Saturday, May 19, 2007
An Inappropriate Love Affair!
I did something unusual Friday...fell hopelessly in love with a motorcycle. I mean, I've had motorcycles pretty much forever, starting with a Bridgestone motorcross bike back in the 1960s, graduating to a whole parade of quirky British Nortons — I mean, they were good enough for Che Guevera and Keanu Reeves, right? They were weird when they rolled out of the factory'; they're weird when you rebuild them...I became convinced that my last Nort, a 750-cc Combat Commando I'd bought from some idiot who'd built his own "chopper," wanted to kill me...it was those spooky shudders from the tuned frame when the bike went from from 70 to 80 mph. Every Nort I ever owned seemed to pass through some time/space barrier at about that speed.
So I sold the Combat Commando for a tidy sum five years or so ago, and the guy who bought it did a miraculous 100% factory show-class restoration on it. He sent me pictures; I swear the freakin' bike was leering at me! I've been very happy with my blood-red '94 Honda Magna, which as I've written before, is one of Honda's huge mistakes...a "power" cruiser...all the right looks with a for-real 4-cylinder street bike engine, especially since I had it overhauled last year. It's quick, and will the recent work and a change of tires handles like it's on rails.
Still, cruisers are cruisers, and once a Brit bike guy, always a Brit bike guy. I've pondered the new Nortons, bur so far they're pretty much vaporware. And as much as I love the Ducati Monsters (definitely NOT a Brit bike!), I figure that or a Buell or one of the other streetfighters will probably kill me.
I've found myself aimlessly flipping through eBay, seeing if there's a fastback Norton, or the pieces of a fastback Norton, for sale
So I'm at a production house in Denver yesterday, which happened to be next door to the Denver Triumph dealership...of course I had to take a tour. I'd seen the retro Bonnevilles, which didn't float my boat; somehow I'd missed the Triumph Thruxtons, amazingly a Norton-styled cafe racer, a la the breathtaking Tritons, Triumph engines in Norton frames.
In Norton yellow, no less.
Shades of the Ace Cafe, Eddie Cochran and all things Rockers. Be still my heart. In an act of will, I didn't buy the thing on the spot. There's a racing series, so you can jack it from 69 bhp up to 100...maybe midsummer...