We ride because we feel compelled to do so for different reasons ranging from passion to practicality. That is why a particular motorcycle is designed to suit different purposes: long-distance travel, city use, thrifty commuting, high-speed cruising, sporty riding, road racing and off-road riding.
We all ride different motorcycles for different reasons and our choices are usually dictated by how riding affects our lives. Most ride for practicality because the motorcycle, especially the small ones, is the most efficient and affordable mode of transport. For me, it was always mainly for passion.
Nothing feels quite like riding a motorcycle. As some would say, driving a four-wheeled vehicle feels like you are watching a movie while riding a motorcycle feels like you are part of the movie. Indeed, the thrill of being one with a two-wheeled machine is one of the purest ways to travel. It’s been my passion since I was a teenager.
I like the freedom, the speed and the exciting image of motorcycling. I like to feel the internal combustion engine as it winds up between my legs and the eventual rush of acceleration that it brings to the bike and eventually to my body. I love this sensation of speed and a motorcycle simply allows me to experience this thrill conveniently anytime. A simple ride to work or a leisurely cruise for me will always have some quick bursts of acceleration.
To some, they take their craving for speed to a higher level and wisely go to a race track. The most daring ones even race. A few take it very seriously and a select number would actually make a career out of it. I myself have indulged in racing two-wheels in lesser forms when I was younger. Playing with physics and danger on a motorcycle gave me an adrenaline rush like no other. Regardless of the type or size of bike I was racing then nor the fact that I was not fast enough, racing made me feel I was among the great road racers that I admired and gave me a fuller life experience. Eventually, the colors, drama and action of Grand Prix road racing captured my imagination completely and this led me to my personal preference to sportbikes and road racing.
Even when I knew early on that motorcycle racing is something I would not excel in, my passion for motorcycles never ceased. When I reached a certain age I realized that my appetite for speed was not that great anymore. Instead I focused on finding something else to indulge that will still connect me to fast motorcycles. This led me to publishing magazines and organizing events involving motorcycles. For more than a decade now, I work, breathe and live for motorcycles. This has changed me and my family’s lifestyle in a big way and our world now completely revolves around motorcycles and racing. Nothing compares to having a job doing what you love!
Over the years I have met different people and friends
ranging from riders, businessmen, corporate suits, racers and even bike messengers.
Sometimes it is easy to tell who will be in the two-wheel world for the long
haul. People with genuine passion for motorcycles tend to let motorcycles
occupy a greater part of their lives regardless of the dangers and rewards and
are there in good and bad times. They are around motorcycles by choice and
enjoy every minute of it. Their passion usually makes it easier for them to
excel in whatever it is they are doing. These people usually have been long
time clients or friends, and even friendly business competitors.
I was invited by BMW to attend the California Superbike School held at the Clark International Speedway. While my body was complaining at the end of the two days and the fact that I was most definitely the slowest rider out there on the track, I enjoyed every minute of it! The track riding, the expert classroom lectures, the riding coach’s critiques and pieces of advice, clowning around with friends and simply ogling at the collection of performance bikes owned by the other students on pitlane made me feel like I was a kid in Disneyland. I was also happy that I was surrounded by people who not only share my passion for fast motorcycles but could actually ride them properly fast!
As a bonus, I even improved my riding by the end of the two days and was riding a little faster and much safer than before. My body seemed tired but my spirit was ecstatic. I felt ten years younger and it recharged my craving for speed again. Obviously, my passion for motorcycles is still burning brightly!
– Al Camba
This was published in the 2014 Maximum TORQUE Issue Number 2