Get Your Motor Runnin’

On any TV show, in any language, when cops get on big motorcycles, they play “Born to be Wild” by Steppenwolf.

23 thoughts on “Get Your Motor Runnin’

  1. more details on the show, please. Is it Czech? With big czech motosicles? What is a czech cycle? Are they importable? I’m picturing the motorcycle version of the Yugo.

  2. You could re-title ‘observations’ to ‘bon mots from Praha’

    You also should add in a gallery of ‘Prah-hotties’. Put ugly bartenders in a gallery of ‘Praguelodites’.

  3. Not sure where the comment was, but you mentioned the phone has actually rung tiwce now. Turns out, it’s for you! MaK’s Mum is trying to get in touch with you, double checking that you have the key, and seeing if there is any post (for example, the piece of paper with the writing on it). Probable the best way will be to call Miki, since he speaks english.

    Good Luck!

  4. I love the Urals – nice, big clunky Russian versions of the BMW opposed twins, but without the understated grace of the Bavarian bikes…

    The Urals are the only bikes I want that I’ve never owned (other than the Brazilian Amazonas – a motorcycle powered by a VW Beetle engine…)

    Good times.

    Jerry – drink some black beer for me

  5. I never responded to Jesse’s questions directly, although the answer lies in the original episode. Any cops. Any bikes. Any language. Anywhere. It is a universal law.

    The show I watched that brought me to this conclusion was not American (no Harleys and the sidekick was, believe it or not, too goofy), not British, (right side of the road), and most likely not a Czech production (there was coastline). It doesn’t matter. In any country, on any television show, when the cops get on the big bikes they play Born to be Wild. It’s a law of nature.

  6. Speaking of frightening trends in musical themes (combining the above to posts to sound like what I’m about to say is germane to the current discussion), is any one else appalled that any pop song from the last thirty years can and has been used to sell a product? I mean, I’m convinced I want a G6 because it’s so cool. Somewhere in the deep recesses of my brain, a few synapses are futilely protesting, ‘It’s a Pontiac, stupid!’ But the Clash make me want to buy it. I’d say we’d reached the nadir in the current cycle with JC Penny using Townsend’s utterly flaccid ‘Let my love open the door,’ but I know that the next abomination is only an advertising campaign away.

  7. Who sells out?

    /suggest that Mr Townsend (“I’m conducting research, so loosen up these cuffs.”) change the band name to “The WHOre.”

    //Keith Moon spinning in his grave trying to topple his drum kit.

  8. Carol Anne,

    I couldn’t find anything useful when I googled for combinations of Amazona, Brazil, and motorcycle.

    However I remember, decades ago, reading a road-test of an Amazona in one of the big motorcycle magazines. They thought it was really, really, big. They also thought it should go faster.

    In an obvious collaboration, the motorcycle mag teamed up with a Volkswagen hot-rodding magazine to drop a seriously modified Volks engine in the Amazona. Madcap highjinks ensued, as they discovered the human hand was incapable of squeezing the clutch lever against the engagement springs of the new, heavy-duty clutch.

  9. Will the advertisers ever be brave enough to use these songs?


    Shoplifters of the world Unite – the Smiths

    That Blue Oyster Cult song about suicide, – was it Don’t fear the reaper?

    Love Stinks – J. Geils Band

    Send in the Clowns – Frank Sinatra, hey Sinatra sells, right?

    People who died – Jim Carroll

  10. I thought the nadir of song abuse was a few years ago when American Express used “Spirit in the Sky” by Norman Greenbaum, which has a great fuzzy guitar intro before it goes on to say that he’s got a friend in Jesus and will be going to heaven when he dies.

    Someone told me once that he’s living in a commune somewhere had renounced capitalism to the extent he doesn’t take royalties for the use of the music anymore, even from the ultimate capitalists.

    NOTE: Apparently the above story is completely apocryphal. A brief biography can be found at a place called Jewhoo! Dontcha just love the Web?

