If you have spent any time with your motorcycle-wielding family member you no doubt have noticed they have a general respect for all kinds of motorcycles. Even though we appreciate and respect all motorcycles, there is one style or brand where our interest peaks the most. For me, it is really two styles that I think are closely related: the cafe’ racer and the street fighter.

Cafe’ racers were developed back in the day by guys who modified their bikes to be stripped down, bare knuckled and fast. The term ‘cafe’ racer’ was coined as these bikes were used to race down the strip from cafe’ to cafe’. You earned respect and reigned supreme for a stretch of road between two cafes. These bikes, style-wise are some of the coolest on the market. Stripped down and race ready.

Street fighters are a style of bikes that started as sport bikes and after ripping off the plastic and taking a reciprocating saw to it you have a masterpiece that is bare knuckled, balls to the wall, stripped down, ready for a fight. These bikes just look mean. They look like they are ready for a bar room brawl the has spilled over to the street outside.

Yesterday, I had the occasion to ride my bike to church. During the greeting time, I was talking with a dude, Ken, who has been coming around H2O for awhile. He got connected to H2O through our Theology on Tap study earlier this spring. When Ken and I first met at Theology on Tap we instantly connected. Rebels at heart, with great taste in motorcycles. Ken and I have spoken often of bikes and  have spoken of mine several times. He had never seen it, so during the greeting time we walked outside so I could show her off (it occurs to me at this juncture that I have no name for my current bike… my Harley Ronda lovingly referred to as my mistress and it stuck… but I got nothing for the GSX-R1100, which doesn’t roll off the tongue quite like ‘my mistress’…).

As I guessed he loved it. Style-wise it is right up his alley. I knew it would be. When I started the customizing of the bike I had a final product in mind and I knew it would be an expression of my personality. When others can appreciate what your trying to accomplish, it is satisfying. For Ken (someone I respect and whose opinion matters to me), to take  one look and say ‘dude, it’s a street fighter and it’s awesome’ is highly satisfying. For someone else to look at my style tastes and not only recognize what I’m trying to accomplish but appreciate the idea itself, makes me feel like I’m not a complete psycho when it comes to cutting the frame rails on a motorcycle.

I think that is the embodiment of having a motorcycle. It is about personal expression, making a statement, showing others a piece of your personality. Jim, my friend, pastor and MTD coach, was an art major in college. He has offered to throw down some graphics on the gas tank. I can’t wait to make that happen. He has an incredible eye for style and all-around awesomeness, plus he also gets me and my personality/style. I should tell him to go ahead and start sketching out a design incorporating the punisher logo, H2O Church logo and more skulls. That would be off the charts amazing.

Now that I say that, you are all wondering what does it say about the personality/style of Eli that he wants skulls on his canvas? I don’t know, but they are cool. Not that death is particularly cool, but skulls are. In reality, death is kinda cool… if you have your eternal destination worked out through a relationship with Christ. Christ did come to seek and save the lost, dying on the cross in our place. Death no longer has a sting or any power. It is not something to be feared, rather a transition to be welcomed. No, I don’t want to die. I am aware of what happens to me when I do. If you aren’t maybe it is time to look into that Jesus thing.

I bet you never thought a post about motorcycles would bring us to Jesus.

I’m tricky that way.

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