Some Former Toys (Back)
Cars and bikes come and go, no matter how good they might be, or how much you love them. Doesn't stop us from remembering some of the better ones, so here are a few of my former toys that I have really enjoyed.
Honda Pacific Coast
This is a bike that has long been on my wanted list, but it has taken me till now to own one. As these were never officially imported into the UK, they are extremely hard to find, especially in really good condition. After an abortive trip all the way to Essex to look at one that was not as good as it was supposed to be, I found this one in Belfast of all places. Hard to believe that this bike was made in 1990, but as it had only done a scant 9,900 miles when I bought it, it is in remarkable shape, and now all the better for some extra TLC from me. If you have never ridden one of these, do yourself a favour and discover one of the forgotten gems of motorcycling. You will gather I love it!
Harley Davidson ElectraGlide FLHT
I bought this new in 1996, with every intention of keeping it forever, so why did I sell it? It wasn't really the bike's fault, it never put a foot wrong, and was as perfect when I sold it as the day I bought it. Sadly though it is difficult to ride a Harley these days and retain a credible image, and I was beginning to feel out of place on it. Over 8 years though it retained over 60% of it's original value, a depreciation of about 4% per annum. Beat that!
Back in the late 70's/early 80's I had two of these, a green 1300, and then a new red 1500. Not only were these fantastic cars, but I was a founder member of the X1/9 Club (still going strong some 25 years on!) and some of the friends I made then are still good friends today.
After the Fiats came a run of Honda CRX's, quite simply the best fast small car you could buy at the time, and a source of huge fun. We owned a total of four of them, 2 1500's and 2 1600's, and all of them clocked up major mileages without a hint of trouble. Boy, Honda knew how to build cars in those days!
I have owned a variety of BMW bikes over the years. First and foremost was a K75S, bought new in 1991 as my first ever "new" bike, and I thoroughly enjoyed every mile on it. In retrospect it was top heavy and underpowered, but with a superbly sweet engine, and so over-engineered it will probably run forever. I also had two Boxers, and R65LS (read the story here) and an R80ST. I just recently rode the great grandson of the R80, read about it here.
I've had a smattering of Honda's two wheeled vehicles as well. I started my biking career with an NTV 600 Revere, and along the way was also a Helix (read my thoughts here), a VRX 400 and a Transalp 650.
I bought this cheaply, as a mini-bus, and converted it myself for next to nothing into a camper, and had lots of weekends travelling in it. I later added a covered trailer so I could take one of my motorbikes as well, which made it even better. I eventually sold it for a healthy price, so I'd definitely have another VW bus any day! Every home should have one I say!