motorcycles, travel, friendship, respect… I may drift off into WTF-land at times so hang in there.

Just Quietly. I’m Enjoying The Attention.


Lately I’ve noticed people, young people mostly, are looking to me for – ahem – my learned opinion on various things.

This phenomenon has been creeping up on me for the past couple of years, and although I’m flattered that people think I know stuff, I’ve never thought of myself as any sort of expert at anything.

Maybe these “young folk” are looking to me because I’ve been around for a smidgen over half a century and they expect such expertise from us “old folk”.

I suppose we all look to those that have been around the traps for a while for their advice, but I never thought I’d be the one giving said advice to inquiring minds.

The other thing I’ve noticed is that having a crack at something you know nothing about isn’t the favorite pastime of teenagers anymore. I mean, back in my day (sonny) we’d fix a busted throttle cable with a bit of fencing wire from the back paddock.

Mind you, things were simpler back then too, you could see an engine in a motor car, and you could get your hand into just about anywhere to tighten a nut or bolt that had worked its way loose.

These days you have to call an electrician, a plumber, an electronics technician and a refrigeration mechanic. Then you’ve got to have a work method statement in place before you even start to think about looking under the bonnet*.

Not Me. I'm Not That Good Lookin'... Or Young

Not Me. I’m Not That Good Lookin’… Or Young

I’ve always tried to encourage our kids to look for a solution to a problem and have a crack themselves before coming to me with their questions. For the most part this has worked out well for them; it’s taught them to research, ask questions and be self-sufficient.

I hafta say though, they’ve got it a little easier than us “old folk”. 

The internet is wonderful place for tutorials, general information and the like, and these days it much easier to find what you need quickly and without too much effort.

Those of us born last century will remember countless trips to the local library, magazines like Popular Mechanics, Street Machine, CQ Amateur Radio and others. All of which were gold mines of shared information – good and bad.

Most of  the time though, it was trial and error…

“I wonder what happens if I turn this whose-a-ma-whatsit?”

Quickly followed by…

Sproing! “Oops, where the hec did that go?”

I guess this is why so many are attracted to motorcycles.

Even though they’ve advanced somewhat over the years with electronic wizardry and such, they’re still a relatively simple thing to tinker with.

And unlike a motor car, you can strip it down to its undies* in the confines of a 10′ x 10′ shed and still have room for your beer fridge and favorite chair for when you want to sit back and admire your handy work.

This last point became clear last weekend when The Bar Tender pulled me up and asked if I’d show him some basic maintenance items on ‘Fee’ <Link>.

Photo Taken At The Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery Launceston Tasmania

Photo Taken At The Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery Launceston Tasmania

He’s been driving for about a year and a half and never shown an interest in any sort of maintenance regime on his car, so his request came as a bit of a surprise. Maybe it’s because ‘Fee’ is new and he’s keen as mustard to ride and keep her in good nick.

Or maybe, it’s because I’ve been drumming it into him these past few months that he can’t neglect things like tyre pressures and chain tension on his bike, because, unlike a car, if something breaks or isn’t quite right, it can be very painful… and I don’t mean financially.

In the last few weeks he has come to realise that my “lecturing” as he calls it, is worth taking note of. He now understands what I mean when I say: “You’ll be one with the bike and it will speak to you. It will tell you if there is a problem, no matter how small”.

I’m sure people who don’t ride think we motorcyclists are all nuts when we say things like that. But its true, and until you ride you’ll never understand.

There have been other questions as well.

Like, “Why do you carry your wet weather gear with you all the time Dad, the sun’s out?”

Or, “Why do you leave your bike in gear when you park it?”

All of these questions are valid and I’m glad he’s asking, and I’m sure the questions will continue to come thick and fast for the foreseeable future.

Just quietly. I’m enjoying the attention.

