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A little bit about me and my motorcycle history and a list of motorcycles I have owned and others I have ridden. 

Before I get on to my list of motorcycles a little history about the path my motorcycling has taken me. I started motorcycling like many others, a means of transport to get to work, my father got me a 125 BSA Bantam from where he worked, good condition and cheap, I had to pay for it! However the bug was bitten, and since then I have never been without a motorcycle.

Born 1939 in London, evacuated during the war after which I lived in Ruislip, North West London. My first job and my first commute was the 5 miles to Uxbridge for a six months temporary job at Sanderson's Fabrics, this was until I started my 5 year apprenticeship as a Photo Litho Camera Operator in the printing trade in Finsbury, London. After my 5 year apprenticeship and now a qualified journeyman I continued working in London, my first job as a journeyman was working for the London College of Printing in Back Hill, Clerkenwell and the second was for a Litho Reproduction Studio in Soho.
In the early years I commuted by the London underground however as my earnings increased I regularly used either my 350 Ariel, 150 Bantam or my 350 Dot special, and apart from commuting there was the usual riding around with my friends, going hither and thither, I never really became a big touring type.
I loved tinkering with motorcycles and was always modifying them with motorcycle sport a major interest, particularly road racing. I visited many events mostly around London, Brands Hatch, Chrystal Palace and farther afield was Snetterton and Thruxton and the IOM TT for 6 years on the trot, during the Hailwood, Agostini era and the start of Japanese onslaught.
I also went to Grass Track, Scrambles and Trials events. I joined a road racing club in an effort to get a foot on the rung so to speak. However things didn’t quite work out as planned because my parents moved from Ruislip, Middlesex, to Barton on Sea, Hampshire. I continued living in Ruislip with my brother and his wife but it was not the ideal situation for a budding motorcycle competitor, so after six months I joined my parents in Barton.
Barton on Sea was not exactly the hub of motorcycle racing so an alternative more affordable sport was chosen, which was Trials riding and later also Trail riding and other off road skirmishes, hence my motorcycle list has a strong off road content.
I had some trials successes and explored many areas of the United Kingdom during my Trail and Trials riding forays.
I lived in Barton for a few years and worked in Eastleigh, I eventually moved to Eastleigh and still do. Barton to Eastleigh meant commuting the 30 odd miles through the New Forest, it’s not often you can look forward to going to work but I did, a fantastic blast, literally. There were many incidents commuting through the forest, some gory and some funny. I’m saving those for a later post. All in all I have had a terrific motorcycle life and wouldn’t have changed it for the world. Believe you me, if you’ve never ridden on the dirt you don’t know what you’re missing, incredible fun. I have made many friends and have had many untold adventures.

Shortly after I started motorcycling I began making a list of motorcycles I had owned and other bikes I had ridden and have kept a list ever since, These other bikes would have been from friends. In fact my reputation went before me and friends would bring their bike to me and say, wanna try it out?

Below is a list of motorcycle types, after the obvious couple at the top there are 3 others which some readers might not be over familiar with.

Road motorcycles – used on surfaced (tarmacked roads) public highways.

Scooters – used on surfaced (tarmacked roads) public highways.

Trail motorcycles – used on surfaced public highways (tarmacked roads) and un-surfaced public highways (dirt roads). 
Because a Trail motorcycle is a dual purpose vehicle and road legal it can be ridden on the road and on the trail. The definition of a trail is an un-surfaced public highway, to the uninitiated a trail could look like a bridleway or a footpath i.e, a grassy dirt/muddy track.
In most cases trails are ancient highways (roads) that are now just dirt tracks because they have never been tarmacked, trails are also known as green lanes/green roads, they are shown on the OS Landranger maps as Byways open to all Traffic (BOAT’s), meaning they are un-surfaced Rights of Way of a higher status than Bridleways and Footpaths, thus allowing vehicular access.
True trail/dual purpose motorcycles are now not as common as they once were, this is because of the rise in Enduro events and because many Enduro motorcycles can now be taxed and insured for highway and trail use. In fact the proportion of Enduro motorcycles on the trail is now far greater than Trail motorcycles.

Trials motorcycles – primarily meant for use on private land.
A Trials motorcycle is a specialist competition off road machine where the competitive event takes place on private land, therefore there is no requirement for the motorcycle to be taxed and insured. However there are a very small number of trials events where the public roads are used as part of the course, with the result that the motorcycle has to be taxed and insured.

