But almost all of it was cut. The basic scene is still there, but the detail was cut back, and the entire thing reduced to about a half page. It didn't really move the story forward to justify that much detail, and was a bit off track. Anyway, here it is for you to judge.
Opening the choke fully he pressed the starter and twisted the throttle slightly, it took a little longer than it should have to start, but the bowls were dry and the twin fuel pumps needed a moment to fill them. He closed the choke slowly, keeping the idle at a grand then put on his helmet. Carburetors were well out of vogue, few if any sport bikes still used them, but the mighty Zed with four of them outperformed most bikes with fuel injection made today, and nearly all of the F.I. bikes made in its day.
Pulling in the clutch he kicked it down into first and giving a little increase on the throttle he let out the clutch and rolled out onto the street. He took the first block easy, never crap where you sleep after all. Getting out onto the main drag he quickly accelerated and turned the choke all the way off. While the bike still was too cold to idle without it, it wouldn’t be seeing any revs below 3K from this point on.
Revving the bike once more as he turned onto the highway, he listened for any complaints from the engine, there were none of course, and the temp gauge had come up off the stop a little. Then it was full throttle, shift, shift, shift, shift, all without a clutch, level off at 120 and shift once more. The highway was open and fairly straight. The cars on it might as well be standing still as he arced around them and sped through the night. One joker in a corvette tried to race him, but down two and wide open throttle and the corvette quickly was lost behind him as 160 almost instantly appeared on the speedo. By the time the corvette got up to that kind of speed he’d be miles ahead. He never understood why people in cars wanted to race bikes. Stock his bike did 186mph.
It was definitely no longer stock.
After a few more miles he rolled it back down to an even hundred, goosing it up every once in a while. Police weren’t really much of a problem this time of night, they couldn’t really track with a copter in the dark and there were few cars out there to see him anyway. Any he might run into would be miles away before they could even begin a chase. No, the road was open, and it was his. He didn’t get to ride like this as often as he might like to anymore. It had been months since he’d made any kind of real run on the bike at all, being stuck tooling around on the small restricted bikes in Spain. Six hundred cc’s just wasn’t enough for him anymore.
The miles quickly passed by, he was up in the mountains now, dealing with the long sweepers and having to downshift and occasionally slow for a few of the tighter corners. In another half hour he’d turn around and head back, eventually descending out of the mountains and back into the desert known as Sacramento. But for now it was just him, the bike, and the road. The roar of the engine, the air rushing past, white headlights and red taillights.
There wasn’t much thinking at speeds like these, you mainly lived in the moment, maybe a song ran through your head, repeating over and over. Pick your line, ride it. Sort each car as a target and assign it a probability of doing something stupid. Avoid those with visible signs of damage as much as possible. Flip off those who hit their brakes when they saw him behind them as he passed. Watch out for bow effects on the big trucks. Find the line, ride it.
And when all else fails crack the throttle open just a little more. Speed is your life, your life is speed. The more smash, the more control you have over the situation, the faster you can react, the faster you can maneuver. The sad little secret that they don’t teach you in driver’s ed or the official handbooks, on a motorcycle your safety lies in your speed.
When he finally pulled back off the highway and wound down through the secondary streets, checking his mirrors just to be sure he hadn’t picked up any unwanted company, he felt relaxed. Things were clearer now. Coasting into the driveway, turning the bike off, pushing it into the garage and locking it all back up.They all had their little sins, their little vices. This was his.