Vicious Cycle.

After a surprisingly long period with my new bike I had a blip.

On a whim I started looking for an engine to strip down to practice a bit of mechanic-ing. But then I realised I wouldn’t know if I’d been successful if it was just an engine. So I started looking for a cheap, project motorbike. That way I could play on it, there would be visible results (assuming I got it running again) and it would have some resale value afterwards, so I wouldn’t be pointlessly throwing away the price of an engine, oil, gaskets, etc.

Unfortunately on some of the sites that gives you very limited hits. To see all the available bikes I had to put in ‘motorbikes, private seller, under £1000’. That returned all the spares/repairs, project type bikes that I’d be interested in, but unfortunately it brought up lots and lots of really tempting bikes that had nothing wrong with them.

I saw a 1976 CB550 that was an imported non-runner for £500. That is a fantastic price, when sorted the bikes go for thousands of pounds. I was straight on to the seller, but he lives in Cardiff. I was still up for it, even though it would have been a nightmare organising a van, getting there, loading the bike, back, unloading it, and returning the van inside the opening hours of the rental place. Then I had big issues with the seller. I gave him a time and day when I could pick it up, he agreed, I asked if he could hold it for 2 days until that day (so I wouldn’t lose my money booking a van) and I didn’t get a reply for 5 days. I was still going to do it, I sent another message giving him two alternative days I could go and pick it up, but the app froze. That gave me time to reconsider. I messaged him and said it was too far to go, I didn’t want it.

By this time I’d been looking at a lot of bikes. The whim to look for an engine had turned into obsession and fixation.


I saw a bunch of Harleys I’d like. Two big ones for less than £4,500 each. That is a bargain price. I had visions of me puttering around on a big Hog. Then I saw some big Japanese cruisers. I have a notion I’d like to ride to my Saville marathon. That’s a 3,000+ mile round trip. So I was fixating on big, comfortable mile-munchers. The downside with the pure tourers is they are huge, specialist beasts. Massive fairings, massive weight, massive power. Great to ride from Warrington to Seville, but pointless and cumbersome the rest of the time.

I was getting frantic. Literally losing sleep fixating over it. I was at the point where I wanted to buy a bike, any bike, just to get some peace. Then at gone midnight I read an article with a countdown of all the best sports tourers. Bikes that are all day comfortable for cruising, but fast and fun for the rest of the time. Most of them were over 1000cc, one of them was the Triumph ST 1050. I had one of those. It was stupid fast. I got rid of it because it had so much unusable power and speed. Most of the bikes were in the same vein. Then I got to the number 1 bike. The Honda VFR. Any model. They are all the ultimate sports tourer.

My bike.

Instant relief.

So, rather than blow thousands on some ridiculously over powered and unusabley fast new bike, I’ve ordered a gel seat for my bike. They are making it to order in France, so it might be 4 weeks, but look at it!

So cool. If it’s a comfortable as the reviews say I am going to be very happy. I’ve ridden to Cornwall and back in a day on a VFR750 (which is about 670 miles) and the main gripe is an uncomfortable arse. The only other things you would want are heated grips (already fitted), if it’s nippy some hand guards (got, need to adapt to fit) and a touring screen. The normal screen on VFR is for tucking behind, if you’re sat upright, touring, you need a taller screen with a lip to deflect the wind over your head. I remembered the seller had included some bits with this bike. I had a look. A brand new, still in wrapping, touring screen! Excellent. And that’s it. Perfect bike. I’ll wait until my seat arrives (forgot to say, another Brexit bonus, on top of the price of the seat and postage and package, I have to pay a £75 import tax. Thanks racists.) then I’ll fit the screen and handguards and nip to Cornwall to try it out.

I have my eye on a replacement, stainless steel, exhaust system. I don’t need one, it’s just passed it’s MOT for another year, but they are really rare. I saved a link to one company who were selling them, for when I needed to replace the 30 year old system that’s currently on it. Then they sold out and I can’t see a new system anywhere. Kicking myself. When I see one again I’m going to get it to be on the safe side. If I’m going to the other side of Spain I might fit a new regulator/ rectifier. They are a know weakness. On a 30 year old bike I’m pretty sure it’s already been swapped, but for the sake of £40 why would you leave it to chance?

So, lots of exciting motorbike upgrades. The biggest joy is being out of that frantic stage. It’s awful.

In other news I took the time off training after the Blackpool marathon to start my diet. I was 10st 9½ lbs, I’m currently 10st 5lbs, going for 10 stones or less. 9½ lbs is 6% of my bodyweight. If I was 6% faster on the marathon I would be running it in 2 hours 57 minutes. Job done. I doubt it works like that, but it has to help. I’ve also started rowing again to try and build some core strength.

One downer is for a run or two before the marathon, on it, and every run since, I’ve been getting nasty pains in my foot, as though my bones are grinding together. I used to get it in my work boots before the doctor told me it was my steel toecaps crushing my foot. I also get it in cycling shoes, where all the pressure is on that point of my foot.

I didn’t used to get it whilst running so I’m thinking something has changed. The latest change has been the Saucony Triumph 21 trainers. They have an aggresive rocker to tip you forward (which I love). I bought a half size up, I’m wondering if that means my bones are crunching down on the rocker. I’ve ordered a pair true to size to see if that’s it. I hope so. It’s bloody painful.

Right. Enough.