20 Years, One Kick

1985 Honda XL-350So here’s the deal: I now officially own a “classic vehicle.” Well, maybe not in Texas, but in some states. Yes, my motorcycle has now turned 20 years old. What’s really scary is, I bought it new. For cash. Don’t try that in 2005.

These days, I only ride three days a year. Considering it costs me about $200 a year to keep it registered, insured (with theft!) and maintained, this isn’t too bad as hobbies go. The only reason this is possible is because Honda so over-engineered the thing in the first place. That’s why I can let it sit for nine months, let the gas go stale and the battery go dead, then go out one afternoon in April, casually put air in the tires, lube the chain, turn on the ignition and fuel, and kick the kickstarter once. Yes, once. And it fires to life. And I drive away. I’m not sure there is any other technology in the world like that. You want this thing on your side when the shit comes down, believe me. This isn’t mission-critical engineering, this is post-apocalyptic engineering. This is technology for people who have backup backup generators.

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