This blog started when I owned and MZ Skorpion Traveller and a bike magazine dismissed it with the phrase 'you can't tour on a single'. The Skorpion's gone and I now have a Triumph Bonneville, but I can't be bothered changing the title of the blog!
Yes, I know I mentioned this nearly a year ago, but I've now started making and selling electrical kits for bikes on Ebay.
First will be a twin spot light kit containing spotlights, wiring loom (made by me and including a fused relay and handebar switch). I've made a small batch to see how quickly they sell (if at all!), and if they are successful, other kits will follow. These are listed here, but as this will expire, keep an eye of what I've got for sale on my seller's page.
Cool or what? Found a
picture of this moped and did a bit of digging, but came up with two
names for it! I've found it referred to as the DKW Typ 155 and as the
Zweirad Union Victoria.
Whatever it is, isn't
its styling fabulous? It appears to have been built in the late 50s
and early 60s, and I assume that its 50cc. Also, its nickname was
'Blechbanane' which an online translator translates as 'plate
banana'! I assume something has been lost in translation, so any
German speakers know what they mean?
About a year ago I
wrote a couple of 'looking back' posts (1,2) and a 'plans' post,
but this time I'll combine them as there's not really that much to
At the end of 2013 I
was unemployed, on my own, and a bit short of money. Despite numerous
telephone calls (that weren't answered then became 'unobtainable),
and numerous e-mails, also not answered, I got no further with the agency
that had employed me to do telecom installation, so have never
managed to get my outstanding wages! At this point I was desperately
short of money, so was happy when I got a job as a home delivery
driver for a major supermarket chain. As seems to be a trend, things
didn't work out as planned with the work being hard, hours
antisocial, the the wages much lower than expected. Indeed, if you
counted in the unpaid hour at the start and end of each shift loading
and unloading the van, I was actually paid below the National Minimum
Luckily, after only 3
weeks in the job I got offered a better, and properly paid job as a
Service Technician with a healthcare company. This was a permanent
job and was a great relief after about 18 months of unemployment, and
short term and low (and un!) paid work. Getting this job has meant
that I could, at last, start paying off my debts and planning for the
future. I knew this was going to take a while, so 2014 was going to
be a 'fallow year'.
I settled into the job
and in March I finally paid off the mortgage on my house. This
required some extra costs, so further into debt! It's a kind of
strange feeling as when you take out a mortgage, the date you pay it
off seems like infinitely far in the future, but once it arrives it's
a weight off your shoulders. I can't say it wasn't tinged with
sadness as I started the mortgage when I first got married and never
thought that by the time it would be finished I'd be on my own.
The 'fallow year' meant
that I didn't plan a holiday this year and the nearest to one I took
was a weekend in Applecross in June.
Since then things have
been fairly quiet and I haven't been to any bike events other than
the Ayr Bike Show. In fact, I've hardly ridden my bikes at
all, but hope to remedy that in the new year.
My personal life hasn't
really moved on much either. I've been out on a couple of dates, and
I now know that it's not too much of a trauma for me! After over 20
years it's still all a bit strange, but I know I can cope with it
should the opportunity arise.
So, I end 2014 in a
job, on my own, and a bit short of money – at least things are
Now I've got a full
time job I can start planning more. I've decided to sell two of my
bikes, the Yamaha SZR 660 and my 'spare' Skorpion Traveller. I bought
the SZR as a non running 'project', and now have it running, cleaned
up a bit (it had been abandoned in a shed for 4 years), and the
bodywork has been repaired and resprayed.
I should have this back
on the road soon and it'll be for sale as soon as the weather
improves. It's not really my kind of bike, and I think at my age that
I couldn't ride it very far with handlebars that low!
(Bodywork removed to avoid damage after respray)
The 'spare' Traveller
has been tidied up, resprayed, and it pretty well ready to go once
the weather improves and the 'selling season' starts. I'd only kept
it case I got a job for which I needed a commuting bike, so is now
This leaves me my
'main' Traveller and my Honda CL 350. The Traveller is pretty well as
I want it other than fitting higher bars (didn't I say that last year
and the year before?) At time of writing the fairing is off to allow
me to route the cables for the higher bars, so I should have that
done fairly soon. Only other thing it could do with is having the
petrol tank resprayed as it has bubbled up and flaked since the
introduction of alcohol in petrol, but that can wait until I can
The CL has now got its
engine in and it's just a process of reassembling it. Once the other
bikes are sold I'll have enough money to buy some rear shocks and get
it resprayed, then it'll be the process of getting it registered.
So that's my look at
last year and the year to come. 2015 will probably be a bit of a
'fallow year' as well, but I'm a lot more positive that I was this
time last year and things are looking up. Watch this space!