Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Motorcycles I have had (or am still having) relationships with

Not all of these are/were mine as I wasn't much of a photographer in the early days. Many have simply been lifted from Google Images. Several of these were actually of the exact type I rode as a police officer. I did have one or two original snaps but they are still in the boxes I quickly filled when I ejected from my `previous life` back in 1996. One day I'll have a sift and post, just for a laugh.

Current steed, a 2011 BMW R1200R. Hum your chosen warp factor and it'll play it - will it be my last? I doubt it, but its a fine one to finish on regardless.

Despite its massive bulk, the Road King is a great riders bike. You can buy this one. Its for sale in a main dealers right now! Swapped for the one at the top. 1,450cc's that resonate through the pipes like `a burst of dirty thunder`, to quote Hunter S. Thompson, who described that sound to a tee. 9 years faultless service. I wonder if it misses me as much as I miss it?

Stablemate for the Road King, above. I did 25,000 miles on this marvellous bike (even though they look like they're assembled in a tumble drier). Sold to a very lucky Polish guy who was definitely no Ewan and Charley wannabe.

My guys on Traffic used to love staying in touch with me, even after I'd retired. It was a 40 limit I'd just entered as the laser checked me out. Note my speed - perfect use of the system

16 years old, so much to learn, so little time and such inferior riding gear (apart from the Belstaff Trialsmaster)

This Z200 was given to me to test for police rural work. I gave it back to the workshops with a report. They gave it back to Kawasaki.

Heritage Softail. My retirement gift to myself. Traded 2yrs later for the Road King
Honda CB200. 2 policing years on one of these doing my version of "Heartbeat". It weavy, me no likee weavy.

Another police steed of mine - a BSA Barracuda for rural beat work. I liked it but workshops ran out of spares (and patience)

A Rickman Metisse with 150cc Zundapp 2-stroke motor. A dingbat. Great across ploughed fields too. Leaves a thick smoke screen as a calling card. It seized when I was doing about 60 and nearly killed me.

Wish I had this now. My beloved Yammy XS 650. Truly bulletproof (although it was never actually shot at) Still desirable as a modern classic

Susuki GSX 250. Tres rapide. Never missed a beat, never even blew a light bulb.

Another Honda and IMO one of the best 250 singles ever built

Yet another Honda and again, IMO, one of the best 125 singles ever built. Still going strong in the Far East, Afghanistan and other shitholes, some even have oil put in them, occasionally - whatever, they'll still work. Used it as an inner London commuter, a perfect role.

First legal ride, a Honda 65 Sport, yet another totally over-engineered Honda motor that will run forever with or without oil. Goodness how I abused that bike until I grasped the idea. My 16th birthday present. I rode it to school on the big day to sit my GCE O level Physics (which I passed). Passed my bike test 3 months later and bought.....(see below)

....this raving beastie. A howling Honda CB 250 Supersport. 1st genuine 100mph 250 and a mere £289  19 shillings and sixpence, brand new. My one you've already seen above. The original tyres were 99% plastic :0 Rode it all over the North with my best mate on the back, reading a paperback mostly (my mate, that is). Only 1 prang - once I'd changed those bloody tyres for real Avon ones.

A BSA B40 350cc. Not their best bike, the military version was good though. I rode it to The Ace Cafe, London, in 1969, the year they had to close down. The big end went on the ride back, in sympathy with The Ace, thankfully re-opened and hopefully still thriving - check out the hyperlink. Gave it to a garage in Neasden who said they could fix the big end for 40 quid, which was 2 months pay at the time. Thats what I paid for it in the first place so I walked away, figuring I'd had a cheap years riding from it. You can pick a fair one up for £1500 these days.

and finally..... My Norman Nippy moped, aka "Street Boss". A `tinker job` that I was too young to ride on a road. Had to push it 2 miles to an old Navy airfield (honest officer). I fashioned a plastic funnel to the carb to give it a ram air induction effect I'd read about in a car magazine. I think it gave it additional top end as it nearly hit 25, just the once.



MTG said...

You were fortunate to own a Honda 250SS. I was a poverty stricken student when this drop-dead gorgeous bike arrived to upstage the Crusader Sports. In terms of performance, it was the most awesome of that genre.

