by Liz Jansen
Motorcycles are designed to serve a defined purpose—and to do it well. That’s not to say you can’t make modifications, but, generally speaking, it’s not a good idea to push a bike to serve a purpose it wasn’t designed for.
As esteemed as they are, the world doesn’t need another Bill Gates, Mother Teresa, or (insert your favorite hero). Those roles are already taken. A dirt bike isn’t meant for touring, nor is a cruiser meant for trail riding. Do the thing only you can do.
These attributes distinguish models of motorcycles and distinguish you from others.
- Type of engine. Motorcycle engines include single-cylinder, V-twin, or in-line-four configurations. Each has specific benefits such as torque, top speed, or a smooth ride. You’ve come into the world to fill a unique role that no one else can fill. If you resist your inner guidance by going in a direction you weren’t meant for, you’ll have performance issues.
- Fuel. Various engines have different requirements because of the way they deliver and ignite fuel. What fuels you does not necessarily fuel me. To get the most power out of your engine, it’s important to feed it the right kind of fuel.
- Maintenance. While maintenance requirements and schedules vary, all motorcycles require attention at given intervals. So do you. Everyone has specific needs based on individual requirements. What’s most important is that you tend to your body, mind, and spirit on a regular basis, based on your needs.
- Drive system. As powerful as a motorcycle engine can be, nothing moves until that power is transferred to the rear wheel via one of three basic drive systems: chain, drive, or shaft. Each of you has a different way of sharing your power with the world. It does no good when it’s bottled up inside.
- Ergonomics. A motorcycle needs to fit you—your style of riding, physical size, and comfort. Whatever Road you take in life needs to fit you as well—your interests, skills, and abilities.
- Flexibility. You can alter a bike’s capability to deal with changing environments by modifying the engine, adjusting the suspension, or swapping its tires. Some styles, like dual-sport bikes, are more adaptable than others. The environment around you is constantly changing. Flexibility, tolerance, and understanding go a long way toward helping you through the rough stuff.
- Focus. Motorcycle styles range from small dirt bikes to extreme sport bikes, with much in between. Some of you are specialists, while others are generalists—which is an area of expertise in itself. Focus on what best suits your interests and skills.
- Endurance. A high-performance race engine that’s pushed to its limits requires more frequent attention than a cruiser designed for casual riding. When you’re pushing your limits, make sure to tend to your physical, emotional, and spiritual needs, otherwise you’ll burn out.
- Carrying capacity. Big touring bikes are designed to be loaded with passengers and cargo. Small dirt bikes are not. Serve the purpose you’re here for and you’ll find you’ve got plenty of capacity. Taking on more than you’re meant for is hazardous to your health.
- External features. Motorcycles all have different external appearances designed for the purpose they’re meant to fill and the interests of the riders to which they appeal. Each one is beautiful and functional in its own way. Start the day by looking in the mirror and telling yourself how beautiful you are. It’s amazing what an effect that can have on how your day plays out.
Calibrating your performance against someone else is pointless because your roles are different. Know yourself. Take pride in your uniqueness, and play to your strengths.
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