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The Life & Times of John Wheater(Farnborough, Wokingham, Downside, Bristol, Toronto, Farnham) .

John Wheater 28Jun17 (this page updated 03Nov06)

Motorcycles, mine and others.



First, here is a link to Mr Chadwick's excellent site, which includes a brief history of every British manufacturer.

And, now, a look at the motorcycles I've owned, over the years 1953 to 2004. This is a long list, gosh; but I must abjure, with feelings of inferiority, any claim to be a motorcyclist. Such a claim looks superficially feasible: I've been to the Isle of Man four times by motorcycle (Honda 400: 79 TT, BMW R75/5: missed Manx GP, Velocette Viper: part of 98 TT with Bob Cox, and Velocette Viper:98 Manx).
And, I rebuilt my Matchless G12 engine, did the forks on my AJS 18S, stripped & rebuilt (then replaced!) my BMW gearbox.
And so on...

But, ... (complex analysis to follow one day) ...

And now, the list:

  1. 1953: A 1930s Royal Enfield 150cc 4-stroke, 6.
  2. A long gap until 1960: A 1950s Lambretta 150, 100?.
  3. A long gap until 1966: A 1959? Matchless G12, 80.
  4. 1965-76: A new 1965 Vespa 90, ?.
  5. 1965-76: A pre-unit 1968? Triumph Bonneville, ?.
  6. 1965-76: A new 1975? Honda CB400 twin, ?.
  7. 1965-76: A 1953 AJS 18s, 500?.
  8. 1976: A new 1976 Triumph Meriden Bonneville 750, 800?.
  9. 1978: A Ducati V twin (very briefly), 800?.
  10. 1978: A 1972? BMW R75/5, 800?.
  11. 1982-96: A new Honda 500 single, 1200?.
  12. 1982-96: A 1970s? MZ 125, ?.
  13. 1982-96: A 1970s? MZ 250, ?.
  14. 1982-96: A 1972? BMW R65, 500?.
  15. 1982-96: A newish, perfect BMW R65, 700?.
  16. 1982-96: A new Enfield India 500, 2,000?.
  17. 1996: A new BMW K100RS, 10,000?.
  18. 1997: A new Enfield India 350, 2,000?.
  19. 1997: A 1967 Velocette Viper, restored, 3,000.
  20. 1999: A new 1999 Honda VTR1000 (stolen), 5,000.
  21. 2000: Another new 2000 Honda VTR1000, 5,000.
  22. 2003: A 1990 Honda C90, 450.
  23. 2004: A 1998 Suzuki Burgman AN250, 1500.
  24. 2006: A new 2006 Yamaha Majesty 400, 4500.

Good grief, all those bikes, and all that money - still, easy come easy go, as we contract programmers say.

And now (July 2004), at the age of 71, I'm looking round on eBay for a middle-weight in addition to the Honda 90, which I see really as a push-bike replacement (although I did ride it down from Scotland, with an overnight stop at Amy's).
(August 2004)
I 'won' the Suzuki above on eBay, picked it up 5-8-04, rode it from Halifax to Glasgow, then two weeks later Glasgow to Farnham in one 430-mile wet day. It's a new thing for me, the 'mega-scooter', in fact I was hoping at the end to be outbid. But now I find it quite compulsive, 1200 miles in 20 days. It readily does 70, and a bit more, though 65 is good cruising. The 400 version must be really quite fast.
(November 2006)
Enamoured of the Yamaha, brisk & reliable, good mpg, good handbrake. Now these scoots are getting so heavy, a reverse gear would be nice.


John Wheater - john-dot-wheater-At-gmail.com

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