Sunday, 30 November 2008
Trials & Tribulations
Sadly this TY (my son's bike) was stolen a few months ago, demonstrating that motorcycle ownership has it's bad moments. I started riding bikes when I was about 11 - my first expedition being a helmet-less trip on a step-thru C90 along the Fosse in the Cotswolds, brought to a swift end by the intervention of the law ( Morris Minor panda I recall). My own son started at the age of four with a QR 50 and then progressed onto the TY above. I'm sure the TY must have been a killer for Yamaha because it was so beautifully made, and although it sold in huge quantities from '74 to '84 can't have made them a lot of money. Since my introduction to the joys of two wheeled motorised transport I have ridden, owned, borrowed, crashed, been frightened by and enjoyed a vast range of machines (more to appear on these pages). I have, for many years, been under the mistaken impression that, for motorcycling heaven to be complete, one would need at-least three machines: 1. For crashing about in the fields, woods, quarries and occasional blats on the tarmac ( this bike to remain covered in mud and to be, cosmetically, a disaster but kept in tip-top mechanical fettle. ) 2. An excessively powerful, exquisitely handling, massively braked, howlingly exhausted all-out sports bike for pure adrenalin filled, knife-edge weekend riding and track days (probably Italian). 3. Big fat comfy, torquey, lazy slob machine for taking in the scenery, long jaunts around Europe and short trips to the news agents to pick up motorcycle comics. Well then - imagine my shock when I suddenly realised that all this was complete bollox. I've been without a bike for over three years now and suffer badly as a result. I've come to the conclusion that the thing holding me back has been the search for the ideal compromise machine ! Disaster, what folly - fortunately I hang out with some people who make sense and I have had it spelled out to me quite clearly that "any bike is better than none " - well of course it is - and how the bloody hell did I miss that one ? By lowering my sights, expectations, vanity threshold, bike snobbery visor and budget I have settled on the perfect solution - a hundred quid's worth of bits that may even yield two complete bikes at a push, conveniently located at the far end of the country in a shed. I'll let you know how it all goes on these pages. MORE PROBLEMS !