2002 Suzuki GS500 | Me & My Bike

Photography by Ron Abbate

Name: Phillipe Nover
Age: 27
Home: Brooklyn, New York
Occupation: Professional MMA fighter

Ever since I was a kid, I dreamed of riding a motorcycle. It didn’t happen for a long time, however, because everyone around me—especially my parents—kept telling me how dangerous motorcycles were. This didn’t make much sense because I was also pursuing my dream of becoming a professional UFC fighter at the same time. Could riding motorcycles possibly be more dangerous than that? Regardless, I put my riding dreams aside for many years to concentrate on my mixed martial arts career. I’m now an Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran, and I appeared in Season 8 of “The Ultimate Fighter” television program, making it to the final round. And now I’m also a motorcyclist—at last!

I remember waking up one morning last summer and thinking that life really is short. I decided to make a list of things I wanted to do before kicking the bucket, and riding a motorcycle was at the top of that list. I didn’t even realize how many friends rode until I started talking about my new adventure. One night, at jiu-jitsu class, my training partner told me he was selling his old bike. It was a 2002 Suzuki GS500, and it was love at first (cell phone pic) sight. I liked its traditional, classic looks, and that it wasn’t flashy at all. I gave him a down payment right there, without even seeing the bike in person.

After a few riding lessons I was in love. I mean, really in love. I have never felt so free! I love the open road, the smells around me, the sound of my engine and the shifting of gears, which gives me such a sense of control. I have absolutely found a new love. Nothing gets me more relaxed than a nice, smooth ride, especially on my off days of training.

I discovered Motorcyclist a few weeks ago while eating lunch, and I was happy to discover that I’m not alone—there’s a whole world of enthusiasts out there who feel the same way about riding as me! My mother, on the other hand, is still coming around. She was terrified the first day I brought “Roxanne” home, but I promised her that I would ride as safely and carefully as I can. God bless my parents, who have to deal with a motorcycling, MMA-fighting son!

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