Alexandria Poh

Science teacher Kyle Jones bought this Kawazaki KLR650 from his dad, but eventually hopes to get a crouch rocket style motorcycle, or as he calls it, a “ninja bike.” Though Jones obtained a car license prior to his motorcycle license, he prefers the motorcycle for its time-saving qualities and fun nature, and has only driven his car to school once this year. Photo by Margaret Lin.


What got you started with motorcycling?
Honestly, in college, parking is a real issue. If you live on campus and you have to park at school it’s very expensive, it’s a hundred dollars a quarter to park, but motorcycle [parking] is like $30. And I thought,“Well, they’re much easier to handle, cost less, just in general they’re more fun … alright, I’ll get a motorcycle.”

What did your parents think about that?
Both my parents drive motorcycles so they were okay with it. Everyone in my family has a motorcycle license except my youngest sister. Me and my other sister both have licenses, we got them at the same time.

What did your friends think about it?
I don’t really have that many that drive motorcycles. You get some people that are like “Oh my god, I’m so scared for you, you’re gonna crash.” I have a friend who works in the E.R., and she says there are people that come in that have major trauma from crashes, so she’s always scared I’m going to die.

What’s your favorite part about motorcycling?
The freedom you feel on a motorcycle. It’s kind of a different feeling. When you’re in a car, you can’t do a lot of things, you’re very constrained to the lane, you’re kind of big, and you don’t have the agility to move around. And if something stops in front of you, you have to stop with it and you’re at the whim of traffic. On a motorcycle you’re kind of … not. You can just do whatever you want — for example, if there’s a long line of cars waiting to get out of a garage or make a turn, I can just go around them. It just saves so much time.

Do you drive between the lanes?
I do, especially on the freeway during traffic hours. It’s very annoying to wait in traffic on a motorcycle. You have put your foot down and then get back up again every time you stop .. [but] you can save like ten, fifteen, twenty minutes just going in between lanes. The lanes are wide enough in the freeway, and it’s legal. California is the only state that allows it.

What’s your bike like?
It’s a Kawasaki KLR650, so [it has a] 650 CC engine. It’s a dual sport, meaning it can go off-road but it can go on-road too. It has that off-road dirt bike look but it’s bigger than a typical dirt bike. It’s kind of high up, when I put my feet down I have to tiptoe, I can’t reach all the way to the ground and I’m like a normal-sized guy. [It was] actually my dad’s; I bought it off him. The motorcycle I originally drove was much smaller. I’ve only been driving [the Kawasaki] since the summer.

How long do you see yourself motorcycling?
Probably for the rest of my life. I guess until I’m no longer physically able to, to the point where, by going so fast, I’ll just like fall apart. Because they’re convenient, they’re fun and I haven’t had any bad experiences.

Have you named your bike?
Nope. I don’t see the point. It’s a motorcycle. It’s a machine. If I had a pet I don’t know if I would name my pet. I don’t even know if I would name my kid.