Back on the 27th of January 2017 I hosted a get-together of time travelling motorcyclists. It was a low-key affair; I didn’t announce it at the time, in fact this is the first public reference I’ve made to it. But of course that wouldn’t matter because by definition time travelers travel in time, and it shouldn’t matter when you announce something, even well past the date. The whole concept of ‘the date’ ought to be irrelevant. Nobody came, by the way.
But then a little while ‘ago’, a friend did point out that announcing the ‘date’ after the event would mean that any time travelers only travelling into the future would miss the announcement and would not be able to get there in, pardon the expression, time. It’s only those who were travelling into the past who would be able to take advantage of the meeting.
This was something of a disappointment to me, and I considered organizing another get-together in the future, so that the travelers headed there would be able to make it, but there is a problem with this, one that I don’t seem to be able to overcome conceptually. We are all travelling into the future, so announcing a meeting for time travelers who are moving at, presumably, greater speed than the rest of us would nevertheless risk attracting ordinary everyday ‘time travelers’ who are all moving at the same speed as everyone else.
The same smart aleck friend who pointed out the problem above suggested that this essentially invalidated the entire concept. It is like, she said, awarding a podium to everyone competing in a MotoGP race because they all eventually crossed the finish line. I am not entirely sure I understand that, but it may be a way of attracting Millennials to racing, seeing they’re apparently used to getting a prize no matter what.
I suggested that announcing the meeting a relatively short time in advance might work. It would have to be a real but esoteric interval, so that it didn’t disappear in the maelstrom of contingent events we constantly face. I suggest that perhaps the time it takes to kick start a BSA 441 Victor would be appropriate, seeing it is relatively constant – although unfortunately that is ‘forever’. Not unreasonably, she asked whether this would include the time in hospital having my hip rebuilt when the bike kicked back, as it quite likely (or, depending on which time stream you occupy, inevitably) would.
What to do, what to do.
The obvious answer was to research the online files of the more futuristic motorcycle designers. Surely, if time travel was at all possible, they would have taken advantage of it?
And bingo, I struck gold. Or whatever the valuable metal of the future is – I have some indications that it might be lithium and would not argue. Lithium certainly did me a passel of good in my university days when I wasn’t quite firing on all cylinders.
There is, for example, the Honda Chopper, offspring of a mating between a Scammel Scarab and a D9 arranged by designer Peter Norris for those days when the robot apocalypse has been defeated and we need to rebuild our dreary cities. “Very different from any conventional bikes,” says the website, “Honda Chopper is powered by two small electronic [stet] engines installed into the wheel hubs for maximum efficiency as well as having an eco-friendly ride without any harmful emissions. The bike’s long front suspension and feet-forward seating position are some extra and unique features of Honda Chopper…” It is not obvious what Honda has to do with this.
Shall we look beyond (at least historically) major and successful motorcycle manufacturers? What about a car manufacturer? “The Hyundai Concept Motorcycle is inspired by the musculature of organic species,” says the website. Presumably squid are the species in question. “This design imbues this inspiration into a more traditional aesthetic,” it continues, in a sentence that refuses to make any sense no matter how or how often I read it.
But let’s not be presumptive. “There is a fluidity about the Hyundai Concept Motorcycle” the site continues, “that relates it to an animalistic nature. With the addition of an upper section that seems to cage in the rider, the entire motorbike becomes intertwined, which enables steering without any kind of assistive apparatus. Therefore, the Hyundai Concept Motorcycle encourages a relaxed rather than rigid body while on the bike, promoting a healthier position.” Like a car. And potentially, usage as a farm bike in Australia with that protective cage.
I felt my way carefully further into the future, and found the Detonator (see featured image), a motorcycle “not meant to be ridden by humans.”
Okay, fine. Humans (with the possible exception of the Mighty Crozza — Kiwi in-joke) are limited in their abilities. “Daniel Simon’s futuristic drag racer is meant to be piloted by droids in a futuristic motorcycle racing circuit.” Okay. The idea of a drag racing circuit, presumably involving corners, is certainly novel and kind of fascinating in a silly sort of way. “The design of the Detonator motorcycle is wildly futuristic, if a bit frightening. Droids aren’t programmed (hopefully) to know fear, which is good as this bike sits incredibly low to the ground to help it stay steady at high speeds.” Cornering clearance on the drag racing ‘circuit’ presumably doesn’t matter.
And then… but the lithium battery on my computer is wheezing into silence at this point. Do drop by for more discussion, any time in the past dozen or so years.
(Photos The Bear /the Web)