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.