Hello everybody, Jock here!
After some 15 years off bikes, I have at the young age of 54 decided to get back on.
Old story: gave up my XJR1300 when the 1st sprog arrived. Now they are able to stand upright and feed themselves (in a fashion) I have some time and disposable income again.
So I’ve sold my beloved Defender (186,000 miles, not bad) and gone for the most beautiful creation I have ever seen… a black/white Bonneville 1200 Speedmaster.
I picked this beauty mainly because:
- I’ve always liked muscle/naked/classic bikes, and I think this machine is (visually) perfect
- It’s a relaxed ride, and I am too old for any hooligan capers, this girl needs treated like a lady so less of a temptation to “get my knee down” like I used to in my stupid days
Now… to be honest, I had my reservations. I thought that if sitting on the bike felt wierd, or I just pussied out, then I’ll walk away. But when I sat on her, it felt 200% right. It just felt great. All doubt vanished instantly. She felt nice, good low centre of gravity which makes the 250kg feel like half that, nicely positioned bars, everything was just perfect, instantly.
More honesty… I am not scared of getting on her, but I do have a healthy respect and realise that some caution is probably needed. Everything I have read says these cruisers are very easy to get to grips with, and a very easy ride, but at the end of the day it’s been over 10 years.
I’m collecting on Saturday, weather permitting. I don’t want my first ride after all this time to be in pissing rain and wind, so I will wait for a window. First ride will be back home, which is about 10 miles in built-up 30/40 zones, then 10 miles in A-road 50 limits. The wife will be following me in the car, laughing/judging as appropriate.
I’ve never had a Triumph before, as a kid of the 70s the Japs were what it was all about. My older mates were tearing around on them while the Nortons seized up on corners and threw their riders off.
First bike was an XS250. Great ride, loved it, parted with her when I tore the rear can off banking round a bend. Traded her for a Yam FRZ600 which I also loved, but put round a lamp post and was very luck to walk away. I rebuilt her, then she got stolen. Maybe a good thing. I almost killed my mate in that accident, he was in A&E for 6 hours during which time we thought he had a broken neck. That experience changed my outlook on riding forever.
Insurance money got me a cracking GPz900 which I rode for years without incident. Long wheelbase, relaxed 4-cylinder, did many miles round the highlands and lowlands of Scotland. I then hung up my helment for 3 years before moving to London and buying a 1200cc Bandit. Rode that bike to work for a couple of years until I had enough money to trade up to a split-new XJR1300, which I also rode around London, to Scotland, around France… fantastic machine. Endless torque from that gorgeous air-cooled 1300cc bullet-proof motor. Sold her when sprogs arrived.
So there we have it guys. Am I completely insance getting on this Speedmaster or only partially insane? I found the gearchange reflex coming back straight away, and the clutch was easier than a paid of crochet scissors.
I can’t say how much I am looking forward to climbing on and riding her home. She’ll be looked after in the garage, thanks to a recently hired skip and a day of clearing out with my eyes closed. Nothing left but space for my new girl. Photos will follow.
Any advice really welcome, and I look forward to chatting with you guys in the futures.
All the best!