Published on December 4th, 2018 | by Boris0
TALES OF THE NIKEN – EPISODE 1
TALES OF THE NIKEN – EPISODE 1
In which our hero acquires a three-wheeled thing which has made him a little mental, and attempts to reconcile his inner anguish at operating this non-motorcycle like a motorcycle, while also maintaining his manly dignity. And he will get a neck-tattoo if he has to.
‘Below the thunders of the upper deep;
Far far beneath in the abysmal sea,
His ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep
The Kraken sleepth….’
It came to me in the night.
The night is a good time for crazy things to come to you.
It’s dark. And all things are possible for they are hidden from the sight of man. Witnesses, bitches. You just can’t kill them quick enough.
Anyway, the Niken arrived very late one evening on the back of a truck, like a load of super-cocaine, or a cage full of fighting dogs.
My neighbours, who are quickly learning to mind their own worthless business, were minding it. So they did not see the G-man and I wheeling the Niken into my garage.
Then we drank beer on my back porch, as men do when they have finished doing manly things in the darkness.
“You ridden it yet?” I asked the G-man.
“Yeah,” he nodded. “A bit. It’s mad.”
We sat in silent agreement on that observation, sniffed at the clean night air, and sipped our beer.
The Niken is mad, alright. I had come to this conclusion myself when I rode it in all sorts of anger in New Zealand recently. You may read of that HERE if you wish. Or you can just hang out in the darkness with me a bit longer.
The press launch of the Niken, for that was why I was in New Zealand, revealed to me an entire new path for my beloved motorcycle. It was a path I had never even imagined before.
How could I?
Three-wheelers are trikes, right? My brother Alice rides one because he only has one leg. A whole bunch of other people, who are not my brothers and never will be, also ride them. Most of them have all their legs.
But the Niken is not like those three-wheelers; those trikes.
You steer trikes in the direction you wish to go.
You steer the Niken into the opposite direction you wish to go.
Yes, my darkness-loving friends. It counter-steers like a motorcycle.
It also leans into corners like a motorcycle.
If a normal trike is leaning into a corner it is crashing. And that is a spectacular sight to see, so if you’re ever in a position to see such a thing, keep your eyes open. It’s altogether remarkable.
If a Niken is leaning into a corner, it is doing it like a motorcycle, but with front-end adhesion that beggars belief.
So in every way that makes a motorcycle a motorcycle, the Niken is a motorcycle.
Except it’s not, is it?
Will it replace the motorcycle?
Don’t be stupid. Never.
The only thing it will do is maybe open the castle door of Schloss Motorcycling a little wider.
Is that a good thing? I do not know. Is it a necessary thing? Oh yes.
Can you see why it’s all made me a bit mental? Paradoxes have mounted upon paradoxes. Things are not as they once were in motorcycling and thus, they are not, in my mind, as they should be.
You see, I love motorcycles. I have no other hobbies. I have no other interests. I ride motorcycles and all my boxes are ticked, all my needs are met and all my planets are aligned. I’m simple like that. And simple people like me do not deal well with being mental. It adds a complexity to our lives.
So at the end of the press launch, as I was trudging onto the plane and leaving one the greatest riding countries on earth, I was mental.
The mental wouldn’t go away even after Border Force sneered at me in Sydney and so I rang Yamaha.
“Give me a Niken,” I said to Sean, who is the man to say these things to.
“Let me see what I can do,” he said.
“Oh, I’m sorry,” I rasped. “Did that come across as a pathetic request?”
“Sean,” I said. “I’m a bit mental about the thing. I rode it and rode it and rode it. And each time I stopped and looked at it I could see it was not a motorcycle. But when I rode it, it was a motorcycle. A really good one. It doesn’t compute, Sean. I need to make it compute.”
Sean was persuaded he needed me to make it compute too. So he sent the G-man to my house in the night with a Niken.
Now I don’t know what the other people who were on the press launch will write about the Niken. But it is of no moment.
Only three of us really rode the thing at over 200km/h and over goodly distances – which is when you see things and know things about the stuff you’re riding. Half the motorcycle press corps went back to the hotel after lunch on the first day. They were apparently…um, done, as it were. Too many corners perhaps. I do not know. Maybe they will write about it.
But a few of us rode on. And on. And on some more – and then we rode back as darkness fell.
The same nonsense occurred the following day. Half the press corps permitted itself a brief morning jaunt to a coffee shop, then returned to the hotel, while the same crew of mental patients went to carve corners and look at waterfalls gushing from cliffs.
I would have ridden the damn thing to Norway if it was offered.
And as I squeezed into my airplane seat, and made my peace with Ptah and Summanus in case we jetted into the cold Tasman, I was still trying to work out why the Niken had pushed my buttons the way it did. And made me mental.
Which is why I’d called Sean and which is why Sean sent the G-man.
So a Niken is now in my possession.
And I will ride it and use it and take it places – and treat it in every way as if it is a motorcycle, because it acts like a motorcycle.
But it isn’t a motorcycle.
And so I’m a bit mental.
I trust you will be tolerant enough of my mental illness to join me on this strange journey.
Who knows what wonders we will encounter?