My First Love

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My Maggie, a Honda VF45 Magna

Actually the first motorcycle I loved. My Maggie. She’s not the first one I’ve owned, nor the first one I’ve been fond of. But there is something special about Maggie. And lest you think Mrs. Sharon is jealous, she’s just as crazy about Maggie as I am.
It’s hard to say why Maggie is so different from my other bikes. I’m sure some of it is because she was the first bike I bought intending to keep. I knew the Nighthawk was a starter bike when I bought it, and knew that I’d be moving up to another bike soon. Somehow that knowledge prevented me from forming a deep attachment to it. The Nighthawk was an inanimate object I was fond of, but never formed an emotional attachment to. But Maggie was different.
It wasn’t that way on the first day I brought her home. I’m not sure exactly when I started to think of her in emotional terms. I anthropomorphized my sail boat to some degree. But I never really thought of it in truly organic terms. I never treated it like it had feelings, or felt an obligation to be loyal to it. But somewhere along the way, I started treating Maggie as though it was a person, an extremely close friend.
Some of that may have come about as I learned that she truly was a special bike. I didn’t know much about the technical details of motorcycles in those days. When the previous owner kept emphasizing this was a “Magna,” a V-4, I just didn’t understand. So with no real understanding of what I had, the months and years to come were filled with one delightful surprise after another. And as I realized that this wasn’t just another cookie cutter V-twin, the attachment grew.
As my horizons expanded and I realized I’d need a larger bike to carry more gear greater distances, it never once occurred to me to sell Maggie. I’ve made the statement that if my fortunes fall and I wind up living in a tent eating dog food, Maggie will still be parked in front of it.
So I was surprised to find myself seriously contemplating putting Maggie on the market. She’s not running right now. She needs some carb work done, and I just can’t seem to get around to it. There are other projects I can’t put off, and the work Maggie needs is not something I can do in a weekend. Not being familiar with this particular system, I’ll need to proceed slowly and cautiously. I’ll also likely need to leave my work spread out over at least a couple of weekends while waiting on parts or information. Right now my work bench is too cluttered up with other, half-finished projects. So rather than just let her sit there and get worse and worse for lack of use, I considered selling her.
But as I mentioned earlier, Mrs. Sharon is just as fond of Maggie as I am. She’s encouraged me to bite the bullet, swallow my pride, haul the bike to the shop and get her fixed. So that’s probably what I’ll do. It irks me to pay for a repair I could probably do myself. But who knows when I’ll get around to it. And in the meantime, Maggie just gets worse. She deserves better from me.

- Guy Wheatley

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