Posts Tagged motorbike

Twatty Sports Bike Owner Are Ya?


Now THIS is where the sexy at…

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I spent a few glorious hours gliding around the countryside on my motorbike yesterday. The bike very suddenly has worn into a state where the controls no longer feel new and stiff and they move smoothly when pressed or pulled. The engine is making a slightly different sound as it revs and along with the gains in my riding skills and confidence I can really sit back and enjoy the whole thing without thinking too much about changing gear or which control is the brake – things you tend to constantly remind yourself of as you ride along directly after passing your test.

Fortunately the crappy weather of winter is not far around the corner and this is perfect timing for me to put the bike away before I become over confident. On Saturday I came up to a left hand bend that I’d forgotten was so sharp and the speed at which I approached it caused me some surprise. Not entirely the fault of my attention but partly due to another road continuing straight ahead from the bend making it look like the bend wasn’t there. I ended up on both brakes in a straight line through the bend and reached the other lane before locking the back wheel to skid to a halt. Fortunately for me it was one of those moments that reminds one to keep humble to the machine under ones arse. For future moments I shall be learning skills like these…….

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Guzzlin’ Up The Countryside

My Moto Guzzi V7 Classic - 750cc

My Moto Guzzi V7 Classic - 750cc

Back in August I passed my motorbike test although I was never intending on actually buying a motorbike. If you remember I de-restricted my scooter which then rendered it more powerful than my licence allowed me to ride. Without a licence to ride the scooter the insurance became invalid. I then only had 2 choices – restrict the scooter again OR take a CBT (Compulsory Basic Training Test). If you’re wondering, yes I thought about some of these implications before I de-restricted it, but didn’t think it through fully.

I opted to take the CBT and when I’d done that I found out it was only valid for 2 years at which point I would have to retake the test again. At a £100 per time and on the knowledge it’d probably get more expensive and more difficult each time, I thought sod it, and booked up the full test so I could ride whatever I like, whatever size engine, whenever I like. Only I was planning on keeping the scooter.

Something takes a hold over you when you start learning to ride a big motorbike. That big heavy bastard that you can barely prop up with two feet when stood still turns into a featherweight that floats around corners and weaves around cars on the dual carriageway with the tiniest twist of your wrist. Liberating to say the least.

Once I had that Pass certificate in my hand I wasn’t desperate to go and get a big bike, although suddenly it felt like there was a little clock ticking away the weeks of good weather left before biking wouldn’t be much fun for the winter. And if I left it the whole of winter before riding again perhaps I’d lose confidence and not be able to ride as well as I could before. Fortunately Wil has a motorbike which he brought back from his weekday lodgings in Watford so that I’d have something to keep my hand in whilst he gave it a much needed service. But then came the time when he needed to take it back and he suggested we get me my own bike. And there it was – the sinking realisation that my little clutchless, gearless scooter was not going to cut the mustard in terms of scratching big biking shit itches.

The only bikes that took my fancy were pre 1975 Cafe Racer style bikes which were altogether too expensive, unreliable and too much trouble for a non-dedicated non-fancier of bikes. Gently coaxing carburetors for hours on end after the bike has been stored all winter is not on my list of crap to mess with, neither is having my leg kicked off its swing joint by a punchy kickstart attached to a larger engine. That’s when I stumbled across a modern replica of an old bike. A Moto Guzzi V7 Classic.

Having just passed my test, buying a brand new bike is possibly the stupidest thing I’ve ever done. I have no justification for this other than what I should do clearly takes a back seat to what I want to do and with a boyfriend who just about scrapes through every day fending off two-wheeled addiction like Amy Winehouse struggles with coke – there’s no one here telling me no. When I finally come to a shaky stop at a traffic light or stall whilst just about mid-turn around a corner and send the shiny awesomeness scraping down the road on its chrome the world will come to a halt whilst I cry my eyes out at the side of the road. It’s gonna happen, until then I’ll just enjoy it.

For the record – I kept the scooter. If I took that out of the garage, it’d only give Wil space to put another in it’s place!

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Absolute Bastard

I’ve just spent the afternoon helping syphon 13 litres of petrol out of Wil’s Suzuki Bandit motorbike tank. He filled up at Morrisons this morning and by the time he got home his bike was about to self destruct. Smoke was pouring out of the exhaust and it was running hard on 2 or 3 cylinders.

After taking the carbs apart the decision was made to drain the entire system down and replace the fuel and that’s where I sat for the remainder of the afternoon. Kneeling at Wil’s feet while he held the tank I offered up can after can to the small trickling spout underneath the tank trying to catch it all. Repeatedly having it run down my arm and on to the floor and the fumes… jesus, the fumes. I swear after the 3rd can pink monkies started floating around the garage.

Each drip of fuel that hit the floor felt like losing a cup full of liquid gold – the sound of a cash register ‘cha-chinging’ echoed around the room.

The best bit is – it’s still not running properly, looks like more pink monkeys tomorrow then.

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