It’s my bike: Dale Rutherford
It was 1989 and I finally convinced my mum that I needed a bike. I was ‘big boned’ and couldn’t see myself on a 50 so started shopping before my 17th. The choice was varied but then there it was: a 1988 CB125 TDJ in black with only 26 miles on the clock! I eventually got my dream bike for £1100 and couldn’t believe my luck. The TDJ was the last version of the bike produced and differed from the TDC in that it has the alloy wheels, CV carburettors, a better paint scheme and a clean silver engine instead of black. The little brother to the 250 Super Dream it feels like a much bigger bike than most 125s and I felt like a king of the road, I even got nods from ‘real’ bikers before they noticed the L-plate. My dad took me pillion to a driver training centre in Sheffield where I could practice on real roads before my birthday; then I was free. The bike is a dream to ride. One touch of the starter and she purrs into life and runs like a sewing machine with little vibration unless really revving hard. The handling is perfect and I can honestly say I never once had a scare that was the bike’s fault, only my own! The next year was spent planning to take my test and going everywhere in the saddle until a kind man T-boned me in a junction. I was luckily just badly bruised but in tears at the state of my bike. Bent frame downtube, caved in tank, headlight, engine casings etc. It was all repaired and after a Dream Machine paint job she was as good as new and has remained so since. The only hiccup was after a long period of storage we spun the engine and the valves had stuck! I loved this bike when I first saw it aged 16 and now at 45 I still think it’s a work of art and I will keep it as long as I am around!