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winter time. Driving, tinkering, thinking

gilera 150 sport 4572741 and max
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That is clear: It is approaching fifty years of four seasons of motorcycling. At first winter rides were fun, later they were just part of it. But now I've had it. The carcass doesn't appreciate being ravaged. And after a cold ride I experience something between rigor mortis and rheumatism XL. In addition, I have ridden less than 10D/year for the past two years and have already climbed from 1000 cc to 650 cc. I remember that the guys with 50 hp out of 650 cc scored at least the second most beautiful girl in the village. And with 650 cc under the cadets you could be on the road very quickly.

For a good part of almost half a century, motorcycles have been my means of transport, motorcycles from before 1990, because after that I have little feeling for those pointless horsepower warehouses.


Fewer miles. Less displacement

In the meantime, we are now in the tail end of the second year of riding less than 10K. And so the second winter in which I did not ride a motorcycle. I had a great experience with a comrade by driving to Cadzand-Bad on two light motorcycles. More than 300 kilometers in just ten hours on the narrowest roads (and a few bicycle paths).  

My Ural side valve is here to stay.

That is obvious. The recently adopted Chang Jiang project as well. Those two bikes already have enough 'less'. The side valve is 23 hp, the 750 cc OHV is specified for 32 hp. Fast enough to lead the way in any traffic jam. But I'm thinking more and more about going from the 650 cc of my Guzzi V65 (from 1984 or so) to a size smaller. Because for me motorcycling has nothing to do with cylinder capacity and speed anymore. And driving smaller will of course remain classic driving. Even if you only ride a few thousand kilometers a year, also because part of the riding is now done on a bicycle with pedal assistance. And that's because you have to leave a motorcycle for rides of less than 30 kilometers. And because gasoline is so expensive.

Looking around you come to 350 cc or so in the world

And in that corner there is quite a lot of offer. The nice thing about this is that in the small motorcycle corner the prices are still human. An acquaintance who learned before told me that this is because light motorcycles here in NL are not cool or prestigious. The only bad thing is that I just had two fresh Battlaxjes put under the Guzzi. But hey, that's the profit for the next owner.

Nice looking around

Meanwhile, the dark days before Christmas are approaching plus a few more gray months. So I have all the peace of mind to figure out with how many cc I can go on for another ten years. Then I'll see.

Hercules Almost invisible

23 Comments

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  1. me too. I have also started riding a hundred kilos lighter. But my cylinder capacity has grown. Horsepower has never bothered me in the 50+ years on two or three wheels. If you drive on, you will go further. But I also have to confess that the number of kilometers (perhaps also due to Covid) has indeed decreased to just half of my annual average over the previous years.

  2. Have an Aprilia RS250
    “But” 250 cc can still be very challenging.
    Unfortunately, I drive far too little, because the girl does not dare to ride on the back and 2 bicycles are too much for me.
    We now have a whole nest of 50 cc-ers.
    Puch Monza and Grand Prix, and then a child seat on the back to drive the little one around.
    In the meantime also an Aprilia redRose50 Classic (my 4th aprilia again) for the nicer tours.
    Mopeds are cost-effective to drive, except that you are no longer allowed to enter some cities.
    And they work great slowing down, and with these kind of classics you get many thumbs up on the way

  3. Assuming that I eventually CANNOT grow old with the NTV650 but still maintain the equilibrium for two lighter wheels, I'm thinking about a Lodolala from Gussie. And the 175 cc is in principle closer to the abandoned starter than the 250. Just a nice, simple thing without capsones, but with character. The chain is then again a kind of setback, but by that time the km's on an annual basis will not come deep into the first 1500 km, if 1000 are already achieved. The Gilera depicted is in the same category in my opinion.

    Guzzi Lodola

  4. I haven't reached 50 yet, but have been driving around with 'small grut' for at least 10 yrs..
    Even a few good 49cc Hondas in the stable, and large and small, actually give me the same fun factor.
    I plow just as much with my 12 hp strong (!) AWO through muddy paths than I do with a 100 hp languid VFR on the roads.
    Never understood "a heavy one is your true" ..

    Kudos Dolf, wisdom comes with age..

  5. Brilliant, Dolph. I recognize that rigor mortis when I'm 70 years old, and the days that after work you twirled to Bouillon on a 15 hp CZ, are used up. Never got it beyond 32 hp but the miles with this are not achieved by most 100 hp-plus guns. But a bicycle with pedal assistance…?

    • We did it. We were happy. We're lucky. And I have already done more than 500 km of groceries 'Rundumhause' on the supported bike. At least the Guzzi now comes up to temperature every ride.

  6. Recognizable! Not so long ago I rode a Yamaha XJR1300, but I've been riding a 50 BMW R5/1971 for a few years now. And in terms of experience, that's just as much fun and at least fast enough, especially if you avoid the highway. But I don't think it's that fun with the engine anyway. Have fun on the country roads!

  7. Nice story Dolph. And indeed motorcycling is certainly not about milking unbridled amounts of power, but all the more about driving pleasure with the nose in the wind. Although heavier bikes with a reasonable amount of power also generally have a bit more comfort. That is of course an advantage. But even my Blue's ability is such that you have to be a damn good driver if you want to be able to use that ability to the fullest. Why the race to the top with all those power warehouses is unnecessary, I don't know. Perhaps there are more men with an inferiority complex than one would suspect……😅

  8. Great, I've been behind it for a while and had a lot of fun with a '65 CZ with 10 hp, which I drove to work in the summer, Dordrecht Ooltgensplaat. And a Dnepr, with span. After a major deterioration of my health maybe another Dnepr, or a light Honda. It really doesn't diminish the fun. Thanks for your story Dolf.

    • I've been driving Russian for 25 years now. Also nice and easy to kick if your knee is sub-modal in the meantime. Dream away on the site of Richard Busweiler. https://www.uraldnepr.nl/. Those light Hondaatjes are sweet too. But you have to be a little careful with the examples where the camshaft is simply mounted in the aluminum head.

  9. Nice story again Dolf and for me also very recognizable after 56 years of motorcycling, of which 50 years with my Honda CB750.
    Now switched (for that of course) to a 22 hp Honda of 250 cc and talking about fun VERY big fun easy to handle nice in the bends and avoid the highway. Laugh.

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