Joining the singles club
Sue Scaysbrook discovers a new side of motorcycling... My riding experience goes back to when I was a teenager and saved long and hard to get my first bike, a Honda SL175 twin. That was a great little bike, but I wanted more power, more speed! Eventually, after working two jobs and saving hard, a brand new Honda CB500 Four was mine. I’ll never forget picking it up from Sid Smart’s Hondaland in Chatswood where I bought it from the cute salesman Brian Martin. That bike was my daily ride for several years, and decades later, after it was long gone, Jim found a virtually identical one in Queensland and bought it for me. That was about 15 years ago and after a restoration the CB500 has taken me on lots of rallies plus many laps of the circuit at the Broadford Bonanza. At the same time I had a Ducati 696 Monster as road transport. Up till now, all my bikes have been fours or twin – with the exception of a brief experience with a nasty little Honda two stroke 125 single. Last year, during a trip to New Zealand, Jim picked up this Honda GB500 – in a very fetching aubergine colour, and with an electric start. That quickly became his latest restoration project and as it came together I began to take rather a shine to it – so much so that I claimed it! I told Jim he already had a Velocette Sportsman so he didn’t need another 500 single, and this one was mine. Well, the restoration has recently been completed and it was time to try it out, which I did on the recent Easter Bathurst Rally. Wow, how good is this! As light as a feather, corners as if on rails, stops on a sixpence and the way it pulls up a serious hill is awesome. I am also beginning to understand that there is a definite technique when it comes to riding big singles, coordinating the revs, gearbox and clutch is different to fours and twins. I now understand just why big singles have such a devoted following. Oh and did I mention the exhaust note? Music to my ears! Are we really allowed to have this much fun!
Sue giving her GB500 the berries up the steep hill near Sofala on the 2019 Bathurst Easter Rally.