The 12 Bikes Of XXXMAS

Naughty And Nice Surprises Any Red-Blooded Rider Would Love To Find Under The Tree

By Tim Carrithers, Photography by Adam Campbell

None of us have ever lost a minute of sleep worrying about leaping lords, milking maids, calling birds or turtledoves. Sugarplums maybe, but most of us burn through huge chunks of December with visions of some motorcycle or other dancing around in our heads. We're just wired that way. If the weather is good enough, we'll ride them. Otherwise, we work on the ones out in the garage, read about the ones we want and watch guys like Valentino Rossi and Ben Spies go faster than we ever will on TiVo or DVD. We're predictable. For the members of our extended families, that makes us easy to buy for. Even this Christmas.

Okay, so the global economy is still in the midst of its slow-motion emergence from the toilet. Times are hard. Money is tight. But it's happened before, so...? No matter what else you believe about this time of year, anyone who's ever seen Miracle on 34th Street knows it's not about the Benjamins or the Ulysses S. Grants or the Andrew Jacksons. It's about showing people you care: the ones you love who live under your roof, and others you don't know who have no roof at all. It's also about dreaming of better things. Last time we checked, that was still free.

Odds are the beneficent heavy-set guy in the retro-red snowsuit won't park a new bike under that coniferous evergreen in your living room. Maybe there's no tree there at all. Maybe you're unwrapping a pair of Spongebob socks and a fruitcake that looks suspiciously like the one you sent Uncle Earl last year. Hold on to your perspective. Somewhere, somebody is dreaming of socks and fruitcake. Find a way to help out if you can. Then crack open that gallon of eggnog, turn the page and thumb through our selection of a dozen fast, shiny things we know you'd love to find under the tree. Like we said before, dreaming is still free.

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