WAY WE WERE
Bargain buys, memorable jaunts and great memories from your photo albums
These photos were taken in the early ’80s when I travelled to the Isle of Man for the first time. I had a Ducati 350 GTV parallel twin back then, but it was a pain – no power, no sound and a rubbish finish. I remember that even the BMW R50 outfit you can see here was faster than me, because I had to refuel every 120km or so – not to mention experiencing various electrical issues.
The group of us shown in the photos met by chance while queueing up at the Rotterdam to Hull ferry, as I remember it. When we landed in England, we started travelling together towards Liverpool to catch the Steam Packet ferry – but I didn’t make it. I missed the boat, for the reasons above – it was so embarrassing! I had to pay for quite a lot of beer to stop the guys laughing at me...
Finally, the bloody Duke’s engine died two weeks later on my way back home. One of the seat’s mounting bolts came loose and was inhaled by one of the (open, of course) Dell’ortos. Sadly, the photos of the completely destroyed engine are lost, but I well remember what I did with the rest of the bike – I stripped it and sold the parts for astonishing amounts of money!
After the Duke, I changed to Moto Guzzi, which turned out to be a long-term affair. I have owned several different models since then, and ridden all over Europe, including Turkey and Egypt. This year, the brave 1979 V1000 SP took me on an incident-free seven-day 2500-mile round trip through France, Devon, Cornwall and Wales.
Olaf Pobantz, Wiesbaden, Germany
ABOVE: Olaf on the Isle of Man with his recalcitrant 350 GTV
BELOW: Yes, they’re all laughing at Olaf’s Ducati
RIGHT: Olaf’s impromptu travelling companions