lockdown lookback – motorbike years part 1 …


Lockdown lookback – the motorcycle years

Having tidied the shed, the garage and the spare room at least three or four times, and polished each of my bikes to within an inch of their lives I was looking for something else to do and so turned to a task I had been putting off for a some time.

For as long as I can remember I have taken photographs. Many thousands were taken before the advent of digital cameras and somewhere in the order of 6,000 to 10,000 prints are in boxes in the attic (although some favourites have been scanned over the years and retained in a digital format).

Most of my pictures were stored on a couple of PCs, various back up drives and so on and the filing ‘system’ that had evolved over the years left something to be desired.

The fourth or fifth week of ‘Lockdown’ gave me the impetus to get them sorted into a sensible number of folders and sub folders – it turns out I have over 400,000 digital pictures and over 140,000 of them are now filed on a seperate drive reserved for bike pictures. Given the current restrictions on actually getting out on a bike and riding I thought I would look through some and pick out  a few from over the years and post on this Blog over the next week or so.

I’ve been fortunate enough to have had a few decent bikes and from 2004 to 2019 managed to do at least one european trip each year, and a couple of times managed more than one trip a year.  Frustratingly my planned 2019 European trip was cancelled following an accident and my planned European trip this year isnt looking at all likely.  Just last week I moved my one way ferry booking to Bilbao to later in the year, but realistically I dont expect it to go ahead.

So with biking currently off the agenda I’ve turned to writing these posts.

The first Blog post in this series features pictures from 2003 and 2004. During this period I owned a Suzuki GS 550L (a grey import from America and which I had for number of years), then a new Suzuki Bandit 600S, which was a cracking good bike but which eventually made way for a fabulous Suzuki GSX-R 600 K3 (the first of four bikes from the GSX-R family).

This was also the time when my daughter passed her full bike licence (and for a time owned a Honda CG125) and my wife passed her CBT and bought a Honda Varaderro 125. My nephew bought a Suzuki GSX-R 400 in very dodgy purple colours and my brother bought a lovely blue Yamaha Thundercat (600cc). 2004 was the year that I did my first european trip riding down from Cherbourg to the Moto GP in Le Mans with my nephew on his 400cc Suzuki and me on my GSX-R 600. The Lara Croft Tombraider inspired helmet that you can see in the picture gallery below was something of a classic and belonged to my daughter, and when she ‘hung up her riding  boots’ it was eventually sold to somone in America, and I sold my GS550L to a chap who came down from Scotland to buy it.

You can check out Part 2 here

If you want to check out my non motorbike reated posts you can do so at my rainycity blog. Click here to go there.

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I’ve selected some pictures from that period. Clicking on any picture should open a scrolable gallery.