A bike by any other name…

Dirty 1Last fall, I saw that Thunder Press magazine was taking picture submissions for their March 2017 cover featuring personalized motorcycle license plates. I felt compelled to email in a shot of one of my old vanity tags, so I did…and basically forgot about it.

Imagine my surprise this month after the issue was released, when I found my D1RTY1 had been included!

Now I can’t help but feel like it’s time to explain how my first Harley got its names.

It started the day I first saw this particular 1200 Custom Sportster on a trip to one of the area Harley dealerships. I was walking along a row of bikes and although I know it sounds unbelievable, it was as if this Sporty came to life for second and picked me. Out of the corner of my eye I caught it performing the same type of maneuver a dog would make against another when vying for attention; a playful nudge to jostle into position and say, “Look at me.”

It worked.

A small test ride was all it took to prove to me that I liked the way this bike felt and sounded as much as the way it looked. The vibe that this machine’s personality was that of a big red Doberman, always ready to go out and play, prompted me to name it “Dobie”.

Play we did: on lots of back roads in Central Virginia, up to Atlantic City, down to New Orleans, through beaches, camp-outs, and even a few spills. Some of these adventures I’m sure I’ll reminisce on in detail at some point.  But the point I’m now trying to get to, lollygagging along here just as I do on the bike, is how its nickname originated.

Oops…mud!  Again.

I’m always ready to admit, when given a limited amount of time and the choice, I’d wind up opting to ride this motorcycle over washing it.

The friends I rode with noticed and continually pointed out to me that my bike was usually the dirty one in the group. After this teasing revelation had been passed along to me the umpteenth time, I turned to the DMV with a sort of visual reply in mind.

D1RTY1 was available to order on a personalized plate. With Dobie’s new name tag on display, I had great fun rolling into a parking lot to meet up for a ride. When questioned if I would wash my bike anytime soon I could say, “No! I’d have to go through the hassle of changing my license plate.”

Or if I heard, “Hey, did you know your bike is dirty?”, a shrug and gesture toward the back of the motorcycle would bring a laugh when the tag was spotted.

For a bike by any other name can provoke a smile…and that is sweet.