Tuesday, 20 September 2011

A new toy arrives!

I went to Reading by early train this morning to collect this, 06:58 via Euston; thank heavens for the Old Git's Railcard that makes such a journey cost just over £50, as opposed to almost £300 that it would have been without.

The bike's a 14 year old but quite immaculate Suzuki F650 Freewind, and it's covered only around 6,000 miles from new. It's had one owner 'till last year, owned by a police motorcyclist since then. I rode it 180+ miles home today (through some atrocious weather in the Midlands making the heated grips most welcome). It's lovely and I got it very cheaply - a 650CC twin-spark 4-valve twin carb single (so it's got a bit o'character!). It was lovely and clean when I left Reading this morning, and filthy with motorway spray by the time I got home, so I washed and leathered it, and it's keeping the vintage Bonnie company in the garage right now.

A week or so later I've ridden this bike considerably more than a hundred miles since I rode it home 180 miles from Reading on the motorway. This later riding has been mostly in the Peak District (motorway riding tells you little about a bike) and I have confirmed that it is everything I hoped it would be. It has a high seating position so you can see over walls, hedges, and traffic, it has ample power for good acceleration, and it has lovely handling - just drops into the bends. And when opened up to enjoy the smooth power, it sounds nice too - not the muted roar of the parallel twin Bonnie, but the purposeful beat of a big single. And as I already knew from my ride up from Reading, It's also comfortable over long distances.

The picture above taken by Peter Helliwell of Wilmslow, one time revolutionary head of Lindow School, and now retired. He has a tradition of photographing his mates with any new cars or motorcycles they acquire.


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