The golden pumpkin: A slice of ‘pulp’ fiction …
The mission was top secret “no one can get wind of it,” the boss ushered with shifty eyes.
“Not a single soul should suspect anything, otherwise … ” He tilted his head to one side and drew his thumb slowly and theatrically across his throat like a knife. I gulped. Apprehension welled up inside me. There was little I could say or do to get myself out of this one. I left the building in haste, brooding over what lay before me.
My task was particularly tricky. What was it all about? The Golden Pumpkin! I had to collect it from where the pepper grows and transport it safely to the factory, the ‘Orange House’. I had no idea why. Perhaps to be the foundation stone for the new factory museum? The new canteen? The facility’s own test and racetrack next door to the development centre? Everything seemed possible, but nothing certain. Only one thing: The job was not simple. And extremely confidential. Top secret!
What would be the ideal vehicle for this mission? Certainly not any old banger. I needed the fastest, most inconspicuous two-wheeler on the planet. Fast would be no problem. But inconspicuous? That’s something a KTM could never be. Even I knew that.
My thoughts spun through the whole product range and the choice still didn’t seem so straightforward. I could always ask the design department: “Could you please make an exception and design an inconspicuous edge?” I kicked myself. What an idiotic question. The chance of that happening in practice was ‘zero’ of course. Kiss K, the design god, would never allow it. “We’re not here to make stealth bombers” would be the answer. Or something like that.
In my despair, I explained my problem to Schitt Co, one of the few dealer friends I have. “Take the T,” he said as he lay below half a dozen racing machines, cleaning the oil drain plugs with a toothbrush.
Of course: T for “Tarnung”, the German word for camouflage but to me it all became clear. SM T, a stroke of genius. Dynamic, lively, reliable. And in black, so more discreet. Ideal for long distances, just right for a 500-mile journey.
Then I deliberated further. What to wear? Perhaps some innocuous threads. A suit? An all-in-on waterproof? Nonsense! What do you learn at every secret agent school? Confuse your opponent. Do the opposite of what everyone expects otherwise you’ll blow your cover.
So I pulled on the finest garment of all; one that would really shine. I slipped into a white leather one-piece suit. White and gold. No one could possibly conceive that I was on a secret mission. The absolutely perfect diversionary tactic.
So I took the golden pumpkin from the safe in the secret headquarters and placed it in my rucksack. I fastened my helmet, closed the dark visor and pressed the electric starter button. K-T-M. Kick a Thousand tiMes, as if! Naturally, the T started up immediately.
I flicked into gear and raced away, over all the mountains into the promised pumpkin land. The rev counter needle danced, the V2 roared freely from the exhaust mufflers with the finest weld seams in the world. Only the one motorway section ahead; the rest country roads. Up and down, left and right, sweeping curves and tight bends. Three tanks full of riding. Glorious.
Shortly before my destination, I stopped at a café in ‘Orangenhausen’ to sip on a hot cappuccino and take a careful look around. Not a villain to be seen far and wide. Perfect. I’d given them all the slip. I must have been far too fast for them. I trundled the last few metres, taking a left turn on the edge of town into the hallowed site. I stopped at the main entrance, casting the golden pumpkin at the feet of the gatekeeper before wheelie-ing away. I’d struck it lucky again.
Thanks T, you’re a tremendously good bike. But I prefer you even better in orange, the only true colour.