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Sunday, December 02, 2007

MOTORCYCLES

This post is for Vita really since she is convalescing!

The time has come for me to re-arrange the motor cycle fleet.
(click to enlarge)
The 1982 BMW (on right) has been with me for 22 years now and it would be like losing a leg to get rid of that - that will be around until I can no longer get my leg over (so to speak).

Of the two "trailies" I sold the XL125 Honda (centre) after buying the Honda XL185 (left) from an old friend who had had it since new.
Two things decided me to sell the one on the left too:

1. Recent legislation in this overcrowded island is killing off the use of "off road" vehicles over our ancient track ways . I count myself lucky to have had their enjoyment for over 40 years.
2. Approaching the age of 69 I ask myself if I should still be bucking, jumping and slip-sliding alone along these ways. (Know thyself).

So one aspect of my motorcycling life ends, but one has to compensate. Thus a new baby joins the BMW in the garage.

This is a 1978 Honda 400 four cylinder with only 18,000 miles under its wheels, for me to enjoy as a light, nippy and manoeuvrable machine for country lane bend swinging. I had one of these machines back in 1977 and have always hankered for another. They took Britain by storm, but were never popular in the States for some reason, so Honda killed them off after 4 years in 1979. (They are reputed to have lost money on every one they sold!). The way the four exhaust pipes swing down together still stands as some of the finest chrome-work ever seen on a motorcycle, many feeling that the design would not look out of place as furniture or pure art.
However inflation has meant that for the one I bought in 1977 for £700, I have now had to pay £2,000 for the "new" one. (I kid myself that the sale of the two trail bikes almost equals the cost of this one!)
Motorcyclists reading all this will understand that I am not particularly enamoured of today's modern "plastic rockets", posing as motorcycles!

11 comments:

herhimnbryn said...

Sitting at traffic lights the other day and a gorgeous sound drew up beside me and I thought, 'Hmmmmmm, bet that's a BMW'. T'was!

But Pa...........Wot no Velocette?

Avus said...

H: You can always recognise the sound of a Beemer - sooo distinctive and one of the many attributes I like about it.
As to the little Velocette LE I once ferried my small daughter around on - I sometimes see such advertised for sale (£400 - £1000) and feel a twinge of nostalgia, but then reality sets in. That tiny 197 cc side valve engine would just not be able to cut the mustard in today's traffic - it was classed as very slow even at the time!

Knowleypowley said...

I remember that Honda. Still looks like class. But as for the velocette, didn't you used to have it in pieces in the front bedroom at Douglas road/

keep on bikin'

Pete
X

Nea said...

ah, a man after my own heart.......motorcycles played a huge part in my life from about birth. You see my Dad was a motorcycle "bum". He rode in and out of our lives for many years, only thing that changed was his bike. so I grew up on motorcycles......and at the age of 11 I got my own. I didn't see my dad all that often, so I made him promise that when I was grown we would travel cross country on our bikes. It never happened.

I love the older, mostly crome and heavy metal bikes, but for a woman, the Harleys are a bit hard to handle. I rode my dad's, but I never owned one myself. My brother has two. And he is like you, thought he would get a new one and sell the old one, and then couldn't part with it, and to this day, prefers to ride it. He said it has something to do with cornering, he can get lower to the ground. Anyway, these are some fine looking bikes, and I can understand why you are proud of them. We have owned our share of Honda's also.......I still keep my motorcycles riding license current, Just in case, haha....

Old Fart from Oz said...

Lovely machines there. I've only been on a bike once, circa 70 years ago. My uncle's white Indian. I have a gmate in Kerrville, texas who has had a string of BMWs over the years.

OFFO

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Vita said...

Hello, and thank you very much.

Oh, dear. I have to go, but be assured I do like your new Honda.

Lucy said...

What treasures!

TomboCheck said...

That Honda 400 sure is a looker. My pops has one as well. He always appreciated the pipes on that bike, and now it sits as a display in his house. Congrats on the new toy. :)

Avus said...

Tombo:
Thanks for visiting - I have left a comment on your blog. I agree that the Honda is a great bike, but do not think my wife would allow it as a display in the house!
(How do you put links into comment replies, then??)

TomboCheck said...

I guess it was agreed before the marriage that bikes were his kids since me and my sister had moved out, and kids need to live in the house. :)
I have added a post to my blog showing how to create the links in comments.