What kind of motorcycle do you ride?

Bikes should be cool but I'm a social nincompoop
Published October 2, 2011

Shit, this question again. Not that I’m tired of answering it. I just don’t know how. “What kind of motorcycle do you ride?”

It shouldn’t be complicated, but the answer is always awkward. I ride a 2008 Kawasaki Ninja 250.

“Oh a Ninja, like a crotch rocket.”

Well, no.

Most folk don’t know bikes. Most know “Ninja” means pulling a wheelie between freeway traffic lanes at 90 mph. Most know “Harley,” “sport bike” and “dirt bike,” and my motorcycle doesn’t neatly fit into any of those categories.

It has fairings like a sport bike but the seating position is upright, making it more of a stan… Abort the conversation! It’s gone all wrong, she’s not impressed!

The answer can get even clumsier if I also mention my 1992 DR350S. Blank stare. It’s a good thing I’m already married.

I need to find a better answer to the question. It comes up at parties, in line for groceries, at the office, and invariably my answer ruins conversation instead of sparking it. Motorcycles should be cool talk, not weird.

My answer needs to be concise, but not necessarily exact. It needs to be true without fussing about complete.

I ride a blue one. Sometimes a pink one.