Hello Ladies and Gentlemen
Another week has passed us by and yet still the sun is shining. Ok, I am not quite sure about that because I am writing this in advance, but I have looked at the weather forecast and it says it is going to stay nice for the weekend. The reality is that as this is being posted I am probably either waking up with a huge hangover or creating the circumstances which will allow one to develop. I love bike club parties and at this moment I am enjoying one in the North of Holland with guys and girls I have known for longer than I wish to admit…unless of course you are reading this after I have got home and then you can attempt to put it all in the past tense.
As old as me!
Time is a funny old thing, it really is relative; a day on the bike can pass in the blink of an eye, a Sunday with the in-laws can be a life sentence. I have been lucky, I truly believe that, in my life I have not been forced to march off to fight in a world war, I have not had to suffer plague or epidemic and I have never gone hungry, time has been good to me and time has also been good to motorcycles.
I came screaming into the world in 1966…yes I am that old, nearly as old as the dinosaurs! In that year they were building the 115mph Norton 650ss, a great bike but one that was to be eclipsed by the Dominator that came the year after. You think Groms are great, how about the Monkey bike, the Grom of 1966? Do a search and prepare to enter a strange world. Then of course there was the Triumph Bonneville and also, on a bit of a side note, the Kawasaki W1. These two went head to head in ’66 and we all know which one came out on top. However in a strange synchronistic event the 1999 Kawasaki W650 ended up going head to head against a Bonneville once again…and we all know who came out on top, again!
Since ’66 bikes have come on leaps and bounds but you might think that they have lost part of their madness, after all no one is building a six cylinder, four stroke 250 anymore , much less one with 7 gears that revs to over 20,000rpm. The little Honda RC166 was a lunatic bike, but can’t the same be said for the new H2 Kawasaki? There it is again, an old bike name being brought into the modern world hoping to add some mystique to a new model that bares little real world resemblance to the original.
I want a present
But then along comes 2019 and Suzuki, who in their wisdom are going to be bringing out a new Katana. Of course it is going to be full of new tech, of course it is going to share zero parts with the original , but at least it is going to look like the original and it will still be a GSX, a line that goes back to that original 1100. I hope they get it right, I hope it captures the essence of that iconic bike, I hope that it is worthy of the name; but to do that it has to be a bike that isn’t living on past glory or promising what might be when they get it right in the future. No it needs to be a great bike in its own right, now, in the present, because after all that is when we are, the rest is just memories or dreams.
“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”
― Mother Theresa