Saturday, June 6


Me and Karma really don't get along.

Here I am with an exercise in overkill lurking in my garage, so how does Karma treat me?
It rains for four days straight, during which I incubate a strain of nasty flu that I swear Big Dave gave me. This means that on the first fine day of the long weekend, I'm in bed, feverish, dreaming of Rockets and straight dry highway...

There was an interval on Friday, before I succumbed to the nastiest, baddest dose of influenza known to humankind (which my always sympathetic wife described as "..a bit of sniffle." or, even more infuriatingly, "manflu"), and where the sun shined for the afternoon.

After getting some pictures of the beast with my mate Kev's old Stingray I headed toward my regular Friday lunch with the boys at the Tron's best Indian Restaurant, Jaipur.

I parked the beast outside on the footpath, so I could keep an eye on it whilst ingesting industrial quantities of Biryani and Kingfisher (actually, only one Kingfisher - I was riding). It was interesting to note that the Rocket caused at least a hitch in the step of every person passing. However, it caused what I assume is the target demographic, males between 5 and 150, to come to a complete halt, whilst mumbling incoherently. Even the waiter cast a longing eye over it whilst asking where it had come from. He initially refused to believe I was riding it - and to be fair, it was a regular lunch date for insurance brokers and underwriters, so he was understandably confused that one of them had turned out to be windswept and interesting after all these years....

If I'd have known what was in store for me, I would have taken the long way home. As it was, on Sunday morning, at about the time the mighty Chiefs were being thrashed (er...surrendering gallantly), my flu was setting in.

So on Sunday, when Ricky Havoc turned up to go riding, I sent him out the Rocket, solo. Ricky is a good guy to get an opinion from on this particular beasty.

As well as being a former T-Shirt seller to the stars, Bag Man for Crusty Demons and Master of the Havoc Girls - Rick is a cruiser rider. He's owned a selection of bikes that qualify him to proffer a much more educated take on the Trumpy than me. As well as several Harley's, he's had a couple of Kawasaki Vulcans and a Honda Shadow, oh and a Triumph Thunderbird Sport.
He also has cruiser accouterments that I lack, like a cool open face helmet (black), a leather jacket and Johhny Reb boots.

He was gone for a long time.
Long enough for me to idly wonder what size tow truck would be required to get a Rocket III out of a ditch, but it was probably the fever at work on my brain.

When he returned, he was grinning, and gave it the Ricky seal of approval: "I could own that.."

In the course of the subsequent discussion, whereupon technical phrases such as "grunt" "mutherf****** grunt" and "jolly powerful" were used several times, I asked him where he thought the Rocket had come from. He said he thought that "...Triumph were taking the piss".

He explained that he figured that after passing the corporate bong around, the guys at Triumph had decided to remind the guys in Milwaukee who their first worst nightmare had been, pre Japanese invasion. His theory was that the Rocket was designed late at night, with chemical enhancements for the designers and the aim of "..wot ho!...let's see those 'Merican chappies beat this...!"

I kind of agree with him, despite myself.
I shouldn't like this bike.

You see, I have owned and ridden motorcycles for thirty years, and with few exceptions, all of them have been based on the premise of "form follows function". Basically Dirt bikes look like they do, because of what they do. My latest baby, a KTM 950 Adventure, is a good example of this. Despite being one of the finest bikes in its class, it could never be described as pretty.

The Rocket III, by comparison, is just too much bike, packaged inappropriately.
And I don't care - I just wants it...