I rode my Aprilia Tuono to work the fuel stabilizer through it and prepare myself mentally for our long winter separation. Almost like losing a good friend for few months. My wife will not let me keep it in our bedroom, she’s funny that way. During the ride I realized how disconnected I am from everything but the motorcycle. The Tuono and I are moving through the ever-expanding universe as one bio-mechanical life force, man and machine. As opposed to a man and his dog. In my case that would be dogs, but that’s another blog.
My Aprilia Tuono is now 6.5 years old. I don’t know how many years that is in human years. There most be some factor for calculating its age in humans years. I only have about 4500 miles on it. Not a lot of miles on it, so in mechanically it’s in good shape. But in terms of motorcycle technology it’s getting old, not ready for retirement yet, but well on the way. The motorcycles coming out now make my Tuono look like a riding lawnmower. Tuono has about 120 HP at the rear wheel compared to the new motorcycles which generate about 160 HP and above at the rear wheel. None of that fancy stuff either, no traction control, ABS or those other gizmos.
Operating the Tuono keeps me in the now or the moment. As though I’m in some type moving bubble that keeps everything out but gravity. Good thing gravity gets in the bubble, that would be a problem if it didn’t. Enjoying only the essences of the motorcycle of the as I ride it, if there’s such a thing. Think about it, couple of billion years ago some stars exploded and spit out the pieces to create my Tuono and everything else. Maybe, in couple billion years from now the pieces from my Tuono will recombine back into another sun and restart the cycle. So I guess, I’m sticking with the word “essences.” hopefully the next cycle will see some different colors.
When I’m riding the Aprilia there’s symphony of movements, working the front brake lever, clutch lever, the brake pedal, gear shift lever and shifting my body around. The variations in the vibration in the handgrips, changes in pitch from the engine and the increase volume of the pulsating exhaust are all following me note for note in my little symphony. Somehow my Tuono knows my favorite song.
Down-shifting and up-shifting to keep the engine in the middle of its power band. Continually watching tachometer as I go through the gears. No slipper clutch on this baby. The tachometer is the most important instrument on this motorcycle, just like the EKG machine for humans. Even though I live in the States the speedometer still reads kilometers, I guess could change it, but I don’t. Might as well leave it in its native language. It’s hard to learn a new language when you get older. Besides who looks at the speedometer thing anyhow.
This the oldest motorcycle in the group of motorcycles that I own. Always the first one to go up for the winter and last to get out for the summer. Tucked away in the back corner of the garage. Far away from the cold Chicagoland winter winds. The last thing I have to do to the Tuono before I put the cover on is to remove the battery. When I’m removing the battery the movie “2001: Space Odyssey” comes to mind. The part where they’re removing circuit boards to shut the computer “HAL 9000” down. I wonder if my Tuono dreams?
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Wear your helmet, enjoy your life and be safe.