As for me, this motorcycle looks like the grandfather of my CBF500. Look at how mindblowingly sexy it is!
After enjoying superb sushi and other great Asian food from some of Yerevan’s best cooks on a friend’s goodbye party at his house, we wanted to continue with an afterparty. Carlos is a marine at the Marine Security Guard Detachment Yerevan, so we decided to continue the party over at the Embassy. The Embassy car arrived to pick everyone up and drive them over, while I rode my motorcycle.
It was freezing cold late in the night, so I was pushing the motorcycle to get to the destination as quickly as possible. The entrance and the parking lot for the personnel are on the other side of the embassy. That means one has to ride all the way to the ramp across the road to make a complex U-turn and ride back. And here is Murphy’s law about rushing to awesome parties in action: just after the U-turn a traffic police car put on the siren and pulled me over. Speeding offenses in Armenia are usually fine and cheap, you can generally get away with just 5,000 drams, but then it struck me (Muphy’s law in action number two) — I left all my insurance papers in a friend’s car during the winter and never managed to take them back! Legally, this meant 50,000 drams. Realistically, this meant a little more than 5,000 drams (depending on luck and sympathy) after a long, tedious and largely humiliating chat with a person whose IQ, statistically, is below the city average. I can handle that most of the time; sometimes it’s even entertaining. But there was a party waiting for me ahead that had all the chances of being more entertaining than a conversation with an Armenian traffic police officer late in the night next to a stinking water reservoir! Now here goes all of the above paragraph and its continuation flashing through my brain on that very moment:
“Fucking cold!… Fucking pothole!… Faster’s always good when flying over potholes… Uh! (a traffic police car)… OK they won’t pull a motorcycle over… (the cops put on the siren) God fucking damn it!!!!… OK it’s only 5,000 drams (turning on the parking signal with my frozen left thumb)… I’ll explain them it was cold and the street was empty so I pushed… Shit, the insurance papers!!!!… (pressing the turn signal button to switch it off)… Only about 1km to the embassy… Honda CBF500 against Toyota Corolla… lets roll!”
“0434, driver of the motorcycle, STOP IMMEDIATELY!!!!”
Have you ever drag-raced with the police? It’s one hell of a fun! And guess what?
A 500cc Honda parallel twin engine carrying 195 kilos including its own weight plus 65 kilos of a fully–equipped Synopsys programmer smokes a Toyota Corolla carrying two tentatively chubby Armenian policemen on a distance of 1000 meters. Easily.
I threw myself towards the personnel parking entrance gate and stopped. After some seconds the cops pushed their brakes right behind me, so close I couldn’t get out if I wanted. Felt much like being in a sandwich. You know, one of those steel-gate—armenian-policemen sandwiches! Among the other ingredients, this one had some meat, a decent sausage, and a motorcycle inside. The Armenian security guards walked out of their booth amused, watching the sandwich.
“Get off the motorcycle!” Yelled the police car from behind me. I pretended I didn’t hear it and looked at the security guard that hadn’t yet said anything, and at that point was just looking at me inquisitively. Even though he had no idea what the story was about, I felt like deep inside his heart was on my side.
“I need to see Carlos!” I put out in English, trying to mimic some sort of an American accent.
“Carlos??” asked the guard
“Zero four three four, get off the motorcycle RIGHT NOW!!” Yelled the policemen again. I wondered if he realized he was being annoying. “Get a life”, crossed quickly through my mind. I repeated:
“Please sir, I really need to see Carlos right now!”
“He is a marine. This is very important!!” I cried, not even looking at the cops behind me.
The security guard looked at my visor, hesitated for a moment, then pressed to open the gate open. “He’s American. Drive off!” he threw his hand at the police car. Throwing the hand worked like a Jedi trick — the flashing siren that reflected on my visor through my mirrors during all this time immediately faded off.
“It’s always the same on this fucking road” mumbled one of the cops, annoyed. “Way to annoy me with the stupid mike!” I thought, as they drove away.
I smoothly rode into the parking lot and started waiting for Carlos, leaning on the bike. They hadn’t arrived yet.
Disclaimer: All characters and events in this post — even those based on real people — are entirely fictional. All celebrity voices are impersonated…..poorly. This post contains coarse language and due to its content it should not be viewed by anyone.
It started with a sexy next-year sportbike model that caught your eye online or in the street. You started wanting one badly. Generally the black one.
You suddenly began noticing and hearing every motorcycle in the street, and with time your plans started shaping up. But then so did your thought process. You started “getting real”!
What if you get married and make ~40 babies? Even now, you already have a family that needs to be driven somewhere every now and then. You couldn’t ride your mom to a hair saloon on a motorcycle now, could you? Of course not!
More than the need to drive them around is the need to convince them you are going to ride. Of course, you could do that! You have the authority, you are self–sufficient and your word matters! But you calm yourself down — it’s just too much hassle… you respect your elders, you don’t wanna make daddy a sad panda!
Afterall, you also need to haul around some luggage sometimes. Heavy suitcases, personal computers, pillows, blankets, construction materials, livestock and nuclear warheads.
What about the winter? You can’t ride a motorcycle in the winter! Argh!
And you want to be safe. You want to be able to make mistakes. Airbags and crash tests!
Comfort is important to you. Who doesn’t like the good familiar bass line streaming out of the subwoofer, along with the flow of hot or cool air? Climate control! You want to be able to control the climate around you!
The apparel. What, you’ll need to purchase and wear special equipment to ride? But you love wearing your slippers out!
You love vehicle maintenance! Greasy hands are sexy in the music videos! But seriously, changing your oil and the brake pads, cleaning your carburetor and configuring the clutch, that’s more effort than watching a video!
