…that’s what he called it—the guy on the dotheton forum, who picked up a Honda CB350 motorcycle and decided he wanted to create something unusual. I’d say he did a pretty good job. This thing looks like it could break the sound barrier or ride though time itself. Notice the nameplate on the gas tank. That’s right, she’s named Isabel.
Isabel got me to thinking about motorcycling in general. Motorcycling isn’t just about riding around with a powerful machine rumbling between your thighs, and it isn’t just about getting from here to there in a cheap way. In fact, the real reason people ride motorcycles IMO is for the emotional gratification it gives them.
Let’s take a look at the poor downtrodden accountant who sits in front of a desk all day crunching numbers and gets his ass kicked by his boss. Life sucks for him during the week, but he turns it around on the weekend by getting on his Harley and going for a ride in his bad-ass biker costume. He scowls and rumbles down the road, and people don’t mess with him. Some might call him a poser, because he isn’t really a member of the Pagans or the Banditos, but I say that motorcycling makes every other crappy aspect of his life tolerable.
Anyway, getting back to Isabel, how cool would it be to go for a ride on this time machine? I’d love to put on a pair of goggles, a coat, and take her for a spin. Of course I wouldn’t be a bad-assed biker on something like this. No, I’d be a time traveler, with an expanded, almost magical knowledge of history and membership in the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen…and Ladies.
Well, it turns out that Isabel has a boyfriend, and his name is Douglas.
The same guy who built Isabel also built him, although this time he used a Honda CB750 as a donor bike. Douglas is a little bigger than Isabel, lower slung, more like a Bobber and plenty faster. He doesn’t need saddle bags and he travels incognito. He’s for riders who don’t like cramped spaces, who prefer Lazy-Boy recliners, who like steady bikes that are easy to control and won’t through you off in a second, like a sport bike will. It’s an entirely different steampunk vibe. This one doesn’t look like a time machine to me, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see it sprout wings and fly.
And there’s a third, too, a café racer I’ve dubbed Professor Wool because it just looks intelligent and dignified.
Professor Wool is the kind of bike I’d expect Batman’s tireless valet Alfred Pennyworth to ride. Comfortable, not at all flashy, clean and traditional.
I’d love to see Isabel, Douglas and Professor Wool on the road, wouldn’t you? And I’d love even more to be riding one of them—preferably Isabel. They certainly have thinking about my own bike, which is in the planning stages right now. I don’t have the talent or money to produce something like Isabel, but I do want my ride to reflect my own personality, my secret dreams, who I’d want to be in an alternate life: