Motorcycle Trailer - Exhaust Notes

Nearly a quarter of a century ago, I became a motorcyclist. I bought one 50cc Yamahopper for me and one for the missus. I could hardly wait until I got home from work each day so we could ride. We took an MSF course and moved into higher-displacement bikes.

As the bikes kept getting bigger, our mutual participation eventually turned into two-up touring, ultimately aboard a Kawasaki KZ1100A2, at the time a superbike. It wasn't long before the lure of far-away places and exotic motorcycling venues beckoned. In that first year, the Glitter Gulch Jamboree was advertised in several motorcycle magazines, so we resolved to go to Vegas to see if the event was as fun as it sounded.

The missus was smart enough (after many rides) to point out that trekking across California into Nevada could be accomplished in a substantially more accommodating fashion if we were in a two-track vehicle towing the bike behind. So we did. Once at the Jamboree, we unloaded the bike and enjoyed the event just as much as anyone else.

Within a reasonably short time we acquired an actual motorcycle-specific trailer and used it to visit big rallies all over the nation. These trips counted for several thousand miles in the car, but also the pleasant, unwearied use of the bike once we were at the rallies. We pursued this lifestyle for six or seven years until the missus finally burned out on riding. An occasional ride was still fun for her, but since I'd turned into some kind of motorcycle-obsessed nutcase, she blessed me and sent me on my way, solo.

Once inducted into this life of two-wheeled singleness, I became one of those, "You what? Trailered it?" kind of people. In those years I put on tens of thousands of miles riding with my buddies. I wore shirts that said things like, "Ride, Sleep, Eat, Repeat." And as I entered my late 50s, I began to realize that my job was becoming an obstruction to my lifestyle, so I abandoned work completely to devote myself to riding, maintaining, modifying, benchracing and simply dwelling on all aspects of motorcycling.

I no longer had a car, nor a truck. I could meet all my transportation needs for shopping, business appointments and pleasure on bikes. I was literally living to ride, riding to live.

But during this year I also experienced an epiphany of sorts. No, I wasn't going to become a normal person, but I realized that the long ride-alone -wasn't giving me the same thrill it used to. How so? First off, I'd been admitted into certifiable geezerhood as I reached my 65th birthday, so I wasn't as indestructible as I'd been a score of years back. Secondly, I began to dwell on the consequences of things like flat tires and other touring terrors.

So a couple of weeks in advance of a recent trip I was planning, as I began to think about what bike I'd choose to ride and what gear to take, the missus could tell I was pensive and said, simply, "Take the car." So I dusted off the old 1972 Cadillac and dug the trailer out of the junk pile and loaded my bike. It hadn't been aboard a trailer in well over a decade.

I quickly remembered how truly decadent this method of travel is. No helmet, no earplugs, no heavy gear, boots, gloves or eye protection necessary. I could listen to the radio, have a chilled beverage and not worry about road irregularities, such as grooves and oil and gravel.

Three long days of driving both to and from the event allowed me time to really consider how pleasant it was to drive, and surrender to its comforts. As the summer sun above the Owens Valley beat down and the miles of scenic canyons near Zion National Park flowed past, I became enlightened.

Oh yes, motorcycling is still the lifestyle I will pursue, but I will now do it without even trying to build character. You won't hear me challenge the rider who trailers his bike when he has a hankering to ride thousands of miles away from home. To paraphrase Pogo, "I have met the trailering biker, and he is us."-John Paul Daly