Blog: April 10. Practicing for retirement

It’s Sunday arvo and I’ve been out on the Dominator. Hooray.

I’m pretty sure I explained what’s happening with the bike. Parts are becoming scarce, so I’ve taken the bike off active duty. No more runs out to Cameron Corner, no more being chucked into the rocks at Port Macquarie, and probably no more muddy, tough rides with deep-water crossings and clutch-destroying sand and hills. It’s done all those things in its time with me, and never let me down. I love the bike, so I’m not going to sell it. Craig Murcott had given it a freshen up, and now it looks like this…

It’s far from a restoration, and I’m okay with that. I plan to ride it up down the road outside my house on Sunday afternoons. I see lots of riders doing that. They all have their bums stuck firmly to seat, their elbows droop down near their knees and some them look like they’re struggling to see over the ‘bars.

What they all have in common, whether they’re on restorations, small-bores, crotch rockets or cruisers, is bikes that are clearly built and cared for with a great deal of love.

The restorers are the best. They dress in gear appropriate to the age of the bike and putter past at about 50kph leaving a trail of blue smoke and the sound of a large, rattling toolkit. You can never tell what type of bike they’re on because the glare from the chrome and gleaming paintwork makes you squint.

I’m not a restorer, but as a rehearsal for my retirement – which is a very long way off – I dragged out my old DriRider (Belstaff), pulled on the elastic-sided boots and open-face helmet and went sightseeing. I’ll have to get a stick-on grey ponytail.

Dodging puddles and avoiding mud at all costs, I had an awesome afternoon trickling around the Bellingen-Brierfield area. Sometimes it wasn’t so much ‘trickling’ as ‘arse-tearing’, but the bike is very capable on the road. I’d be a mug not to enjoy that.

Craig Murcott did a sensational job. It won’t be obvious to someone who doesn’t know the bike well, but he really primped and polished. To give an indication of the kind of small details he covers, check where he replaced the standard blinkers with some LEDs. He had to fill the space where the old blinkers were, and rather than just pop-rivet in some black tin – like I would’ve – he fabricated some alloy mounts to suit the style of the venting under the headlight. Check it out…

There’s so much more Craig saw and repaired, refined and recovered. I’m thrilled. You can even see the metal flake in the above image. It’s hard to catch because it’s so subtle. Craig called it ‘a kiss of metal flake’.

So that was my riding for this week.

‘Bugger all,” I can imagine you all saying.

Maybe, but next week I ride the 2017 BMWs. After Easter it’s the 2017 KTM Adventures, then a run to Cape York on, believe it or not, a new V-Strom.

Yes.

A V-Strom.

Pottsy probably just wet his Secret Squirrel nuts.

Speaking of the Secret Squirrel, he was leading a ride today, and apparently a tortoise featured in proceedings somehow. Maybe the poor thing was shell shocked.

That’ll do for sick puns from me this week. I’ll have the lowdown on the BMWs next week, although I did part of the last GS Safari on a 2017 F800GS, so I’m not expecting too many surprises. It was a frigging great bike, and I bet the GSA and the 1200s are just as good.

TF

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