This is Our Family: Suzanne’s Story

Here is my motorbike story so far which has finally led me to the wonderful team at Morgan & Wacker:

My husband, John, renewed his bike licence after a spell of quite a few years. My thoughts were, fantastic, I can get on the back of his new 2010 Yamaha 650cc. Not having had a licence for so long meant he could not take a pillion on the back for 12 months. Damn!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So I took the car, he took the bike on our trips just wishing that the 12 months would go by a little quicker. The 12 months was up, beauty, I could now ride pillion on the back and love every minute of it.

Then John decided he wanted an open licence because he was very interested in buying a CBX 1000cc bike. “Oh no!” said I. Another 12 months waiting patiently to ride pillion!! But, at last the 12 months was up.

But during this period of waiting, something inside of me was saying, “You could get your own licence and ride your own bike”. Me? I don’t think so, I have never been interested in riding bikes, just being pillion. John had also been saying to me that I should go for my bike licence. I have always been fascinated with bikes and motor sport in general. My very first memory is being taken by my eldest brother to a race track north of Hobart called Baskerville when I was about 8 years old. Wow!!! This track is still in existence but only used for Club days. Symmons Plains is the track used for racing now, just south of Launceston. The love of motor sports has never left me, only become stronger as I have got older.

Well, that thought just kept nagging away and when I turned 60 I decided that yes, it would be great to do something out there and daring and obtain my licence and my own bike. Up to this point I had never ridden a motorbike before. So this is what I did: I went to Q-Ride and after five goes, dropping their bike too many times (oops!), being absolutely terrified, but having two wonderful instructors who were so patient and kind and knowledgeable, I finally obtained my bike licence. I then bought a 2000 Yamaha 250cc Virago. What a magic little bike that was. Although it didn’t seem too little when I first sat on it! I was the third lady to own it. I always wanted the Virago to sound like a Harley and people would look at me as if I had come off another planet!! I don’t think that will ever happen, they would say!

Then after a couple of years, I decided to trade this bike in on a 2011 Honda VT400cc. I thought I was the ants pants riding this bike. John had always wanted me to ride his Yamaha 650 but it was too big a jump, in my mind, to go from the 250cc to the 650cc. But one day he pointed out to me that the Honda VT400 was actually longer than his 650 and also longer than his CBX1000! Are you sure? said I.

So a few months later I tried riding his Yamaha 650. We went for a ride out past Samford village to go to Dayboro, John rode his bike I rode mine. We stopped outside Samford and I got on his bike and he on mine. At first I could not lift the bike off the bike stand (this is a good start!!!) because when John had stopped the bike at the side of the road, the stand had gone into a small depression in the bitumen. So he had to move the bike forward a little and on I got and away I went. Gee, this is fabulous I thought, why didn’t I have a go at this before? After a few kilometres I thought I had better see if I could stop the bike, so I pulled up on the side of the road and when John came up to me, he said are you OK? Yes, I said, I just wanted to make sure I could stop this thing!! Which he thought was hilarious!

So the Honda VT400 was put under its covers and left while I thoroughly enjoyed riding Johns Yamaha. I have since sold the Honda.

Then John told me about the new Harley-Davidson Street 500 which was being launched in Australia last year. “That would be a fabulous bike for you to ride, he said. It looks a lot smaller than the Yamaha 650 and should be real easy to handle etc”. I rang Morgan & Wacker last October and made some enquires and they were offering a deal where if I paid a viewing deposit of $500 I would go on a list to be one of the first few to look at the bike and take delivery of it if I was interested. It took me a whole 5 seconds to say yes to that and about a minute later I was $500 poorer on my credit card!!!

I have been in contact with James & Luke quite a number of times who have always been very supportive. Of course, I decided I wanted a red H-D so I had to wait just a little longer for it to arrive. I have also been talking to Luke as to what I can bling it up with and also, because of the wait, started thinking about a different colour to paint the bike….PINK!!!! I have always been interested in Harley’s, but because I only have a restricted licence, I can’t ride anything above a 650 cruiser, which has always put me out of the running for a Harley because they did not have a LAMS bike, UNTIL NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well what can I say!! My new Harley has gone from red to custom painted pink pearl and black metallic!! I told Luke what colour I wanted and left the rest up to Luke to organise with Damian from Zealous Air Brush Studios. And it looks fabulous. Damian has done a magnificent job on the painting! It is now become my dream bike which I will have forever. I have also had new wheels, custom footpegs, brake lever, gear lever, grips and mirrors added to the bike along with a custom exhaust which makes it sound terrific….loud, but terrific!! I also had to add a sissy bar/luggage rack combo to the bike so I can have my biker teddy pillion passenger come riding with me again!

So I suppose the moral of this story is you are never too old to jump on two wheels, especially a Harley, and ride wherever you want to. I am always apprehensive when I go for a ride but once I am on the bike and riding, wow, what a feeling, wind in your hair, the freedom you feel and the sheer joy is just magic!!