® The grunge ethos

Something about the vintage Honda community mystifies me. It defies explanation. I can't understand why so many owners of these classic and even iconic motorcycles are content to have them perform so poorly. Granted, a significant percentage of riders of old Hondas are engaged in vintage on the basis of economics; it's what they can afford and thus their experience is limited and their perceptions framed--by money. The lack of it. But even this doesn't explain the riddle. Not all the riders of old Hondas are strapped.

Most vintage Honda owners simply expect their machines to be rough-edged, unrefined, even ill-mannered. They are therefore unmotivated to discover the experience of half-century old Honda joy; the delight that informed tuning and maintenance produces. The surprising relevance of ancient machinery.

I hope I'm wrong. But I think it's a grunge ethos. Clapped-out motorcycling. Nursing along neglected historic Hondas because that's part of the deal; just what you do. Like living with a doddering old grandfather. And it's sad to watch. These bikes were not built for that.

Last updated February 2023
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