I was lucky enough to get an invite to go on a ride with a small group of hardcore bikers from Kraus. Sadly, I am between bikes at the moment, so I declined. “Ride one of ours,” was the response.
Being brought up around motorcycles, this is a tricky issue. Some men, myself included, believe that sitting on another man’s bike, without asking, is roughly equivalent to touching his woman: DON’T DO IT.
And there is the other side: the opportunity to ride a Kraus bike.
I walked into their manufacturing facility and saw trial, adventure, motocross and street bikes.
The ride was to a local Harley Davidson dealer to have a bite to eat and see some friendly faces, so we pulled out a customized Street Glide and a bike that was named Lone Star.
“You’re on this one,” Satya said, pointing at Lone Star. As I stared at BST carbon fiber wheels, Ohlins front and rear suspension, Beringer brakes and some otherworldly engine magic, I started to get stoked.
Satya got her started and warmed up, pulling a couple wheelies and laying down a quarter-mile patch. Then I got really stoked.
I was ready to go low and super respectfully slow on another man’s ride but found myself shifting mental gears as I looked at the firebreathing dragonbike in front of me. Lone Star seemed to be telling me she wasn’t made to putt about town.
The quick introduction to Lone Star included light switches, the unique starter setup and a nasty growl that can’t be suppressed. “Don’t believe the speedo” was the last recommendation as we headed out.
First to second gear felt like a was being shot out of a .50 cal. I was supposed to be in the front, because “new guy” on a shop bike, but after a couple miles, I was way in front, forgetting about the speedo comment about 30 seconds into the ride.
Adrenaline, my love of speed and the ability to become one with the machine (it seemed to love me back) got me to that place where the sound of a big twin performing perfectly, the sound of 90 mph wind and perfect tires on perfect carbon fiber wheels turned the road to silk.
I’m still thinking about it now wondering how to get invited again...