Photos Courtesy of Angela Goodman
Aaron Jennings is well known throughout the motorcycle industry and in September, Touratech-USA was fortunate to be able to add him to our staff. His breadth of product and mechanical knowledge is virtually unmatched and having him on our customer service team is a huge benefit to Touratech-USA and an even larger benefit to our customers.
“I can’t begin to tell you what a big deal it was to add Aaron to our staff. He makes our team that much better,” said Paul Guillien, Touratech-USA General Manager.
We sat down with Aaron to learn more about his background with motorcycles and his vast riding experience:
Touratech: What jobs have you held in the Motorcycle industry?
Aaron: I started in the motorcycle industry as a parts guy at a Moto Guzzi shop. I worked my way into parts management, and stayed for almost 10 years. After short break from the industry, I was offered the Parts Manager position at a BMW Motorcycle dealership, and I worked there for almost 8 years before coming to work at Touratech-USA.
TT: How many motorcycles have you owned? What is/was your favorite?
AJ: I have no idea how many motorcycles I have owned, but over the years I’m sure it is well over 100. It has been pretty normal for me to have 8 or 10 in the garage at a time! I love building and working on bikes. One of my favorites was my BMW R80G/S that I bought in 1994 while in school. I rode that bike all over the US, and even rode it to the Arctic Circle both in Canada and Alaska a few times. I put around 140,000 miles on that old airhead. A few years ago, I decided to retire that old G/S, and bought a BMW HP2. Welcome to the 21st century! These days my favorite is my 2013 R1200GS Triple Black. I love that bike.
TT: How long have you been riding?
AJ: I got my first motorcycle license when I was 14, and I rode a friend’s bike when I was younger then that, so I’ve been riding for a little more than 30 years.
TT: Describe your attraction to riding. What is the biggest draw for you?
AJ: I love two wheels, and it seems I always have. I have been a daily rider for most of my life. Before I rode motorcycles it was bicycles. I enjoy those moments where everything clicks and a corner is perfect. The moment the rear breaks loose and makes you pay attention, or the smell of fresh rain on evergreens in the mountains. I love the feeling of balance and the smell of a well used garage. Some folks ride to go somewhere, some to be somewhere, some to feel the joy of a machine. I guess I do too.
“Some folks ride to go somewhere, some to be somewhere, some to feel the joy of a machine. I guess I do too.”
TT: What’s the worst crash you’ve been in?
AJ: I’ve had a few crashes over the years. One of the best was a simple low side in the rain on my old R75/5 I bought when I was 19. I ground the valve cover all the way through, so the only thing to do was jump on the bus to the local BMW shop, bus back to the bike, install the new valve cover and then ride home.
The worst so far was the deer I killed a few years ago on my HP2. The forest rat cleared the side of the road in a trajectory that meant I hit it square at around 50 mph. I rode home after that (good gear is important!), but I was lucky, and the experience only ruined one knee. I’ve had friends fare way worse.
TT: Where is the place you took your coolest ride to date
AJ: Looking back, I’ve been fortunate in my riding career. Australia, New Zealand, Costa Rica, and most of North America are just a few of the places I’ve gotten to enjoy riding, and I hope to continue exploring as long as possible.
There was that river crossing in Costa Rica where I was upside down under the motorcycle trying not to drown. There was a corner I almost completely blew at 70mph while racing RallyMoto in Oregon. I loved the sunrise while trying to get across the Mohave in August. That jump I hit a little harder than I thought while scouting for the Touratech Rally. Watching my wife ride her bike up a rocky hill climb on the WABDR with a high 5 at the top. All these little moments make for a perfect ride.
TT: If you were going to lead a ride anywhere in the world where would it be?
AJ: These days I find myself looking at maps and ride reports of Central and South America. That being said, I just got back from a Jasper/Banff/Glacier National park tour! It is all good. I’d really like to do a bit more riding in the Ozarks again too!
TT: What’s the toughest challenge you’ve faced in the industry?
AJ: The worst thing about the motorcycle industry is that folks are passionate about motorcycles. Passion and the love of motorcycles is also the
best thing about the motorcycle industry.