When I switched over from import bikes to V-twins, the learning curve was a long and hard one. You see, when it comes to doing (im)proper bike maintenance on import bikes, all that was involved was changing the oil once in a while, tightening the chain, making sure the tires were good, and, if you kept the bike long enough to put some serious miles on it, doing a valve adjustment. I’ve literally seen motors uncovered in the corner of a paint shop full of fine dust and paint sit for more than a year and then after a quick blow-off be bolted back up and fire up immediately. Now by all means I am not saying this is the right way to do things. The point is that you could get away with a lot of abuse—in the short term, at least.
When I moved over to V-twins, there was a definite shift of making sure that all the proper maintenance was done correctly, fluid levels were always checked and topped off before riding, all lubrications and torque settings done according to spec, etc. After all, these machines cost more, are ridden over longer distances for more years, and don’t respond well to neglect.
Funny thing is that when this bike maintenance revamp was going on, the exact scenario happened to my personal body. After years and years of constant use and abuse, as I got older, the pounds sure packed on and the recovery time after long nights of drinking took days, not hours. Finally I figured out it was time to start maintaining the ol’ body a little better.
Before I go off posting pictures of myself on Instagram holding protein drinks or gym selfies, let’s be clear; I’m not where I need to be yet. But each and every day (well, let’s be honest—some days), I get my ass out of bed and do my morning exercises. Then it’s off to the office in which my awesome girl makes me a meal-prepped lunch to take that involves me eating more vegetables in a single week than I have ever eaten in my life. It’s not the fun vegetables either like fries and chips. Do I like eating this way? Hell no! Take me back to the days of big meat-filled lunches polished off by an ice-cold beer. But much like the V-twins, I too have to realize that this old machine isn’t quite the young spitfire it used to be. Don’t get me wrong. I still run it hard on the weekends, and if you go to the GEICO Hot Bike Tour, I’ll be the first to have a beer and steak with you, but on a day-to-day basis, it’s vegetables and cooked chicken.
I know there are a ton of things I shouldn’t be eating or drinking. But like a motorcycle, what’s the fun in never shifting out of first gear, bouncing it off the rev limiter once in a while, and going balls out for a short period of time? I just can’t do that all the time. Getting old sucks.
If you have gone through or are going through a similar situation in your life, drop me an email and tell me about it. We can jealously scoff at the young whippersnappers together.