Trobairitz said...

Now that is an awesome list of bikes.

There are so many on there that look like they'd be a hoot to ride.

BillB said...

Over here at least the Triumph Bonneville is considered a classic - so much so that I believe they are being remade - without the leaking oil, difficulty to start....

But you have had an impressive collection!

Hogdayafternoon said...

MTG: You have a keen eye for the special ones. I too was a student, but luckily my Dad had a small win on `the pools` and didn't want his son on a `bag of dodgy nuts and bolts`.

Trobairitz: I would gladly have every one in the barn now, with my R1200R (except maybe the Honda 200)but the barn is a small one and I don't have the resources of Jay Leno ;) Interestingly, the ones that almost did for me were the ones with `Police` stickers on them.

BillB: Triumph have triumphed and have a brilliant range of bikes - no oil leaks either. I rode past the factory in July and felt a rush of pride and a brief moment of guilt that I wasn`t on one myself (yet).

Quartermaster said...

My first bike was a Honda CB200. IT wasn't weavy. Rock steady on the Interstate. I took it on a 1200 mile trip just before I took off for Army Flight Training. I later traded it for a Yamaha XS650C which was a real "Hoss" of a bike. I loved it, but it had so much vibration it was shaking itself apart.

I'm happy with Maxi-Scooters these days because of the neurological problems with my legs (all the controls and "pedals" are at my hands). My Honda Silverwing is a nice bike, although the Suzuki Burgman 400 I did have was a better bike. I'll probably get a Burgman 650 as soon as I can swing it. The Suzuki Burgmans fit my taller frame better than than the Silverwing does.

I'm a bit antsy because I can't ride at the moment. It's probably going to be early December before I can ride again. I've got to allow the bone grafts in my Lumbar spine to heal and "take" before I can start beating on myself again.

Hogdayafternoon said...

QM: The CB200 was a fine bike, just like most Hondas it was well engineered. But once it had an old fashioned heavy duty police Pye radio set mounted beyond the rear seat, a Rickman full fairing and pannier boxes bolted to it, plus a 185lb copper plus his kit, it was weavy through the bends at 60. I think it was also aggravated by turbulence set up by the aforementioned kit, not designed for it but `made to fit`. As a civvy bike it was a fine tool as you say. Funny, but my XS 650 had less vibe than the comparable British twin.

The big scooters are not to be messed with are they. I rode a 650 Bergman and it flew away from the lights. But it felt as heavy as my Road King! Would not want to push either.

Glad to hear you're mending.

Dave Pie-n-Mash said...

Hi HD - What an impressive catalogue of bikes! I particulary like the HD Softtails. They are beautiful looking machines. Like I said before - If I were a braver man....

By the way - just caught sight of your picture of Norfolk Broadband. haha! There is a bloke works in a hardware shop near me who was born and bred in Norfolk to US parents. He still has his thick Norfolk accent. He said to me when I first met him "You know what they say about us Norfolk men - Norfolk born, Norfolk bred, Strong in the arm, thick in the head".

Conan the Librarian™ said...

Wow Hogday.


Honda CD175

Honda 550 four into one

Jawa 350 - went though the side window of a Vauxhall - knee, wrist and jaw.
First time I had ever worn a full face helmet - wow.

GL 1000. Making plans for a run to Greece, when her indoors leathers stopped fitting...

Mortgage. Children. Thought about a trike. Talked about it. Thought about it again.

Various shots on mates bikes.

Bus pass.

Quartermaster said...

With the sort of load you had on the bike I can believe the 200 was weavy. All I had on mine was me (155lbs at the time) and an A-frame Rucksack and sleeping bag. Cruised rather well loaded like that.

The Maxi scooters are fine pieces of machinery. They ride well too, for their weight. The Burgman 400 is only about 450lbs empty and the 650 about 600 pounds. My Silverwing is about 550 empty. I'd really like to get a Goldwing loaded with the Queen seat, for my supervisor, natch, and cruise control. At about 1000 lbs they also ride a lot better.

