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BLOG – n PLUS 1

JB's troubled with the math of bike ownership...

n+1

Ahh, we all know that old equation: ‘the perfect number of motorcycles you can own is n+1, where n is the number of bikes you currently have’. That’s a truth that haunts me, as I’m sure it does all of us.

Not that long ago I used to own zero bikes, so when I got one I thought that was all my dreams come true. Wrong. It was one dream come true. Turns out I have multiple bike dreams. So now I’m at three (although really two, one is just on long term loan) – and I definitely need four.

This has come to mind on account of Craig’s latest piece on finding the perfect do-it-all dirt bike (see: https://rustsports.com/mx-vs-enduro-which-makes-the-best-all-rounder-revisited/). Surely his test was an act of futility, however well intentioned. And yes, his Husky FE350 will scratch more than one itch, but no one bike can scratch them all.

Currently I have an adventure bike, a classic twinshock trials bike and a classic British road bike in my garage. But I yearn for a classic big trailie. And, of course, also for a BMW GS. That’s another do-it-all (although I must say I’ve found Yamaha’s Super Ténéré and Suzuki’s V-Strom 1050XT have come as close to fulfilling that big adventure bike itch as any bike – I think the GS leads here on account of my memory of an exceptional week riding an R 1200 GS Rallye in South America back in 2012).

Only here’s the thing, while n+1 is unquestionably correct it leads to another even bigger issue: how much time do we have to ride all these bikes? Or how many lives? Yeah, sometimes it seems the only way to do all the rides we want to do – in my case that’s adventure rides, twinshock trials, enduros, roadbook rallies, LDTs, road races, desert rallies, Sunday classic bike coffee runs – would seem to be to clone ourselves. Every year I’m disappointed by the rides I missed for want of more time. So, we’re back to that n+1 thing again.

Cloning isn’t going to happen anytime soon though (can you envy a sheep – remember Dolly?). Even more galling, especially when you hit that big 5-0, is you start realising just how limited time is. How many summers before you’re too frail to ride at all?

Jeez, that sounds a bit depressing. It shouldn’t be. The moral here is: get out there and do it. Probably best not to wait. (Do you think the wife would buy that?) Oh, and all the time keep caring for the world, look after the nature, don’t start wars and help a fellow man.

So, just a Yamaha Ténéré XT600 circa 1983. And a GS. That’s it then?

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