NAME: Sam Hornish Jr.
HOME: Defiance, OH
OCCUPATION: NASCAR driver
"I ve been riding motorcycles since I was 11 or 12. My first was a little 5-horsepower mini-bike that was built in the '60s. It was really finicky, but got me better at riding. The quick reaction skills I learned on that first mini-bike became more and more useful as I moved to larger bikes and ultimately into professional auto racing.
"This is my 2007 Honda CBR1000RR. It was one of the first things I treated myself to after doing so well in the Indycar series. Until this one, I never had a sportbike. I didn't even know if I would like riding it, but I ended up really enjoying it. This bike is about pure speed. It fires right up, corners tight, stops on a dime and accelerates like a jet. At 80 mph, it feels like you're going half that speed. In many ways, it reminds me of driving the Penske Racing #77 Mobil 1 Dodge. Even with the speed, the ride is relaxing because everything is so balanced and you know you can brake so well.
"I take it for both short and long rides. Sometimes I'll slap on a backpack and ride to the supermarket for a quick errand. For longer rides in the Sprint Cup Series off-season, I like taking it on the scenic roads between my hometown of Defiance and Toledo. Many times, I hit State Highway 24 and ride along the Maumee River to Toledo, grab some lunch and ride back. It's a versatile, comfortable bike that way."