The Bikes I have known

Or "Bringing back the Bike"

In the beginning there were MOPEDS and I was an owner. There were two flavours of moped which were acceptable the Fizzie, (or Yamaha FS 1E) and the AP50 or (Suzuki AP50) I hunted high and low for a Fizzie at the right price and ended up with:

A Suzuki AP50 moped

This would have to do. I travelled proudly up and down to Golspie High school during my "O" grades, as we were allowed home between exams, and it poured with snow throughout. That didn't matter though because my particular AP50 had a cracked Piston which, after around 10 miles at top speed (45 to 50 mph) the bike would seize as the piston became too big for the barrel. This was a temporary situation though and, one my hands were warmed and dried on the cylinder head, off we went again for another 10 miles!! Life was good and, in the end, it was all worth it to scream down the main street in Golspie while the rest of your class mates were walking. (all fine and good until you miss a gear right outside Gretas sweet shop) Never mind.


I needed a bike to sit my test on, the moped was just not "real" although I loved it dearly. I tracked down and bought a Honda H100S from Helen Langlands in Lochinver. Mine was black and red

Now this was a bike! No pedals, even sounded like a bike....Well almost This became my every day transport up and down to work even though I had a car licence and part share in the funkiest Mini in Lochinver at that time. I applied for my test through the DOT, at that time the two part test had just arrived, and had to travel to Inverness to sit part one in the Lorry MOT yard in Longman estate.  In and out of cones and jump over three double decker buses, them were the days. Test was passed first time, and even after I knocked down three cones (And took the windscreen out of one of the buses) So, as long as you keep your cool and restart the test things generally work out Ok.
Then I took my little 100cc back to Lochinver to sit Part two.
Part two is (or was) the pursuit test where the examiner follows you on his bike with a two way radio link...except in Lochinver where the Examiner walked about and gave you tasks to carry out and leapt out from behind parked cars, risking life and limb, to test your reactions.
Sadly I was not even allowed to start the bike as I failed to read the number plate and was required to get specs!!  Blast.  So, got specs, reapplied and passed in January 1981.....Whew

So now I need a bike

It's a funny thing life but you tend to get what you can get rather than what you really want. Way back about the time all of this started I met a bike. This bike was HUGE It had plastic fairings and panniers, it had a radio cassette with speakers Fer goodness sake. I met this bike in the garage of the littel farm cottage I lived in at Nigg in Ross-Shire between 1980 and 1981. This bike belonged to my housemate and foreman at the garage I was working in in KIldary, Ivor Ross. This bike was a Jet black Honda CX500 and I loved it at once. I also used to steal it and ride it around the farm roads of Nigg without insurance, tax or MOT. It was quiet, smooth and powerfull compared with my H100 and, by the time I had passed my test, it was waiting in Jurgen Thoma's paint store under the "Ranch" staff accommodation block of the Culag Hotel in Lochinver. I had been slowly getting it ready for the big day and that day had arrived. Ladies and gentlemens I give you:

"Le Cochon Noir"

Now this one I do have pictures of!!

Le Cochon Noir big deal I hear you say. Its a bit tatty you say....But..It was a bike and a hugely different beast than my previous mount...just a different world and, once I'd squeezed it out of Jurgens shed I took to the road in earnest. As you see it here it is a little different from the bike I used to steal from Kildary. For a start I changed the fairing for a more modest one without the radio Cassette..(Who needs that on a bike?) and new rear shockers. Also got a new seat and resprayed the petrol tank and restriped the whole thing. This was over the course of the first year and a half of ownership. Sadly I also had to change the engine as it dropped a cam chain tensioner. But, CX engines were ten a penny at the time and I became quite proficient at these things:

Bloody Bike!!