All entries for Saturday 20 June 2009
June 20, 2009
Today Martin and I rode down to Moreton for the annual open day of Watsonian Squire, makers of sidecars and importers of Royal Enfield motorcycles.
We went on a somewhat anachronistic ride out, the two of us on Indian built Enfield Clubman 500 cafe racers, following a lead rider on a Kawasaki Ninja superbike. Einstein was of course wrong. Time travel is possible, and the Enfield is the necessary transport. The bikes rattled, barked, popped and crakled, rather like one of Lawrence's noisy breakfast cereals amplified to a 1000 watts. Martin recited the classic classic bike joke: the throttle is a volume control, with no effect upon acceleration. I did manage to get to 60mph. The vibrations settle down a bit at that speed, although a visit to the dentist is still required. Despite the experience, Martin is still keen on the idea of flying to Delhi, buying a Bullet 500, and riding into the Himalayas.
Primitive? It's now got electric start, "Japanese" style controls, and disc brakes...
Marlon Brando? Steve McQueen? Sid James?
So that's what happened to the British motorcycle industry...
Next time we plan to go dressed as Maharajas, to celebrate the Enfield's Indian engineering.