For me, one of the best bits of riding a bike is that feeling that you're part of a small select group of 'different' people; for example, I recently started a new job, most of my new work collegues are fairly unfriendly except for the small group of guys who ride bikes, we've all become 'instant friends'. Of these, I like Dennis the most. Partly because he calls me 'young man', which gives you an idea of his age, but mostly because he's always got time to talk about motorbikes. He doesn't ride any more, but always has a wistful look in his eye when he talks about his old bikes, both racing and road. He recently brought in some photos of one of his more unusual bikes - 'Shifty'. He bought it after being impressed by an article in Motorcycle Sport April 1980, the idea of a Laverda frame and parts mated to a Fiat 127 engine and gearbox proving irresistable. One of only 3 imported from Italy, he reports it went well in a straight line and was OK around town but a bit of a pig on faster twisty-bits, but due to its rarity always attracted a crowd of interested onlookers.
I tried to upload the photos he gave me but without any luck - here are some of the same bike I downloaded from the web. I can't imagine riding the thing, but am glad I know someone who did.