Close Encounters

Kevin Ash

October 24

Every now and then, the planets line up perfectly.

There I was, visiting the London office of the newspaper I scribble for, and for once not standing by someone`s desk as a shapeless hulk dripping into a puddle of water around my feet, gently soaking in to their expensive carpet. Just a jacket and jeans, and looking forward to getting outside again as the roads were dry and the sun was shining brightly.

Meanwhile, the general office background buzz was being interrupted by some agitation, three people discussing some kind of problem. One of them knew me, and as he looked across you could see in his face an idea forming. He came across: “Kev, I wonder if you might be able to help us out here. We really need a favour... you go back home up the M40 don`t you?”

It was one of those questions you`re wary of answering in the affirmative: I didn`t yet know what the favour was, but yes, I did go back up the M40. “Well, Julia here lives in Uxbridge and she has to get back by four, but the traffic`s chaotic right now, she doesn`t live near any tube or rail stations...”

Four was tight even by Multistrada in Sports mode, but I was already looking across to see who this Julia-in-distress might be. Blimey O`Reilly, absolutely textbook what we in blokedom call a milf... A mirlf in fact, so much so I would have diverted via Bratislava to give her a lift, never mind Uxbridge.

Usually, a short notice lift on a bike presents other hurdles too, not least of which is finding a second helmet. But not this time: I just happened to have been showing the motoring guys a new Bluetooth comms system for rider and pillion, and not only had a spare helmet with me, it was wired for sound too. Perfect.

A not especially suitable jacket was found for my emergency passenger, who was already wearing jeans (and looking very good in them too) as she was dropping by the office rather than working.

There`s plenty that`s written about the massive advantage motorcycles have in dispensing with snarled up, point-to-point urban journeys, the first of which was getting to the bike within a minute of leaving the office. Nothing else comes close door to door, and sure enough, the versatile Ducati delivered my new and enormously grateful friend to her destination in plenty of time.

But what we talk about less often are the unique pleasures to be had from exactly how you carry a passenger on a bike. I can think of no other way, within ten minutes of meeting an attractive member of the opposite sex, of getting her to wrap her arms tightly around you and better still, grip you between her legs. Not unless she`s the sort who takes payment for that kind of thing...

Being in something of a hurry (although I knew we`d get there in time) gave me licence to demonstrate the awesome braking power of the Multi`s radially-mounted Brembos of course, which added rather pleasingly to the experience already enhanced by the bike`s immense acceleration, all of which I absolutely had to use to make the deadline. Yes I did. But there was a new dimension now: the sound system.

Invest in one of these. Believe me, the level of intimacy is magnified tenfold when you can speak quietly directly into the ear of your pillion, and as for the reverse... I should warn that it takes a will of iron not to be terminally distracted by their small grunts, gasps and sighs filling the cosy confines of your helmet as the bike surges forward, leans hard then buries its Pirelli into the Tarmac. What the hell, turn the volume right up and use your imagination...

I am a total convert to the rider-pillion intercom. Never mind the music or the phone connection or the sat nav nonsense, find a milf, wire her up, and enjoy...

And in the interests of balance (sexist, me?), I`m sure it works just as well the other way around, except ladies, you`ll be after some filf, presumably.