This fascination with wheels


††††††††† Iíd had bikes way back when I was a teenager but like a great many of us had moved onto 4 wheels.I acquired an early BSA Bantam from an ex student in Ď77 for restoration but the real return to two wheels came in 1980, not long after Iíd had a go on a friends CB550 F2.I hadnít realised just how much they had changed - so smooth and quiet! and as is often the case, my mortgage was decreasing and my salary increasing and so I took the plunge and bought a new CB250N superdream.This would be big enough to do anything I wanted and easily carry me over the Pennines to Hull to visit friends and relatives, wouldnít it?,after all I had fitted Sigma panniers to it.Three months and 3000 miles later I traded it in and came home on a new CX500 and actually got £10 more for the 250 than I had paid, such was inflation in the early 80ís.These same Sigmas went onto this bike also and I added a top box from the same company.I put over 35,000 miles on that bike in 3 years with quite a few trips to Holland and Germany, having really been bitten by the bike bug especially for long distance touring. 



††††††††† I always believe in regular oil and filter changes on any machine and this has paid dividends over the years, never having the troubles with vehicles that some people report.The simple truth is that £3 worth of fuel will carry you 40 or 50 miles (on a big bike anyway) whilst £10 worth of good oil will take you 4000 miles - cheap isnít it?†† The trusty CX made way for a new VF750SC (the shaft drive one) in Ď83, with those panniers again! but this time I fitted a Rickman fairing too.At around this time I had met Christine, my wife to be and we had many trips on this bike, to Austria, Italy and many times to Holland and Germany.All of the talk of chocolate camshafts never seemed to affect it but they were changed early in its life under warranty and it too went on to cover over 35,000 miles up to 1988.



††††††††† The next phase started when we had decided to go shopping one Saturday for a pair of jackets for summer use on the bike, when our path was blocked in the dealers showroom by an immaculate 1200 Gold Wing Aspencade with 3000 miles on the clock.During a retreat to a local pub we chatted about the Wing over lunch and Chris said that if we were going to change the VF, then she would be more than happy to have a bike which had so obviously been designed with a passenger in mind.Enough said, we returned to the dealers and bought the bike--- but not the jackets!Unfortunately the Wing was written off later the same year whilst we were on holiday in Austria, by a wayward 205 GTI.We lived to fight another day and replaced it with a brand new 1200 Aspencade, which took us to all manor of foreign parts during our 50,000 mile and 10 year ownership.† 


This is the Twilight Beige Aspencade the day we picked it up new from Brian Knott (Blue Ridge) in Cheshire in November 1988


    We eventually succumbed to the charms of a GL1500 Wing which has taken the two of us on even more adventures and me to Norway last year, up beyond the Arctic circle and round to the Russian border, returning through Finland and Sweden.



Although it looks like snow (which we did ride on) it's just a poor picture culled from a video and is actually tarmac.

††††††††† During these biking years I have also been collecting various other machines from the big H stable such as 3400/4ís plus 2 spare engines, a CB72 and a CB77, a very early 75 GL1000 Gold Wing, a 79 CB750FA and more recently a 79 CBX 1000Z. Most of the them are in use from time to time and whilst they are not in concours condition, they are very presentable and I am always looking to improve small aspects of each one, but still allowing them to be ridden.Only the 400/4ís are non runners (well one does, but only with a bit of coaxing) and I have collected a great many now obsolete new parts, so that eventually I can make at least one very nice example of these.Itís only this year that I have even thought about joining the VJMC and that was entirely due to Mel Watkins, during a phone call for info about the CBX riders club.I suppose what I have been doing, although not intentionally, is collecting at the right price, the raw materials for my eventual retirement, when time should be plentiful but money perhaps scarce.

††††††††† One or two other Hondas have also passed through my hands over the years and these include a C70 step through (which my wife passed her test on) a CB125 TDC, a CD250U and a tidy CB250 K4.

††††††††† I suppose the sensible thing to do now would be to catalogue all of the parts and bikes which I donít really want and swap/sell them to get bits for the others which I need.

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