Ron, That is definately us! All the way.
totally. i also finally read "zen and the art of motorcycle maitenance" this summer. it's also about us.
i like the idea that w/ my moped, it's more than just a vehicle i take for granted. it forces me to be willing to accept the possibility that i may not be on time (or even arrive) whenever i leave. but ... if i break down ... i don't have the stress of feeling helpless. i know that i can fix this. i know that any machine only requires the proper parts and tools to get it going (sometimes not even those, if you're a bit more ingenious).
on a moped, i realize just what assholes most car driver really are. impatient. rude. dangerous. mopeds make me feel great. i could write so much more ... but i'd rather go ride my moped before work. ;-)
Guilty as charged. Italophile all the way...
I have to confess that this describes me quite well, however I think there is a large element of "this is a good piece of machinery with lots of life left and it should not be allowed to die".
It surely be.
Just that I don't relish the break downs. I like the fact that I have put a neglected but otherwise usable machine back into operating condition, and can keep it that way as long as I want. If something should go wrong, I can fix it, but I don't look forward to breakdowns.
1600 miles on my Grande since the engine rebuild and there's no where I
wouldn't take it for fear of not being able to make it back.
"My conclusion is this: It's the fraternity created by adversity that makes the troubles of unreliable motorcycles worthwhile. "
Hell yeah! Good find, Ron.
Ron I lived in the UK for 2 years.
The Brits build things that are designed to constantly break down so they will have something to do after work and on weekends. They only had 4 TV channels when I lived there and 2 of those were BBC1 and BBC2. Thus the Jags always overheating and bad clutches, motorcycles that always needed a bit of tinkering.
It was a plot mandated by the British Monarchy that all British built vehicles were designed to break down so the populace would be too busy fixing things to rise up and overthrow the monarchy.
After all you can only drink so many pints and eat so much Pub Grub and be bored to death by watching too much snooker or cricket.
My favorite car I ever owned was a Morris Minor (a four wheeled moped in disguise)
When the British first perfected the art of unreliability aided by the likes of Joseph Lucas "Prince of Darkness", even broadcast radio was just a gleem in Marconi's eye.
I would rather believe that it was an unspoken contest between all the designers and engineers and the builders, the builders being out to prove how many pieces were unnecessary. Most British vehicles, especially motorcycles can arrive at their destination with about 20 percent of their parts malfunctioning or missing, while still running perfectly, well, running anyway. Thus proving that the missing parts were not needed. Unfortunately, their overzealousness would often result in a necessary part falling off or failing, hence the well earned reputation of British machinery in general.
Another direct result of this contest was the inability to progress technically. Any new ideas from the designers and engineers resulted in the builders immediately applying their expertise to prove that this advance was unnecessary. Thus it can be seen that the British motorcycle and car manufacturing industries travelled an unavoidable road to ruin, as each technological advance was accompanied by an equivalent decrease in reliability.
Having said all that, I know a guy with a couple of Morris Minors composting in his garage in Lansing, MI. Interested? : )
Some dreams and memories are best left as memories.
I have about 30 mopeds I have to work my way through before I would even think about restoring a Morris. I paid $25 for Morris in 1963. If I remember correctly it had a 12-volt battery. The battery was as big as the engine and It had an electric fuel pump and a manual choke. That puppy would start first kick in any kind of weather. I lived in Illinois then and some winters it would get way below zero. The old Morris would start right off and then I would go around the neighborhood jump-starting all the new Cadillacs and Buicks that wouldn't start.
The Morris had a hole in the floor, on the passenger side, the size of a basketball. The hole was covered by a piece of plywood. You could zip along the highway, kick the plywood aside and see the highway flashing by under your feet.
That car had character and a sense of adventure. Of course I was much younger then and also had a sense of adventure, I guess that is why I like working on old mopeds, still a challenge, but too racy for a senior citizen.
DREAMS, WE DON'T NEED NO STINKIN' DREAMS!!
Not when we have nightmares. : )
I was just checking your sanity, I think the two I know of are about in that condition.
I think British vehicles are designed to break down so that we buy more foreign ones to help bloody European economy - Eeurrghh!
How many British vehicle manufacturers are still around, eh?
BTW: A few points:
We don't all like snooker and cricket - most of us don't even understand cricket!
Pub Grub is great - especially rare steak - but surely you have the same in the US?
There is now a 5th channel - called...channel 5! Thats only terrestrial TV - of course we have satellite, cable and digital - we're not totally 3rd world!
It is not possible to drink "so many pints". We could beat the US in a drinking competition any day. Who invented the yard glass? (See Rosanne episode where they go to Disney World)
Morris Minors suck - '67 Pontiac Firebirds rule!
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