Dirty, noisy, dangerous!
As daft as this bike looks, it is the biggest selling motor vehicle in history (nearly 100 million sold). It gave me my first taste of freedom whilst all the other “cool” kids on the block hung around on street corners smoking and making mischief!
Norton Commando 750
I decided that I needed a bit more umphh than 50cc, so being a "fully experienced" 16 year old biker I splashed out on a Norton Commando 750.
In those days (early 70’s) passing a test on a Honda 50 qualified you to ride a 750 – without a helmet!
It was a baptism of fire swapping out my 49cc for a 750... picking it up in the rain from the dealer, down a slippery cobbled-stone street in Liverpool UK.
I remember many occasions "doing the ton" - 100 MPH - without a crash helmet.
Also, the foot brake was on the left, and the foot gears on the right with a one up 3 down shift... which was opposite to today's convention of brake on the right and gears on the left with one down 4 up as standard. On many occasions I would stamp on the brake instead of the gears!
I don’t know how, but I survived!
It went like a bullet. But after only a week it was stolen – lifted onto a van wheel lock and all by 4 yobs. The insurance company paid for a new bike, and I bought a BIG heavy chain.
In the 70’s, it was "cool" to get drunk and wheelie out of the pub car park on your bike. One day I did a spectacular wheelie impressing the patrons – when I got home I realised I had not taken the heavy chain off first. I found the chain outside the pub the next day. The wheel snapped the chain clean in two – and not a mark on the bike!
Old faithful. This water-cooled V twin was my workhorse. I ran up a huge mileage commuting (at one time 240 miles a day between London and Bournemouth on the coast) riding often at over 100mph with my feet on the back pedals and nose to the tank... and it never missed a beat.
When I first visited New Zealand 35 years ago, I hitch-hiked around the country trouble free, until I got to Blenheim on the South Island. I spent all day on the road-side without any luck.
I was opposite a bike shop, and I thought, if I don’t get a lift by the end of shopping hours, I’m going to get my credit card out and buy a motorbike! Once I bought it, I had to get my back-pack and guitar on the back, but I will never forget that feeling of escape and freedom riding out of Blenheim towards the mountainous South!
Suzuki Bandit 600
For only a 600cc with 4 carbs and 6 gears this pocket rocket was devilishly quick. The power band kicked in from around 7000 rpm and it became a monster! I bought this in the UK and transported it 12,000km to New Zealand.
The first day on it in New Zealand, I took it for a ride and took a bend at well over the 70kph recommendation.
To my horror I just about made it - then remembered my speedometer was in MPH not KPH! So I took a 70KPH bend at something near 120 KPH..... idiot!!!
Suzuki Boulevard 900cc
My current bike.
In complete contrast to the performance powerband on the Bandit, this bike has no power band at all! It starts at the same power band all the way to full speed... which kind of makes it enjoyable and relaxing.
It may be a big, heavy ungainly “ditch-finder” model! But I love it’s comfort – perfect for the hot Gold Coast climate, and Di gets the comfy seat.
Clean, quiet, but hard work!
Scott Mountain bike
No suspension, heavy, and too small for me, yet I had this bike for over 20 years! and rode it twice in the Taupo Cyclethon “Round The Lake” event – 160 Km’s! This photo at the 80Km mark in the rain… note the non-cycling apparel!
Giant Trance Zero
This was a top-notch light mountain bike with a hefty price tag to match. I initially did a lot of trail riding, but over the years used it less and less and less. Which got me thinking….
Miles of Smiles
Our first experience of an e-bike was hiring them in Tasmania. We thought… lets see what kind of bike we will ride in the future when we are old, unfit, and needing some mobility enhancements…
Well… we were BLOWN AWAY! Why are we waiting ’til we get old?!
So we “went for it”. And now just LOVE our e-bikes. Since buying them, they have completely changed our lives for the better. We use them for the tracks, shopping, stepping out for a meal, a trip to the beach, in fact, everywhere! Our car is hardly used.
My first e-bike! It looks flash, but this chinese-built ebike was cheap, cheerful, and very basic. A great introduction to ebiking, but you get what you pay for… in this case suspension which acted like springs not shocks, and the motor kicked in and out by a cadence sensor – full on or full off and not natural, and lights and brakes which were weak. Also, this bike was advertised as a powerful hill climber due to the central drive motor. I was pretty miffed when Di bought her girlie BH City e-Bike and used to blast past me on every hill! It was the start of our e-bike education into torque sensors, internal geared motors, initial surge current, hydraulic regenerative disk brakes, and all the other reasons a cheap bike cannot compare to the top end European ones.
BH Emotion Jumper Mountain e-Bike
Freedom! Our fabulous "Jumpers" have transformed our lives in New Zealand and enabled us to get to see some incredible away-from-the-crowd scenery! We love them!
We both finally opted for BH Emotion rear-hub drives for a number of reasons;-
* The hub motors are internally geared, and combined with a short power surge they pull away fast – and are great on hills.
* There are no throttles – a torque-sensor measures your effort and tells the motor to amplify your pedal effort in a natural feeling way.
* The pedals/gears/drive chain work independently of the motor – “in parallel” so that only your human effort transmits to the chain (cutting down wear and tear on chain and cogs) and the rear hub drives the wheel directly in harmony with your pedaling.
BH Emotion City Bikes
In Australia, we have opted for the City style e-bikes, as our journeys are more flat and paved. Plenty of bags for shopping!
Autonomous Tesla cars, Drone taxis, and it starts with our garden cart!
The incredible e3
Our dual electric motor lithium powered e3 trike has transformed our gardening. Living on a very steep slope with lots of trees/vegetation to manage, this beast gets the job done! Carrying tools, ladders, rubbish, soil, wood and chippings it is a joy to use.
Check them out here!