In the normal world, there are very few people who have the cajones to ask to borrow your motorcycle. Besides, there are only about three people in the whole world that I would actually lend one to. Now of course I have to go out and test bikes regularly and I have other riders who come along to take their turn on the test bikes also. However, this is always in a controlled environment. I am still pretty low on the totem pole of people who are fortunate enough to get bikes to ride and test, so I keep a very close eye on them.
In the other part of my world where I collaborate with other online publications things are a little different. When another editor calls and wants to borrow one of the test bikes, that is something I need to say yes to. They are not exclusively my bikes and I did not sign my name for them. This tale is about one of those calls.
As you may remember, I have been working on a Honda xr650L project bike for a while. I actually have a ton of time working on this bike, way too much by current standards. But it is just one of those models that needs a little polishing to get the shine to come through.
So obviously the call came from someone wanting to try out my handy work on the 650L. When I preppedit to head off on a 1000-mile ride, in the back of a van, to get to the other editors location, I put everything together very carefully. I dismounted the screen and mirrors to keep them from getting damaged and stuffed them into the Giant Loop saddle bags that go with the bike. That was on top of giving everything else a full “once over” just to make sure it was ready to ride.
Months later the bike Honda gets back to me. I had sort of filed it away in the D drive of my brain somewhere and was not really thinking about all the parts that belonged to that particular motorcycle. Well, as I head out to prep it for a trip, I find it has no key. Really… is there any greater cliché than misplacing the one and only key we have for the bike?
But wait, it get even better. There are a whole slew of parts that have strayed from the bike. As it turns out the bags containing the mirrors and screen were left in the back of somebody else’s garage and never even made it on the trip. Oh yes, and that person never bothered to tell anyone else about that fact. So the other editor is thinking I didn’t send him any of the stuff that belonged with the bike, and I am thinking he didn’t return those same parts to me.
So now I have non-functioning bike, with parts spread out over at least 1000 miles and apparently three different locations. So I guess it is time to pick out a different bike to prep for that trip. Next time- just say no