Sunday, 15 June 2014

Of moving over AND giving room...

Today was Father's day and in amongst all the busyness of going across to Manchester to visit youngest daughter yesterday and getting to do other fatherly things along with getting good lady wife to her riding lesson today I found I hadn't left much time to get a Father's Day card to my Dad. Well there was a good excuse for a ride, as if one is actually needed!.

To get to my Dad's by the most direct route I have to negotiate York's awful ringroad, generally locked up because of too many roundabouts, now even worse because of major roadworks at one of said roundabouts.

In this type of slow moving traffic many car drivers on seeing a bike in their rear view mirror, me included when I'm in the car, move over to allow room for the bike to pass. Most riders are very grateful and when safe to do so will give a wave of thanks. I am noticing more and more though, that some of these well meaning drivers are moving over but not allowing enough room between them and the vehicle in front in case the bike needs to move back in.

So, to any car drivers reading this, many thanks for your consideration when moving over to let us pass but please do give us that extra bit of room to move back in. Cheers!

Friday, 13 June 2014

And it drags on and on...

Now, we all know I think my old Triumph is great. Despite its age it looks the biz and continues to turn heads wherever I go.

The badge gets me into loads of good conversations especially with older guys who biked in their younger days on classic British bikes.

But, as is glaring obvious I have my heart set on a Harley, in particular a Softail Breakout. It has been one of the things I have focussed on over the last three and a half years since my life was changed by having a ramp crash into the side of my head. It has more often than not been a very grim period, with my life having changed quite drastically. One of the things that has made it worse has been the on-going legal issues. Money is never going to be the answer, it can never put things right, but it's the only way of getting some sort of redress. 

Of course the person who actually caused the problem is not affected by any of this, it is all handed over to faceless insurance officials and lawyers. (I will add here that my lawyer is not faceless and she has been very understanding.) The ongoing requirement for appointments, legal and medical, and endless correspondence keeps the whole horrid issue right at the forefront of the mind, a mind already badly dented by the actual incident. And it drags on and on. 

I actually believed it would be sorted and I would have my Harley on the road last year. When that didn't happen I really thought I would be riding the Harley this summer. But it drags on and on. Latest letter tells me that information required from the Army (to do with the hearing test that was part of my discharge process in 1986) should be received within six weeks. Six weeks! Summer will be almost over and still no where near an end to all this legal wrangling. Pissed off is an under-statement. 

I've got my tickets to the Bulldog Bash in August and I stupidly expected to ride a Harley there. I'd have been so chuffed. Ah well, it'll be an outing on the good ol' Triumph. Not quite the same as cruising down there though.  

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Cruisin' - I knew I'd love it...

As you will no doubt know (if you have read previous posts) owning a Harley is pretty much top of my list. Strangely I have never actually ridden a cruiser. Yes, I sat astride a Breakout at Leeds H-D but due to the wretched legal stuff re my damaged head stretching on and on I haven't actually seen the point in booking a test ride yet.

Yesterday though, I took my old Triumph to A1 Moto for a service and its MOT (for my foreign friends that's the annual roadworthiness test as required by law). I knew I was getting a courtesy bike (last time I had one it was a Triumph Street Triple which I did an earlier post about). You can imagine my delight when the guy told me I was getting loan of this little sweetie...

...a Triumph Speedmaster.

As you can see it is very much in the Harley style with drag bars and forward pegs. The after-market exhausts provided a lovely loud growl with plenty of crackle and pop when I eased off the throttle. I had great fun and I now absolutely know that cruiser style biking is for me (as if I ever actually doubted it!). 

The Speedmaster is built with quality and gives more than a nod to its heritage. The engine is an 865cc parallel twin, fuel injected and water cooled. However the injection system is hidden away in casings that are designed to look like carburettors and the radiator is small enough to be hardly noticeable. It was a joy to ride. A well balanced machine. Suspension was a little hard and the drag bars probably had me reaching too far forward, as with the Breakout in my earlier post, it would benefit from a handle bar swap for some that sweep back a little. But these are only minor critisisms. The bike was so much fun the smile never left my face.

Of course I'm not going to change my mind about buying a Harley but I certainly wouldn't mind having one of these in the stable too. It costs about nine grand less than the Breakout too.

To cap off a great day the old Triumph passed its MOT with no problems. Hoorah!