Different strokes



I was driving back in the rain from the Tsawassen ferry terminal, looking around for motorcycles. There weren’t many. Although I’d seen a few street bikes earlier when I was driving around Vancouver. There had been a shiny Triumph Bonneville, rider in leathers, goggles and helmet. My Kawasaki KLR650 is, of course, in its winter slumber at Burnaby Kawasaki.

It wasn’t but a month ago that I was in Puerto Vallarta, soaking up the sun. And I was bike seeing there too. Where the motorcycles I was seeing in rainy Vancouver were dedicated commute vehicles, mainly larger motorcycles like the BMW R1200 GS, the motorcycles I saw in Puerto Vallarta were also dedicated commute vehicles, but also delivery vehicles and in some cases a food truck.

I was very impressed with how much in the resource-depleted setting of Baja coast Mexico, outside of the resort areas, the motorcycle was in use. But it wasn’t a status vehicle, at least not in the same way a shiny Triumph Bonneville is on the streets of Vancouver. The small 125cc bikes of Puerto Vallarta were extremely important to their owners, their livelihood, even part of the family.  I watched one twenty-year-old fellow take the rear wheel off his 125cc Honda like he’d done it a million times, just on the street, to do some repairs.

It made me think of how much I missed and yet how little I used my own motorcycle in comparison. I suppose it depends on where you live in the world.


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Author: Trevor Marc Hughes

Trevor Marc Hughes is an author and travel writer. He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia with his wife and two sons. He rides a Kawasaki KLR650 motorcycle. If he can help it, he doesn't ride his motorcycle in Vancouver; he takes it out of town, where he enjoys exploring the province of B.C. and beyond, and writing about his adventures. He has written for magazines such as Canadian Biker, Rider, Motorcycle Mojo, Inside Motorcycles, and RidersWest. His two books are "Nearly 40 on the 37: Triumph and Trepidation on the Stewart-Cassiar Highway" and "Zero Avenue to Peace Park: Confidence and Collapse on the 49th Parallel".