Thursday, October 29, 2015

Like a Rocket

Another motorcycle post.

The Goat is still suffering from Parked Motorcycle Syndrome. He gets to ride his Kawasaki once in a blue moon, assuming sufficient time in Dubai to install the battery, pump up the tyres, dust off the machine, and then pull out the battery a day later. He’s going to have to replace the tyres sometime soon simply because they’ve been cooking in the heat, not having the rubber worn away at high speed.

Some luminary once noted that “If you really want to, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.”

And here is a selection of the Goat’s excuses.

First, it is the Goat's personal experience that importing a motor vehicle into Qatar is a stressful and expensive experience. Shipping the machine was impossible anyway because it was, and indeed is, more than five years old. And this time last year the Goat didn’t have a Qatar Residence Permit and was thus forbidden by law from driving anything other than a rental car. So any move towards riding a motorbike in Qatar were completely stymied pending a Residence Permit.

Much to the Goat’s surprise, he got his RP in January 2015. At this point, the project was scheduled to finish in April; perhaps May or June… What would be the point of buying a bike in Qatar only to have to sell or export it in four or five months? It did look a bit self-indulgent, to say the least.

And then summer happened. The May or June finish didn’t, but by now it was for practical purposes too hot to ride anyway. Why would a Goat buy a motorbike that he had almost no opportunity to ride?

So the Goat finds himself in October. It is déjà vu all over again, with the only difference being this time the Goat has his Residence Permit at the start of the Middle-East biking season. Furthermore, there’s an 18-month old 3000km Triumph Rocket III Roadster for sale at 75% of the price of a new one. The Goat even knows and used to ride with its former owner, who traded it for a new Limited Edition version of the same model. But when will this job end? Current estimates suggest the end of December, but if the rate of receiving design approvals continues as it has done for the past year, the Goat will be in Qatar until the end of Time.

What to do? The machine is affordable, and because there are few ‘interesting’ roads in Qatar the case for a sportsbike is weak. The size of the country also rather contraindicates the need for a tourer. But a cruiser? Arguably more practical, at least for a given value of ‘practical’ that involves a motorbike with a 2300cc engine. And when the Goat’s job finally fizzles out, if it did so when this putative motorbike was still a valuable piece of engineering, would he sell it or export it? Standby for massive money loss because nobody would want to buy it, or a repeat of the grief of the export process followed by owning a surfeit of large motorbikes.

The Goat is tempted, nevertheless. More money than sense, obviously.



Martín said...

Just don't.
It will just bring a grin to your face.
And happiness.
And beauty.
And love.
And a great sound.
It's just money! You don't get a coupon for your next life when you pass on great stuff in this one.

Anonymous said...

If you are going to do it, get something more interesting. A vintage T120 maybe, with a swinging arm with three degrees of freedom. That would make boring Qatar roads more fun.
Eric the Boat

Grumpy Goat said...

Years ago, Eric, an old Structures professor told we fresh-faced undergraduates that if you add hinges to a statically indeterminate structure, you eventually get a statically determinate structure.

Statically determinate + 1 hinge = Mechanism
Statically determinate + >1 hinge = Shambles

I do believe that one degree of freedom for a swinging arm is plenty.


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