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When Your Ride is a Flying Saucer Everyone Notices...Including POPO


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Story 2  When Your Ride is a Flying Saucer Everyone Notices...Including POPO

Part 1

 

  I’ve drawn cars, airplanes,and motorcycles since childhood. Many of you can relate to imagining or drawing something that doesn’t exist but, hoping someday, someway it would.  Also there’s nothing like the shock to the senses in seeing something new/radical/beautiful for the first time.It might be  metal (Lamborghini Miura) or mortal  ( 1983 Miss America Vanessa Williams). Does that seem like a strange comparison ? Bottom line. Beauty is inspirational. Beautiful design can also inspire.

  I was in the market for a motorcycle in 1983 but, nothing had struck my fancy. My short list included Honda’s CB750F and either Kawasaki’s GPZ 550 or GPZ 750 models. Although these motorcycles were solid choices , I didn’t feel inspired enough to commit and pull the trigger.

  This all changed the night I drove by the Honda dealership in Florence SC . I glanced over and noticed a shiny blue motorcycle in the display window. Actually it was more like I glanced over my shoulder, saw this  blue object gleaming under the lights and was instantly smitten.  I  spent the next 30 minutes in the dealer’s parking lot staring. I’d never seen anything like it . A radical design unlike any other. Kind of like seeing an SR71 Black Bird for the first time and wondering what was Kelly Johnson ( The Black Bird’s designer ) thinking ?  Urban Myth credit’s  Johnson’s  inspiration  from recovered alien technology. For all purposes this radical Honda, appropriately  named The Interceptor, looked like it could  have come out of the same flying saucer. Something I drew in my youth.

 I wasn’t concerned that there was no printed information about this bike, I felt excited and inspired.  The next day I visited the dealer during my lunch. This new 1983 VF750F 750 Interceptor listed for $3200 but, the dealer ( citing Florence as a cruiser market ) offered it for $2800. I made a beeline for my company’s credit union with the VIN and pricing and rode it home that afternoon. It’s my understanding that shortly after the magazines tested 750 Interceptors, dealers began commanding MSRP plus $1000. Timing was on my side...for once.

 That first ride home was a bit strange. My previous riding history included a 1970 Kawasaki 250 Samurai I rode from age 14 to 20 and a Honda 360 I rode briefly while working at a salvage yard one summer.    Short shifting at 4000 rpm ( max break-in rpm first 600 mi ), it felt slow with a deep     non-descript ( lawn mower like ) rumble. Soon I came to appreciate the power delivery for what it actually was .... smooth and deceptively fast.

  Spring was coming to the  Carolinas in February. The first weekend I had the Interceptor, I rode it to Columbia SC so my friend David could look it over. David was like a big brother to me. We shared the passion of internal combustion. David was a Honda man ( 1979 CBX ) from way back so he was also delighted that I had entered the fold so to speak. I traveled country roads to get to Dave’s place and during the ride there would be little boys playing outside. Was it my imagination  ? but, the little boys always seemed to be jumping up and down and pointing at me as I rode by. They were reacting to the rare sighting of a blue space ship.

  Many Carolina towns to this day have low speed limits and aggressive  law enforcement. Darlington, the little town where I worked was no different. My employer was located about 6 blocks east of the town square. There were 4 traffic lights between work and the square. I was aboard the Interceptor cruising along not far from work. I’d just crossed the square heading east on Main Street being careful and mindful of the crazy low speed limit of 25 mph. Well, a perfunctory glance in the rear view mirrors reveals a local constable in hot pursuit of me. Blue lights blazing. WTF !!! I tried not to curse back then but, that’s what I was thinking !

I pulled over in a KFC parking lot literally across the road from my employer.

Let’s call the officer Barney and go over the interaction.

Barney: “You ran the light back in the square and you were speeding.”

Me; “No I didn’t run the light and I wasn’t speeding”.

Barney: “License and Registration ”.

I think by this time I had removed my helmet.

Barney ( looking at my Alabama issued driver’s license ) ; “What Nation-Ality are You ? “

Note: I spelled nationality the way Barney said it. Nation-ality with a long  A in nation.

Me; Nation-ality ??? WTF !!! Internal thought only.

Me; No response for 10 seconds. So blown away by the Nation-ality thing I needed to count to at least 10 ( One Mississippi Two Mississippi....)  lest my immediate response be something to really regret later.

Me; “I’m American.”

Barney; “Wale, slow down and be more careful.”

What Barney was thinking was probably more like WTF kind of motorcycle is that ? After I pulled off my helmet revealing Brown skin and long locks ( yes, I had a lot of hair back in those ‘80s ) that probably prompted the whole Nation-ality thing. Darlington SC is not the most progressive place .