Yeppers. Mending, but too slowly for my taste. But what real man didn't whine about that problem. Pilots hate Flight Surgeons too ( I kn ow first hand), for the same reason I don't like my Neurosurgeon. They keep you from doing what an normal Alpha Male desires to do.

Dave, when I had surgery on my Lumbar Spine on Aug 24th, the surgeon had me open twice as long as anticipated. The Surgeon said much of the problem was my bone was so hard. My Neurosurgeon in Ohio, who worked on my neck, also said my bone was pretty hard. I leave it to the reader to extrapolate to what that would mean about the bone in my skull. After all, I do ride one of those high powered two wheelers, which is probably indicative of things between my ears.

Dave Pie-n-Mash said...

Blimey QM - I think having a hard bone head is a benefit. A thick boned head would have served me well in the past !

Dave Pie-n-Mash said...

QM - more from me.... you really like the maxi scooters? I have looked at them and thought about scooters in general as an entry into biking. But I always remember what scooters were like in the UK on wet or uneven roads. I live in MN these days. Roads aren't bad here. Im interested in what you think about them. I lso looked at those three wheel bikes - two wheels on front and one on back - You probably know the ones I mean. My Mrs laughed at me when I mentioned it!!

Hogdayafternoon said...

In lieu of the QM 's reply, which will be excellent as a user as well as from a local's perspective too, all I can say is don't hesitate, get one, they fly and are good on bends too. Stop well (they have brakes, whereas my Harleys had `slowing down devices`). Modern large capacity scooters are kick-arse machines. I have a piece somewhere on a guy who did a ride ariund the wild west on one. I'll dig it out. Get one (but get training too, worth its weight in gold). I assume you've visited

Some nice machinery there sir. I wonder if now I've traded the Road King, Gold Wing riders will start talking to me? Love the sound of the Greece plan. Go again? They need the tourist money.

PS. does anyone know the name of the prick who invented the pillion seat?

TonyF said...

Some nice bikes there HD!

I stated off with a CZ175. A tad crude, but it did what it said on the tin. Even after it broke it's piston rings, it got me home.

I had the delights of a Honda CJ250T. It was quirky to say the least. The exhaust made right handers interesting, going around bends on front wheel and exhaust. Not a lot of grip.

Hogdayafternoon said...

TonyF: Sounds like it that Honda was better suited to Karachi. Is this you?

CI-Roller Dude said...

Nice collection! I'd ride any of them.

Quartermaster said...

Dave, Hog is right about the Maxi Scooters. When I started having problems with my legs I thought I was just settling, but no. The Burgman 400 I bought 5 years ago was a hoss of a machine. Responsive and smooth riding for a 450 pound machine. The Silverwing is a bit more powerful (583cc vs 383cc) but not as poweful as I would expect for the larger displacement.

Riding here in the Mountains of western North Carolina both machines have done a fine job. I think the Burgmans are better for a larger framed guy (I'm 5'10.5" and feel a bit crowded in front on the Silverwing). I plan to get a Burgman 650 as soon as I can swing it.

One thing I would caution you about however. If you are not an experienced rider just going and buying a two wheeler could be considered an act tantamount to suicide. In the US the Motorcycle Safety Foundation Offers a "Basic Rider Course" which is taught by highly experienced riders who can teach you how to avoid killing yourself. The course did not exist in 1976 when I bought my CB200 and God was GRACIOUS! But I learned what I needed to learn and somehow avoided death. I had been off bikes for 20 years 5 years ago and signed up for the BRC and don't regret taking it. Turned out I remembered most of what I had learned.

Most of the BRCs use 250cc bikes for the students to ride. The local one here prefers you use their bikes, but will allow you to use your own by special arrangement. My course started on Friday evening and ended Sunday Evening. If you take your graduation card with you to the DMV in North Carolina they simply require you take the written test. If you don't take the course, then you have to take the practical test and it is hard unless you have had someone train you for it. The BRC is actually harder and you have people to teach you. It's worth it.

Just ask a motorcycle dealer about a BRC. They'll know where to go and who to contact. For emphasis, it's worth it.

You will also probably get a discount on your insurance (Nationwide does offer such) if you are a grad. Just present your card to your insurance agent and they can tell you about it.

