Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Motorcycle Palanquin

a very easily implementable solution to a specific problem
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Yes, yes, yes. It is a very ludicrous idea. I am the first to admit it!

But if we stop and consider it from the point of view of an important personage...how else can one preserve a modicum of royalty in these hurried times? In modern traffic, there is no way a traditional palanquin will keep up. Motorbikes are the answer: they are fast and they are highly manoeuvrable. When each of the four palanquin bearers is riding a motorbike with his free hand, it gives the personage the chance to once again among the highest modes of personal transport. The group dynamics needed to co-ordinate four motorcycles present a very real "where will I end up" factor that the personage can always reflect on.

Rentals will also be popular, like the horse & carriage rides in many cities.

samosa_pirate, Nov 19 2008

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       Maybe a multidirection swivel bearing point ( like a windsurfer universal) on the motorcycle would allow both hands on the handlebars .
wjt, Nov 19 2008
  

       How about fixing the bearing point to a sidecar on the bike? of course the bikes on the right hand side would have to have left hand sidecars and vice versa. Then again, you could have the palanquin bearers in the sidecars?   

       The drivers would have to be very much in sync with each other or disaster could strike (the scene from a tale of two cities comes to mind) a boy could be playing in the filth in a dirt road in Victorian London as the aristocrat comes whizzing past in his palanquin, the drivers, trained not to stop ride over the boy, but this time because the bikes are much faster than people or horses there isn't enough time for the aristocrat to toss a silver coin out to the bereaved family...
Uncle Goatlips, May 13 2010
  

       Excellent. I can finally bring my palanquin out of retirement.
wagster, May 13 2010
  

       Perhaps they could send the family an Amazon or ebay e-voucher instead.
pocmloc, May 13 2010
  

       Some sort of contactless payment system is needed, like the new Visa Touch-and-Pay cards but operating over a greater distance. Something based on PayPal or Google Checkout ought to be reasonably easy to set up.
hippo, May 13 2010
  

       Independent four-point suspension, rigidly coupled to the 'bikes, coupled front steering, and a [+]
BunsenHoneydew, May 15 2010
  

       I actually misunderstood this idea until I looked up palanquin in an encyclopædia. I was thinking of the canopy supported by a polebearer at each corner, as used to shade a horseback monarch in a parade. Now four motorcyclists supporting such a canopy over a limousine would be a sight to see sweeping through city streets.   

       Unfortunately, though, I have had no luck finding the correct technical term for such a canopy.
pocmloc, May 15 2010
  

       "canopy"?
hippo, May 15 2010
  

       I don't get this. If they're in traffic on motorbikes, how will they find ants to eat?
MaxwellBuchanan, May 15 2010
  
      
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