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With Mator leaving for pastures new I popped the money O got for him onto the bank where in all fairness it stayed for a whole eight days before I stumbled across a motorbike I really liked the look of. My plan was to buy a newer touring style bike using about two thirds of the money leaving enough to pick up another Landy project but the difference in age and quality using most of the money was vast so after getting permission from Wifey I invested in a new toy.
It is not just any toy but one we were looking at getting in another four or five years so this unexpected windfall that led from quitting smoking then the rebuild itself brought our plans thankfully forward. The bike I wanted was a Suzuki V Strom and the one I found of course was not in Nottingham oh no in fact it was no where near us at all…it was in Newcastle upon Tyne. But was I deterred dear reader oh no I was not because you see I had already looked at a couple that looked great in the pictures but were scrap in the flesh. The chap who was selling the one up north though had not only taken pictures but had taken a detailed video all over and around the bike for sale. I also liked his direct approach on the phone about the bikes warts (not many of those) and why he was selling etc so I jumped on the train early Saturday morning, that pleased the wife seeing as she had to drop me off at the station spoiling her lie in of the week, and headed ‘up north’ loaded up with my bike gear knowing I would buy it but nervously chewing my nails down at the thought of spending this sum of money on a toy.

I am not good at buying things, I don’t mean the everyday stuff no I mean big things that can break because I worry they will do just that until they have earned my trust because then after they have proved themselves I don’t mind tinkering with them to keep them alive. Yea stupid I know.
Ken, the bike seller, picked me up from the station and we were soon at his house stood in the garage looking at the V Strom and what a beauty it was! The video had shown the truth and the entire bike was what I was expecting. It started from cold on the first turn of the motor rumbling into life with throaty base. I was in love from the offset.
The deal done I jumped on it and realised my short fat white hairy legs were really stumpy on this beast but hell that could be sorted later and I rode off home.
Hitting the A1 first (after fuelling up to a tankful) I was amazed at how much torque this little 650 engine had and the speed of the thing (a legal 70mph officer) was astounding! The fuel injection system rather than the carb versions I have always until now ridden makes one hell of a difference! A gentle ride down getting used to how the bike felt under my feet and responded to the twist of my wrist brought me very quickly to my turn off A614 aiming back into Nottinghamshire so it was here I headed off through the countryside of this fair county getting used to the blips, bums and quirks of this new beast. Sitting upright was a novelty and not a bad experience either because when I got home other than a slightly numb arse I was all good in fact no other aches at all.
The following morning Wifey jumped on the back for a spin out and my nerves hit home again and I wobbled around a fair bit especially at slower speeds because I was worried I couldn’t get my feet down in time when we were stopping but after a picnic lunch in Matlock park I felt better and the ride home was different again some might say even bordering on confident!
The tyres are the knobbly type and I have to admit to being unimpressed with those and as soon as I can afford to I will be putting on road tyres front and back.
The last hurdle came this morning with the ride to work which was going to involve lots of filtering through traffic on my upright machine. It felt like it was six feet wide to start but I soon settled in again and the journey was pretty uneventful.

So I am grinning from ear to ear with my new toy I thought it would be a few more years before we could plan touring around Europe on a bike but that is now nearer than I thought and the maps are out. As I have been writing this someone has been around looked at my old bike and left a deposit so there will even be some funding for the next landy project when it turns up now! I am indeed having a good week!

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