It’s my bike: Dale Ruther­ford

Classic Motorcycle Mechanics - - BUYER'S GUIDE -

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!

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