If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Thursday, 10 November 2011

A Bike A Day

Helps You Work, Rest and Play.

Here's a challenge thrown out by Trobairitz:
If you had unlimited funds and could have one bike for every day of the week, what bikes would you choose?
OK, after some thought (about ten seconds' worth), here is my selection.

1. Yamaha XT600E

All-purpose commuter/trailie. Old enough to be easily fixed on the driveway, and also old enough not to grieve the owner if it's dropped or (God forbid) stolen. 55 mpg and will keep going through anything. A post-holocaust bike. Also cheap. Of the seven, this is the one that would get ridden every day.

2. Triumph Sprint ST 955i

Yes, my other bike, which only goes to show that I am happy with my choices. So far. Comfortable for long rides, handles well enough, can take pillions and luggage. 150 mph performance is substantially in excess of anything I would ever use, but that's a comforting thought in itself. But best of all, that triple motor - torque in massive gobs from idle to redline, and that howl when it gets on the cam ...

3. Harley-Davidson 1200 Sportster

For sunny days when I don't need to be anywhere in a hurry. I've never really 'got' the cruiser thing, but it would be a shame not to dip a toe in. I'd have the standard model with the centre controls, though - my back wouldn't stand the feet-forward position of the Custom, and I don't get that whole splayed-out thing.

4. Yamaha XT660Z Tenere

The modern version of (1), with a bulletproof 660 water-cooled single motor and a small screen. This is for 'adventure touring', by which I mean anything off the beaten track. These bikes have circled the world and been up the Himalayas, and seem to be, if anything, tougher than the 600 they replaced. I had the 660R briefly (the trailbike version) and the motor is just about enough. Fit it with huge panniers and strap a tent on the back, and off you go.

5. Moto Guzzi T3

A big, lazy 850 from the 70s, here to indulge my love of Italian bikes and retro at the same time. Not fast, but lazy and long-legged (the Italian nickname is Gambalunga), and an addictive vibe. But not, in any sane world, one's only bike.

6. BSA B30 rigid

My 'classic', and something to fettle when the other bikes are all running well. A true Brit.

7. Suzuki GSXR1000

Insanely fast. Just for the giggles. I would probably sell it after three months and indulge my love of strokers with a Yamaha RD350LC, which would be about as practical and twice the fun, but everyone needs to own a Gixxer at least once. Perhaps.

Ask again in a week's time. I will have changed my mind. Probably.

All pictures nicked shamelessly from the web.


  1. ...are you allowed to choose your current bikes?

    I like the XT, the latest model providing ample leg room for my 99.95% percentile vertical length. Unfortunately, as you know, I like ABS too - the new XT is offrered in Europe with ABS but not here in UK.

    No scooter? They can be had with ABS too....

  2. Ah the old Moto Guzzi T3 - That takes me back to pre BMW days when I had a Moto Morini 350 Strada. Nice engineering, but truly dreadful paint & chrome! The silencers started rusting the first time I rode it in the rain (it was 2 weeks old!).

    I got sick of greasing chains, and trying to kickstart it fast enough for the electronic ignition to produce a spark. That's why I treated my self to the R65.

    P.S. Regarding your recent SMIDSY post, you might like to pop over to Max Farqar's gaff.

  3. Some nice choices you have their Richard. Thank you for playing along.

    And I completely agree, the list will change. At this point I am re-thinking some on my list and it was only a few days ago.

  4. Spoilt for choice, eh?

    I've had a sneaking respect for the Buell XB12S

    Logical engineering - mass kept low, underslung silencer, belt-drive, large-diameter rim-mount front disc, oil-in-swinging-arm. 1200 grunt in a 600-size wheelbase.

    However, fuel-in-frame is form over function due to limited volume so range is pathetic.


  5. Well chosen. I have been on an XT a few times, alas after falling over a few times I noticed my legs are too short...
    Nice to see another Sporty listed.

  6. @Sonja

    The BMW F (or G now) 650GS is a girly version of the XT! That's why I bought one for Mrs N...And it has ABS (Sorry Richard)

  7. If it's not too late to nominate another, try this - but I'm unsure what category it'd be in.

  8. Niko - nobody said I couldn't choose my current bikes, so I did. A reflection of how happy I am with them, or lack of imagination, or something.

    And I have been very clear that I have no objection to ABS - only to it's being compulsory :)

    Microdave - you possibly remember I used to have a V50, and loved it. The T3 is just the same bike with a less feeble motor. I love the style and the engineering, although I concur about the quality of the ancillaries :) Ref the video clip - that's sorry, mate, but I saw you very well indeed.

    Trobairitz - good idea for a post, and thanks for the idea. My list changes almost daily. Sad, isn't it?

    Joe - Buell, and a jet bike? You must like living dangerously :) I can see the point of the Buell, all very logical, but it has never captured my imagination, and stimulated the 'want' gland.

    Sonja - the XT has the lowest seat height of all the bigger trailbikes, but I can appreciate that it is by no means a lowrider! I have to say that the Sporty is the only HD that I think is a good-looking bike, and I would love to own one for a while, but I am not sure it could ever be my only bike.

    Thanks to all for the comments.

  9. i love the gixxer's as well

  10. I love the *idea* of them. Not sure the old back would take the riding position for long, though :)

  11. I thought the V50 was in a similar vein to the BMW R45/65 series that I had - a slightly scaled down version of the R50/60/80/90/100's. Although I did ride fathers R100, I had to be very careful where I pulled up, as I could only just get both feet on the ground!

    The R65 had a different frame, forks and swingarm, 18" front wheel & shorter stroke motor, so was also narrower than fathers bike. The 450 version was terribly gutless, but the 650 engine was fine, and redlined at 7500rpm (IIRC). It was still a very flexible engine, but obviously not quite the stump puller that a pair of 500cc pots were capable of.

  12. The V50 wasn't gutless, although it was no fireball either. Power of a decent 250 in a 250-size frame, so capable of good progress, but in a relaxed and long-legged way. The handling was amazingly good, and let it keep up with much bigger bikes in the twisty bits.

    Stump-pullers I like, so it would have to be the R100 for me. I liked the style of the R100R, personally.


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