I began riding in the year 2000. I’d always thought motorcycles were cool but then I saw the movie, James Bond Tomorrow Never Dies. In that movie there is a scene where Pierce Brosnan and Michelle Yeoh are escaping from some bad guys in China and they steal a motorcycle. At the time, BMW was sponsoring all the cars in the Bond films and they chose this movie to introduce their BMW R1200c motorcycle. The scene in retrospect is completely unrealistic but their marketing worked like a charm on me. I was hooked. From that movie, I began my motorcycle obsession.
I attended a course with TEAM Arizona in order to learn how to ride and obtain my endorsement. The class was three days long and we learned to ride on Honda Shadow 250s. I admittedly was not the best rider but I knew enough to make me very dangerous. I went to the class with two buddies and after everything was said an done I was the only one of us who ended up buying a motorcycle.
I figured that I wasn’t going to be able to afford anything more than a sport bike to begin with. On a whim I walked into the dealership on 7th street and inquired about a green 1999 R12c that was on the show room. For some reason, people had passed this bike up. The sales guy had no idea that I’d had a photo of the bike hanging up in my locker at work for about a year. He needed to get rid of the bike and I couldn’t believe my luck. The ride home was not pretty. I stalled it twice. But it was mine and I couldn’t have been happier about the new toy.
Eventually, I got much more confident. And I roamed the state in short rides here and there. I got some pretty advanced training on motorcycle riding a few years later in 2002. I was able to participate in a 80 hour motorcycle immersion. I couldn’t believe how good I was after that. But I paid for it. I was able to ride someone else’s bike and crash and wreck all over the place. During one drill I was thrown easily over 20 feet. We wore all sorts of padding so I didn’t have to worry about serious injury. It was the best opportunity ever.
If I was going to change anything about the green R12c that I had purchased I would have adjusted the front end, handle bars, windscreen, and general bad assedness of the bike. As if BMW was reading my mind, they created the Montauk version of the R12c and in 2004 I bought one.
That bike opened up a whole new aspect of motorcycling for me. I got out of town and took it everywhere I could. I took the Montauk to my first Arizona Bike Week. I roamed all over Arizona and discovered my favorite roads and saw new cities. I fell in love with motorcycling all over again. But the bike wasn’t perfect. It was unique and it performed well but it was underpowered as a 1200 cc bike in a 1500 cc world. It didn’t get more than 32 miles per gallon on a good tank and since BMW stopped making the bike, it was getting more and more difficult to find people who could work on the bike as well as buying parts for it.
Then this “new” upstart american company who I thought made snowmobiles started making motorcycles. The first Victories were impressive but the verdict was still out. But eventually, Victory came out with the Cross Country. The initial love was immediate. She was gorgeous and distinguished in the face of her Harley competition. But it what was underneath the sexy exterior that really grabbed me. I never had a chance. I did it again. I lusted after the bike, stalking it and obsessing over it. The more I found out the more I wanted it and the more I began to resent the Montauk.
Soon, Victory made the ABS standard. I began to run into people who had tested the bike and swooned over it. The Victory motto, “Ride one and you’ll buy one.” was stabbing my heart. I fantasized about a pearl black finish and a new American badass rolling down my favorite roads.
It seemed like it was meant to be when I finally got to the point where I pulled the trigger. I’d been so patient and like a good consumer shopped around for the best price with a combo of decent customer service. And then he said it. The salesman at the dealership said he had an orange one with a blacked out engine. And his prices were a few thousand dollars less than the competition’s. I was helpless. Was I getting the bike or was she getting me?
Passion is only matched by pride. I dig this bike pretty hard. I smile and tell people this is the best bike in the world. So I invite you to follow me as I rack up the miles. And the rest will be history.