This was my next motorbike, I rode a lot of British bikes in Rhodesia during my Police service; Matchless 500cc singles and BSA 650cc twins and the new Yamaha 350 (?) when they first came in, but when we moved down to Durban in 1974 we bought the Suzuki GT750 and we did lots of happy mileage around Natal. In an earlier post I told about "an embarrasing incident", that was on this bike. We enjoyed it, it was pretty fast but it had an uncomfortable tendency to wallow in the corners.
At that time I also bought my Suzuki DR500s "thumper" on which I did a lot of exploration of the Transkei, I had a wonderful time and it is only in retrospect that I realise how dangerous that was; I used to go off into the bush for the day completely on my own, no body knew where I was and if anything had happened I would have been completely alone, no cellphones in those days!
Next was a brand new Yamaha 1.1 in 1982, my first new motorbike, these two pictures were taken at the Buffalo Rally in Port Elizabeth, probably in 1983. This was the bike on which we did our most enjoyable tour; 8760kms around South Africa in one month, definitely a story I will tell here later.I bought this beauty in about 1985 while I still had the Yamaha, it was a 1983 Honda Goldwing and shortly after that I sold the Yamaha for R3000, which was what I had paid for it! We did some great trips on the 'wing but I sold it prior to going overseas on a business trip and for about ten years we were without a bike while Christie and Simon were growing up. As you can see from the above photo, in spite of how cool I looked in the rally photos with the Yamaha, I hadn't quite got the cool thing going properly, I mean for f*%#'s sake look at the jacket, slacks and shoes!This 1982 Goldwing came next, for which I paid R22,000! It was a very enjoyable bike and we travelled a lot with it, the only problem I had was that it was not an "interstate" which means that the previous owner fitted the luggage himself and did a crap job of it, I had endless trouble with the mounting brackets. However, I managed to sell it for R30,000 - can you believe that?We decided it was time to upgrade and I went for this Kawasaki Vulcan 1500, a big mistake! I fancied the American look and although Janet was very comfortable on the back I could not get used to the whole setup of the bike, I didn't like the fact that I was sitting on the base of my spine with my feet forward, this meant that I could never lift my butt from the seat while we were riding. Also it had a very small petrol tank with a range of only about 150kms, most of the towns in South Africa are more than 150kms apart! It had only three gears, and this was the very bike that let us down with a dead battery on the way to Barrydale one day - mentioned in a previous post.
Which brings us to our tenth motorbike; the big red machine, a thing of beauty. The BMW R1200RT.