What’s In a Name?

What’s in a name? Perhaps everything.

Those of you that have been reading along for a while may recall my propensity for naming my machines…my belief…or suspicion at least…that as they are designed, maintained, and fitted to be an extension of our will…a manifestation of our desires…that they take on a bit of life…or soul themselves.

Besides…I’ve a long habit of talking…and listening…to my machines. It has…not to put too fine a point on it…saved my bacon on more than one occasion…and names make those discussions somewhat easier.

Those names aren’t always easy to come by though…often taking quite some time spent operating or maintaining the particular machine before their personality begins to come through.

This can take months.


Last November I acquired a second Valkyrie…same year as The Dragon…but with 10% of the mileage. It’s been handy…when needing to take one or the other down for some maintenance…to have a second one.

“The Second One” seems totally inadaquete for a name though…but she was slow at presenting herself a new one.


Slamming gears and dodging errant cagers…the big machine and I were making time through the freeways of the metroplex when she finally made herself known…

“Hey babe! It’s about time.”
Sorry boss. I wasn’t…well…here…before?

I suppose that’s true…with so few miles before I acquired her to have developed personality. It’s the curse of many machines…to spend much of their time ignored. It’s the majority of the fleet actually. I’ve never understood it…though I’ve often been grateful. The tendency for folks to buy iron horses and then ignore them has provided me several outstanding (and cheap) rides over the years. I tend to call those machines “Butt Jewelry”.

I dodged a particularly persistent…and stupid…cager…dropped her a couple gears and slammed the throttle to its stop.

We all but flew. You’d better know what you’re about…if you order up flank speed on a Valkyrie.

“Well, welcome!”
Gotta have a name boss.
“Yeah, I’ve a thought or two about that.”
“I’m thinking, ‘Déjà vu ‘…”
Wow. Just like the last time.
Nothing boss. You were saying?

I gritted my teeth and changed lanes. A pickup…hauling a flatbed trailer…with a load of dry sand…and NO tarp…was busily losing its load grain by grain. Stupid. And dangerous. Not to mention quite painful to the nearby motorcyclist.

Déjà vu was not an idle choice…though it was a round-about-one. I wasn’t really sure about it though. The new(ish) Valkyrie had suffered a few glitches on our first rides…notably…in our first ten minutes…tossing the rather infamous “starter switch” problem at me. Only slightly later was the “bad ground cable connection at the frame” thing.

…and I had just watched a favorite movie…The Matrix. Glitches. Déjà vu. Yeah, I know. I’m a geek.

“Déjà vu…Glitch…something like that.”
Oooooo…I like that boss. ‘Stitch’ it is then!
“Wait what? ‘Stitch’?” That’s another favorite movie.
Yeah boss! ‘Stitch’!
“But…you’re female…” (bikes…in my view…are inherently female…draw what conclusions you’d like from that)
So I am. Very much so. Your point?

Meet Stitch

Flying through the city…totally in sync…we’d developed a rhythm now…and it was quite decidedly mischievous. It suited her…and me. It also worked well with this traffic.

A rhythm is necessary…at least…if you’re a rider and survival is on your list of priorities.

“Do you have a thing for left shoes?”
Uh…what boss?
“Never mind babe. Stitch it is!”
Let’s fly boss!

Miles to go. Roads to run. Stitch and The Dragon to help me fly.

That’s…what’s in a name.

I’ll see you on the road.

Daniel Meyer

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