Two-Wheeled Trrue Grit

February 25, 2024 | By Mike Seate


Motorcycle riding, be it a sport, a lifestyle or simple, everyday transportation, requires a certain amount of determination. The physical demands of donning the proper riding gear, climbing aboard a two-wheeler and maneuvering it through today’s traffic0clogged roads is not a task for the snowflakes among us. The rigors of traveling by motorcycle become that much more challenging when the rider in question has suffered an injury, something that happens far too often for motorcyclists.

When I encounter riders who persevere on their bikes even after their physical well-being has been compromised, it inspires me to continue riding even as I’ve recently crossed into my 60th year. My various aches and pains and the necessary 20-minute stretching sessions necessary to contort myself onto cafe racers and sportbikes designed for riders half my age, weight (and from the ergonomics on some modern race replicas, my height, seem laughable in comparison.

We plan to bring Cafe Racer magazine’s readers profiles of some riders showing what can only be called True Grit, an extra level of determination and drive that keeps them on two wheels. Just recently we met a prime example of someone who refuses to allow physical limitations affect their riding, one 48 year-old Sherman Lee.

The Lodi, California resident stopped by our booth at the Mecum Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction where the effusive and friendly racer proudly showed off photos of him racing to obtain the #1 plate in the AMA’s District 36 Senior Flattrack racing series three years ago. It wasn’t until we shook hands with Mr. Lee did I realize that he was missing his left arm and hand. It turns out the arm had been amputated after Le was struck by a car in a traffic accident a few years back, but he focused on getting back aboard a motorcycle even when first entering rehab, he explained. Three years and a great deal of soul-searching and physical therapy later, Lee had adapted his Honda flattracker to run with a prosthesis attached to the left handlebar. His story is inspiring, amazing and proof that we, as motorcyclists, don’t have to accept any limitations – physical or otherwise- on what we can achieve on two wheels.



I think or riders like Lee every time I’m too tired or too preoccupied by work and daily stresses to throw a leg over my bike, and their example always helps me brush off any adversities and keep on moving. Know someone with a similar story to tell? Share it with Cafe Racer’s readers by ending an email and some photos our way via Inspiration, after all, is highly contagious.