Enduro motorcycles – primarily meant for use on private land.
An Enduro motorcycle is a specialist competition device for use in off road endurance events, known as Enduros and lasting several hours and normally taking place on private land, therefore there is no requirement for the motorcycle to be taxed and insured. However there are a very small number of unique Enduro events, usually held in Wales where the public roads are used as part of the course, with the result that the motorcycle has to be taxed and insured

Listed in a very, very approximate historical order. Some motorcycle models appear more than once, different owners, different times.

Motorcycles I have owned and other motorcycles I have ridden together and a brief riding impressions.

The 41 motorcycles I have owned are shown in red, the 119 motorcycles shown in blue are the other motorcycles I have been lucky enough to ride.

Motorcycle makes and models.                                      Riding impressions.

1. Bantam D1 125cc 2-stroke single.    Roadster, average.                                    
The Bantam was my first ever motorcycle, my father got it for me from the transport
department where he worked. Now I had powered transport to work, Ruislip to Uxbridge.

2. Ariel 350cc 4-stroke single.    Roadster, average.                                      
Purchased from a friend, he turned an EX WD girder
forked bike into a café racer, megaphone and low bars.

1. Triumph 500cc Tiger 100 4-stroke twin.    Roadster, average.   
1949/52 sprung hub.

2. Triumph 650cc Tiger 110. 4-stroke twin.    Roadster, very good.             
Memorable lusty fluid engine, loved the one inch bars.

3. Scott 600cc 1948 water-cooled 2-stroke twin.    Roadster, good.   
Interesting, high maintenance. Good road holding,
seized, many engine and gearbox parts replaced.

4. James 200cc 2-stroke single.Trials, average.  
This was to be my first venture into competition,
but written off in crash with a sidecar outfit.

3. Royal Enfield Constellation 700cc 4-stroke twin.    Roadster, poor.   
Pillion passenger on tour of Scotland, chronic vibration, awful seat.

4. Maico Tyfun German 400cc 2-stroke twin.    Roadster, good refined.                 

5. TWN Contessa German 200cc 2-stroke single.    Scooter, good.                
Nice lusty twin piston engine.

6. NSU Prima German 150cc 2-stroke single.    Scooter, good.   

7. Triumph Tiger Cub 200cc 4-stroke single.    Roadster, average.  

8. Triumph side valve 350cc 4-stroke single.    Roadster, awful.  

9. James Commodore 250cc 2-stroke single.    Roadster, average.  

10. Velocette LE 150cc 4-stroke flat twin.    Roadster, good.      
Slow and smooth, footboards, hand change but fun.
Owner friend drunk and asleep on pillion as I ride it home for him.

11. Norton Model 50 350cc 4-stroke single.    Roadster, average.  
Good looking, featherbed frame but gutless.                                                           

12. AJS Spring Twin 500cc 4-stroke twin.    Roadster, poor.                             
Centre main bearing crankshaft, bad vibration.      

13. Scott 600cc 1957 water-cooled 2-stroke twin.    Roadster, good.                          
 Nice engine but overweight.

14. Matchless 250cc 4-stroke single.    Roadster, average.                                

15. Matchless 500cc 4-stroke single.    Roadster, disappointing.                  

16. James Cadet 200cc 2-stroke single.    Roadster, average.                          

17. Adler 250cc German 2-stroke twin.    Roadster, memorable.                                     
Refined, smooth good power. A quality motorcycle,
could have been BMW's version of a 2 stroke.    

5. BSA Bantam DI 125cc 2-stroke single.    Roadster.  
Purchased in bits, used to make the special below.

6. BSA Bantam home special 125cc 2-stroke single.    Roadster, good at times.   
Wal Phillips fuel injector but gave hit and miss power, padded crankcase,

Todd high compression head, close ratio gears, polished  ports.
Velocette LE forks and Alloy tank.

7. Vincent Rapide 1000cc 4-stroke v-twin.    Roadster, very good.   
Updated to Lightening specification, memorable, high maintenance.
I took it out in the snow, incredible stability.

8. Bantam D5 175cc Super 2-stroke single.    Roadster.   
Went from Barton-on-sea, Hampshire to Flintshire, Wales to 
get a swinging arm D5 Bantam for my Trials special below.

