Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Water-pumping Dukes

Both these pics were taken by my daughter, but are separated by a 12 years gap. First up's my first 916 from the "accident damage" era (when Ducati put hardy any graphics on their bikes) taken early one Sunday morning. Kids get you up the instant it's light, so I used to do my family duties and ride down to 3X motorcycles in the days' when Mizzi's burger van lived outside and they opened Sundays. Usually the first customer, I'd have a bacon butty, eyeball what's new and ride home in time to cook lunch. 3X will tell you they stopped opening Sunday because they never sold any bikes - not true, I bought loads but over the phone a few days later. Denied my Sunday rides, my business went elsewhere.

I was lucky enough to own most water-cooled Dukes from the ST2 to the 999 (no, I'm not minted - bikes are the only thing apart from family I spend money on) right up to the Monster S4RS, photo'd by daughter hanging out of the car. Fab bike, although poseurs please note - of all the bikes I've owned my wife thinks the best looking by far was a 600 Monster Dark; "Not trying too hard, and looks like Steve McQueen would have ridden one." Can't really argue with that.

A chance stumbling over John Fallon's website got an old itch going, and I ended up buying a bevel 900SS (back when they came for sensible money). I was a bit non-plussed with it initially (riding position felt like sitting on the toilet and trying to grab a loo-roll that's just out of reach), but then something odd happened. My wife arranged for us to go on the 2006 Motogiro and I was sold on classics. Some folk say it's an expensive/selfish/perverse holiday, but what price a life changing experience? There's just 24 hours to book at the discounted rate of 1100 euros, which will buy you a completely fresh perspective on life. And when was the last time you saw one of those for sale at any price?

No comments:

Post a Comment