Makes me feel wanted 😉


  • Bonnet: Car Hood.
  • Undies: Under garments/ shorts.
  • Wet Weather Gear: Because you never know when you’re going to be stuck in a tropical downpour.
  • Parking In Gear: So it doesn’t roll off the side stand
  • And finally: Yes, I’m a Licenced Radio Amateur (Ham)… and no I won’t tell you my call-sign 😉

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8 responses

  1. Bob

    Nice post Ghost. Hell, you’re still young yet! Liked the trip down memory lane. Cars/bikes sure were much simpler to work on in the 70’s. However, my hands don’t touch my Honda ST1300’s engine. I took the tupperware off 10 years ago to install a Stebal air horn, and it scared the shit out of me! Pipping and hoses everywhere. it looked like some kind of monster! Barely found enough space to fit the horn. I never went in there again (-:
    Not all bikes are easy to work on sadly. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

    October 12, 2016 at 12:58 AM

    • Bob. If I’m honest I’m reluctant to tackle any mechanical works on a new car. I could still maintain and repair our old 99 Camry, but not the new fangled thing we have now.

      There be dragons under that bonnet!

      Bluey on the other hand I still maintain and repair if need be. I chose her over a fully fared bike for exactly that reason.

      Sadly I probably won’t have that luxury in years to come when Bluey is retired.


      October 12, 2016 at 2:42 PM

  2. A while back I was chatting with my awesome motorcycle mechanic (BMW & Guzzi) about a mysterious glitch that my F800GS experienced a handful of times over the last year: Four or five times (twice as I was once riding it home from the shop) the bike stalled at the pull of the clutch between shifting up or down… After the first two occurrences, my mechanic plugged it into the diagnostics program, and—finding nothing—admitted that there really was very little that even he could do on modern bikes, that as with cars, bikes today are mostly “computers on wheels”.

    The funny thing is, bikes still look simple. Maybe that’s because they’re relatively small, or maybe it’s because—for the most part, on most bikes—one can see all the elements: the engine, the gearbox, the drivetrain. So much is hidden or inaccessible on cars that many folks don’t understand how they work. Even if one has no aim to be a gear-head or grease monkey or whatever, there is value in understanding how engines and gearboxes and drivetrains work, is so much that an operator can diagnose simply by knowing the basics.

    Ghost, from our various exchanges I get the impression that you are a mighty knowledgeable fellow, but that you give advice or your opinion mostly only when you’re asked… Those are admirable traits, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    October 12, 2016 at 12:48 PM

    • Its all a façade Ry!

      I’m a jack of all trades and master of none 🙂

      Thank you for the compliment 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      October 12, 2016 at 2:45 PM

  3. Heading down the slope to 50 myself, I still remember the days before we had the Google-machine. Using our Encyclopedia Brittanica for school reports, etc.

    Now it is surprising just how much we use Google and YouTube for looking up tutorials on how to do various home projects. Some times progress can be good.

    Liked by 2 people

    October 13, 2016 at 6:12 AM

    • Encyclopaedia Britannica? Wow that’s going back a bit!

      Yep, I’ve caught myself searching YouTube for lots of stuff; reviews, tutorials and more recently entertainment.

      Sometimes I look at Wikipedia too. I tend to take that with a grain of salt though.

      Whether we like it or not the internet has dragged us into the information age that’s for sure

      Liked by 1 person

      October 13, 2016 at 11:21 AM

      • Not only the information age, but the age of the citizen journalist, and the age of conversations like this–instant casual exchanges between folks from all over the world. How remarkable and enjoyable!

        On somewhat of a side note: I’ve got an 1871 set of Chambers’s Encyclopaedia that belonged to one of my paternal great-great-grandfathers (the volumes even bear his calligraphic signature inside the front flyleaf). They might not be an ideal resource, but–damn–are they good for a laugh.

        Liked by 1 person

        October 13, 2016 at 1:55 PM

  4. Heehee, “back in my day (sonny)”…



    October 20, 2016 at 12:09 AM

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