OUT THE DOOR

 

OUT THE DOOR

OUT THE DOOR

As the snow continues to fall and another dose of Cabin Fever sets in time to reflect on the “empty”
workshop!  The downsizing forced on me during the great recession I have to accept as being
something that I could do little about.  The once 30 strong contingent of motorcycles various is now
much depleted, but what I do have left I will be thankful for.

One of the rooms in the AZ workshop…… all gone!

2009 was the year of the survivor and most likely without my trials hardware I would now be living in a
cave or worse. Not being one to give in machines have been “retired” to others so that food could be
put on the table. Very sad to see them go but if you are not riding them or do not see them being used
on a regular basis then its the only prudent thing to do.

Of the remaining bikes that were brought to Colorado after the mega sale to Richard the first one to be
offered up was that 520 EXC KTM. Now that was quite something and I remember ordering it from new
when money was never an issue. Like all enduro bikes it was too big at the seat height presumably
because manufacturers have never really asked riders what they actually require to get the job done.
Consequently enduro bikes are capable of leaping over 30 buses at Caesar’s Palace but are a
nightmare to ride up muddy climbs or anywhere your feet are needed to suppliment traction. Fast and
furious, yes, but as anyone will tell you who has ridden ISDT/ ISDE being airborne in unknown terrain
is not the sharpest thing to do. In my early days it didn’t take too long to realise that a crowd standing
on the top of the hill was not there to see your riding prowess, more for the delight and amusement of
watching you fall off or sail into the unknown. Of course it is true that these machines handle superbly
well along fast rutted tracks but in mud or nadgery they can be a real handful.

The 520 EXC from the Bakery…… very, very quick

With the approach of the 2009 Pre 65 Silver Jubilee Scottish Mike Buchholz bought Ossamaha, a
machine I never thought I would sell, and that more or less paid for the Scotland expedition.

A major engineering effort but it handled very well

The final road bike that I didn’t want to sell was eventually collected and I nearly cried as I watched it
being test ridden and loaded up for departure. This was my Rothman’s Racing Honda 929RR which
was a one off and a true delight to ride with predictable handling and immense power.

Had me in tears when this one went

Another Yamaha was offered up on Ebay and was soon on its way to its new owner. This was my
1977 TY250C with its all alloy finish. This bike was another joy to ride and to look at and had I not
been riding 4 strokes it would have been campaigned in the Modern Classic Expert’s Class and
would no doubt have done very well.

The very pretty Ty250C

The year moves on and now its time to rebuild my baby Glitzmobile which had been retired at the end
of the 2004 season and was in need of some main bearings. Duly completed she joined other
machines on Ebay and was soon on her way to her new owner on the East side of the country.

Baby Glitz complete with new mains ready for sale

So what was left to spanner in the workshop? All my bikes, save for my Scottish replica “53” have gone
but lurking in the corner is “Ugly Betty” the SWM Jumbo that belongs to Richard. About 6 weeks to
rebuild the wreck and when Richard comes to collect it his check book stretches further and “53” joins
his collection.

The end of an Era…. “53” joins Richard’s collection 

Well I have nothing left to sell ! All that remains is the BMW for her ladyship to glide round mountains
on, her own baby TY125 Yamaha with the chrome tank, my Superglitz TY250A Yamaha, as ridden and
signed by Mick Andrews in 2008 and my thumper collection of the Royal Enfield Don Morley Bullet and
perhaps my all time favorite the NO excuse Cub.

TONY DOWN

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