The second part of our Throwback Thursday series explores the story behind our correspondent’s Kinetic Honda, a story shared by probably an entire generation (or two!)
Growing up in a middle class home in a small town in 90s India, a two-wheeler was really a pride and joy. Most houses had one, and it was either a Bajaj Chetak (in pista green), an LML Vespa (usually in grey or navy blue), or a white Kinetic Honda (which my family had). My father had booked an LML Vespa in 1977, but after four years (the usual waiting period in pre-liberalisation India), got the booking amount refunded by a money order. This prompted him to get a Kinetic Honda DX, bought new in June 1988.
My earliest recollection of the Kinetic would be Dad bringing it into the ground floor house in Meerut, UP (lest it be stolen) and four-year-old me using the floorboard as a makeshift battlefield for my He-Man and Skeletor action figures. Back then the Kinetic felt huge, and all four of us could pile onto it for the weekly trip to the fair (or book stall, or just the nearby garden). The scooter itself endured massive hardships, being subjected to everything from Manipur’s rains to Rajasthan’s heat to Jammu’s cold (as is the case with an Army Officer’s travails) and routinely went years without a service.
Fast forward a decade and fourteen-year-old me, now tall enough for my feet to touch the ground when astride it, would take it for joyrides every evening under the pretext of “parking it in the garage.” It was during one of these joyrides that I first experienced the heart-gripping fear of “target fixation”, when I almost T-boned a neighbour’s car (if not for his lightning-fast reflexes).
The Kinetic played a staple roles in my junior college days, ferrying me to and from tuition, albeit being relegated to the rare joyride when I later bought my motorcycle. That said, come the rains and I was back on the Kinetic, the front apron helping me wade through the puddles that would have left nasty stains on my jeans if I was astride my bike.
Fast forward yet another decade, and now despite adding yet another bike to the inventory, I’m still as deeply in love with the Kinetic, such that it still went great guns on the recent ride to Lonavla!
But more on that later, folks. Stay tuned.