My Best Weekend

By Oli, aged 26 years, 11 months.

After DJing ‘till 2am in Vauxhall before riding out to my parents in Orpington I wasn’t as fresh as I might have been when I pitched up at BAT Motorcycles in Biggin Hill at 9am on Saturday morning, Lump of Cash in my sweaty Richa Monsoon trouser pocket and excitement about the weekend ahead. After almost 2 weeks of waiting the finance had turned up and I was collecting my new Pride and Joy, the 1999 Candy Blue Curvy SV650s.

I handed over the cash, grabbed the keys and pointed it out towards the Weald of Kent for a test ride. Immediately I was worried, why wouldn’t the indicators cancel? I was pressing the button but nothing. It slowly dawned on me that unlike my SRX (God Rest it’s soul) the indicator lights are green on the SV dash, and I was in fact looking at a plea from the bike for some Go Go juice, that could wait until the light went solid. I was busy.

The test route took me through Biggin Hill, down Westerham hill and through Westerham itself. It’s got a bit of everything, Twisties, hills, long fast National Speed limit bits, town bits. I thought it would do the business, about 10 miles in all, every one of them perfect. Someone before me seems to have upweighted the fork oil, the rear preload is just right, the seat is comfy, the bars aren’t too much of a stretch, side stand’s easy to find with a boot when you’re not looking. All Perfect, everything I wanted from my dream bike, the bike I saw one day, not so long ago, that prompted me to take my test.

I got back to BAT, breathless wanted to sign the paperwork, fill her up and go for a blat, first things first though, I needed to get to a Post Office before 12 to tax the beast. 11:40am saw me at Locksbottom post office, docs in hand. I get to the counter, hand over my docs with the cheapskate line “6 months please”…

“Your MOT is out of date”

“eh?”

“Look here it expired in January”.

“ah, ****.”

I arrived back at BAT, ignoring the advice about running the tyre in for 60 miles before hooning it and the bike was straight into the MOT area. 40 minutes later I have my certificate, but the Post Offices are now shut. I was now an illegal, but no chance was something like that going to stop me, I had all the certificates and new owner slips, I could blag my way out of not having a tax disc, the time on the MOT showed it would have been impossible for me to get one on Saturday.

I bimbled around the mother land (Orpington) dropping on old friends for a while before deciding that it was time to have a bit of fun. Picked up my flatmate and headed straight for the M25 towards Sevenoaks, took the A25 west wards and eventually arrived in the Village of Chipstead, narrow roads, houses right on it, perfect for the echo of the exhaust. I started heading for home, and quickly realised just how ****e riding through London is, I stopped of in Crystal Palace park for a Ciggie, despite the fact that it’s less than a mile from home. Stuck in traffic, sweat pouring off me and my recently rebuilt and metal worked knee complaining that 2 and a bit months probably wasn’t long enough after surgery to sit in one position for so long, I just had to stop. I sat on the grass behind the bike, and just admired it, even the hot bike smell was right. I knew I’d made the right choice. I finished my ciggie and rode the rest of the way home. Only breakage so far, one number plate, shattered when I hit a comedy sized pot hole and the back wheel shattered it, now held together with sellotape until I get a new one.

Sunday morning, 8am and I’m pulling on the gear again. I’m meeting a friend as his GS1100 for a bit of a run. My flatmate’s also coming along, we both kit up and hop on, heading for Chelsfield Lakes Golf Course car park at Junction 4 of the M25 for meet SpiderMonkey and his GS.

2 up the bike is great, doesn’t wallow a great deal, a minor mirror adjustment and it’s perfect, though apparently it’s not particularly comfy on the back, and flatmate had soon sat herself on the armchair like Pillion seat on the Big beemer, which was great for me as it meant I could continue getting a feel for the machine. We headed for Rye, the long way and stopped for some dirty burgers at the cafe there. Back on our steeds we made out way around to Camber, Lydd, Dungeoness, Dymchurch and Hythe stopping at each for a look about or an ice cream, before picking up the A20 and heading for home. Hit a patch of diesel just as we were joining the M20, fortunately kept it upright, but a reminder of how easy it is to screw up.

We pulled in at the Oakdene Cafe for a debrief. The bike runs fantastically, it’s stable as a mountain, the acceleration is there, despite the restriction and it’s at 60mph in 4.5 seconds, a 650cc Porsche beater. It tops out at 90, but frankly that’s enough for the moment and runs out of puff at 7500rpm. 150 miles and the fuel light still hadn’t come on, it eventually came on at 160miles and I’m going to run it till the light goes solid indicating 1.5 litres left (~13-15 miles) before filling her up so I can get an idea of the economy.

Get her home and washed her, then tucked her into her cover gleaming for the evening.

300 miles and the right bike.

very good writeup! my god did your arm not ache with all that writing?

Nice one mate - glad ure liking the new bike!

Good write up - and a good choice of bike

I’m a professional.