From there to here……

Hi everyone,

Riding to work the last few days has been great.   The weather has been perfect, the roads aren’t too busy and its been fun to get out for a ride each day.  For the Grafton trip I’ve been going the back road and loving it.

For this week’s post I decided to take a look back at my two-wheeled experience so far……why you may ask?  Well it seemed like a good idea at the time!

As a child (like most boys) I loved cars, bikes, trucks……basically anything with an engine and wheels.

And as I grew older, that love for vehicles kept going……but motorcycles were never something that I had much experience with, other than watching them racing on TV or admiring them on the road…..until 2006 when I bought a 125cc scooter as an alternative form of transport to get to the office each day.

…..and despite reasons such as saving the environment and saving money, primarily, I was just happy to be finally riding a bike!

Here I am a few days after I got my Vmoto Monaco 125cc scooter……

Its interesting when I look at my gear in the photo….the jacket wasn’t made of real leather – it wasn’t even a motorcycle jacket at all and cost me about $30.  But it looked good!   The helmet and gloves were the only items that I purchased – $120 for the helmet at about $40 for the gloves……and I was good to go.   The need for other protection didn’t seem important at the time – I wasn’t planning on coming off!

Later I realised the benefits of proper motorcycling gear…and began accumulating the gear that I now have.

My mother was never keen on the idea of either of her sons riding any form of two wheeled vehicle……so like any good son, I went ahead and got one and then told her later!  (the above photo is taken in her driveway)

My brother-in-law had a Honda CBR1000 – a seriously quick bike that both my brother and I had been on the back of…..(for me it was a one-off pillion experience) and I still remember being told….”When I give you the signal, hang on!”………the problem was, he never told me what the signal was until we rounded a corner, he dropped down onto the tank and opened the throttle and soon we were overtaking cars down a long country road at 195km/h.

While owning the Monaco I had the opportunity to indulge in my love of bike racing, and actually get out onto a race track.   In August 2007 I attended a track night at Willowbank Raceway – and below is a video filmed by one of the other riders that was there that night.    I loved every second of time spent out on the track and learned a lot about the bike’s (and my own) capabilities that night.

Here’s the footage….

After a while the need for more power, more speed (and ultimately safety on the road) led to the purchase of a new bike.    I had upgraded my license and would be able to ride anything with no restrictions, but decided to stick with scooters, and purchased the best sports scooter available in the country…..the awesome Derbi GP1-250.

The Derbi was a great bike.  So easy to ride, it was quick, looked fantastic and provided heaps of fun each time a swung a leg over it.

The following photo was taken by me, but enhanced by Vicki.   We submitted this shot to Bikepics.com in an attempt to win the Photo of the Day competition.  Sadly we didn’t win, but I love what she has done to it.

The Derbi was ridden for about 21000km until it was sold, and although primarily suited to urban environments, it also handled highway duty for almost 2 years, and then in June 2010 the next stage in the journey began.

Initially I wanted a sports styled bike and was interested in getting a Suzuki SV650, either the S version with the small fairing or naked version…..but finding one proved difficult as they were a very popular bike and each time I found one for sale it was gone before I was able to check it out…….

Then I was told about another Suzuki that was for sale, and this one is perfectly suited for the type of riding that I do…..and the bonus was that it had the same engine as the SV650 that I had initially wanted.

It has the upright seating position that I was used to with the Derbi, it has an amazing sounding and reliable 650cc v-twin engine and its comfortable, and great fun to ride…..

The V-Strom 650 has often been critersized due to its looks/styling…..to some its just plain Ugly…..I’ll admit that the first time I saw one on the Suzuki website I initially thought that…..but a few years later (and now that I own one) my opinion has definitely changed.

Being on the Derbi generally got me a nod/wave from other riders, but now that I’m on a “real bike” it happens all the time – and I can pick another V-Strom from a distance with no problem at all.

So here it is……my Suzuki!

So that’s a quick summary of how I got from there to here…….

I hope you have a great week out on the road, enjoy the ride, stay safe and have fun!

Cheers

Anthony

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~ by anthony on November 16, 2010.

2 Responses to “From there to here……”

  1. That’s a very nice history of your motorcycling history Anthony and I always look forward to hearing about your rides. My mother was anti-bikes too and wasn’t too happy when my grandparents bought me a Suzuki 50 whilst I was still at school.

    Well, you’ve done something that I haven’t done and that’s taken a bike to a track – fantastic. A night track ride would be awesome. A track day is something I hope to address in due course. I’ve done a couple of laps of the Isle of Man TT course at dawn when we were there for the ’69 TT (when you were but a twinkle, haha) but that’s not the same as a proper track.

    P.S – I think you have the perfect bike for the daily city commute and weekend fanging!

  2. Hi Geoff,

    Thanks for the comment, always great to hear from you.

    Yes, riding on the track was pretty amazing and something I’d love to do again. That night there was everything from 50cc-125cc scooters, 80-125cc GP race bikes, Super Motards and a couple of monsterous 700cc Quadbikes. It was a great atmosphere.

    Riding the TT course would have been fantastic, the commitment that TT riders show on that road is phenominal.

    ….and I have to agree that the V-Strom is the perfect bike!

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