What a difference a year makes

What a difference a year makes

Some people start the year with a New Year Resolution, others reflect on previous year or years, some even think of lost one’s all admirable and timely at the beginning of the year. I”m human as well and as a motorcyclist  I think of bikes I have disposed of and of course new acquisitions 2021 was such a year with Covid-19 locking us down to concentrate at what was important or needed and what wasn’t, I seriously thought of what’s practical in the shed hastily added to what’s needed for someone approaching 70 (gasp) the same with motorcycle clubs the whole lot needed a review .


In 2018 I decided I had a lot of Indians that I wasn’t using including a 2015 Scout and a 500cc 741 including a 1947 Chief, and the factory prototype Indian Vincent, that needed culling there all well gone and a distant memory now, so was a 1973  850 Norton Commando, no regrets unlike a 750 GT Ducati I sold in 2017, sadly missed.

In 2015 a 1969 Bonneville and a 1975 T140 in 2010 left the building as well, and another 1947 Chief I had, had since 2003. In 2014 a Vincent Rapide and a 1950 Speed Twin were other losses all now distant memories.


I could go on and further back in time Velocette Thruxton x 2, a 1975 900SS Ducati (regretted) , a Vincati, Ariel Square 4, a few more Vincent twins and a Vincent Comet single including a Comet 600, 2003 Gilroy Indian Chief, a Vincent Lightening replica, Dunstall 750 Triumph, 1952 Triumph Thunderbird, BMW R60 and R69S, R100RS, 1922 and 1923 Indian Scout, AJS, and Ariel Red Hunter,etc,etc,etc

They say you should have your fill and leave a little left on your plate for maximum satisfaction I agree hence using this old adage I made sure I was well and truely finished with these machines mostly never to regret to have sold them, unfortunately that hasn’t always worked as planed hence three Ducati 750 GT’s. Some people say learning from history ensures you never repeat mistakes, well yes buying a second Velocette Thruxton after selling one 20 years earlier proved that I rode the new one less than 30 kilometres and then remembered why I sold the first one. I’m repeating history by restoring a 1950 Thunderbird after selling a 1952 version back in the early nineties same with a Vincent Comet and a BSA Goldstar as well, the Beeza is actually better than I remember the jury’s out on the T-Bird and the Comet.


What should a “Baby Boomer” be looking for now probably a Can-Am spyder 3 wheeler or even a nice sidecar outfit or a new Royal Enfield maybe the new BSA Goldstar 650 single the problem is they have to be at least 25 yo to get cheaper permit rego so $800 per annum plus insurance required a commitment to ride it regularly, so this “Boomer” bought a 1983 BMW R80RT and ripped that pug ugly fairing off and fitted a “S” bikini fairing, why you may well ask main reason it was a import with less than 30,000 miles on it and cheap $6k it’s as boring as a Toyota Camry but who cares nobody looks at a 70 yo and seriously they don’t look at anybody on a motorcycle according to statistics.


Some of my good mates have had serious health issues and their motorcycles are in a limbo with hope their owners will be back in the saddle soon, others are no longer with us and their family has disposed of their treasures still others after months of lockdown are looking at other hobbies but then hopefully the machines go to a new group to ride them till we are banned off the road and all have electric vehicles.


Today I read that a journalist mate of mine finds a TS285 Suzuki appealing, as I have said I like small bikes but when they compete capacity size with my lawnmower I find them unattractive, 400cc is about as small as you need even these days unless your commuting to work in the city I think, on the weekends it’s not nice to  ride your 125cc Vespa to say  Ballarat with your mates on larger machines otherwise you may get reported to RSPCSM (Royal Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Small Motorcycles)

Phil Pilgrim 2022