From the Blog

On the road again.

It’s only been 6 weeks, but it seems longer. Finally my recalcitrant insurance company has paid out and I am back on two wheels.

After a long and not that difficulty search, the choice came down to 4 bikes. A ZX-9R in Sydney which ticked all the boxes but was priced at $6200, well out of my price range unless I could wave a magic wand or two (unlikely),  and 3 Testarossas.

One was the same blue as the Bluebayou, and was advertised as being in excellent condition. Unfortunately, as is so often the case, the actuality left a gap. The bike had been stored outside (albeit under a bike cover), and the aluminium parts were badly oxidised. The general condition was not as advertised, especially when the asking price was around 5 and a half. So it got crossed off.

Next was a red one like my original one. It was at a dealers and was in sparkling condition. A little too sparkling actually, and I’m about 99% certain it had had a recent respray. It had heaps of extras, though. A Roo Racing high pipe that sounded magnificent, braided brake lines on the front and other bits and pieces. It rode well and was a real contender at just under the 5 grand.

Then there was a private sale one in Springwood, up in the Blue Mountains. It was black, not matt black like the old clunker in City Coasts at the moment, but a rich, glossy, black, just like the old VTR. This bike looked original and well looked after. It had a Staintune, good tyres and general condition and rode beautifully.

Paul and I sat down at a coffee shop, got out a bit of paper and did the old “Pros and Cons” thing. In the end, it was an easy choice. The red bike was filled with extras, but extras meant that it had been fiddled with, a lot, it appeared, and not especially neatly, either. The black bike was original, slightly higher mileage and had lots of evidence of good care. Best of all, a phone call to the owner (I’d forgotten to talk price to him while we were there..) established a selling price just over 4 grand. Bargain! The owner was happy to take a deposit and wait until settlement of my insurance claim, so it looked to be all “go”.

So, yesterday, my good wife and I took a leisurely drive up to the Blue Mountains, along the back road through Picton, The Oaks, Silverdale, Mulgoa, Penrith and onto the GWH. A highly recommended drive/ride if you haven’t done it before.

The bike looked just as good as when we’d looked at it a few weeks ago. With it was a huge sheaf of papers detailing servicing undertaken since Richard had bought the bike in 2001 (6000kms ago!!). Amongst these were receipts for a new R/R, new sprockets, a new DID gold-link chain and two new tyres (recently). It has the full tool kit, owner’s manual, a Clymer workshop manual, Ventura low and high rack and Ventura headlight protectors. And it looks like this.

Black Betty II

Unfortunately I awoke to the sound of rain on the roof this morning so I haven’t ridden it yet apart from riding it home yesterday. I’ve spent the morning tinkering, adjusting the levers, etc, to suit me and generally checking it over.

Oh, and the bike has an interesting, if tragic, local connection. It seems that it was owned by a man in Shellharbour who died in a tractor accident. His wife placed the bike with a bike shop in Sydney for sale on consignment and Richard bought it from there while he was still living in Ashfield. So, in a sense, the bike has come home.

It will be great to get out on the road again. I can’t wait for next weekend.