Join­ing the sin­gles club

Old Bike Australasia - - 1987 HONDA GB500 TT -

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.

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