Last Page - That New-Bike Smell

Photography by Tod Rafferty

Is there a moment of motorcycle ownership more magical than that first heady whiff of new-bike smell? Since there first were bikes (it was a while ago, in case you haven't been paying attention), motorcyclists have been reveling in the sight, sound and particularly the smell of a new ride. This olfactory-inspired upwelling of pride and excitement is definitely worthy of a snapshot posted prominently at one's home, workstation or detention cell.

Of course, the cowboys of the legendary Wild West shared that same thrill. Certainly that "new-horse smell" was at least as compelling as the scent of hot rubber, hydrocarbons and Cosmolene we enjoy so much today. Likewise, the "new-chariot" smell Roman Gladiators thrilled to would be immediately understandable to us. Same goes for the "new-club" scent that brightened the mood of Cro-Magnon man every time he'd come upon a fortuitously shaped stick. It's a universal feeling of excitement, fueled by the possibilities of what's to come.

Perhaps all of Earth's creatures share a similar thrill? If so, it follows that our experience as motorcyclists can't really be that far removed from the utter joy a roaming deep-sea tubeworm feels when at last chancing upon a wet whiff of toasty warm hydrothermal vent water. We'd probably share in the thrill too, in the millisecond before the 3000-psi, 750-degree water crushed and cooked us.

I don't know about you, but I'll gladly buy a round for the next tubeworm, Cro-Magnon, gladiator or cowboy I run into that appreciates the thread of shared DNA that is woven through us all. Besides, it'd be fun to watch a tubeworm try to pick up a beer mug.

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