One week after the terrible attacks in Paris, everyone needs to change their minds. Insane people want to scare us. They want us to war just because we are free and happy. These sad clowns would change what we are. But it’s impossible. Paris remains Paris. The freedom to be who we want, love without distinction, party until late at night, pretty girls laughing at sidewalk cafes, loud motorcycles, and Rock’n’Roll shows… We’ll never change who we are. This is our DNA. So, I wanted to mark the occasion.
Make resistance in my way. I have a plan for tonight.
First, I made lend a motorcycle. A sexy “Royal Enfield 535 Continental GT” but a bit special. I picked this little Indian motorcycle with my friends « Tendance Roadster ». The garage, a Royal Enfield specialist, markets a “Vitesse” version of the Continental GT.
For a little money, they offer a kit improves the look and performance of the machine. Inspired by the glorious 60s, he made a kit, like the 1964 Continental GT 250. A « Dolphin » style fairing as for « Velocette Veeline », an exhaust system in stainless steel, some accessories and a small engine preparation. With the adoption of a BMC air filter and a « Power Commander » with an injection mapping adapted to stainless steel muffler they slightly increase the power. Simple and effective, the bike charms. It attracts attention. But good looking don’t make it all so let’s make a ride ! After a little refueling stop, I’m off to a great ride in Paris, to enjoy this warm autumn. Furrow the streets of my town, enjoy the agility of the bike to roll through the narrow streets of Montmartre, playing with the gearbox at the approach of the Place de l’Etoile, do purr exhausts through passing Notre-Dame of Paris, driving too fast on the “Quais de Seine” and enjoy life.
The bike is light and easy. The position is very sporty but the driver commands fall well under the hands and feet. Braking is quite enough and the sound is nice. So, I want to accelerate the tempo and playing with this bike that recalls the 60s with nostalgia. But here comes the disappointment. The engine is completely soft and hollow. Linear, it vaguely expressed between 2500 and 5000 rpm. And to 5500 rpm, that is the switch. It is frustrating. It deserves more. We dream of an additional 20 hp and a little more character. The second point will deserve to be improved is the suspensions. They are too soft and do not like being heckled. Too bad. So, I’m forced to follow the rhythm of the machine, to calm down. It’s a perfect bike to join his friends at an outdoor cafe. And that’s OK!
After nightfall, I had an appointment with some friends in a fairly famous biker: “La Féline”. It is a place quite apart. Here there are not so many rules as long as you don’t piss off Pat, the boss. Here the staff smoke behind the bar, beer and whiskey flows freely and girls are just terrific.
The atmosphere is boiling.
Tonight is a special night. Every month, “La Féline” is transformed into a cabaret to host « Louise De Ville » and her « Burlesque Show ». This beautiful American lady knows how to raise the temperature and makes us forget our troubles. Here, nothing matter but the curve of her hips, stupid djiadistes are dead and we are alive. Hypnotic shows succeed and we are all driven by the lust for life.
The bike waiting for me outside wisely. But it continues to get noticed. People appreciate. Girls want to try it. Pat tells me this bike would be perfect for his daughter… She’s only 15 ! We laugh hard and drinking too much. We talk about our friends, those who died in the attacks (I knew 2 people and I miss them) and we mourn them our way. But we’re happy tonight. And finally that’s what lead us to love as much our motorcycles. These rusty scrap metal bikes that make us thrill. We like them because when we rides, we are free. Free to come and go from one bar to another, just to enjoy our short life. So we have to enjoy this.
« Let’s ride ! »
All images are under copyright © Charles Séguy