Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Interceptor

I read it in Motorcyclist: Honda is rejuvenating its VFR line of motorcycles, releasing a new take on the V4 sport touring bike concept. This new model motorcycle, the VFR800, will be themed along the lines of the nineties model. It will even bear its good old name: Interceptor.

First, what am I doing reading Motorcyclist? And what is Motorcyclist in the first place?
Despite hardly ever touching them, let along taking one for a ride, I was in love with motorcycles for decades. You may fancy your sports car, but I think even the best sports car cannot compete with the thrill of riding a motorcycle; and you really have to dig into the most expensive of the exotic super cars in order to come up with something that would beat a sports motorcycle that costs less than a used Toyota Yaris.
Yet I could not afford a motorcycle of my own, especially not in Israel where they used to be very heavily taxed and where insurance was a killer (I have no idea what the current deal is). So I had to compromise, and the compromise came in the shape of watching motorcycle races on TV and reading motorcycle magazines. Of these magazines, Cycle used to be the one I liked the most until its publisher decided to kill it and merge it with Cycle World some time during the nineties. No big deal; I comfortably slid over to my second place preference, Motorcyclist, which I continued subscribing to for a decade later.

Motorcycles continued to play a major role in my life. The first thing that attracted me to Australia, as far as setting the spark on the thought of coming to live here, was the prospect of being able to afford a motorcycle of my own (as well as a sports car). And the one motorcycle I coveted the most was the Honda VFR, then the VFR750 Interceptor. Those who know me from the time might remember me naming my then car Interceptor; that was no coincidence.
But then life happened.
While a motorcycle was one of the major reasons I came to Australia, I never got to have one. Starting from financial issues and moving on with the realisation that a motorcycle is too dangerous to my well being, I totally abandoned my dream of having one. Practicality won the day by a landslide, starting off on the day I visited a Mazda dealer to try out the MX5 only to realise I'm about a head too tall for its roof. And practicality is winning the day since.
Yet I will not deny the force of attraction motorcycles still hold on me. They are wonderful beasts, and as an engineer I am fascinated by the way they are designed. It's incredible how the slight difference in an angle here or the bore and stroke dimensions of the cylinder there can create a wonderful new design. To me, motorcycles represent a lot of what is beautiful about human technology.
Thus when Zinio offered me a discount on a Motorcyclist subscription, I took it. And when I read about the new Interceptor's reincarnation, I immediately recalled my old love.

Having seen first hand how dangerous motorcycles can be through several friends and family members, and having a mortgage and tons of other expenses, I cannot say there is much risk of me owning a motorcycle of my own any time soon. Frankly, there is not much risk of me getting along for a ride even.
Perhaps when I have my millions and a private circuit I can safely ride my bike on I will get one. That, however, will never happen. Which does not mean I am unable to wash my eyes on them and dream about them at night.


Image copyright: Honda

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