2021

As I begin the third revision of this text, there’s a good chance no one will ever read it. If it survives, it’s because the writer was able to accurately spit out how difficult it is to write about motorcycles when one’s thoughts are dominated by something else. Take your pick on exactly what that might be and keep it on a need to know basis, for surely we are all in this together – equal partners in the erosion. How much of the landslide will we see and when are the current questions du jour, leaving the masses no choice but to work the days one at a time. Truly, I have been fortunate to mix with an exceptional family and dear friends. Because of this I’m inclined to share, which is different than being forced to.

Under the workshop lights thoughts flow and worries melt as the wrenches spin, so I’ve been out there a lot. As of today I’m still free to travel on my evil, gas-powered motorcycle, but the promises and threats are unsettling. Reminded again not to borrow trouble or worry about matters beyond my control is not just a massive challenge, but a huge distraction. Looking deep for answers, it felt right to reconnect with old passions and allow myself a bit of nostalgia. Sparked by an ongoing conversation with Harris Kawasaki owner Nick Burgoyne (that machine featured here after I feature this) I recall being drawn to Bol d’Or bikes before knowing the term existed. Swapping a 750cc BMW for a new twin cam Honda in 1980 (posed in front of my trusty Ford Custom 500) the decision was based purely on style and nothing else. It wasn’t enough, and in less than five-years an upgrade to Guzzi’s open-class Le Mans gave new meaning to the term endurance. It’s just now hitting its stride, 36-years later.

Editorially, after Nick’s Z1-powered Thunderchild I’ll begin compiling for a review in RealClassic Magazine on Guzzi’s touring T-series – a production spanning two decades and mixing 850 and 1000cc variants. WMM contributor Bill Ross’s newly acquired Magni Arturo will follow, as will catching up on some old projects with TJ Jackson (Vincent Black Shadow, Kawasaki GPz 750 Turbo) and others. Just writing about the writing is therapeutic, as is the belief that we will soon be able to mingle again. Given time, the goal is to have a comprehensive special frame catalog published on this website, plus a balanced selection from each mainstream manufacturer. Did I mention there’s a book in the works? At some point more adverts are destined to appear at Woodbury Media, but never pop-ups, redirects or any of the tracking methods found almost everywhere else. Like everyone I live how I can afford to, but my vision for this online magazine is one that treats its readership respectfully.

(Fast classics – TJ Jackson’s GPz750 Turbo and Nick Burgoyne’s ‘Thunderchild’ Harris. Also from TJ is the iconic Vincent Black Shadow. Is its star fading?)

Regarding old friends and the memories we made with them, long time riding pal Jim Schantel recently returned the Triumph Daytona 900 I sold him in 2016. Now stepping away from the game, Jim and Suzan want this slightly rashed Bloor triple returned to pristine condition. Lavished with incredible attention to detail and ruggedly built, the big, black Daytona was a favored touring bike for nearly ten-years. Just a fabulous, fun beast and I’m thrilled to have it back. We’re on the search for a couple Diablo black panels but the British beast will have to wait its turn. I’m vowing publicly to have our long-term 1100 Sport together and sailing by the end of this unswerving calander year, but talk is cheap. If nothing else, having more harmony between the digital and mechanical projects would improve my disposition greatly. This is supposed to be fun, right?

Successful in steering this away from a bitch session and into a working editorial, I’ll take my leave of this document and move to the next. Well aware of how difficult life has become but not interested in elaborating any further, here’s hoping your comeback (push-back?) and mine all go as planned. There’s scores of good people all around us, and those working as part of the solution do so by exercising extra amounts of kindness, patience and understanding. How I regard politics, health concerns and the environment cannot be allowed to dominate my personal presentation, and I refuse to be judged in the same way. Fight to keep your passions alive and reject the forces who believe they have a say in your matters. By nature motorcyclists are free thinking individuates who remain accountable for their deeds. That’s a mighty handy gift to have. Don’t give it up. Nolan Woodbury

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