Being part of a community has its perks, and the group of subscribers and commenters at HellForLeather is no exception. About a year ago I wrote an article about my Brammo Enertia and had some critics chide my review of the bike as not being by a “real rider.” In the comments to that post, another resident of my city spoke up and offered to come out and do an independent review. We did some emailing and made it happen: “A “real” rider takes my Brammo for a spin”
His take – it’s a real motorcycle. (Not that I needed any confirmation of the obvious).
This morning, another ride occurred as the result of a friendship that began in the comments on HellForLeather. Mark rides a Kawasaki Ninja 500R and is on an epic voyage from his home in Boston, Massachusetts, to a new home in San Francisco where he will be attending law school. We ended up as Facebook friends somehow and he posted his plans for this journey on his wall. His route took him through Kansas City so I offered a place to stay along his way, and he accepted.
He showed up last night – I have to mention here that the Midwest is slogging through one of the longest and most intense heatwaves in history. He endured riding through Illinois and Missouri during this heat wave, encountering temperatures over 106 degrees. We joked that the choice of visor up (staring directly into a hot air dryer) or visor down (slowly cooking inside an oven) presents an interesting dilemma. He hit the showers upon his arrival and then we headed to Latin Bistro for beers and amazing food by Chef Tito.
This morning we slammed down some coffee and headed to the Brammo Midwest Proving Grounds.
The BMPG is the housing development that never was. It is now used as a training center for young drivers, a dog walk track, a hang out for teens who think they can’t be seen from the highway, and the prime location for practicing sweet jumps on my bike.
Mark followed me there and we swapped bikes. After a short introduction and safety lecture (“Do not twist the throttle to hear it rev” and “prepare yourself for zero engine braking”) he was off. And, after an aborted stall because I let the clutch out too fast, so was I. I had a blast on his Ninja, but really appreciated the more casual riding posture of my bike.
Here’s the video -(note that the engine you hear at the beginning of the video belongs to the Ninja). His first words: “That was fun!”