Thursday, January 30, 2014

New do, new you? A warmish winter day in Chinchón to sport my lack of hair.

Chinchón's old square

Snacking is serious business

Tapas, why not?

The future of transportation


  1. Great pictures John and a great blog page. I've finally learned (I think!) how to bookmark your page on the boat browser I'm using!

  2. I had an (Indian) Enfield Bullet 500 a decade ago before they had sorted them out properly unlike the nice new ones today you can buy. I aimed to leave for France from the UK, got 3 miles across London and the engine had seized up solid, eventually got to Dover Eurotunnel by which time it had seized up twice again. Difficult to explain this to the other 2 bikers who were travelling down with me. Crawling down through France I eventually managed to stop near Dijon, strip it down and found that I was able to fit a pencil along with the loose inlet valve in its valve guide! I suppose I was silly enough then to put the Bullet 500 in the same category as an older bike I had, a Norton Commando 750 Fastback, which was far more reliable (ie: around 1/10 of the scale of reliability for later Jap bikes)! Isolastic suspension on the Commando - great idea! - rubbish in practice - I had to re-shim the clapped-out Isolastic bushes every 3 months like all other Commando owners which took a large box of shims and a day to get right. Now I ride a Suzuki Inazuma 250 and I have forgotten the issue of reliability for a long time now. You just ride them. I've had dozens of bikes over the last 40 years, some are sentimentally nice with character (Bullet 500), some have been a right pain and some you just ride on. The thing with the earlier Bullets is that they were designed to toodle along at 40mph in the 1950's with no other cars on the road to manouever around. If a Yamaha YBR125 commuter bike races past a shiny Bullet 500 on the open road, it is only to be expected and myself to blame for thinking otherwise! Oh yeah, I almost forgot - it was a great feeling to ride on square tyres again and be terrified from anxiety as each bend arrived! All the best, John.

  3. That's too bad, Walter. I am happy to say I've put more than 43,000 kilometers on my Bullet and it rides better than ever. I recently bought a BMW K75C (post coming soon) but I have to say the Bullet is a lot more fun to ride at 110 kph than any other bike I've been on. No idea what you're talking about with square tires (???) My Avons are great for this bike. You should see me lean the Balita over and scrape the stirrups in the twisties and curves in the hills here in the Spanish countryside! It's not a speed bike, never meant to be one, but it holds its own pretty well on the byways of the world, and for city traffic, it's the most agile thing out there, believe you me.

    1. The Bullet was definitely good in town. No doubt about that. But it really could have done with a screen when I took it out into the French countryside.

      By the way, the latest RE Continental GT 535cc got a brilliant, raving write-up in MCN last month. Of course, nothing to do with the original RE Continental GT 250 which I owned to take my motorbike test on, decades ago. They just nicked the name rather conveniently! I had clip-ons, rear-sets, gothic paint job on the tank on my Continental GT 250. Good brakes, nice handling bike which young guys passed their test on but I'm sure too the new Bullets are well-sorted now in terms of handling. They are getting there now and they look pretty good I admit. Avons are probably the way to go on them. I think I used Roadrunners - not too bad. But my Norton Commando 750 Fastback I had in the late 70's, now that had handling! I could roll tight roundabouts with the throttle locked and keep my hands in my leather jacket pockets for warmth at silly speeds - rock steady with it leaned right over! Let go of a Kwak GPZ900's handlebars on a straight road back in the 80s and it was twang/twang and bye-bye to bike!! Even holding with one hand was going to be dodgy on the Kwak!

      You've got beautiful sun over in Spain and that is one major advantage to enjoy the motorcycling over there. It can get pretty miserable over here. I can't wait to get off this bit of rain-covered island every year.

      I was in Spain on the Inzauma last year but got badly-blistered hands because I wanted to give my hands some fresh air for 5 minutes down near Alcaniz and I took my leather gloves off - bad move!

      A K75 triple? It will be running without need for a decoke for 250,000 miles. A friend went over the Sahara on one. It just went on and on and on. The seat is all shredded now, the bodywork shattered but still the engine goes on and on! What a bike! I had the R100RS Boxer and it was a bit of a heave to get it up on the centre-stand every day. Side-stand, I wouldn't trust because of the soft tarmac. But like all BM's they are over-engineered German agricultural machinery that will last forever. The switch-gear on the handlebars could take a hanmerblow. The only problem with the K75 he reported was a loose multi-connector under the tank which cut all the electrics completely in a foreign country he was travelling through which was a bit of a pain to locate. But then he had been travelling for days on rocky, gravelly roads through Morocco, etc.

      See you again.

    2. I'm glad to hear that about the K75, since I have plans for riding it till it doesn't move, as they say :-)
      Actually, the darn thing will probably outlast me!
      The Continental GT 250, not many of those left, let me tell you! The new one is pretty cool, I hear say it's well made and has some zip. And I agree with you 100% in terms of a windscreen. This curved one I put on in December makes all the difference between a comfortable ride at any speed and a torture above 60 kph.
      That's too bad about the blistered hands last summer. Once is enough, as you know can say. Now ATGATT or nothing, and it though it can get awfully hot down here, I'd rather deal with my perspiration problems than with bandages.
      I'm going to be dreaming of crossing Africa on the K75 all week now....


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