Ok, that sounds cool and New Age.... but what exactly does it mean? How am I like a motorcycle, and how the heck would I
I found an answer by going back to the book that first introduced me to Buddhist meditation several years ago. "The Wisdom of Yoga" is a kind of intellectual bridge between yogic (Hindu) philosophy and Buddhism. It explains the relationship and shared heritage of the two systems.
One aspect that I loved about "The Wisdom of Yoga" was how the writer explained the Yogic/Buddhist view of our "personalities", and how they are conglomerations of behavior patterns we have collected throughout our lives. Some of these patterns (called samskaras) are good, some are not so good, and they get stronger with use. Normally we don't think about these patterns, we just do them. However, through meditation we can become better observers of ourselves
So this brings us back to working on motorcycles. To be a good mechanic one must be a good observer, and use logic. A good mechanic must listen for sounds, look for clues, and use deductive reasoning... "When A happens... B also
Observing ourselves and these patterns is hard, and is really just the beginning of even harder work. Another line I like from "The Wisdom of Yoga" talks about how knowing that you're drunk doesn't suddenly make you sober. But this is the path, and this, I believe, explains how "the real motorcyle you are working on is yourself."