Lieback’s Lounge: Motorcycle Commentary

The day had been filled with fun and some serious Italian cooking from the wife’s good friend and Italian-restaurant owning husband—all the food was spread across a huge grill above a giant wheelbarrow. No messing around here.

The evening included a bonfire and inevitably, talk about vintage motorcycles and ideas for my Monster 900 S i.e. build. Eventually my wife Pam and I had to return home to get our son Enzo into bed.

To round out a wonderful day I figured a cigar on the porch with some vino would do it nicely, until I got a call from a neighbor a block away in my development. He had a case of some good ales left, and had a backyard fire ripping.

Ron Lieback Ultimate MotorcyclingIt took him five seconds to convince me to come down for some conversation.

I had been a good boy, because the next day I had a planned long ride to Brooklyn to meet up with my friends for the Alpinestars event, Italian Sportbikes of the ’70s, at Union Garage.

But that never happened. Dummy me thought it was smart to take my son’s Yamaha TT-R50 to my neighbor’s house at midnight.

All was good. Initially.

So there I am, ripping down the hill with an Acid cigar lit, about to engage in some relaxing conversation with a good neighbor. I parked the bike next to the campfire, rolling into the backyard knowing his newborn and three-year-old daughter were sleeping.

After deep discussions about music—he was a drummer that I knew from my whacko 20s—I was ready to get home and catch some Zs.

It was nearly 2 a.m., and I pushed the bike out of his yard, not wanting to wake up the sleeping family. There were talks of how fun these little motorcycles were, and I decided to crank on the throttle for the ride home—something I typically don’t do at night. But this was a 50cc machine, so what damage could be done?

About 50 feet into it there I am, on my back with an upside down TT-R50 lying on the road.

I was able to walk to the bike. So it can’t be that bad.

This sentiment changed when I awoke about five hours later to start my day. My foot was a new color, and I fell when I first tried putting pressure on it. Nothing a few Aleve can’t help, along with my other addiction—BioFreeze.

It’s amazing that when we’re focused on 200-horsepower bikes doing 160+ mph at the track all day, nothing happens. But, when we think we can’t get hurt, all the bad stuff happens.

Things only got worse; when I let my lab Bostrom out in the morning—named after Eric, not Ben—his leash wrapped around my ankle, sending me to the ground.

Now my ankle was looking nasty, as if Jackson Pollock had returned and started a new painting.

As for riding the Multistrada to Brooklyn, well, I couldn’t get a boot over my left foot. And I couldn’t drive a car. Stupidity had ruined an entire day I had planned weeks ago.

I first blamed it on the TT-R. However, but after my second cappuccino of the day, I realized it was all me. Lesson learned.

I don’t condone riding 50cc motorcycles to a good friend’s house after midnight, especially when talks turn to horsepower with good friends you haven’t seen in forever, and if you have plans for a huge motorcycle ride the following day. Don’t be a dummy like me.

Story from our latest issue, available for free at the Ultimate Motorcycling app.