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Dust Never Sleeps

 

Here's a real-deal Harley-Davidson XR750 in somebody else's garage.

There’s always something else. Especially around this joint, where everyone wants everything yesterday. It’s all singing, all dancing, all the time. Redline seems to be the requisite engine speed. Maybe it’s the same where you live, especially if you’re like me and live at work. When you make a living around motorcycles, it’s easier for work to seep past the seals and lean out real life.

Wife. Church. Pembroke Welsh Corgis, friends and neighbors. What if WFO doesn’t generate the lap times your corporate crew chief has in mind? Something burning? Bottom end didn’t sound like that in practice. I’m not a doctor. I don’t even play one on TV, but my forehead is hammered flat from hitting solid objects at high rates of speed. Tucking in tighter and ignoring the noise doesn’t work. Better pull in. Have a long drink of cold water. Run around the block. Take a deep breath. Find a feather duster. Or a nice clean diaper if that’s easier and take care of what’s important. Head for the garage if yours is more palatial than mine. I’ll start with the 72 XR750 on my desk. I yammered on about owning a real one till my jaw cramped up and Dad threatened military school. A new XR750 cost about $4000 back then; roughly 13,450 trips over my grandmother’s lawn behind the Hawthorne push-mower. Steel shoe, leathers and fresh Goodyear DTs sold separately. The 1:10-scale die-cast version is good enough for now. It reminds me of Dad packing us into the New Yorker every time the rolling thunder show came to San Jose. The way the sidewalk shook under my feet when vans were the only thing in the infield with mufflers. And Mark Brelsford pitching the factory XR sideways at what had to be 100 mph. Dust on the XR’s tiny orange tank bothers me. It’s just a toy. And a little dust is nothing compared to the unspeakable evil in my RD350B’s VM28SC Mikunis. But the 8-in. XR is a talisman. And dust is fair warning. Time to richen the essential, irreplaceable, exceptionally volatile mix that fuels hypothalamic combustion. I could blow what’s left of my 401K on a real XR, or dust off the words of an underappreciated Kansas philosopher named Dorothy. “Well, I – I think that it – it wasn’t enough to just want to see Uncle Henry and Auntie Em – and it’s that – if I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with! Is that right?” Yes, I believe it is.

Categories: Editorial, Harley-Davidson  
 

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