Seeing my first proper motor bike again.


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This morning on my facebook page a picture posted by Colin Barnes came up on my feed and there before me was a photo of my first love. I’m sure Colin won’t mind me posting his picture here. There was no mistaking the first big bike I had when I was 16, a glorious BSA Rocket Gold Star engine in a Norton Featherbed frame. I exchanged messages with Colin and confirmed beyond doubt it was indeed the bike that I had. I had played with motor bikes from being about 10 or 11 when I swapped a pedal bike for an inappropriately named NSU Quickly moped and was later given an Ariel Leader by a neighbour when I was about 14. This I swapped for Lambretta which was the first bike I had legally on the road. As I'd been riding for years I put in for my test as soon as I was 16 and took my bike test a few weeks or so after I turned 16. I only had the Lambretta a few weeks and part exchanged it for a Honda 175 but on a visit to Needhams I saw this BSA/Norton and was in love so I sold my soul borrowed some money and bought it. It was a beast and I was only a few months turned 16.  When it was on song it really flew. I was tall but skinny and it was a handful. The seat came unfastened once so I held it down with my belt on the two pegs that fitted in holes on a frame strap to stop it sliding back. I was with a mate, Colin on the back and went on the A52 to give it a blast. The roar from those short mega silencers was deafening. I kept shouting the speed to my mate on the back and he kept shouting something back but I couldn't hear him. We got to the ton so I leaned back and shouted "100 Col" which is when I heard his terrified scream "the seats falling off" I glanced back and he did seem a long way away and glancing down I realised I was sitting on the frame tubes with the tyre only inches away. I slammed the brakes on and the seat slid forwards nearly castrating me in the process. Poor Colin had just managed to avoid sliding off my a fraction. We laughed after though. I can't recall how much I paid Needhams for the bike but I do remember the insurance was 160 quid as I was only 16 which was an absolute fortune in 1971.

I actually feel quite emotional seeing this again as I don’t have any pictures of it. Never in my wildest dreams would I have believed that 50 years after owning this bike I would be seeing an image of it. 
B6-CA6-DD7-9-C7-F-4-EF5-A443-D7-AFDF9-B8

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I always wanted a motorcycle but my parents wouldn’t let me have one. I did start a lifelong interest in sportscars though. Unfortunately I don’t have one at the moment but I do look at them online everyday. I still quite fancy a motor bike but maybe I’m a little bit past it now. I can still go round our field on a quad bike, it’s not quite the same but I can make it corner on two wheels! People must say ‘look at that silly old bugger’! smile2

 

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31 minutes ago, letsavagoo said:

I actually feel quite emotional seeing this again as I don’t have any pictures of it. Never in my wildest dreams would I have believed that 50 years after owning this bike I would be seeing an image of it. 

 

That's one of the big benefits of the internet, Facebook, Nottstalgia and all the other similar stuff. You find your past coming back in ways you never expected. Just one example - in the last couple of years I've been able to see a lot of old infants and junior school photos which would otherwise have just been vague memories.

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6 hours ago, philmayfield said:

If your interested in classic motorcycles, Spinning Wheel Classic Cars in Chesterfield have an interesting selection on their website.

They have some nice stuff but it does seem a bit overpriced by a few thousand in some cases. Still he must know what he’s doing.

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I noticed on the motorbike list was a "See Bee" outboard motor for £375. Got 15 quid when I flogged mine! :(

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23 hours ago, Beekay said:

I noticed on the motorbike list was a "See Bee" outboard motor for £375. Got 15 quid when I flogged mine! :(

Same here Beekay. I loved that SeeBee but sold it when a mate who I shared a boat with went and sold it! He conveniently 'forgot' that I owned half of it.

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