At 51 my motorcycling career started late. It was great fun doing the course with Easy Rider (click here). Rob Wilson, who runs Easy Rider, was my mentor, and he did a very good job. I promised him that I would not to buy a Gold Wing but had great fun trawling the bike showrooms for just the right bike for me. After much research I decided on a brand new Yamaha Diversion 900.
Yamaha Diversion 900
I wanted a shaft drive and long-distance tourer. The Yamaha Diversion was just the job. It gave me 10,000 miles of reliable riding and then a courier rider from London made me an offer I couldn't refuse. My next motorcycle was a Kawasaki Vulcan VN-1500.
Kawasaki Vulcan VN-1500
This was one heck of a bike. It was not brand new, but it was in very good nick. It was a beautiful chromed thumper. The paintwork was cream and green. The engine only fired every other lamp post, and of course had bags of torque. The bike made a statement wherever it went. It had only 4 gears, but one could sit on it in comfort all day long. I passed my Institute of Advanced Motorcycling (IAM) test on this bike. After the test the policeman examiner asked me whether I was interested in selling the bike. I said, "I might be." His brother-in-law came round an bought it straight away. Why did I sell it? Because I wanted to buy a brand new BMW R1150 GS which I had test ridden a day or two previously.
BMW R1150 GS
This was a great bike. The colour was Mandarin yellow.I bought the luggage and ran the bike in on my first 'overseas' adventure. This was a trip to Belgium with a bunch of other guys from my local IAM club.
It rained incessantly on that trip and we arrived totally drenched at our hotel in Ghent. But it was a great trip and we never stopped laughing and smiling.
I was travelling very light on that trip and had even forgotten to take shoes. My motorcycle boots were on the radiator in the hotel room. Nobody seemed to mind that I was barefoot in the restaurant.
This fantastic bike and I had some wonderful French, Scottish and Wales trips. Complete reliability. It was at the BMW dealer for a service and tyre change at about 12,000 miles when I was seduced by a brand new BMW R1150 GS ADV Special Edition sitting in the showroom. BMW gave me a very fair trade-in. So this is my current (and possibly final) bike. It is perfect for me, and we have been to Wales, the Isle of Man, Luxembourg and France together. The next planned trip is Belgium and France via the ferry Hull to Zeebrugge.