Quartermaster said...

Dave, I need to mention and it slipped my mind.

Don't get any of the Italian Scooters. You will have your memories of Scooters in the UK refreshed. The Jap Scooters are well made and handle well. I had my Burgman up to 95 mph on I44 near Rolla, MO 5 years ago it handled as well at 95 as it did at 50. The Silverwing is the same way. A friend's father has an Atlantic and it starts getting squirrelly at around 70mph. This was a bike that had less than 1000 miles on it. I think Piaggio makes the Italian scooters these days. I like adventure, but intentionally courting death is not for me at my age.

Hogdayafternoon said...

CI-RD: Wish I had `em all back again - even the Norman Nippy ;)

QM: I saved my own life again yesterday, during an overtake. I don't get angry anymore when people don't use their mirrors cos I just know they don't bother.

TonyF said...

Blimy, that's scary. Same colour bike though.

Quartermaster said...

Hog, My riding Motto: Ride like you are invisible. Saved my life a time or two or three.

BillB said...

Quartermaster - I have a little Toyota MR2 - AW-11 - (designed by Lotus so I have heard) - the thing sits so low to the ground when I am in a lane and a typical American pickup is to my right - with the cab a good 2-3' above me, I just assume they don't see me.

Fortunately my car is maneuverable - a bit like a big go kart I believe. Not as good as an Elise but that maneuverability, and driving "defensively" - has saved me more than once.

Hogdayafternoon said...

@Bill, how coincidental. I ride with an `advanced motorcyclist club` who train folks to take the institute of advanced motorcyclists test. One of our little quotes when training for `observation` is along the lines of ` when you look across the line of the road and think its all clear, remember the Toyota MR2`!!

Tad said...

Sweet memories and a great range of bikes you've owned over the years.

I loved my HondaCBR250 and CBR400 I had back in the '70's. Always been a tinge a regret having to sell them 'cause the competing interest at that time wanted a car as a place to investigate the process of making babies...

Hogdayafternoon said...

Tad: My ex wife hated motorbikes and the one time she had to ride pillion kept her eyes shut the entire time. Bit like the rest of our life together if you get my drift.

BillB said...

@Hogday - I drive with some defensiveness - being the "whatif" kinda driver -

I remember a few years ago I am on a wide boulevard - and in my little MR2 - a Harley Rider just turned left - right in front of me - brakes saved him and me - but lately - is it advancing age - or absent mindedness - I have been distracted - looked up - and almost rear-ended - a couple of cars.

ESP? Or Guardian Angel?

Gotta improve on that.

I think - to be good at it - it is almost a sub-conscience thing - a quality good for pilots, bikers, drivers....

I do believe - having vicariously coming to know you - that I could benefit from one of your classes - be it firearms, driving, situational awareness....

Hogdayafternoon said...

Bill. I've been 44 years in the saddle, some of them police ones, but I still train for the task. I think its the mark of a wise person when they critically analyse themselves - and seek second opinions from those who are qualified to observe. Sounds like you fit the mould.

Clare Westby said...

You clearly have had a lot of experiences with bikes, considering how many bikes you’ve already owned in your life. I agree that the Road King is a great bike, though I do have to wonder why you traded it for a BMW when you said that it had served you so well for over 9 years. Anyway, you are lucky that you got to drive so many bikes! Some people can only dream of doing that!

Hogdayafternoon said...

Hi Clare. Some of my Harley friends make it feel a bit like ex communication! My BMW dealer is also the Harley Davidson franchise and is right next door, in fact the buildings are adoining.
My main reason for the change can be summed up in one word, weight. The BMW is over 200lbs lighter and I feel I really need that advantage these days. I will have another HD, probably. I will return.

Max Piedra said...

That’s a ton of motorbikes! Haha! I think you’re one of the few people I know who own, or owned, a lot of bikes! But this collection just goes to show how passionate you are in being a biker. And I bet these bikes were lucky to have you as their owner, since you seem to be the type to take good care of his beloved “steeds.” Hope to see updates if you ever get another bike!

Hogdayafternoon said...

Hi Max P and thanks for dropping in. I will get another Harley - I promise ;)