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Inspiring letter from cancer-surviving rider

Cancer survivor Brian Levy
Cancer survivor Brian Levy

October is global cancer awareness month and many motorcycle riders attend various organised rides and events to raise money for this worthy cause. While you may not need more inspiration to be involved, I thought I’d share this wonderfully inspiring letter from New York rider Brian Levy, who spent the weekend working at a soup kitchen helping to feed the poor!

I began riding just before President Kennedy was elected. My current bike is a Honda VTX 1800F3.

A few years ago I came down with cancer and unfortunately I wound up having it come back for a total of seven times. After numerous treatments and surgery I am now officially healthy. I want to do something before God decides my time is over.

Overall I feel pretty good considering what I’ve been through. I can do just about anything I want, only my endurance has been diminished. My dream is to get a touring bike and go on an adventure.

Over the last few months I have immersed myself in reading as much as I could about touring and touring motorcycles. I have found the articles and information on your site to be among the best I’ve read.

My plan is to be on a new bike in the Spring and I will start out on two- to five-day trips from my home (I live in NY state near West Point). Americade (motorcycle rally) will be one. I will then make the pilgrimage to the “Mecca” in South Dakota (Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

Harley Ultra Ltd with Daymaker lights test ride - cancer
Harley Ultra Ltd with Daymaker lights

I will begin looking at motorcycles over the Winter and I plan to go to the motorcycle trade show (AIMExpo) also. The three that are currently being considered are the Indian Roadmaster, Harley Ultra Limited and the Victory Cross Country Tour.

Your articles and YouTube ( evaluations have been the inspiration for my upcoming quest. I want to thank you and your staff for doing a commendable job. If you are ever in my area and would like to have me guide you to some beautiful scenery just drop me a line.


Brian Levy

PS: Details of my cancer in order: colon cancer, kidney cancer, bladder cancer, skin cancer, colon again, bladder again and one more time for bladder. Just to top it off during the last colon surgery the second time I wound up getting an infection in my blood. This led to the failure of my aortic valve which has been replaced with a cow valve. 

My reply:


Indian Roadmaster
Indian Roadmaster

Thank you for your inspiring letter which I wanted to share with MBW readers. Good luck with your health and may you continue to ride the long way round. 

Meanwhile, on the subject of motorcycles … Not knowing what your main requirements are in a new bike, I have made up a list ranking them from 1 (best) to third in each sector. However, even third is pretty damn good and I’m sure any of these fine machines would be eminently suitable! Hope this helps:

  • BUILD QUALITY: 1 Indian, 2 Victory, 3 Harley
  • VALUE: 1 Victory, 2 Indian, 3 Harley
  • ENGINE PERFORMANCE: 1 Harley, 2 Indian, 3 Victory
  • ENGINE/TRANSMISSION REFINEMENT: 1 Harley, 2 Indian, 3 Victory
  • sturgis - cancer
    Victory Cross Country Tour

    HANDLING: 1 Harley, 2 Indian, 3 Victory

  • RIDE: 1 Victory, 2 Indian, 3 Harley
  • CLEARANCE: 1 Victory, 2 Indian, 3 Harley
  • RIDER COMFORT: 1 Victory, 2 Harley, 3 Indian
  • PILLION COMFORT: 1 Victory, 2 Harley, 3 Indian
  • LUGGAGE CAPACITY: 1 Victory, 2 Harley, 3 Indian

Hope that helps!