Last updated July 2020
When Does A Hobby Turn Into An Obsession ?
I've been riding since I was 17. Long before that from the age of 12 I had an interest in Motorcycles. For my 17th birthday my parents bought me a Motorcycle. A Yamaha RD200DX.
Over the years, I have owned dozens of motorcycles. In the last few I started buying old unrestored british motorcycles. Today I am fortunate. I have a choice of eight road worthy motorcycles. On reflection I didn't deliberately set off with the intention of buying so many.
Brief History Of The Motorcycles I Own Today.
I bought my Triumph Sprint 1050 to tour europe, after dipping my toe into Northern Europe
( Normandy ) on a bike that simply was not fit for purpose a SuperMotard Yamaha XT660x.
When I started to research sports tourer models ( 2010 ) IMO there were only two contenders. I discounted the BMW GS. In the final list it was between Hondas highly acclaimed VFR and the Sprint ST1050.
I rode both in various conditions, in the end I got caught up in the nostalga and heritate of the Triumph Brand.
I bought my 1600cc Thunderbird from a mate who needed some money quickly to pay a third party. It's not a bike I'd have chosen out of the showroom, but I have over the years come to appreciate just what 1600cc's feels like to ride. it's certainly a competent and powerful cruiser, I've taken it as far as Northern Belgium and explored the battlefields of world war one.
I bought the Kawasaki ER5 cheaply as a commuter, and winter bike, or to be used when the weather is likely to be too bad for one of my other bikes. I wish my Triumphs gearboxes were as smooth. todate ( Jan 2016 ) this small, some say underpowered bike has not missed a beat. It's easy to service, parts availability is good, and as it's based on 1980's tech ( being carb ) it's very simple to look after. Annually I change the plugs, oil and filters. I've taken it into North Wales and the south coast and throughly enjoy riding this bike.
I don't have a general preference for any one over the other, I like them all. I Throughly enjoy riding at speed and bimbling along the fenland B roads at 50mph.
Until recently I used to travel around 18,000 miles between Feb and October. Many of these miles are in Europe, I travel five to six times into Europe. On my links page you'll see the B & B's and accomodation that i recommend. Mini trip advisor.
My Kawasaki 500 - Winter Hack
This bike is a wonderfully reliable hack, bought for £500 pounds, I've owned it for around many years, and it has only required a regulator rectifier and it's carbs to be balanced. I drop the oil and filter every 6,000 miles. It's often thrown into the Garage unwashed yet has never missed a beat. I'm often out testing the GoPro cameras having an exposed frame allows the manfrotto arms to be connected easily.
1978 Triumph T140 Bonneville OIF
Bought Jan 2018, always wanted one. UK spec cake tin tank fitted. In July it had a new seat and US tank fitted.
1969 Norton Fastback 750cc
Bought in April 2020, I have wanted to own a Norton Commando. I was fortunate enough to win this motorcycle on Ebay. I plan over to the coming spring and summer of 2020 to enjoy my dream bike. Update, it is currently ( July ) away at a Norton specialist being rebuilt. I am eager to fit the new Alloy tank to this machine.
1960 BSA C15 250cc
Bought Jan 2018, only a small step up from the Bantam, but four stroke. Possibly my favourite bike ( July 2020 ) it is laid up awaiting a clutch problem to be sorted.
1966 BSA Bantam D7 3 Speed.
bought as a runner, it was anything but. I spent the next three years transforming the bike from an oily, poor running, unreliable old brit iron, into the machine you see below an early photo. It's now known as Black Betty. Last year it was ridden 1700miles. It has an Australian electronic ignition, new Amal, and stainless wheels from CWC. I own several Bantams, and am slowly restoring / renovating each one.
1969 BSA Bantam - Last of the Bantams "Sunset"
Updated 8th July 2020
This bike simply delivers. I have to run her on 30:1 oil ( comma low ash ) to avoid her nipping up at 60mph. But this is my go to motorcycle when the larger classics are off the road, or the weather is unpredictable. Its typically got a rear top box fitted on a nice britax rack. i have no intention of painting her. I like the Patina. It would be relatively easy to paint her all black.
Passed its MoT yesterday, took out today 18th Oct, rode to St. Ives and then onto the Houghton Mill tearooms. Wonderful...
Update 8th October 2016 - Engine is fitted to the rolling chasis, Bones CDi has been fitted, and a new loom commisioned. Had some fun sorting the worn frame out around the centre stand, and the bike runs ! I am still hopeful to get an MoT on the bike this year, I will be running it "as is" until funds and circumstances change that allow me to continue. On the short runs along the private road it's certainly very different from the D7. I do need to sort some nuts and bolts out for the tank, and the centre frame bolt. But good progress is being made.
Background to the B175
Encouraged by their simplicity, and their affordable price. Over the last couple of years I've bought several Bantams. As Black Betty nears completion I was looking for another project. This came up at the right price, and this is the project for Autumn and Winter 2016. I've decided that due to the sucess of the D7 and the Bones CDi, I've decided to fit a Bones to the B175. Progress is being made, and the Photo below was taken the day I collected the bike, engineless. The B175 Engine was bought from an Ebay advert and does appear to be in good condition. See the galleries for better pictures.
3rd Bantam "18th June 1965 D7 - Single Switch"
Currently being rebuilt to fund the respray of my B175. This bike, due to the re-registration process that a lot of people ask me about has its dedicated page. You'll find a link on the left.
1951 BSA Bantam D1
Bought because I always wanted one. It's my 2019 project. Feb 2020 - completed basic build late Feb 2020. Its currently having a loom made, and will soon be ready for sale. I say this slightly tongue in cheek. I will probably keep for the summer of 2020 and investigate the possibility of getting it one colour.