STOP THAT AT ONCE
I’ve got a bone to pick with you lot. Consider, if you will, the following list of motorcycles which have all featured in this esteemed publication: BMW air-cooled twins of various denominations, 250 MZs, rigid Velocette MACs, AJS / Matchless heavyweight singles, Ariel Red Hunters and my own Holy Grail; the Moto Morini 3½ Strada. The list is incomplete as I have only included machines that I have owned and, of course ridden. Can you see a pattern?
They are all (in my experience) practical classic bikes that are fun to own and ride. You have been extolling these very virtues in great detail to the dear Reader over the years. Now, here’s my plea; stop it, just please STOP IT!
Here’s why I ask: I have spent 50 years, countless thousands of pounds and innumerable hours in the workshop discovering the hard way that not all old motorcycles are classic, not all old motorcycles are fun to ride and, if you pour a small fortune into restoring a machine that was dull and uninspiring when new, guess what? It will be dull and uninspiring when you finish!
And what do you do? You only go and advise people as to what is worth riding and restoring. Why can’t you just let everyone learn the hard (and expensive) way like I had to? You’re making it too easy! Some people might take a different view and commend you for providing a public service. Next thing you know, you’ll be telling people that owning a Triumph twin of a certain vintage doesn’t have to mean spending hours vainly trying to set up twin contact breaker points. Or showing them how to navigate the vast gulf between a good Commando and a bad one! Or explaining the black art of setting up a Velocette Venom to start reliably (it can be done...).
All sour grapes of course, just keep doing what you are doing to support and preserve our great pastime. Now I’ve got that rant off my chest, I need an hour or so on the Morini on the lovely Pennine roads around here to restore my equilibrium.
John Moulton, member 5592
Ah, but surely any good deeds we may have done have been amply counterbalanced by our feeble attempts to raise the value of BSA-Triumph oil-inframe unit singles? Speaking of which, did I mention how rare and desirable they are? Bound to be worth a fortune in the future. Oh yes. Definitely. Rowena