AND THE ART OF MOTORCYCLE MAINTENANCE
2007 James Deacon
1913 Harley Davidson Model 9E
not many people are aware that the Harley
Davidson Company began selling motorcycles in Japan in 1913.
fewer people realise that one of the first Harleys to go on sale there
was purchased by a clerical officer at the British Embassy in Tokyo.
still are aware that the gentleman in question, one Herbert
Dalfoyle-Briggs, was a good friend of Mikao Usui.
the two used to meet regularly at the Embassy, where they would pass
several hours playing chess and discussing a wide range of shared
interests including Philosophy, Poetry, Literature and most importantly
- Cricket. (Seems Usui-sensei had an absolute passion for the game.)
luck would have it, it transpired that Usui-sensei visited the Embassy
later on same the day that Dalfoyle-Briggs had taken delivery of his
brand new Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
who it seems could hardly contain
himself, was waiting in the Embassy foyer.
brief yet formal greetings, eagerly,
Dalfoyle-Briggs ushered Usui-sensei through the Embassy gardens to a
small yard in which his new prized possession stood gleaming in the
late afternoon sunlight.
some moments of fawning over his new acquisition, singing its praises,
recounting its specifications - oh, and every now and then polishing
away some almost invisible mark or fingerprint from the wonderful piece
of American engineering with a large white (and up to this point,
immaculate,) handkerchief - Dalfoyle-Briggs straddled the machine and
attempted to fire the great engine into life.
and again he tried, without success; as
slowly the expression on his face turned to one of dejection.
Usui-sensei a couple of moments to realise what the problem was; and as
if not wanting to be overheard (even though there was no-one else in
sight) he leaned forward and quietly spoke to his friend:
"May I make a suggestion? Perhaps you might try
pulling out the choke"
cheered Dalfoyle-Briggs as the Harley Davidson instantly powered into
Usui-sensei thought to himself, as he watched his friend roaring across
the yard on the splendid machine, "...choke. Hurray! and the power is
suddenly there... Choke. Hurray... choke-hurray...
Yes, I like the sound of these English words... Must remember them...
I don't quite know why, but I have a feeling...
just possibly have some use for them, one day..."