Ever seen a motorcycle slide on its side down the road suspended solely from the rear by an aluminum pannier and at the front by a Barkbuster handlebar protector? Well I can tell you it is one of the most beautiful sights to behold – as it rotates and skids gracefully to a friction-induced halt from it’s initial 120kph launch, some 50 metres along the tarmac, journeying amidst a sea of sparks that would shame any Guy Fawkes day sparklers, peacefully resting with motor still purring calmly and without a single scratch on the bike proper – this is poetry in motion, a sight very few of us are privileged to share and one we should savour for the rest of our lives.
So it was that I had this illuminating enlightenment as finally we closed in on the Amazon having endured ten 500km days of riding in the heat and the sweat that is central and northern Brazil in a drought-inflicted October. A slight malfunction by the rider and the steed assumes the horizontal position while the rider is left, to tumble and stumble in its wake, reminded that even motorcycles survive on love, continual nourishment and due deference to the rider’s limitations. That the BMW 800GS could for 50 metres at least traverse gracefully the Brazilian pista sans rider and without care nor fear of self destruction, is a tribute to the brand and the rider’s foresight to encompass it with protective accessories that enabled both to ride another day.