My Motorcycling History

I have been riding motorcycles on the road since I was 16 years old (1975). Like many others, I had ridden stripped down bikes off-road prior to that.

My first bike was a Honda P50 moped (1968 model I believe). I purchased it for 13 pounds and 50 pence (UK sterling).  I have never seen a Honda P50 since I passed mine on.  It was an odd little bike with the engine mounted on the rear wheel and the fuel tank incorporated in the rear carrying rack. However, it was my first bike so it holds a soft spot in my heart.

My next bike was a brand new Motobecane (Mobylette). It was a double seater, red with white leg guards. I bought the bike on a hire-purchase agreement and paid for it using money I earned working as a window cleaner on weekends. Whilst riding that bike year-round, I learned the hard way how slippery ice can be on corners!  I have to say that I laid that bike down a few times due to ice and snow but it gave me a basic grounding in riding skills.

When I was 17 years old, I purchased my first true motorcycle (not a moped). This was a 1975 Suzuki GT250 - the 'Ram-Air" version with an air intake on top of the cyclinders.  I really loved that bike! It was my year-round transportation as well as a source of fun and excitement. I had my first real motorcycle accident (and hopefully my last) whilst riding the Suzuki.  A van side-swiped me and sent me sliding across the ground. I had a broken toe and road rash but all I could think about was my precious bike, laying broken on the ground.

During the time that I owned the Suzuki, I also began to attend a number of motorcycle rallies throughout England. Due to the distances involved, I went to the rallies as a passenger on my buddy's Honda CB750. Getting a larger bike for myself was always at the back of my mind from the time I bought the Suzuki.

The Suzuki continued to be my daily transportation until about 1979 when I learned to drive a car.  In order to buy my first car, I had to sell the bike.  I moved from car to car for a few years and there was no bike in my life (only because I couldn't afford to run a car and a bike). Then, in 1984, I moved to Bermuda where I was destined to be reunited with two-wheeled vehicles, albeit small ones!

I have owned a motorcycle since arriving in Bermuda, but I haven't really felt like a motorcyclist for most of that time due to the legal restrictions governing motorcycles.  Until a couple of years ago, motorcycles were restriced to 100cc in engine size. As a result, my first two successive bikes in Bermuda were Honda 90 Cubs. The second Honda 90 was replaced by a Piaggio Sfera scooter. I sold the Piaggio in January 2004 and my motorcycling renaissance began.

Changes in the law the year before sought to replace two-stroke bikes with more environmentally-friendly four-strokes.  To facilitate this, the maximum permitted engine capacity was increased to 150cc. Whilst still small by international standards, this amendment allowed the importation of bikes that at least resembled their larger brethren.  The new imports looked like real motorcycles and riding them seemed closer to riding 'the real thing'. In January 2004 I purchased a Honda VT125 Shadow (click here to visit my Honda Shadow page). Riding the Shadow brought back the feelings I had enjoyed as a teenager riding my Suzuki. Riding the bike to work each day was suddenly enjoyable again. My love of motorcycles was rekindled.

In July 2004 I rented a Harley Davidson Road King whilst on a trip to Denver (click here for photos). That was the largest bike I had ever ridden and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Large bikes were again featuring in my thoughts! I wanted that larger bike that I had always thought I would own someday but there was a problem.  Bermuda's laws would not allow me to own one.  Then I realised that wasn't strictly true.  Bermuda law prevented me from licensing a bike over 150cc but didn't prevent me from owning one.  The seed was planted in my brain.  Perhaps I could buy a bike from the 1970's - the days of my youth. After all, they are collectible classics now. Visits to e-bay soon revealed that Honda CB750s were available in abundance and the more that I looked at the photos, the more I wanted one.

By June 2005 I had received permission from Bermuda's Transport Control Department to import a classic bike as a collectible item. By 10th June I had purchased a 1980 Honda CB900 Custom via e-bay (see my CB900 section for details and photos). The extent of my desire to own this bike was revealed when I decided to clear out three large aquariums from my garage in order to house the bike - as fish-keeping has been my most notable hobby for years.

In July 2005, I travelled to Fort Worth, Texas, and rented a Harley Davidson Electra Glide for three days (the heaviest bike I have ever ridden at about 740 pounds). That was lots of fun and without doubt the highlight of the 8 day trip - even beating out two New York Yankees games! 

Later in July, I travelled to Belfast, Maine, to collect my CB900. I rode it 465 miles to Newark where I delivered it to the shippers.  Since it has been in Bermuda I've undertaken a few maintenance and upgrade projects that are all detailed on this website.  Of course, I sometime get frustrated at not being able to ride the bike very often but I am deriving pleasure from owning and working on the bike. The waiting makes those special occasions even more enjoyable!

In March 2007, I was elected as President of the Bermuda Classic Bike Club and I hav been working since then to arrange events where our members can show off their bikes. There are photos of some of our events on this website.

Later in 2007, with an increasing interest in classic bikes, I purchased a 1973 Honda CB125 K5 that had not been started in 10 years. I have done a fair amount of work on it to get it back into decent shape. Information on the CB125 project are available on this website.

In August 2007, I rented a Honda ST1300 for a week and rode through the Smoky Mountains on the Blue Ridge Parkway and then spent some time in Robbinsville riding the Dragon and other nearby. Photos and details of the trip are available on this site.

In December 2007 I sold my Honda Shadow and subsequently bought a used (2004) MZ RT125 as my daily rider.

In March 2008, whilst on a trip to Las Vegas, I took a one-day motorcycle tour to the Valley of Fire, Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam riding a 2006 Triumph Bonneville T100.

In April 2009 I bought a 1961 Triumph Tiger Cub T20SL. The bike had been unlicenced and sitting in a shed for five years but was soon cleaned up and licenced.

In August 2009 I bought a 2007 Honda Titan to replace the 2004 MZ RT125 as my daily rider. For a short time, I owned five bikes at the same time. The MZ was sold in September, taking me back to a total of four bikes. The Honda Titan can be seen at this page of my site - Honda Titan

The bike collection is now shrinking! In order to buy my Land Rover for an expedition, some of my 'toys' have to go. The 1962 Triumph has been sold and my 1980 Honda CB900 is currently on the market.

My Motorcycling History