Tag Archives: Volty

Solo But Never Alone

More fuel? Yes, please!

It’s been a little while since my last post – sorry, guys! After getting my new wheels at the beginning of August, I’ve been out riding every spare moment and revelling in my re-discovered freedom. Volty and I have clocked up over 1,000kms this past month, exploring coastal Victoria from the gorgeous wine valleys and beachside villages of the Mornington Peninsula to my favourite local ride, the scenic and wonderfully twisty Great Ocean Road.

The novelty of owning a brand new bike really hasn’t worn off. I know it sounds silly, but my Suzuki TU250X is the first thing I’ve owned since my beloved 1973 VW Beetle (back in London over 10 years ago!) that I’m really rather proud of. And just as happened when I owned the Vee-Dub, everywhere I go on Volty I seem to make friends.

Neighbours who previously never acknowledged me now give me a friendly nod or wave when they see me donning my helmet and gloves as Volty’s engine warms up in the communal garage. At roadside cafés or petrol stations, total strangers come over to chat, admiring the Suzuki’s classic retro-style look or telling me they wish they were on two wheels on “a lovely day like this”. At traffic lights, car drivers wind down their windows to chat to me as we wait for green – and yes, it turns out there are some bike-friendly motorists! (probably closet motorcycle riders…)

“Arty” shot of Volty’s front wheel in the sunshine

On the road, the “biker’s nod” from other motorcyclists still gives me a little boost every time it happens. By getting back on a motorbike, I’ve re-gained my automatic membership to a very special secret society: It doesn’t matter what you ride, it just matters that you ride. I like that. Today, about 20 balaclava-ed Harley riders on bikes five times the size of mine nodded and tooted and thumbs-upped to me, one after the other – quite a sight, I can tell you! As they roared off down the coast in the opposite direction, I gave Volty a quick burst on the throttle for good measure, buoyed up all over again.

By its very nature, motorcycling is a solitary activity – but it’s just about the most sociable thing I’ve ever done in my life.

This sunny Sunday morning, I stopped off at the Sandown Racecourse to say hi to my old Ridetek riding instructors, Mel and Al. Two years ago, they saw me through my heady days as a wobbly scooter rider right through to passing my test on a 250cc motorbike. As we stood talking in the warm sunshine, admiring Volty’s sparkling chrome and gleaming bronze paintwork, I thanked the guys yet again for putting me on a road that now gives me so much happiness and enjoyment.

Before I became a motorcycle rider, I didn’t know what I was missing – but now, I wouldn’t be without it for the world. 

Oh and to any non-riders reading this, wondering what on earth I’m talking about but thinking it sounds damn good – go get yourself a motorbike licence: it will change your life! 🙂

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Back On Two Wheels

Ready to ride again!

Well after months without a motorbike, today I took delivery of a brand new retro-style Suzuki TU250X – kind of a mini Triumph Bonneville (so I’m telling myself, as no way can I afford a Bonnie right now!).

I’ve never owned a brand new bike before and Ive already been told all the things I have to do to “run it in” – which basically boils down to not hammering the crap out of it early on: not that that’s my riding style at all, I’m more of a laid-back, cruisey kinda rider, it has to be said.

It’s always exciting getting a new bike. So much fun getting to grips with a different kind of ride, discovering the bike’s distinctive “personality” and all its little quirks and charms. How I’ve missed my weekend ride-outs, days at a time lost in adventures on the road, here, there and everywhere. Can’t wait to be on the road again!

My new pride and joy. 🙂

“Volty” and I have been getting acquainted and a few laps round the carpark have already highlighted some of the key differences about this bike compared with my cruiser. The most noticeable thing is the gear/back brake pedals being in a completely different postion – under my knees rather than out in front. This is going to take some practice, as I instinctively keep putting my left foot forward to change gear and then wondering why I’m treading air!

The engine also has a very different kind of a sound – more of a “thumper”, this one. Ooh and did I mention it has fuel-injection, which gives it an added kind of hum. Can’t wait to get out on proper roads and see what it sounds like at full speed.

But that’s for tomorrow. For now, I’m feet up with the Suzuki manual, poring over all the bike’s little features – ooh, a tool kit compartment… Early night for me – I’m out riding tomorrow!