutely bollocksed. So if I’m still riding then, I doubt I’ll be able to fold myself onto a superbike.
It looks like I’ll have to go down the super-naked route, which is no bad thing; there are some absolute corkers in that category.
Now I’ve decided my ‘one-and-only’ is going to be a super-naked, I’ve got the difficult task of choosing which one I want to spend the rest of my life with. Will it be a super sexy Streetfighter from Ducati. Perhaps an Aprilia Tuono will be too hard to resist. Maybe I‘ll go bonkers and buy a Brutale. There are so many to choose from. I think I’d probably swerve the stable of Italian stallions, though.
Because if there’s one super nek’ that grabs me by the balls, it’s the Yamaha MT-10. When you’re gentle with the noise tube, it’s as sedate as anything else, but when you do, all hell breaks loose. It’s not exactly at the cutting edge of technology, and it’s not the fastest thing on the planet, but if I had to have one road bike and one road bike only, for ever and always, I think I’d have to go for an MT-10.