My biking fascination started at the age of 16 when I got a Honda CB50 for my 16th birthday.
I upgraded to a Yamaha RD250LC that had been re-bored and de-restricted. At 17 years old, and probably weighing about 60KG, it felt like a missile on 2 wheels the second I wound the throttle back and scared the living daylights out of me.
I was hooked and treasured that bike. I had wanted an RD350YPVS but just couldn't afford one but the 250 was an amazing beast. 6 months after buying that bike, it was also stolen. I was heartbroken and after a brief spell on a Honda 250 superdream, decided to give up on bikes and get a car. If you've ever had a bike stolen, its a feeling you just cant explain. Disbelief initially - im sure I parked it there - maybe I didn't ? Followed by shock, how ? it was locked. it was alarmed. it was parked in a well lit street. Then comes anger - this was my baby - more than a bike - a part of me and somebody just took it.
Some 20 odd years later, maybe after a mid life crisis, my excitement for bikes re-emerged. Well, it never really went away. One day, an impulse buy or a pushy sales man led me to handing over my credit card in exchange for a CBR600RR7.
This was my first superbike and given the last bike I'd ridden 20 years earlier was a 250, I was in for quite a shock. I loved the look of it, the sound of it and the way it rode. But it had one major drawback. It just wasn't built for comfort. after 30 minutes of sitting on it, I could hardly walk. Its a small frame and the riding style is far from comfortable. Its a fun bike and would have been a lot of fun on a race track. Infact, I decided to take it on a racetrack and book a track day through No Limits Track Days. I can honestly say, NoLimits have the WORST customer service I've experienced and will never used them again. I had the track day booked and paid for on a Monday and was really looking forward to it. On the Friday before, my bike was stolen (seriously!). I reported it to the police then immediately phone NoLimits and explained what had happened asking if I could get a credit note as it was highly unlikely my bike would be found by the police before Monday.
NoLimits were unsympathetic, unfriendly and unwilling to offer me any refund or credit note and simply advised me to give them 7 days notice in future before cancelling.
Fortunately, my insurance company were great and paid up quite quickly and trying to think of a sexy looking sportyish bike that might also be comfortable enough for the odd longer distance trip, I decided on the Ducati Monster 796.
Its a monster alright and a lot of fun to ride. I still cant quite get used to the lower revving V twin yet after just getting used to the screaming 4 cylinder CBR but the riding position is awesome and it still pretty pokey. Plenty of torque and seems to just take off in any gear at any revs.
* Update * One Year after the tour, my Monster was also stolen by some thieving scumbag teenagers. Bike was recovered but damaged and written off. She was a beauty but I decided not to let it deter me and purchased a 2012 848 Streetfighter.