I generally like to keep my motorcycle writing a mix of fun and information. This content could be construed as controversial, but at least I hope to get you thinking. Disclaimer: No animals were harmed nor child labor used in the writing of this piece. Last week I spoke to a riding buddy of mine and noticed that he had a WWJD wristband. We have all seen these in many forms and fashions. It’s kind of a personal thing and people generally don’t mix motorcycles with Jesus, so let me get right out there with it. The WWJD movement has been around a while. I have seen it in many variations. I got to thinking about a variation that could spur some interesting conversation at your local bike shop or your local watering hole. No, I have not flipped, just food for thought. Ready?? Here it is: “WWJR”, or “What Would Jesus Ride?” For that matter, and to keep it fair what would Allah, Mohammed, God the father, Moses, Buddha, Thor, Satan, or whoever you damn well think is in a position of eternal salvation… ride??? Actually you can fill in the blank with any figure from history. Example: “Hey guys, if cowboys rode bikes instead of horses, what would John Wayne ride?” Obviously, Jesus is the extreme example. Ask as many people as I have in the past week and you will get some really cool answers. Not to mention some oddball looks.
Being raised a Catholic (an Irish one at that) my Mom would consider such a question at most blasphemous or at least irreverent. I should say up front that I do not have the answer, only an opinion. Before we begin the debate (Is it possible to debate myself?? Hell, it’s my story) we first must answer a couple of precursor questions. Would Jesus be traveling in modern times or in Biblical times? In that regard, we need to account for road conditions. Let’s make it modern times. Also, if feeding the multitudes with a couple of fish is easy, I don’t think gas mileage, budget, horsepower output, warranty, or stuff like that are a problem. So many questions, so little time. I called my buddies Kirk and Kim up at “Ace Insurance” for an insurance quote for Jesus and they said a guy like that would be easy to write, “very low risk.” “He might not even need insurance”, Kim quipped. What about the ‘no insurance’ ticket I asked? Kim said that guy has connections and could probably get the ticket fixed! Probably so. I could use a ticket fixer like that in my office. I wonder if he requires a 401k?
Back to the question of what type of bike the ‘Son of Man’ would ride. I thought I would ask for more assistance in deciding. I split my query between a varied audience so as to not get a slanted answer. I asked for input from many friends making sure that I hit at least one Southern Baptist, one Jewish, one Atheist, and one Muslim, not to mention a shit pile of hell bound heathens. Those last opinions are easy as I’m generally surrounded by those guys. I received several different opinions from these people ranging from “any bike he wants” to “whatever bike his father will let him”! Ouch.
For purposes of the analysis, I would have Jesus dressed in the garb of the modern mortal. If we decide on an open belt drive, the flowing robes could get caught in the belt!! I’ve always thought that if Jesus were to come to visit he would be wearing 501 button fly jeans. They are plain, simple, very durable, timelessly stylish and reasonable priced. Just a plain white “T” shirt, with perhaps a simple “Wrangler” denim jacket to keep the cold out. Kind of like Jimmy Dean cool. Shoes, that’s a good question. No Sandals. We all know how that looks. Foot wear for ‘the man’ is not going to be fancy ‘Alpine Star’ road boots, prices at $600.00. Too much. I believe they would be the standard “Redwing” work boots, in black. After all they are really ‘carpenter’ boots. Now that it’s cleared up as to how Jesus will dress to show up to the shop to pick up his bike, we ask “what kind of bike is it?” No windshield for sure. The wind blown look suited him then, will suit him now. Not a full blown dresser, as that would be too obvious. Not a naked bike either, especially if he wanted to two up with Mary or one of his crew (apostles, Silly!).
I have also circulated this question amongst groups of riders as well as non riders and received surprising results. Of course all the non riders say `Harley.’ I don’t know why this is. King of bikes, king of man, makes sense. I guess to the non rider, the brand recognition of the Harley mystique is the strongest of all manufacturers. Most riders I spoke to identified Jesus with their particular type of bike, like ‘sport tourer,’ ‘cruiser,’ ‘chopper,’ `sport bike,’ ‘vintage,’ and so on. Interestingly, everyone I spoke to had the big guy riding their exact kind of bike. The arguments ranged from “He’s got to cover a lot of ground, so of course a Gold Wing’ to ‘he’s the original cool dude, so why not a chopper?’ I also heard from an unnamed source (Mike Duponte) , who said `Ducatis are made in Italy, and that’s where the Pope lives.’ Maybe so.
Wait a minute, do you think Jesus would be a helmet guy? A full face, or a novelty peanut shell, perhaps a half shell so he could talk to the car next to him while stopped at a light. I bet Jesus could conceivably be a hack rider. Could pick up those in need and give them a ‘mortal’ lift. Also, could be a pretty good place to keep his holy stuff, whatever that is. And the debate rages.
I thought this question would be easier to answer, but I guess not. The beauty of this sport/hobby/lifestyle is that you can ask the serious questions and still not get too worked up over the answers. So long as we’re talkin’.
Well, signing off for now. Remember, ride strong, ride safe, and in the end, make sure you ride home.