A thoroughly modern quarter litre
I am new to forums, but not new to motor cycling. 45 years ago, at the age of 11, I got home from school to find my father had bought a Honda CT 90 to use on our farm in New Zealand. A few weeks later, in the school holidays, I learned to ride.
Dad showed me how to start it, how to stop, and how to put it in first gear, and left me to it. Off I wobbled on a flat piece of ground. He came back a few minutes later and asked if I had found second gear. I had not so he showed me how to change up. My training from then on was just the School of Hard Knocks, softened a little by briar bushes, mud and grass.
Off road falls come with the territory. On the road I have had only one potentially serious tumble. That was 35 years ago, when I was sideswiped by a fast moving car passing another. "Didn't even see you," said the driver. Fortunately I only suffered a few bruises, cuts and a broken finger, nothing worth going to the doctor about.
From that experience I learned the importance of positioning on the road, anticipation, and making use of eyes, ears, and mirrors to be aware of what is going on around me on the road.
I got my provisional licence a couple of weeks after my 15th birthday, and my full licence a week after that.... as was allowed in NZ at the time. Since then I reckon I have covered more than 350,000 km's in 15 countries, including about 125,000 km's in Thailand where I live for now.
I have ridden bikes from 50 to 1,200 cc, and have come to prefer lightweight, simple, practical motorcycles for day to day use. I far prefer the byways to highways, and tend to take the scenic twisty routes in preference to the fast ones. I still enjoy riding off road too.... and I love riding my bicycle as well.
I have owned several motorcycles, most of them for quite a while. I own two at the moment. In Thailand I have a 14 year-old Honda Dream (180,000 km on the clock, 100,000 of them mine. The engine was overhauled for the first time last year at at about 170,000 km). In NZ I have a 1983 Honda MB 100 that I bought in 1985. It has done well over 100,000 km's. Some young fellows use it to hack around the hills these days.
My favourite motorcycle was a Honda CB 250 RS that I owned for several years in England in the 1990's, until it got stolen. It was a great machine for day to day use, and also touring UK, Ireland and Central Europe. My pattern of work left July free, so I would bungy a tent and other gear on the back, a bag of clothes on the tank, and head off for three or four weeks of adventure.
It has disappointed me that for the past couple of decades marketers and manufacturers have focused on flashy heavyweight and sporty bikes for the "developed country" markets, and utilitarian bikes for "developing countries".
The new CBR 250 R is a breath of fresh air. It looks to be an incarnation of the CB 250 RS. What I have now suits my present needs well, but this thoroughly modern quarter litre could well be my next motorcycle if it is on sale in NZ when I return there in a couple of years.
there are old motorcyclists and bold motorcyclists,
but you seldom meet an old bold motorcyclist
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Last edited by Michael; 03-26-2011 at 12:51 AM.