Me & My Bike - 2006 Suzuki V-Strom 650

Words: Michael McClure
Age: 33
Home: Otterbein, In
Occupation: Pizza Delivery Rider
Photo: Jodi Mcclure

Several years back I was working too much, riding too little and not spending enough time with my wife and two young children. I needed a change, and I was desperate to find a new job that would help me balance work, family and riding more equally. One job always stuck in my mind: motorcycle courier.

The problem is I live outside a small city in Indiana where there is no need for couriers. Instead, I decided to try delivering pizzas on my motorcycle. I worked up a rough plan for how I would carry the pies and went to a local pizza joint to pitch my idea. I chose Monical’s Pizza because it is a smaller regional chain and I felt there wouldn’t be as many layers of managerial resistance to my idea. Turns out I was right!

I got the job in March, which left me about six weeks to work on the bike before the weather would let up enough for me to ride it. In order to carry the pies horizontally I needed some sort of platform, so I created a deck that drops down over the Suzuki’s luggage rack and securely bolts in place. To that I added side rails and an assortment of bungee cords and a cargo net for securing all manner of pizza carrying bags. I also made provisions for a 12-volt outlet to light up a delivery sign. Later experience led me to install a bright LED brake light on the back of the carrier, as well as turn signals. The Rossi Replica’ graphics came after the Indianapolis MotoGP. Most people around here probably think #46 is my favorite NASCAR driver!

The owner gave me the okay with the proviso that if he got one complaint about a cold pizza, I’d be done. Three summers later I have yet to deliver a cold pie. I now average 5000 miles per season, which is much more than I was able to manage with my previous gig. My V-Strom lets me get through traffic faster and park in more convenient locations than if I drove my car, and sometimes it even garners me better tips! The way I look at it, I’m getting paid to ride. But the most important aspect is that now I can stay at home during the day with my kids, which just wasn’t possible with my old schedule.