Jun 29, 2008

Crazy Collector Stories

This blog entry is nothing more than a statement of inquiry. I’m trying to write a story about the mental state (habits, motivations, attitudes, and rationalizations) of folks who “collect” motorcycles. A collector, in my mind, is everything from:

  • someone who inherits/buys a bike and keeps it, unused, in the back of the garage for decades
  • to the packrat who buys and stores as many rat bikes as his garage can hold
  • to the Leno-style loony who builds an ostentatious storage facility and employs professional mechanics to clean and maintain his motorcycles in case he gets the urge for a short ride to the local Hard Rock or just wants to straddle a clean seat and make “vooroooom” noises.

For my money, each of these characters is exhibiting a form of eccentricity that is worth examining, simply for the entertainment value. When we’re being honest, I imagine all of us “hoard” something: family pictures or letters, ceramic dolls, musical instruments, ballpoint pens stolen from the office, and items that symbolize precious memories. Motorcycles are on the mild extreme of the crazy side of this addiction. After all, you can stuff a dozen bikes into a normal two-car garage which is slightly less nutty than buying a barn or airport hangar for a “collection.” Of course, that means the garage can’t be used for anything else. Even a collector has to admit filling a garage with unused machinery is an obsession; especially a collector who lives where severe winters make owning a garage a near necessity.

What I’m hoping to gather in this space (http://geezerwithagrudge.blogspot.com/) is any kind of story that describes the motorcycles in one of these collections or a description of the collector himself. Please, feel free to pass this along to anyone you know who can add something to this highly academic “analysis.”


  1. My Dad took away my Honda 305 when I was 13, after he discovered I had it hidden behind a shed on his farm. He still has it hidden somewhere out there and I haven't found it in thirty years. How is that for collector weirdness?

  2. I'll admit to having a serious affliction of this disease. Somewhere around 40 bikes but would have to count again to be sure. I can expand on the why's and how's if this be the place to do it?

    Sev sent me here 'cuz he thinks I have a problem.


  3. There is something about growing up poor that leads some people to equate motor vehicles with wealth--even if they're complete rustbucket nonrunning P's of S.

    I marvel at rural and suburban homes that have a half a dozen cars in the driveway and another three or four parked in the grass, faded, rusty, concrete blocks, the works.

    Collecting and storing old and or useless piles of junk seems to scratch some sort of childhood itch. It's the "stuff." People just gotta have "the stuff."

    Or maybe it's just the old German in all of us who can't throw anything away...and is willing to take absolutely ANYTHING off your hands if you give it to him for free.

    Pat H

  4. Hahnda2

    Please, expand. This is the ideal place to explain your "afflication." Fire away.


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