Last week, I put a deposit down for the bike I’m going to ride on this trip. It’s a 1978 XS650 engine, rephased to 277 degrees, in a one-off custom hardtail frame. The guy who built it lives up in Washington State, north of Seattle, where he runs a little custom shop, making all sorts of cool stuff. He originally put the bike together for himself, as a lightweight, long-distance machine, so it’s set up with an air shock on the tractor seat, a decent size gas tank, sissy bar and luggage racks. Better still, it’s got highway pegs, a comfortable riding position and even
I’ve been riding motorcycles since I was in my teens. My first bike was a Kawasaki KE100 that I bought before I even had a license and I’ve had more bikes than I can remember since then. Road bikes, race bikes, big trail bikes, muscle bikes, tourers – all sorts. I’m lucky in that I’m tall and strong, which means that I’ve yet to find I bike I can’t physically handle. As soon as I could afford it, I worked my way up to bigger engines because I loved the power, the speed and the adrenaline.
Easy Rider. A film that needed to be made at some point. Two disaffected hippies ride across the land to the most awesome soundtrack that money can buy; it’s too good a formula not to. Like some kind of cinematic theory of evolution, I’m convinced that if Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper hadn’t made it, then someone else would have done something similar eventually. So why Easy Rider – what’s the deal?