There are a few motorcycles that have been classy enough to straddle the thin line between desire – you absolutely have to ride one before you die – and fear – you’re absolutely terrified of it. For us mortals, these motorcycles don’t really need to be all that exotic either. Ride your first properly tuned two-stroke and the fear and desire will flashflood your senses giving you many a sweaty night spent lying away wondering whether your bank balance was for the hospital bill or the motorcycle purchase that would lead to the hospital bill.
But when a world champion is afraid of a motorcycle, you know it’s got to be special. Not that the Yamaha TZ750, for anyone even remotely in the know, needs an introduction. Alpinestars have this video up on facebook (depending on the draconian IT laws in your office you will have to wait to get home before seeing it) which chronicles Kenny Roberts’ experience as he meets the fearsome Yamaha at the Indy Mile dirt track, a full thirty-four years after he won the Indy Mile on it.
You’ll see him have a laugh with Colin Edwards, you’ll see Valentino Rossi watch the Indy racers in unbridled awe and you’ll see Kenny Roberts say, “They don’t pay me enough to ride that thing.”