I tend to have a fairly busy interior life. I spend a lot of time thinking about things, and assessing things, and calculating things, telling myself stories, and 'reading up', and having arguments with my internal voices, without ever telling anyone what I am doing. It's probably the result of being an only child. You get used to doing things for yourself, without constantly batting ideas about with siblings and being persuaded this way and that. You consider, you make up your mind, and you act. But those around you may be totally unaware that you are considering anything at all, so sometimes the decision seems to be out of the blue, even to those closest to you. It isn't, but it looks that way.
So it is with cars, and of course bikes. I don't think I have ever consciously planned the purchase of a vehicle by reading reports, making the rounds of dealerships, test riding/driving several options, and saving my pennies for something I might buy next year. I can't do that. What happens is that an idea pops (or is popped) into my head, right into the middle of an ongoing train of thought, and I go through a rapid sequence of mental calculations:
- Does it excite/interest/intrigue me?
- Will it do what I need it to do?
- Have I got the resources to do it?
- Do I really, really want it?
- No? - forgotten about immediately.
- Yes? - right, let's do it now.
Why the Bonneville, and not a similar and perhaps more capable middleweight like a Versys or a Hornet or a Diversion? I guess I liked the looks of the bike above all. I have no emotional attachment to Triumph or even to British bikes particularly, and for a long time I regarded the 'retro' twins as ersatz and rather naff. But I like naked bikes and have a bit of an aversion to body plastics (fragile, flimsy, expensive to replace and get in the way of simple maintenance), so the simple all-metal, what-you-see-is-what-you-get of the Bonnie was rather appealing. And the test ride was the deal-maker: glorious sound from the open pipes, comfy seat and perfect riding position (remember this was only a twenty-minute appraisal), and I was hooked. Or, if not hooked, convinced that the Bonnie was a worthy way to replace the gargantuan, phenomenally-capable but bland Honda. Half the cylinders, half the horsepower, half the speed, twice the fun, as I told myself.
Fifteen months and 6000 miles later, I have obviously got a much clearer view of the bike, and I have decided that it was not the keeper I had imagined it might be. Why this should be must wait until another post, as it's gone 9 pm and I have to up at quarter to sodding five tomorrow and I am sleepy.