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Friday, July 6, 2012


I love surprises. And especially when it comes to riding a motorcycle. But sadly, I don't get any on the machines I've been riding all thanks to my day job.

On today's machines, you thumb the starter, shift into first and away you go. You reach your destination, dismount, plonk the thing on its kick stand, and get about doing what you set out to. On most occasions, there isn't even a need to check the fuel level, since the thing returns such a ridiculous fuel consumption that you could ride around Asia in a tablespoon of petrol.

But that's just plain fucking boring, in my opinion. I want my motorcycles to emit strange noises as they plod along, making me wonder what's up. I whack open the throttle, only to find the sounds changing, allowing my mind to deduce that the piston is about to come off its gudgeon pin and come straight up into my balls. And then a jackass driving a tin shed on four wheels veers out of nowhere, busy on his mobile phone. I panic, not knowing whether those old drum brakes will actually do their job on time. There's no fuel indicator and gauging the amount of the stuff in the tank is pure guess work. Is there enough to make it, or will it run dry in the middle of blessed nowhere?

But I make it to where I want to go, turn off the motor by using the valve lifter, dismount and tug the machine on its cycle-type mainstand. I'm surprised I'm here, I'm surprised that we made it and I'm surprised that the machine still surprises after all these years. Makes me wonder, which modern motorcycle even comes close to that, eh?