14 November 2007

Call Me Blonde--What’s Really In a Motorcycle Name

I was watching a very interesting program on the National Geographic channel about martial arts and the true master forms of the various disciplines. The show then progressed to the level of which weapons were the most effective-- the Nunchakus, spears and swords. When discussing swords, it was stated that the “Katana” was the preferred and most effective sword of martial arts warriors. “AHA” I exclaimed--moment of discovery—Katana, the popular Suzuki sport bike released in 1988. I now understood the association! Oie, that’s why admittedly I title this entry “call me blonde”.

Yet honestly, I can’t image I’m alone-we hear a name, we use it, asking no questions right? When manufacturers bring out their new models, we get all the technical info and eventually the test ride results, but no one ever says “it was named after the great Japanese Samurai warrior sword-the Katana"—I suppose it’s a given, an assumption. Certainly the Japanese knew as this is their ancestry—but in our culture unless you practise it, or are into swords what are the chances of the average person knowing what a Katana is?

Other names are most assuredly obvious-- Hurricane, Firestorm, Ninja but how about number and letter combinations? The “GSXR”-no one ever asks, we accept this combination to mean something fast, err, “Grand Super Xtreme Racer”?


Harley Davidson have their own name codes—Dyna, Softail–I don’t know what relevance softail has to a motorcycle yet this all causes me to explore further. Ducati use SS meaning 'supersport' or ST for 'sport touring', logical. But then there’s the first belt driven Ducati, the Pantah. If you Google Pantah you get Ducati, but what does it mean? Is it a place? Is it Italian for Panther?

Yet having discovered the Katana I see there’s always something in a name.
Yet, when all is said and done it’s not real relevant is it? It's what's underneath or inside that really counts.

1 comment:

Rick said...

Enjoyed the site.