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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Why I won't ride your Royal Enfield Interceptor: Really!

The Royal Enfield Interceptor was advertised as "A real pleasure to ride."
If someone offered to let you ride their beautifully restored Royal Enfield Interceptor, would you accept?

Not me. Am I crazy?

Who wouldn't love to enjoy the fabled power of the Interceptor, the open road ahead and the envious stares of fellow bikers?

Besides, as a pilot once told me, "the best plane to fly is somebody else's airplane." Let somebody else pick up the cost of gas and the liability for a mistake.

Well, here is the reason I won't do that: I love looking at motorcycles, especially the lovely (or at least very interesting looking) British motorcycles of the past.

But you can't see the motorcycle you're riding.

My pal, screenwriter and wit Douglas Kalajian, did a stint selling cars, including used cars. He still speaks rapturously of a product called Star brite, an automobile polish that produces an easy, fast shine.

"You do the hood first, because that's the part the driver sees (during a test drive)," he explained.

A motorcycle has no hood. Past the charming binnacle of my Royal Enfield Bullet there is nothing to see but scenery.

In contrast, at a motorcycle show I'm free to feast my eyes upon each lovely machine and even take pictures. Unlike motorcars, motorcycles put most of their workings on open display, to be enjoyed.

I love trying to sort out the solutions their makers evolved. One modest example: I'm always curious what more practical solutions nearly every maker had for adjusting the chain, compared to my Bullet's whimsical clam shell adjusters.

So, call me crazy. Also, call me cautious. The other reason I won't ride your Interceptor is that there is no way I am going to match my modest skills to your immodestly powerful motorcycle. If I can't ride it the way it was intended then what's the sense in puttering about?

1 comment:

  1. Sorry David; but there is nothing easier than "puttering" about on an Interceptor. The four speed gearbox isn't anything to write home about but third gear was made for around town puttering. From hardly more than idling speed to about 70 or so mph without changing gears!
    And the neutral finder when ya gotta stop for a light.
    Ya gotta love a big Enfield twin's bags of torque at low revs.
    Don
    1965 Interceptor
    1970 Interceptor

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