The motorcycle has no doors. I mean of course, you’ve seen it has no doors, but whew — really? No doors? What if someone steals it? These are hard times we’re living in!
Then of course the parts! No motorcycle is an Opel Vectra, where would you order the parts? UK? USA? You get online for that? Uh!
How much fuel per 100 kilometers? 7 liters? Hey that’s almost like a car! I mean, my friend’s Cherokee burns only like 14! Nah, not when he’s pushing it of course. Still!
Finally comes the neighbor who knows someone who knows someone else who has heard of someone’s relative telling about his wife’s colleague’s lover’s neighbor dying in a motorcycle accident in 1981 on an unknown motorcycle. “I mean, the brains were all over the place!” he adds. The other neighbor confirms his words with a thoughtful nod.
And so you buy a car. Something reasonably aged, but not too old. Something you can convince yourself and the others is the coolest car one could ever own. You’re certainly planning to travel with it just as you would travel on a motorcycle, so you make sure it has a 4WD differential lock and throw in a sleeping bag into the trunk. “2011 X6?? Are you fucking kidding me? I would never ever ever change my 2001 Toyota RAV4 for that shit! My car is truly offroad and totally stylish, while X6 is just a pile of junk for wussies! I mean you can’t even ride X6 on worn tarmac, let alone gravel! Who buys that shit?! It doesn’t even look that good!” Some around you argue. Some nod. What matters is your feeling of self–righteousness.
Of course, you will get a motorcycle. Someday. Now is a little tense, financially. The stock market is going down. It is just not the right time.
You pick a date that is reasonably far away not to require any actions today, but sounds close nevertheless. Sounds to who? To yourself of course! Two or three years. Then it’ll be yours. You pick a model out of the blue — say, a Triumph Rocket III. There’s a dude standing in the promo poster that totally looks like what you would want to look.
“This shit is my favorite motorcycle!”, you tell your friends. Of course you’ve never even seen one on TV, just the Internet. “2,300 cubic centimeters! That’s 2,3 liters in the car slang! But I can totally speak cc’s!” You learn all the specifications of this motorcycle by heart and set it as your wallpaper for a couple of weeks, before the next cool game comes out or the next awesome abstract wallpaper is published on DeviantArt.
It is pretty much sealed — you will probably never ride.
Speeding to quickly get to the destination and to avoid getting caught. The traffic police patrol car spots me at the beginning of Baghramyan and pulls me over. I don’t stop and keep riding along Baghramyan towards my home, with the hope that the policemen would give up on pursuing a motorcycle right away. The dudes seem tough; they put on the siren and start a pursuit. I cross the Baghramyan/Proshyan intersection under a red light, speeding somewhere around 130km/h, ride across the Barekamutyun bridge, and check my mirrors. The cops don’t appear to be there, and I no longer hear the siren or see the flashing lights. Looks like they’ve lost me. “Losers!”. I ride on. On the intersection of Komitas/Papazian, I turn left and — boom — smash my front wheel straight into the right door of the police car that was pursuing me! I barely hold the motorcycle. The policeman behind the door puts the window down, looking at me in awe, speechless.
“Hi!” I go on, looking straight into the guy’s eyes with a nervous smile on my face.
“Stop at the right side of the street!!” the other guy screams into the mike.
“Can I stop at the left side? I’m going to Papazian street, that’s where my home is.”
“STOP AT THE RIGHT SIDE!!” yells the policeman.
I pull the motorcycle over to the right, get off. The guys are extremely pissed. The one with the higher rank runs towards me and goes on enumerating, hardly catching his breath:
“You refused to stop at a traffic police officer’s demand, you ran away from the traffic police, you crossed a red light, rode on the opposite lane, more than twice exceeded the speed limit for riding in a residential area, you smashed into our goddamn door, and I can already feel standing here that you are drunk! Do you even imagine what kind of a fine are you going to pay?!”
“I’m sorry officer, I didn’t see that you pulled me over!”
“Are you kidding me? You’re lying! You saw us stopping you and you rode away, jumping under the red light!”
“Did I? I thought it was yellow!”
“It was red, and you’re lying! Now tell me that you didn’t realize you were riding on the opposite lane!”
“OK officer, what now?”
“Now I’m taking away your driving license, and you’re gonna have to pay enormous fines! Look at our door!”
“Please sir, it was really late and I just wanted to get home quickly! How about we solve this otherwise?”
“What’s your occupation?” the officer looks inquisitive
“I’m a student!” (Rubik says that this always works with the police. They start pitying you because of your social standing and income. But the officer didn’t buy that.)
“You’re a student riding a brand new 2009 Honda CBF? You’re lying!!”
“Uh sir, how about I just give you all the contents of my wallet and we part?” I take out my wallet.
“How much have you got in there?”
“Well I only have 5,000 drams!”
The officer looks in my eyes suspiciously for a second, then goes on: “Deal, you’re gonna give us all the contents of your wallet. Except we’re gonna check your wallet ourselves!”
He grabs the wallet from my hands, opens it… and takes all ~70,000 drams that I have in it.
“Some twisted goddamn asshole you are!” he mumbles, walking back to his car.
Disclaimer: this story does not represent my personality in any way. Honest!
Safety disclaimer: this story is fictional. I mean, what’s with the filing a lawsuit shit?!
I’ve redesigned the blog. It is now simpler, slicker, sexier, smoother and more functional at the same time. It now features a sophisticated map which has a programmed ability to show my location live during the long journeys (of which I’ll be speaking extensively), tweets streaming straight into the posts list, all sorts of fancy social media sharing tools, but most importantly — the new colors match the design of my awesome helmet!
Fact: No traveler has a map as cool as the one on the new One Hell of a Ride. Seriously.