July 23, 2015

My Motorcycle Is My Partner

My Yamaha V Star Tatanka has taken me 30,000 miles over 2 years of riding together
As I was polishing the chrome on my Yamaha V Star 650 when I had an amazing realization about my feelings for my motorcycle. There in that moment I was overcome with a great appreciation for this machine.

When I was pregnant with my daughter, my mother told me of a deep love that came over her with her first child. Just days after my sister was born, my mother looked at her and realized the enormity of her role as a mother. It hit her in one moment, this mix of a great love and huge responsibility, feeling wonderful and terrifying.

"You'll know it when you feel it," she told me.

Sure enough, my moment came when my daughter was 3 days old. I was holding her and watching my husband and mother cook dinner in my home. I looked at my tiny baby and the emotion poured over me, through me, seemingly becoming part of me. I wept as I looked at this tiny being, knowing I was responsible for every meal, every pain, every illness, every need this human would have for the next 18 years. I wept with joy and fear, just as my mother had done.

I told my daughter this story when she was pregnant just over a year ago. Shortly after my grandson was born last summer I asked my daughter if she had yet felt such a moment.

"Yes. I know exactly what you were talking about now. It was serious Mom. Very serious."

Currently I'm house sitting for a friend in San Diego who has a great garage for parking. I decided to make the most of it and wash my motorcycle. I even went so far as to buy some spray wax for the paint. In the 2 years I've owned this motorcycle, I can count the times I've washed her on one hand. But she was particularly filthy and since I had the means to do so, I thought this was a good time to get her as clean as possible.

As I was cleaning the chrome, getting in the tiny notches between the heads, I caught a glimpse of my reflection in the air intake cover. Then I leaned back, taking a good look at my motorcycle as if I had never seen it before.

This maternal feeling came over me; this deep love I remember having for my child. Certainly it wasn't quite as strong as my love for my baby, but it was similar. For me, this was the strongest feeling I've ever had for a machine.

I realize I have this motorcycle to thank for all of these miles I've traveled in the last 2 years. Gratitude came over me, as did a sense of obligation. I have a responsibility to care for her, to feed her, to listen to her, to fix her problems and keep her safe. But unlike a child, my motorcycle never complains and always performs. She will also give me her all. I only need to ask it of her by twisting her throttle. Even when I have been irresponsible and pushed her beyond her limits, once I've righted her up again, she's back to work for me without complaint.

My motorcycle has been my loyal friend and partner and I truly love her for it.

My book Rude Biker Chick: Lessons From My Daddy is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Smashwords. Give me your feedback on it once you've read it! I look forward to hearing from you.



  1. Sash, somehow I missed the connection until now. I didn't realize you also ride a 650VStar (classic, though I ride the custom.) It is a beautiful machine ... but damn the chrome!

  2. I rode the Honda Shadow that Sonja and I own in for its service yesterday. In the rain. Now all its shiny bits are dirty and sad, though it's inner bits are freshly oiled and happy.

    Now I have to learn how to make it shiny again before Sonja sees it in a few weeks' time.

    Maybe I'll have a bonding moment too.

  3. I know what you're talking about. I recently went through a long period of unemployment, and the one thing that lifted my spirits was riding my motorcycle (FLHR Road King).

    Cheers from Colorado


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