Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I love Royal Enfield; I recommend Honda

My college roommate and I lost touch over the decades, finally "meeting" up again on Facebook. It turns out he rides, too, a Harley-Davidson. He found my love of Royal Enfields interesting enough to ask, some months later, whether I would recommend that a girl he knows buy a Bullet.

"Steve," I replied, "you are forgetting the First Rule of knowing anything about motorcycles and cars: Never recommend anything not made by Honda."

I didn't invent this rule. It was suggested to me by another friend, screenwriter and wit Douglas Kalajian. Doug has owned a long series of interesting cars and naturally finds himself consulted anytime someone he knows wants advice on what to buy.

He always recommends Hondas. When I asked why, he commented, "that's what they're going to buy anyway." Indeed, that always seems to be the case. Doug can nod and smile when the person shows off his brand new Honda, and say "glad you like it."

But far more important than always being right is never being the one to steer someone wrong. Recommend a "classic" Jaguar to someone and you are never going to hear the end of its woes, at least not as long as the friendship lasts. Jaguars are not for everyone. Neither are Royal Enfields.

So I've adopted the "Get a Honda" philosophy whenever I'm asked for advice. I've even taken my own medicine: I own a Honda motorcycle.

Of course, I would rather ride my Royal Enfield Bullet.

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