Motorcycling through Life

An Indescribable Pleasure!

This page was last updated on: July 7th, 2002
         It's been almost 19 years since my first tentative ride on a new SilverWing.  Almost without exception, those miles on machine-powered "Iron Steeds" have been some of the most fulfilling of my life.  On this page, I'll try to give you a feel for what I've enjoyed most, on the five mounts I've owned to date!
        It all started out innocently enough when some of the guys at the office challenged me on my motorcycling interest by taking me to the local Honda dealer during lunch one day.  I don't know who was the most surprised, they, the dealer who gave me a better break than he meant, or me for signing the papers.  

         That Saturday, we all met at the High School Stadium parking lot for my motorcycling indoctrination.   Here Joe Miller gives me last-minute instructions.
         A moment later, I found out about feathering the clutch.  Oh well, everyone has to buy at least one new mirror!

Pre-Ride Instructions
First Ride          On my way at last!  After years of riding a ten-speed, this thing has a lot more power, and a hefty amount of weight!  But, don't my brown leathers look sharp?!
         The infamous "Mardi Gras" copy of the Air Force flight suit.  So, I'm flying slow and low! !
         This was the second of many "business trips" that I made by motorcycle, all completed without unpleasant incident!!
Mardi Gras SilverWing
Barry Clune's sensually rugged Body Glove leather-lined riding suit, in a horizontally opposed application.
SilverWing Garden Feature
     Of course, there were some more stationery moments in my SilverWing days.  Not much has been made of the lawn ornament schoool of motorcycling, and maybe it's just as well!
      Finally, some politically correct black, posed in front of my favorite "Daddy Oak".   By the time I sold My SilverWing, not only was it sporting lightbars, passenger seat and backrest, but the odometer read around 55,000. {I lost the records, alas!) SilverWing, Daddy Oak and Biker Leathers
Harold's Red Shadow      You knew the black couldn't last, didn't you?  Another Honda, the 1986 Shadow 700.   My commitment to fully-leathered riding had taken a severe toll in the four years of SilverWing touring:  Most of the year, on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, I'm grateful for every wisp of wind I can find.  Riding behind a full fairing seated over a hot engine involved more masochism than I wanted to continue to experience!  {It was sort of neat sometimes -- after a summer's day of riding in this suit, my skin would be dyed red!}
      After a year or so with the little Shadow, it was clear I needed something with more throb. When the mechanic said riding the big Shadow 1100 "was a permanent hard-on", I knew I had found the machine for me ! !
          He wasn't kidding, either.  I never would have thought that riding a motorcycle  ("bikes don't have engines") could be such an erotic, indeed even climactic experience!  My big Shadow made a very happy believer out of me.  Oh, and I did ride it wearing traditional "Biker" {shudder} garb at times!
White Knight and Flamed Shadow
Suzuki 1100 at Leather Oaks, the Rural Location       By 1991, I was riding an average of 15,000 miles yearly, and my Caprice Classic was feeling very neglected indeed.
          A problem loomed, though.  The Honda dealer nearest me ceased business, and the next closest one seemed to have too much work to concentrate on daily rider's maintenance needs.  After being told a few times in the summer that it would be a couple weeks before they could work me in, I realized that I needed to do some Dealer shopping!
     Fortunately, a fellow rider had found the very non-sexily named Suzuki GSX-1100G.   After he hesitantly let me ride his grey beast for a few miles, I got the red 1991 model from Suzuki City
         It's been a keeper :  A very smooth, powerful engine, comfortable riding position, and hard saddle bags.  (No, I don't miss leather saddle bags at all, but I do have this neat pair that might just fit your shoulders, if you'd like to try!)
         At 109,637 miles and still riding, the engine's not been touched!
         I borrowed the "monkey's harness" for this shot.  Those are glove leather shorts worn over a leatherjock under my chaps.
Garaged and Harnessed Biker
HOST Rubber Biker.jpg
      This photo was taken on a dark night last December.  The paint job had been freshened in December 1997, and new GIVI saddlebags and trunk replaced the worn out Krausers.

      The mixed-message suit? Yes, the yellow shirt, "racing Pants" and boots are Harold-friendly Rubber, with the first two items from H.O.S.T.   The open-front "jacket" was a find at Leather Forever in Houston.
     Incidentally, the odometer now reads about 118,000 miles, but who's counting!
     A couple of years ago, I traded a BMW leather touring suit for a most unique garment.  This is an actual Navy heated leather flightsuit, from early in World War II.  I've been waiting for cold enough weather to wear it, and this last January, the Mississippi Gulf Coast actually got below freezing for a couple of nights!  Not to lose such an opportunity, I quickly donned the suit, but guess what, over the Ironman triathlon suit!! Donning Navy Flightsuit over Ironman Wetsuit
Navy Flightsuited Biker       It was a most wonderful riding experience -- The heavy, lined leather suit over warm neoprene, of course with my basket bruisingly enclosed in a couple of JockUps, thrust forward by the 1100's saddle <G> !
     Alas, some previous owner had slathered black dye over a suit which probably once matched the color of the fur collar, but certainly, I'm in no position to complain!  The rest of the outfit?   A swedish Tanker's helmet, French insulated rubber boots, and a padded lifting belt.   I think the gloves are Swedish motorcycle mitts, of course worn over neoprene diver's gloves.
     As satisfying as my Maroon Suzuki might be to ride, I still missed the feel of a V-twin under my butt.  In March, 1997 I bought this 1400cc Intruder .  It almost replaced my memories of the Shadow 1100!!   Well, not really that good, perhaps.
         I chose this color because I already had some blue leathers that had always clashed with the hues of my previous machines . . . .
         But the Intruder was soon to undergo a change.  Follow my bulge if you dare ! !
Blue-Suited Intruder Rider
     On a recent hot, summer day, I rode my Suzuki 1100 out to my favorite walking trail:   Amongst other things, I thought it was time for an update on my leather riding attire.
      Alas, it was a mite hotter than I had bargained for, especially with the perilous nature of the dirt track I had to follow the last two miles to my preferred parking/changeing destination!   So, what's a hot leatherman to do, you ask? .  Why, "Shuck leather", I reply, reaching the state you see herewith, posthaste! !   If you must see the riding attire, there's a link to such an image, but I must warn you, it's not one of my finest!!  
         But, then again, I believe there are one or three hiking photos you might enjoy.    Your call ! !
Quilted Jock Sun-Biker