  11. I have to laugh whenever I see that commercial for some cruise line that uses Iggy Pop “Lust for Life.” The song is about giving up sex and drugs.

    Here comes Johnny in again

    With liquor and drugs

    And a fast machine

    He’s gonna do another strip tease.

    Hey man, where’d ya get that lotion?

    I’ve been hurting since I’m up again

    With something called love

    Yeah, something called love.

    Well, that’s like hypnotizing chickens.

    Well, I’m just a modern guy

    Of course, I’ve had it in the ear before.

    I have a lust for life

    ‘Cause I’ve a lust for life.

    I’m worth a million in prizes

    With my torture film

    Drive a GTO

    Wear a uniform

    On a government loan.

    Then I see a commercial for Buick using Aerosmith. A pox on these corporate whores. Making me feel so very very old.

  12. The Brazilian Higway patrol used rodded-out engines in theirs, along with a ferocious hydraulic clutch system. I remember that there was a Canadian company that could grey-market you a full bike, or who would sell you a kit (Just Add Engine! ‘) for those of a madcap tinkering sort of bent…

    I ‘ve seen two kit bashed bike that truly scared the crap out of me:

    In San Diego, while filling the tank of my (classic) 1966 Vespa SS, I heard a great roar and watched this fellow pull up on this bike that was a maze of fuel-injection tubing and the biggest blown turbocharger I’d ever seen mounted on two wheels. I then noticed the enamel logo on the engine block – it was a black rearing horse on a yellow field.

    I stared dumbly for a minute, until the owner said, and I quote: “Yeah, the engine was from a 308 GTSi Ferrari – I decided to build a bike around the engine – ’cause it seemed like a really stupid thing to do…”.


    The other fellow I read about in a magazine. Y’see, he runs an aeronautical junkyard (you can see where this is going) and cut two of the 12 cylinders off the engine from a British Mosquito bomber – building himself a VERRRRRY large V-twin.

    Of course, this made perfect sense since the bloke lived in the Oz Outback…

  13. Adam – great tale. Jerry has one not quite as good, but along similar lines. When he, John and I set out to find Jerry’s next car in 198* and Jerry was specifiying “its gotta be a convertible,” we went down to Albuquerque to look at one from a classified ad. The body was the Japanese homage to the Brit triumph-type cars – John, help me here; was it a Datsun sunny? Anyway, the guy had dropped a buick aluminum V8 engine into this tiny body. Jerry, took it out for a test spin. Jer came back with an ashen face and a zeal to buy some other car. I know it died a lot at stop signs, but between SSs it scared the beejeezus out of him.

  14. Speaking of Vespas – I was behind a modern one the other day for a bit, and I was surprised by how stinky it was. I can see scooters being popular with eco-leftists, but this thing was strong on the smell of unburned hydrocarbons. Maybe it was poorly tuned?

  15. Jesse,

    It was a Datsun 2000 roadster. The guy just didn’t know what pieces to use. My uncle Clark dropped a Buick aluminium-block V8 in a Triumph Spitfire decades ago, but since he moved the transmission to the trunk (transaxle and rear suspension from a Corvair), there was ample room in the engine compartment — no shoe-horn required.

  16. The current Vespa ET2 is a two-stroke — probably the source of unburned hydrocarbons. Eco-leftists will probably want to be seen (and not smelled) riding the ET4.

  17. In the aftermath of too much Googling, my head now hurts, but I think I now know that:

    Two-stroke engines can still be sold in California, but only in off-road motorcyles and ATVs, under-10-horse-power personal watercraft, and non-transport-thingies, like chainsaws, weed-whackers, and goddamm leaf-blowers.

    The Vespa ET2 is probably not an option for any California eco-leftist. (Is there any other kind?)

    2006 seems to be a year that two-stroke engine fans in California are dreading.

  18. Some city council member in Chapel Hill made a pitch to outlaw leafblowers. It didn’t get far, and this is a left-leaning university town. But it did get some positive response, amid the protestations of lawn care companies.

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