Thursday, January 15, 2009

Royal Enfield marries past to the future

I think the bridal tradition has it about right. New brides are supposed to go to the altar wearing something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue. That's the kind of balance Royal Enfield motorcycles offer riders.

They are street legal, dealer supported, for sale brand new and yet visibly rooted in a glorious past. Even the new Bullet 500 Classic on the horizon is mechanically "classic" in important ways (size, a single cylinder, pushrods, chain drive).

The United States is about to dive into a period of Change We Can Believe In. But I believe some things, like affection for the good things of the past, will never change.

We'll communicate faster and shop at home more. My friend, screenwriter and wit Douglas Kalajian, recently tried to show me a movie he shot and edited. He tried to show me the movie on his iPhone. Mercifully, he was foiled by a missing password. That's OK. I prefer my movies with darkness and popcorn anyway.

We still tell people to "dial that phone number," but when was the last time any one of us used a real dial telephone? Can anyone tell me what was wrong with dial telephones? I mean besides the fact that they didn't play movies.

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