FINAL UPDATE: 04-Oct-2016 I have sold my Triumph Sprint and decided to give up motorcycling for good. It was collected this day by 2 Wheel trans who are to deliver it to a dealer in Poole who is intending to renovate it back to showroom condition and then sell it on - a very fitting end for such a fine bike which, despite its 17 years, had only done 9022 miles.
I have re-organised this page so that recent history is nearer the top.
If you want to go chronologically, I can remember the sequence though not the dates, then it goes like this...
My Bikes: Excelsior BSA Bantam Honda CB 200 Suzuki GSX400F Kawasaki GPX750R Triumph Sprint ST 955
More Bike Photos: Xmas Toy Run 1997
Hopefully the new acquisition will re-kindle my biking activities which have suffered much due to being torn between spending the good weather on the bike or in the air flying - can't do both.
One of the effects of the march of time is that I find my wrists suffering when riding any distance on a sports bike. This has prompted me to look for something more in the line of a tourer. My good friend Steve Brett seemed to be kind of interested in selling his Triumph Sprint and with a bit of persuasion he finally agreed to sell it to me.
This is definitely the heaviest bike I've ever owned and my skills from the Kawasaki were clearly not sufficient to handle this bike properly. I ended up buying three excellent books on big bike technique and going out every day practising. By the summer my skills had improved significantly although I was still somewhat nervous and a little clumsy on tight U-turns. In fact I had an embarrassing moment when I dropped it trying to turn it outside my father's house and couldn't pick it up - he had to come running over to help me. I bought two new panels for the faring shortly after acquiring the bike so it was a good job that I had not yet fitted them. It was lack of confidence in the U-turn that kept me from going ahead and fitting them - so that was a kind of lucky premonition I guess since the panels were very expensive.
Back in September 1997 I traded my Suzuki, which was a great bike, for a Kawasaki GPX750R in mint condition and I really loved riding this bike...
This bike is the first one I owned that I would class as having more bottle than I do - I never would be able to ride it (or its eventual successors) to their full potential - but at least I could now achieve my full potential.
I added the top box which, although it was very useful indeed, unfortunately made the bike slightly unstable so that it would not be safe to ride it with one hand off the bars.
I started biking in 1967 with an old Excelsior ex-army bike with a two-speed Villiers 98cc engine which I bought for £6 after selling my bicycle against the wishes of my parents.
I'm still hunting through the archives for an old black and white photo of the Excelsior but so far to no avail.
The Excelsior didn't even have a speedo since it wasn't supposed to do more than 30mph, so I felt quite pleased when I eventually got stopped doing 40mph in a 30 limit. Fortunately the guy let me off after having given me a piece of his mind.
The Excelsior suffered enormously from the crankcase breaking where the clutch mechanism pivoted on it. Also the oil it used was so thick it was like pouring treacle through a wedding ring.
I then took a Saturday job so that I could afford to upgrade to a BSA Bantam 175cc which I bought on hire purchase - I used to have to go to the Post Office every Saturday and pay over 7 shillings and 6 pence (or 7/6d as it was known then - three half crown coins). I never did have a big bike until much much later - simply could not afford one.
Hunting through the archives I managed to find an ancient picture of my brother with the Bantam after it was re-painted from its original red and black colouring...
After the Bantam I had to switch to cars since my future father-in-law to be would not let his daughter go on the bike - too dangerous!!
Much later, after about 8 cars, two houses, married with two teenage daughters, and purportedly as a sign of the male menopause - so people jibe - I eventually got back into biking. I bought one of my brother's bikes (he had three) a Honda CB200, on which to prove I could still ride.
I had great fun on the little Honda which was very reliable and fun to ride.
Later, when I had regained my biking skills I then upgraded to a Suzuki GSX400F which I had for about a year. The Suzuki was the first of the bigger faster bikes - the first one I had that would happily go over 100mph. However, riding it any distance wore my clutch hand out since I was forever changing gears - it didn't have sufficient power to ride hills and things in higher gears.
The story now continues nearer the top of the page. Next came the Kawasaki followed by the Triumph.
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