What have you bought? Ha!
IT IS ONE OF THE MOST EXCITING THINGS US old bike lovers can do; acquire a new bike. A seed of a particular model is sown, followed by copious evenings researching, reading about the history, looking for common parts with other models, asking folk what to look for and what to avoid. Then you find one.
There follows the infamous cat-andmouse, with you playing the stoney-faced poker player as you go to view a possible purchase, giving an impression you're not really, really keen and just want to buy it. A deal is done. Getting said machine home and yet more discovery starts. Pulling panels off, listening for noises, trying it out on a ride. It's a period of extreme sensations, of excitement, of fear, of what joy is to become.
My recent experience was a little different. I'd spilled my inner feelings about the Rl00RS last month, so my research was there. Then Neville rang up: 'Found you a BMW.It's cheap, needs a few bits. I told him you'd have it'. Oh.
A cheap BMW,and an RlO0no less?
One that hasn't been turned into some city banker's idea of a cafe racer? I did some quick calculations, realised I couldn't afford to buy it, realised I didn't need it, and shot straight over to see it ...
One letter had been omitted from the description - it was an RlO0RT,not RS.There, in front ofme was the full-on, barndoor-faired version; bubble burst.
Oh, and it was an ex-police one, in white, complete with blue stickers and crashbars. To this ex-dispatch rider it was like swearing in front of mother. Oh.
Still, it's a boxer, has the briefcases strapped to the sides, rocks when I rev it and the RTis only a few panels and handlebars from metamorphosing into an RS.And I can paint. I bought it.
I'll spare you the work needed to bring it back to life, but it sailed (with that fairing you have little choice) through an MoT,taken at the same time as Nev's flat tracker. I'd ridden the long way to make sure all was okay, while Nev had ridden down the dirt lanes and through the ford, somehow losing the gear lever. Luckily,a passing Land Rover lent him a set of mole grips for a most elegant hand change!
They managed to find a lever, tested the bulb horn and we were both allowed out to play.
Since the lock up has been loosened
I've been bimbling around the coast, adjusting the carbs at the side of the road, enjoying that fairing and being on a bike that's new enough to be reliable, but old enough to have soul; to communicate with you. I may have found the happy medium. I can even carry heavy camera gear without guilt. I've spent much of my life dreaming of sports bikes, so this is a relaxed antidote; the old 'ex-job' tourer bringing a different experience to my B31, or the modern Triumph Scrambler.
Meanwhile, I've been pestering the Norton and BMWparts world and we are so lucky in this little world of old bikes to have such a good back up. All I spoke to were open, working around the issues, all had the parts I needed and considering how many of certain parts they must sell in a year, prices were reasonable. Thank you!
Elsewhere, we popped over to shoot Neville's flat tracker in the garden and Maria has been trying to get the Benelli to fire, but it isn't playing ball. The Norton is getting some love, and Nev gave me an American book about Triumph that is most interesting to look at, seeing the history from the US point of view.
Hope you're all enjoying the weather and doing what you can to keep smiling in this crazy world. We'll keep bringing you the best features we can, so enjoy themag!
Thanks for all the emails you're sending in, it's great to hear what you've been up to. Keep them coming!