At this stage of my life there are only a few things in life I need to be happy. A healthy and happy daughter, the love of a good woman, Pabst Blue Ribbon beer, Sailor Jerry Rum, Slayer blaring out of some speakers at full volume, and a Harley in the garage.
At this point it doesn't really even matter if it's a bottom-of-the-line Sportster or an $80,000 custom job belting out 155 horsepower with a 23-inch wheel and a supercharger. It's just the feeling I get when I throw a leg over a V-twin-powered machine and it first turns over. Whether I am kicking away on my Panhead to an inch of my life, lazily pushing the button on my Road Glide, or testing some killer new Victory or Indian contraption, my junkie-like fervor to hear a 100 percent American-built engine shatter the neighbor's glass is now extinguished.
When I pull the clutch in and dump the bike into First gear I feel my blood pressure begin to lower and as it goes into Second and then Third gear, the current day's troubles and week's worth of cerebral bullshit washes off me in the wind. It doesn't matter if it's a 5-mile ride to get a chilidog or a 500-mile run up north to see some bros. As long as the bike under me is air-cooled, producing torque, and putting out that patented potato sound, I am getting some much-needed therapy and a rejuvenated lease on life than only those of us who ride these types of bikes can experience.
Many say it's not what kind of bike you ride, as long as you ride, but those are the folks who have never got to jaunt or full-time jockey an American-built V-twin motorcycle. I am sure of it. And to call this brotherhood and sisterhood of iron a "scene" is a copout and an insult to all of us. All you have to do is look in the mirror when you get back from a ride. Just one glimpse of the sunburn and road grime built up on your face and you know full well in one split second that what we do is a lifestyle. Wikipedia the definition of that term and I am sure you will totally and completely agree with me.
On another note, in the next issue we will be re-vamping this magazine tip-to-tail and taking it to the next level with an all-new logo, layout, content, and an "all killer-no filler" format. Take it from me, from the April issue onward this magazine will be chock-full of nothing but the hottest bikes, most relevant parts, real-world tech, epic true-life and event features, amazing-looking models, and awesome riding locations that you will have no other choice but to be glued to the pages of Hot Bike for years to come.