Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Urban Terrorist

Communists weren't the only terrorists Malaysia faced in the 1970s. The bike below, a 1964 Norton Dominator, was the first bike I owned anywhere. It didn't take long before I had a set of air horns fitted.

I remember one evening, winding through a crowded Penang street when this Honda step through kept getting in my way. It was ridden by an Indian gentleman with, lets say, his rather well-fed, sari clad female companion behind. I hit the horn and she started climbing off the step through.
There is one picture missing from the next sequence but one day I might find it.

I bought the Honda SL350 soon after I arrived to race in the scambles (Moto-X). The next shot shows it in the early days of competition at a grass track meeting in Ipoh - note still fitted with standard mufflers. The next is the second step in the transformation to a real terror machine - mufflers removed. More noise, not sure if it did anything for performance.

Two more steps completed the transformation to urban terrorist machine. First, fit megaphones. Second, gear it down. What a machine.
Redlined at something like 10 1/2 or 11 and did it get there quick. And did it roar. I used to put cotton wool in my ears under the lid. The noise was not restricted to the race track.
The bike remained registered all the time I owned it - even though with lights, indicators etc stripped it may not have been road legal. And I rode it to scramble meets.

I clearly remember the day I came up behind this car on the way to the track. Dropped down a couple of cogs and man did it roar. Kids in the back seat turned to see what was behind with looks of terror on their faces.

Who knows how many other people I caused to wonder if their time on earth was up?
OK, I admit it, I was nothing but a hoon. Did I enjoy doing it at the time? I'll keep you wondering if you can't fathom it out yourself.
Am I tolerant of young hoons today? No way.

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