It’s your turn. This is your opportunity to identify the motorcycle you think is worthy of recognition because it is beautifully designed, exquisitely engineered and perfectly executed, the motorcycle you look at and say, “That’s what a motorcycle should be.” The reason I’m asking for your input is because I’m puzzled, I can’t locate the motorcycle all of the ones I write about are being compared to.
The Kneeslider just turned 4 years old a few weeks ago (Yay! Woo Hoo!) and during that time I’ve scoured the Internet, dug into my files, searched through my “research library” of magazines and books, spoken to hundreds of enthusiasts and builders, all in order to bring you what I think are some of the more interesting motorcycles designed or built by everyone from major manufacturers down to student designers and individual builders in their home garage. I always try to find something in each bike that is unique or interesting or just well executed. I’ve never found the perfect motorcycle myself, but I like seeing what each designer or builder did, most importantly because, he actually did it, he is a doer not just a talker. I’ve always assumed some of you might also enjoy seeing what others were doing, using these articles as a way of priming your idea pump, perhaps incorporating a few of these ideas in projects of your own or simply because it’s neat to see how others think. I know many of you do enjoy these articles because you’ve written in and told me so or commented to that effect, but a growing number of you seem to find more shortcomings than positives, more nits to pick than points to praise. Hmm …
Being the optimistic and up person that I am, always trying to learn more from anyone who may have something to contribute, these constant negatives surprise me, but, since I may be missing something obvious to others, I invite each critic to SHOW everyone else their idea of the perfect motorcycle. I emphasize the word show because an imaginary motorcycle that only exists in your mind isn’t helpful when explaining your idea to someone else and if you have never tried to actually design it or build it, you can’t appreciate how much effort was required or how many difficulties have been overcome by others who did. I also emphasize the word show because this perfect motorcycle must already exist, how else could every one of these motorcycles and designs you can actually see here not live up to its incredibly high standards?
On the other hand, if you have not yet designed, built, or even seen the “perfect motorcycle” perhaps you could stop for a moment to appreciate what these designers and builders have actually done. They’ve taken their intangible ideas and put them into a form that everyone else can see, learning the skills necessary to design or build it, applying those skills to their own idea and then mustering up the courage to put it out there where others can see it, … no small feat! It may not be exactly how you would do it, but, if you haven’t done it, … theirs is better.
No one has to like any design but if you see a problem, explain to everyone exactly what it is and why it’s a problem, help everyone learn. If you have a specific example of how it might have been done better, show us. Not sure why something was done or how it works? Ask. On the other hand just saying, “It’s ugly” or “It’s a waste of time” adds nothing to the conversation, you don’t help anyone else understand the issues and, unfortunately, it doesn’t make you look good either.
Any accomplishment in the real world, no matter how trivial, trumps every world class fantasy. Real achievements start in your mind but unless you eventually make them real through learning, hard work and determination, it’s just a dream.
I’m a big fan of real motorcycles and real designs and the individuals, the doers, who are learning and trying, the ones who are doing things and testing themselves, making scrap metal on the way to that beautiful frame, mastering the new software so they can render their 3D vision, investing the weeks, months or even years so they can make their idea real. Yes, I like doers and what they do. Is their work perfect? No, but it’s the only way to get close. You can’t improve perfect dreams so doers keep working on real projects we can all see.
If you come across that perfect motorcycle, be sure to show us where it is, I can’t seem to find it. In the meantime, I’ll keep looking for more of the less than perfect but very real motorcycles and designs you see here because I like them, and I bet the vast majority of you like them too.
And, quite seriously, please do make your suggestions for the perfect motorcycle. We’ll gather them up and maybe take a poll.