Finding Yourself - @unparalleledtwin - Rider Stories
What Do You Currently Ride?
I’ve been riding my “Do It All” machine for over 2 years now, and that’s the Triumph Scrambler 1200 XC. I could easily call it the Swiss Army Knife of motorcycles, I’m absolutely in love with it. I’ve put in over 17,000 miles, across all kinds of terrain, and it excels everywhere I take it. Coming from a Triumph Bobber & Royal Enfield Himalayan, it left me wanting something that could combine the characteristics and qualities of each, the powerband and sheer torque of the 1200, but with the suspension and off-road capability of the Enfield thumper. The Scram nailed all of my requirements, and going down to 1 bike again, never felt so good. It’s an adventure mule when all kitted up, next minute you remove the racks and luggage, you’re left with this custom Sled aesthetic that would fit in perfectly at any hipster bike cafe. I couldn’t ask for more.
Why Did You Start Riding?
Oddly enough, and I’m not ashamed to admit it, envy and sadness. I lost my dad when I was younger, and what memories I did have, weren’t that great. I shut out the bad juju, and clinged onto some of the good memories, even if I wasn’t able to experience them myself. One was his love for motorcycles. Seeing old film photographs with my mum as a pillion, I always thought they looked so cool. I was drawn to this escapism and freedom that sitting in a car just didn’t seem to bring, there was a rebellious nature about it. The first bike snap I ever came across was my mum sitting on the back of dad's little city thumper, Suzuki GP100, both rocking white open face lids. I grew up in the Norfolk countryside, and my best friend would often come over during the Summer holidays, his dad would drop him off on the back of, would you believe it, his Suzuki GP125. It sparked a bag of emotions back then that I didn’t know how to deal with, so I embraced it.
I’d spend summers standing outside our cottage, on the wall, listening for that 2 stroke roar in the distance as my mate was on his way over. As time went by, my mate's dad got a Harley, and seeing that progression, that father and son bond, it fueled me to ride, gave me the motivation to experience riding myself. I did my CBT at 17, got a Hyosung XRX 125, and enjoyed every damn minute of it, the rest is history.
Why Do You Enjoy Riding?
For me, it’s the mental clarity & freedom that it brings. I used riding as a place to clear my head when I was younger, push out all the negativity and process things in a positive light, I still do that today. You can go out for a 30 minute blast after a rough day, and it will lift your spirits, under your lid, in this safe space, escaping from normality. It’s very therapeutic. Then there’s the other side of riding, where it can be a real adrenaline rush. You can push yourself, come out of your comfort zone, and become more confident as a person, not just a rider. The exposure to the elements, there’s nothing quite like it. Being on the back of my bike I feel like the best version of myself. My bike reflects my personality. You can spend your whole life trying to find your place in the world, but I definitely found myself in riding.
What's Your Go-To Outfit?
A massively weather dependent question!
Wet/Chance of Rain: I will always wear my Merlin Yoxall II if I’m expecting rain, sometimes even when it’s dry because it’s a wax jacket that ticks so many boxes for me. Stylish but well designed for different scenarios, especially adventure travel! My Course Wasteland jeans, which are a variation of Uglybro’s really, just a fraction of the price, and comfort is on point! Depending on the distance I’ll be travelling, I chuck my RST overtrousers in my bag if I’m confident of rainfall, other than that, I let my high pipes & engine dry out the jeans! Boots would be my trusty TCX Heroes, had them for 4+ years, can wear them all day in the office, unbelievably comfy, and waterproof (albeit this has worn off now, we’ll call them water-resistant). As for the helmet, it would be my Bell Eliminator, the comfiest helmet I have ever worn, looks awesome, and offers full face protection. Coupled with the ProVision anti fog visor and magnetic helmet strap, it’s a genius well designed lid for your noggin’.
Dry/Sun: I love my Goldtop ‘76 Cafe Racer jacket, it’s like my Mad Max leather which looks and feels badass on. I just can’t express how good Goldtops leather is! My Goldtop Bobber gloves are my go to, rain or shine they have seen everything, sun bleached, splashed with gasoline, oil and grease, their patina is beautiful. Same jean setup as above, probably my Triumph Stoke Boots in the dry, love the white sole and styling. If it’s roasting outside, it’s my Knox Action Shirt every time, with a moto jersey thrown over the top, perfect combo. My Bell Moto 3 with Ride 100% Deus Barstows is my fave helmet setup, ever. Helmet of choice. Period.
What Clothing or Equipment Could You Not Live Without?
Knox under armour is a game changer, because you can wear absolutely anything from your wardrobe, as long as your Knox is underneath, you’re protected, and I love that. Versatile and gives you a wealth of options when it comes to scorching heat/styling. I can’t recommend it enough.
Equipment wise I would have to go with my Quad Lock mount, being able to securely attach my phone to my bars is amazing, and changes the dynamic of travel, because of its convenience. I used to rely on my headset, paired to my phone for audio directions via Google Maps, now I just have the visual guidance, less devices to worry about, the perfect solution.
What's Your Best Advice to New Riders?
Treat everyone else on the road like an idiot. No, seriously. My mum always taught me this, and the deeper meaning is true. Just because someone is indicating, doesn’t mean they’ll turn that way, it’s about setting expectations and being safe. Always keep your distance. Practice slow manoeuvres where you can, as balance and coordination go a long way with riding. You can do this off-road, in a car park for example. Ride in the wet too, it may seem daunting at first, but you can learn a lot about yourself and your bike. If you can do any of the above with a riding tutor, expert or a friend with experience, it can help break any habits you may form, which is often the case when riding solo. I’m a sucker for that! We’ve all been there.
Look after your bike too! Maintenance and the upkeep of your bike when not riding it, is just as important. A lot of guides and tutorials are at your fingertips on the web, it’s good to get to know your bike, understand how it works and why. Other than that, enjoy it, get out there and explore, welcome to the moto community, some of the best relationships are forged here!