Tamworth reader Dave Richards got into bikes with his dad by selling a boat. Here’s his amusing tale.
(Readers are invited to tell us about their bike by sending their details via email.)
I’d bought a cheap tinny, fixed it, played with it, got bored with it and was selling it. Had it out the front with “for sale” signs and advertised on Facebook for a few weeks with a couple of nibbles.
Got offered a Honda CBR600 in swaps and declined. “No thanks, I don’t ride bikes” (after looking it up on Google to see it was a road bike) then came another offer ” what about a Yamaha TTR250?”
Looked it up, saw it was a road/trail, seeing as I lived on a couple of acres, got very interested. Much to my wife’s disgust I got the guy to bring it over for a look-see. “It can’t hurt to look,” I say to my better half who rolled her eyes and waved me off.
Up until now, my riding experience was on a Chinese 250cc quad that I thought was a powerhouse. I jumped on that little TTR and rode down the back driveway, through the side gate and gave a good bit of throttle heading downhill over undulating ground, and bugger me, it lifted the front wheel.
Now this was a lot more power than that poor little quad. The deal was done before my loving wife got to breathe any commonsense into the situation. Then came the realisation that it was registered.
The little TTR250 that started it all
Well, my darling wife, it would be a waste of money if I don’t get my licence and make some use of that registration.
It’s amazing what men can convince women is a logical course of action, and to this day I look back and wonder how I slipped all this past my dearly beloved.
As a guy in his late 30s who’s never ridden on the roads before, the NSW learners course was frustratingly fantastic. I learnt some great skills and techniques from our instructor but felt a lot of time was wasted pushing each other around on bikes.
I enjoyed my rides to work and a few short rides along the back roads but soon found my “powerhouse” of a bike was somewhat lacking on the open road.
All of this occurred under the watchful eye of my father, Wayne, who rode bikes in his youth, but hadn’t really ridden in a number of years. We fixed up an old Yamaha DT175 for him and road a couple of trails, but the lack of electric start saw it retired.
Dad with the TTR and a little DT175 our trail riding
Gonna need a bigger boat … er bike!
Yamaha V-Star 650
About this time I found a Yamaha V-Star 650 going for a great price. Deals had been made with my wife, and one Saturday morning dad and I were on our way with a little box trailer in tow and a pocket full of cash.
I distinctly remember talking in the car and dad saying, “I’m just not interested in these sorts of bikes (cruisers). I much prefer dirt bikes.” I even pointed out that at his age, tearing up fire trails was probably not the best move, and that if he did have a spill he wouldn’t bounce back like he did 40 years ago.
Well I took that V-Star for a wobbly ride around the block with those loud and proud Vance and Hines short shots and dad said as soon as he saw my face as I pulled back in the driveway he knew that bike was coming home with us.
I was gone. Thankfully the old man kept a level head and negotiated a great price for me. I was basically emptying my pockets and screaming, “Take my money.”
With the deal done, we kept talking with the previous owner and I discovered something about bike people. They’re friendly and helpful most of the time. This guy, with money exchanged and the deal done, walks into his shed and comes out with pillion seat, sissybar with clip-on bag, saddlebags with all the brackets and a windscreen. No extra cost. It took me a while to realise that was over $1000 of accessories.
With the deal done, dad turns to me with a smile and says, “Are you putting it on the trailer?”
“Umm HELL NO!”
I rode that bad boy 160km home. Arrived with a numb but, ringing ears and a huge grin.
Dad standing with his Honda Shadow and dave’s V-Star
Two weeks later I get a call from dad while I’m at work: “Hey, can you get away for a lunch break or something?”
“Umm, I guess so. What’s up?”
“I’m at the bike shop and need you to come and test ride a bike for me.”
I left work so fast the closed sign nearly broke the glass door.
All but ran into the bike shop looking for a road/trail or something and there he is standing next to a Honda Shadow 750 with that look in his eye. It was as funny as stink, his mouth and brain were talking details and deals, but his heart and eyes were gone. I could see “take my money” written across his eyes.
I quickly pointed out that he wasn’t really into these bikes, he preferred dirt bikes. I don’t even think he heard, he was lost in the white paint, silver flame outlines and chrome. I took it for a quick ride and it was a great little bike.
It was parked on his back verandah, just outside his bedroom window in no time at all and then the fun began. Accessories and polishing became his new pastime.
One of the best investments we made were Sena headsets for our helmets. Now we could chatter away as we weaved our way on the quieter back roads gaining our confidence.
I would scour Google Maps all week finding some back roads in our area that were all sealed and off we’d go on the weekends. Our communications started out as:
- Watch out for the car;
- Look out for the pothole; and
- There’s loose gravel on the corner.
Now a couple of years down the track it’s more like:
- Love that corner;
- Woohoo; and
- C’mon, catch up!
Big Money Waster
I must have said that last one a few too many times, because dad decided to upgrade. He found a BMW tourer that he had researched for nearly six months. Great price, and the guy was keen to part swap for his Honda Shadow.
It was all too good to be true, there had to be a catch. Yep, the BMW was located in Launceston while we were in Tamworth, NSW. I honestly thought that was the last I’d hear of that deal, next thing I know the crazy old bugger has locked it in.
He rode the shadow down, caught the boat across, did the deal and rode the new BMW back home to Tamworth over a week.
Crazy old bugger.
All the while I was stuck at work speaking to him a number of times a day, worrying a little bit about him, but mostly turning green with envy.
Now he’s got the Big Money Waster with its 1200cc engine, cruise control, heated grips blah blah blah.
Dad on the Big Money Waster
Don’t know if I like the Sena headsets anymore. He keeps reminding me of all these things whilst riding.
I used to call him the handbrake, after a nice bit of windy road I’d have to slow down to 70-80km/h to let him catch up.
Last week he passed me.
I was flat out, throttle to the stop, and he disappeared over the horizon in front of me.
The only good thing was my Sena headset had gone flat.
I didn’t have to hear him laughing at me as he went by.
“For sale: Yamaha V-Star 650. Plenty of accessories. May part trade for sports tourer faster than a BMW.”