Everybody has always called me “Wheels”. I have been riding motorcycles for thirty plus years and had my first car at the age of fourteen. There have been many times in my life where I have owned several bikes and several cars. I have never been one to leave anything the way it was purchased; I have always enjoyed personalizing my vehicles. Wheels was always kind of a cool name until it took on a new meaning in 1999 when after spending a month in a coma with no physical therapy, I was told I would never walk or drive again. WTF. I did all the normal physical therapy stuff and quickly was on my feet and driving again. It took me a little more time to get the strength and desire back to start looking for a new lightweight motorcycle with a way to shift with my toe and heel since I no longer had any strength lifting up my feet. I have been riding dirt bikes since a very young age and went looking at Dual Sport bikes that I could stand flat footed on. I found a very enthusiastic Kawasaki salesman who really wanted to get me riding again. He suggested the 2006 KLR with KoubaLink lowering links -1⅝” and a low Corbin seat which would give me the proper height I needed. He had a welder that owed him a favor so he took the KLR over to him to weld on a toe/heel shifter that would let me shift normally (well like somebody with no disability). He delivered it to my house and I learned to ride again in my neighborhood of familiar turf. Just like never forgetting to ride a bicycle the love and skills burst forth and I was riding like the old day but this time with an ear-to-ear grin that still exists today. I suffered a little set back at work in December after purchasing the KLR in October; I fell and broke both my tibia and fibula which one again sidelined me for about six months. Red and I worked together at a place neither one of us want to admit but that's where we became friends. During time on the sideline I decided to “personalize” the KLR. I ordered a slip on Supertrapp ISD2 racing exhaust and high performance normal maintenance supplies. I called red and he came over and helped me install the new parts. I had the need to ride again so spent some time in the garage removing my cast; the leg was fine I had a metal plate now holding my leg together. The next winter I ordered new tires switching from the slippery knobby's to a set of Michelin Anakee’s and spent a cold December day on the KLR riding around looking for someone to install my new tires. I rode for hours and finally decided to stop by the Ducati shop by my house. The main tech in that day happened to be the co-owner, he provided great service and we talked about bike and stuff that could be done to help the KLR. So in January I returned to the shop to have some performance modifications like jetting, new gears and a couple hours on the Dyno. The improvements were amazing. That day at Ducati I fell in love with the Ducati Monster 1100 (naked sport bike) and sold the KLR in September of 2009 and got the Monster. The Duc was powerful, well balanced and a lot of fun but it hated temperatures below 45°, so it got put away in the winter, which really was the hardest thing I have ever done. In March I purchased another bike, one that I could ride all the time. I bought a 2010 BMW F800GS (Lava Orange) and quickly fell in love with it. The Monster had an unfortunate demise in July after sliding through a corner with a little gravel on Indiana State Road 135. Now if I’m out trail riding, I have a favorite motorcycle. If I’m riding on the road, I’ve got a favorite. If I’m jumping, I have a favorite. If I’m racing, I have a favorite. If I’m just doing anything, I’ve got my favorite. All my favorites happen to be my F800GS. Oh’ as for the car I drive an extremely high performance VW GTI.
smmwheels - Steve