I was unexpectedly gifted a weekend off, so for the first time in a long time – I think maybe two years – I dragged the 125 out of the shed, scraped the cobwebs off it, oiled the airfilter, pumped up the tyres and went for a ride.
I can’t remember when I last wore a motocross helmet and boots. I confess I didn’t go for the neckbrace and knee braces, but it bought back plenty of memories. Not only the gear, but the bike. I bought this KTM from Ozzo, the partner and rock-solid-reliable riding buddy for so many of my early adventure rides. He visited this week, and it’s the first time I’ve seen him for maybe a year or more. It felt good to be out on his old bike.
I’d forgotten how good that bike is, though. I admit I focussed my concentration on not being injured, and my pace was woefully slow, but still…phwoar! That’s REAL riding!
There’s no electronic riding aids, nothing’s rubber mounted, there’s no ADR nonsense, no fuel gauge, screen or ‘nice’ seat. It’s a kick-start motor with a carby and the suspension is motocross hard. The bike is made to ride fast, and anything that’s not part of that equation isn’t there. Not only that, but being a 125 two-stroke there’s not a big spread of power to work with either.
I loved it. Despite the slow pace, I was whooping it up a bit in the occasional rut and on a few slimy hills. With the rain we’ve had lately traction was iffy. It reminded me of riding when I was a kid. Everything depends on the rider’s touch and feel. You ride the bike or you crash. The back was all over the place like a two-stroke tacho needle, and I had a ball.
It wasn’t until I was on the bitumen on the way home I noticed the back end was still swishing all over the place. Not only did I have a flat, I’d torn out the valve stem, mangled the tyre, and, in a first for me, even destroyed the rimlock as well.
It was an old tyre anyway, and my sexy black rims with the gold hubs were still okay, so I was happy.
Meanwhile, it’s high time we had a date for the Poker Run. Pulling a number from my exhaust port, let’s go for June 21.
The shortest day of the year is June 22, so we’re not going to have a lot of daylight to work with. Depending on the loops, we may end up making it a Pontoon Run instead of a Poker Run – three cards instead of five. We’ll see how we go with loops and so forth. I haven’t given Pottsy that date yet, so I’m just hoping it’s okay.
POKER RUN JUNE 21
Write it down and start preparing. Maybe we’ll make it an early start. It’s likely to be cold and wet, so there’ll be a good challenge.
When last we were talking Pottsy planned to offer two loops, a long and a short. The long will be a little more challenging, but the idea is for those looking for less challenge to ride the short loop, and if time looks like being an issue, people can do a couple of long loops and a few short ones.
We’ll keep you posted as the event develops.
Don’t forget the MotoGP season starts tonight in Qatar. It’s on OneHD at 5.00am tomorrow, and as I write this Marky Marquez is on pole.
If you could let me know if you’re in for the Poker Run, I’d appreciate it. Having a rough idea of numbers will help withe the setting up of things.
We’ve had a few good stories on the site lately, Good stuff! Keep ’em coming!