Damian Smith 1996 Thundercat
Looking a gift horse in the mouth
ONCE, WHEN I was treated like a human being on another magazine, I had a beautiful brand-new Yamaha Thunderace. Until it got nicked. Now I’m the proud borrower of this Thundercat. But I’m not going to allow myself to believe I’ve been in any way downgraded. Even though it’s got three million miles on it – and even at that I’m sure it’s been clocked.
It’s all there, just needs a tidy up, a lick of paint here and there (ie just about everywhere) and it’s good to go. Well, that’s what they keep telling me so it must be correct. Despite having a true 60,000 miles on it, the engine sounds sweet, it carburates nicely and the deal is chain and sprockets for certain and a thorough safety check and major service too. Because my so-called friends at Practical Sportsbikes will help me do it, I’m very much looking forward to getting my hands dirty (they told me to say), although I’m hoping to avoid that by ‘art directing’ the story, because my job is, after all, art editor.
This means I’ll wander around pointing to things using phrases like, “Give me more Alan” and, “Yes Jim, I’m feeling it” or maybe, “That’s not what I need Mark. Not at all.”
Then, when they’ve done the considerable hard graft needed to give me free transport, I’ll treat them with utter and deserved contempt, like I usually do. What I’m really after is a plastic duck bonnet mascot for my BMW estate car.
I like motorbikes but I’m not actually prepared to put any effort into fixing one, so it’s lucky that they are. Thanks readers, I knew you understand.
A look of innocent delight – for now
Light remedial work required