No ticket, just another curious soul ( with a badge ) wanting a closer look at the flying saucer I rode.

 

 

Part 2

I started dating a  girl the same spring I bought the Interceptor. She was pretty and knew it. She also was not afraid to speak her mind. I’ll call this  girl Miss Sassy. MS for short.

Hanging out with  MS was fun  ( at first ). My male ego enjoyed having a girlfriend who was stunning enough to turn the average man  into a cheesy-grinning,head-rubbing,finger-pointing mess.

She was Bad.

One time we were playing miniature golf in Myrtle Beach and MS had on a sun dress. I swear a car full of young men just about crashed looking at hot little MS putting.

Let’s see what happens when you combine a Hot Sassy Girlfriend with a radical spaceship.

  I worked in a small town that was backward. I lived in a bigger town that was equally backward  with a larger unenlightened population. You might say Dude, you grew up in Alabama so don’t throw stones you hypocrite ! Huntsville,AL , my hometown is like Austin,TX. A city of radical intellectuals surrounded by  the KKK . I grew up in the south and like it. Life is full of contrast and contradiction.

  MS was visiting me in Florence ( SC not Italy...sorry ) for the weekend. We got up early Sunday to take a slow helmet-less ride around my neighborhood.

Cue the POPO here we go.

Once again it’s a quiet Sunday morning with hardly any traffic on Second Loop Road. We’re cruising along enjoying a slow easy ride and each other’s company. I look back and there’s a motorcycle cop with his blue lights on waving at me to pull over.

WTF ???

This motorcycle riding enforcement officer looked like your quintessential southern Po-lice officer. Big belly and all.

Let’s call him “DD” for Deputy Dawg.

Here’s the exchange.

DD; “That Your Baahk ?”.

Me; “Yessir”.

DD; “License and Registration”

Me; “Woops I forgot to bring my license, we were just going for a short ride and I forgot it”.

DD; “Well that ain’t good. How old is she ?”

Me; “She ( MS) is twenty.

DD; “You Know that in the state of South Carolina, you have to be 21 to ride without a helmet”.

Me”GULP”.

We got off the Interceptor.

DD; Now addressing MS “Let me see your ID”.

MS; I don’t have any.

DD; Starting to write a ticket...”Where are you from ?” ( this question aimed at MS )

MS; “Fayetteville.”

DD; “Spell It.”

MS; “You’re So Stupid You Don’t know how to spell Fayetteville ??? !!! “( Hands on those cute hips).

Me; “Noooo...WTF, Holy Sh***t !!!”....I said this to myself.

DD; Turning  incandescent Red “I’m going to call a squad car, haul both of y’all into jail and impound that baahk.”

MS; “You wouldn’t do that.”

Here’s how the rest of it went down. DD followed us back to my place where I got my wallet and dropped the hot MS off. DD then followed me to an ATM. I withdrew $100, placed the money in his fat little hand and that was that. No ticket.  No squad car. In the rest of the world that is called graft or in Mexico “The Bite” I believe.

All because of a radical spaceship motorcycle and a hot, quick-on-the-trigger-no-filter girlfriend.

After that MS and I rode with helmets and ID .

Life is good.

 

1485880519_JimHenryHaroldBuchanan_b.thumb.jpg.653a5e910190c119519e571cdb4067d6.jpg

Where it all started. 14 years old 100 pounds aboard my 250 Samurai along with Jim and his Bridgestone 200 

 

 

 

 

250341568_750InterceptorFlorenceSC1983.thumb.JPG.6504a0254aaa58be1001b30cdd150232.JPG

One Blue Spaceship

 

 

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The Author and The Hottie circa 1983

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Awesome story! Thanks for sharing. I also recall lusting after the same bikes, 750 Interceptor, GPZ550, but was still living at home and that arrangement was conditional on the absence of motorcycles. First thing I bought when I left the parental shackles was an RZ350, which I still have. You don't see many of the original Interceptors around anymore, so I was quite surprised to find one as the only other bike in the lot beside my 800 when I left work last week.

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Aggressive policing? In 2012 I went to TMAC but 1st visited Skuuter.  We rode around town one evening and this po-lice cruiser was -IMHO- coming up way to fast on out tail, followed and then sped off.....  "Normal" Skuuter said.

Heading noth the next day towards the Tail of the Dragon, a squad car stayed right on my tail until county line.  Granted, not ACAB, but some are for sure......

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Interesting and well written story.  I'm glad it's "Part 1", as I'm really interested in what became of The Hottie and the Blue Flying Saucer!  :lurk: 

 

Also, I dig the Kawi with drum brakes - you really had it goin' on then.  More of the story and more pics if you've got 'em, please!

 

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