I vividly remember purchasing my 2012 Harley Street Glide and seeing them wheel it into service for its make ready. I was given the golden ticket tour of the dealership. Rotating through apparel, parts, then service, and asked if I wanted the bell rung to signify the purchase of a new Harley. The final question came as a surprise, and I didn’t have an answer to it. What would you like to name your bike? The name would then be engraved on a trophy plaque that you could hang on your wall. Name my bike? I hadn’t even gotten to know it yet.
Questions And Answers About Naming A Motorcycle
I’ve talked to a lot of people about bike naming. I asked why name it, what brought about the name, how was gender determined, and how long you waited before naming it. Varied questions brought about varied answers.
I once worked with one person, Robert (Crash), who gave me an answer that has never left me. He is a lifelong rider and has gone through various bikes throughout his life. Crash has acquired a significant amount of experience in all motorcycling venues. His short and simple answer was this, “As you ride the motorcycle, it will tell you its name.” I had to think about that statement more than once. It made sense to the extent that things about the bike would come forth to be noticed as you rode.
Physical Characteristics For Naming
These would be the physical characteristics that identify each bike. Maybe a rattle or a quick acceleration boost at a specific RPM. Could be a color shift in the paint, a rough or smooth ride. Maybe the sound of the exhaust or clicking of the valve train. These things could easily embed a name in your head spontaneously due to a specific trait the bike possesses.
Is The Naming Process Spiritual?
Then I considered the spiritual side of “it will tell you its name.” Here we have to move into the belief that a mechanical man-made piece of metal is able to transfer a thought or whisper into your head. We have to believe that an inanimate object is cognitive of itself to the extent that it has applied a naming designation that it wants to share. As a society, people have a lot of personal ideas about the relationship between objects and spirituality.
It seems in the motorcycling community; this relationship is quite strong. Riders tend to bond very tightly to their motorcycles, often making the motorcycle's place in their lives a top priority. Putting an object's importance at the center of life could easily invoke a sense of spirituality between the rider and motorcycle. According to some people, whether imagined or a genuine magical or spiritual occurrence, the naming of a motorcycle can often reveal itself in this manner.
Some Just Throw Out A Name Without Thought
I have also talked to others who randomly pick a name and apply it to the motorcycle. A name is plucked out of baby naming books, online name generators, or someone they know or knew in their past. Some thought might be applied to the naming, but in these cases, the name is simply used as a quick reference to the bike during a conversation. After all, it's more personal to say, “Freddie Two Wheels went in for an oil change today,” instead of ” My Black Harley Davidson Road Glide CVO went in for an oil change today.” Then the recipient of the conversation would easily know that the rider was referring to his bike when using that name.
Even though the name might have been applied without much thought, it still personalizes and bonds the rider to the bike more than just referring to it by its make and model. This method might not seem very personal but is applied more than you might think when it comes down to naming a motorcycle.
The Name Bond
Names can create a bond between riders and their bikes, whether spiritually or just as a reference. It seems to be a human need to identify personally with the objects we possess. The naming method comes to people in different forms and is quite important to most of us. It’s quite an intriguing trait and interesting to talk to people about their motorcycle's name and how it came about. Post a picture of your bike with its name and a short description of how the name came to be. Tag Ride It Wrench It on Facebook or Instagram with the info so others can hear your story!