Growing through motorcycle classes. Part 3: Ride it off

Other parts of the series can be found here.

So you take your motorcycle on a ride every day, and on the weekends you trip the countryside. You quickly accelerate on the intersections and smile at the girls who look at you from the cars. You enjoy the sun glaring on your chrome while you’re chilling at a cafe and you bet with every 5-series BMW in the town that you will beat them to the next intersection. You do it for a year. Two years. Three years. But with every kilometer rolling on the odometer, the motorcycle whispers to those who listen: motorcycling is not about speed or looks… well, not primarily.

Being a fresh rider, I used to hate rides with no destinations. I remember the old riders looking at me with indulgence when I rushed to get there, and how I thought they were old cripples to not push their motorcycles to the limits. But when you hold on to the grips for too long, the motorcycle does whisper to you.

It is not about where you go. Not at all about where you go. It is not about how fast you get there.

It is about the road you take to get there. It is about how you ride that road. Not about how fast. Just about how. And then this realization strikes you and you stop for a moment. You breathe, you look around. You realize you don’t want more destinations. You want more roads. And what you once hated very sincerely becomes the most beautiful vehicle to your eyes that could ever be designed.


I used to hate offroad motorcycles. I knew, I was certain that an offroad motorcycle was going to be the last one I ever own. Turned out so, but absolutely not in the negative way I meant it to be!

Honda CRF450

So after my current CBF500 I know exactly what am I going to own next. I cannot wait. And who could? I am finally going to ride a vehicle that is really essentially designed to be a ground vehicle, from its core. I am going to experience freedom of movement unimaginable with any other vehicle. It is going to be fast. Not too fast. It is going to be sexy. Not too sexy to the ones non-transcended. It is going to be a Honda.

Honda Transalp XL700V

Remember, kids. If you think Enduros are not cool, you are wrong. If you think motorcycling is about speed, it might be — but only for the select few like Valentino Rossi and on very specially designed tracks and events. If you think motorcycling is about style, and you’re ready to spend that much on style, way to go — give me a call to have some beer together! And especially, if you are just starting to get into riding and you’re wondering about what you want to stick to, give the offroad a second thought after you initially disregard it. Keep in mind, it is very probably that offroad is where you will get anyway, with time. Just in case, watch the Long Way Round starring Obi Wan Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman.

The Enduros opened my eyes in a way no other motorcycle ever could. They opened whole millions of roads to ride in my small beloved country. They turned Armenia into a paradise for motorcycling.

Motorcycling stopped being about the speed, so I stopped noticing the next-year ultra-cool Sportbike JAP-09900XXX year 2050 riding along Baghramyan. It stopped being about the style, so I stopped noticing the 10o-years-old style shiny and loud Darley Havidson sinking in its own chrome.

It started being about the adventure.

Other parts of the series can be found here.