Melik Brown is a jack-of-all-trades. He’s a comedian, promoter, spoken word artist, photographer, videographer, musician and he helps celebrate all things 517 with his company LansingMade. Brown’s favorite thing is a Honda VTX1800. He explained why riding his motorcycle is so therapeutic.
My favorite thing is a Honda VTX1800 motorcycle I got five years ago. I was in a tumultuous time in my life — meaning that most things in my life were chaos, personal and business-wise. I was trying to figure out how to restore some peace and levity, and I remembered that there were points of time in my life where I had motorcycles and it was a lot of fun.
After I figured out that I wanted a motorcycle, I realized I didn’t have enough money to pay for one. I came up with this crazy scheme to work out a business deal with a local company. I went to College Bike Shop, went to the owner and said, “I have a crazy idea.” We agreed on the crazy idea, and I worked out a deal to get a motorcycle.
When it came time to choose the motorcycle, the owner, who was very knowledgeable, directed me to this particular motorcycle. It was orange, and I couldn’t stand the color of it. But everything else fit and I ended up with the motorcycle.
At the time this motorcycle was originally produced, it was one of the highest CC models a consumer could get with an upright roadster. It’s not a crotch rocket, you’re not doing zero to 60 in two seconds — that’s not your thing. But you’re able to have this power that can bring you through. It’s not fast off the line, but it’s not slow off the line. When you’re up to 50-70 mph, there’s still enough power to make quick decisions.
It was springtime and every night after work I’d go for a ride. Driving a motorcycle is one of the few things you can do on the ground that resembles flying. Part of the thrill is the fact that you have no walls and that you have to be extremely aware of everything around you.
Lots of dumb stuff can happen; I’ve seen a couch fall out of the back of a truck. You’re on two wheels and you’ve got four inches, at most, of rubber that’s keeping you alive. If you learn how to anticipate situations, there’s a sense of being able to control the chaos.
My favorite place to ride is anywhere I’ve never been before. The highway is terrible most of the time, so I prefer back roads. I’d rather deal with a deer or a turkey than deal with a bunch of yahoos doing a bunch of weaving back and forth on the highway.
Interview edited and condensed by Skyler Ashley. If you have a suggestion for favorite things, please email Skyler@LansingCityPulse.com