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Saturday, 5 December 2009

The intermediate years....

Passing my test and leaving school saw the acquisition of a Triumph 350cc twin because of the need for a larger commuter vehicle. It was my main form of transport in snow, rain and everything else that nature had to offer. I think that's why I'm fairly relaxed about riding in all weathers now. The bike was a charmless old pudding with a restrained 20 bhp or thereabouts, but was faster than the Suzuki. Speed meant everything and I'm ashamed to say that I rode everywhere like a complete twat! The lack of good riding skills was soon demonstrated when a car did a U turn in front of me and I was travelling too fast to stop. The resultant impact threw me over the bars, but not before my wedding tackle snagged on the rather prominent friction steering damper on the way past. The bike wasn't badly damaged but I ended up walking like John Wayne for the best part of a week due to the large purple plums in my trousers - yowwww! Lesson 1 about being aware of one's surroundings and riding to the conditions forcibly driven home.

Triumph 3TA
(source: Chiffins, UK)

Ownership of the 3TA coincided with the period when Japanese bikes were becoming a more common sight on British roads and they were also developing a deserved reputation for performance. This was demonstrated in humiliating fashion one day by a 100cc Yamaha sports twin that I picked a fight with. It simply buggered off into the distance and I knew right then that the Triumph's days were numbered. I suppose it also demonstrated a typical young male's preoccupation which might be described as a "mine's bigger than yours" approach to life!

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