Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Did I mention I was a bike nut?

In a May blog my friend Plutarch wrote: “A shining, red, brand new Harley Davidson…catches my attention. I stop and stare… I have never driven a motor bike and have reached the age when, if I tried, I would certainly fall off. But this is a thing of beauty.” With it came a partly veiled invitation for me to respond.

I did so in two posts. More will follow since motorcycles shaped my youth and their memories warm my advanced years. (The hell with euphemism. Shouldn’t this be “old age”? – Ed.)

Plutarch finds motorcycles alien but can see their attractions. So, let’s pretend he was unaware of the graphic arts (he isn’t) and had just seen his first oil by some competent Englishman – Joshua Reynolds, perhaps. That’s the Harley. What follows takes him up to Rembrandt.

Here's a Honda Fireblade. At our age, it’s a bike Plutarch and I would be advised to stay clear of. It weighs 171 kg, has a top speed of 180 mph and takes 10 sec to cover quarter of a mile. Of more relevance to this blog the Fireblade develops 175 bhp. By comparison my car weighs 1500 kg and develops 140 bhp.

Plutarch may still find the Harley more beautiful but that’s because he hasn’t undergone the two-wheel equivalent of visits to the National Gallery, the Louvre and MoMA. I’ve done my time and find the Fireblade stunning. It’s made to go fast and that’s self-evident. I’ll try and explain why later after a session with drawn curtains and a wet towel.

PS: Thanks to Honda for permission to use the pic.

3 comments:

Relucent Reader. said...

Holy smokes, sir, that bike has a wee bit more than 1 horse per kilo, a hot ride indeed, that engine has to be something that "works well"on it's own, achieving a mechanical beauty. Then the bodywork starts,and another level is achieved.
Never messed around with 'bikes; though the Triumph Bonneville 650's of the late 'sixties did have a certain allure.

Barrett Bonden said...

And there are other bike nuts about.

Plutarch said...

I am not sure that I do find the Harley Davidson more beautiful. This one looks marvelous and you make it sound a vehicle to dream about. Alien is not a word I would apply to my view of these machines. They strike me as immensely attractive, just unfortunately outside my reach. Please continue to reveal their fine points.