9. BSA Bantam homemade trials special 175cc 2-stroke single.    Trials, poor.      
Not good, I fitted BSA 250 forks. 

10. Dot home special 350cc 2-stroke twin.    Roadster, exciting.                   
Scrambler engine, high maintenance.

18. Velocette Viper 350cc 4-stroke single.    Roadster, disappointing.                          
Lacked power.

19. Ariel Colt 200cc 4-stroke single.    Roadster, rubbish.                        
Noisy engine.

20. Norman 250cc 2-stroke twin.    Roadster, nice.                         
Nice, smooth.

11. Norton 650ss new. 4-stroke twin.    Roadster, very good.   
Troublesome but good powerful engine, new main bearings,

pistons, valves, magneto, battery and silencer. High maintenance.
Legendary road holding and brilliant to ride.

12. Bantam D3 150cc Major 2-stroke single.    Roadster, good.   
Incredible, it just went on and on and on. Commuted and from
Ruislip and Soho, London. Later to and from Barton and Eastleigh.

21. BSA Shooting Star 500cc 4-stroke twin.    Roadster, average.     
Borrowed to commute to/from Barton on Sea and
Eastleigh, wallowed and ground easily when leant over. 

22. Itom 65cc 2-stroke single.    Roadster, average.   

23. Ariel Arrow  250cc 2-stroke twin.    Road, good.   

24. Greeves TE 200cc 2-stroke single.    Trials, average.   

25. Bultaco Sherpa 250cc 2-stroke single.    Trials, good. 

26. Greeves Anglian 250cc 2-stroke single.    Trials, average.  

13. Sprite new. 250cc ’67 2-stroke single.    Trials, poor.  
Badly made cycle parts, head bearings held in with fibreglass.
Top fork yoke snapped at the pinch bolt area because the counterbored bolt hole was overdrilled.

14. Cheetah (Sprite) 250cc ’68 2-stroke single.    Trials, good.   
Chrome Whitlock frame purchased.
Sprite Villiers engine and cycle parts transferred.     

27. Bantam Bushman 175cc 2-stroke single.    Trail, good.   

28. Puch Dalesman German 125cc 2-stroke single.    Trials, average.  

29. Zundapp German 250cc 2-stroke single, home made special.    Trials, poor.   

30. Dot 200cc 2-stroke single.    Trials, average.   

15. Suzuki TS250A 1976 new. 2-stroke single.    Trail, good.  
My first Trail bike, a good bike for it’s time, a very good engine design which was the basis for the Suzuki 250/325cc

Trials bike that came out later, the 325 engine was tough and very popular and very successful in sidecar trials.  

16. Suzuki TS250B 1977 new. 2-stroke single.    Trail, excellent.   
The next was Suzuki's revamped 250, now with a chrome bore engine and other improvements. Despite it’s nervous front end it was very good trail bike with an excellent ultra-smooth engine. To improve the twitchy front end I fitted Suzuki RM long travel forks plus longer damper rods and a USA damper kit and springs. My main reason for choosing the RM forks was because they had forward spindle mountings which would change the trail geometry and improve the steering, this modification successfully eliminated the nervous front end and now with the addition of terrific suspension set up. I also refabricated the rear end to accept laid down shocks (all the rage at the time) and I fitted the better Girling damper units.
I was on duty as a travelling marshal at an Enduro event at Weavers Down and riding a track adjacent to the course proper, I was going fast when one of those army trenches appeared in front of me, slight panic so I opened the throttle wide, it didn’t make a lot of difference so I hung for grim death fully expecting to go over the handlebars, incredibly I hardly felt a thing. The best forks I’ve ever had.

31. Montesa 250 MK3 new. 2-stroke single.    Trials, excellent.                               
I rode Don Barrett’s semi works bike. I then purchased a Montesa.

17. Montesa 250 MK2 new. 2-stroke single.    Trials, good.                              
Good bullet proof trials bike.                   

18. Montesa 250 MK3 new. 2-stroke single.    Trials, very good.                          
Good bullet proof trials bike.

32. Montesa 250 MK4 2-stroke single.    Trials, very good.  

33. Montesa 250 MK4B 2-stroke single.    Trials, very good.  

34. Ossa Mar 250cc 2-stroke single.    Trials, excellent.                               
Geoff Guy’s works bike.      

19. Ossa Mar 250cc first one new. 2-stroke single.    Trials, good.                      
Good bullet proof trials bike.

20. Ossa Mar 250cc second one new. 2-stroke single.    Trials, very good.                     
Good bullet proof trials bike, frame later changed
to the superior Mick Whitlock Chrome frame.

35. Bultaco Sherpa T Slimline 250cc 2-stroke single.    Trials, very good.  

36. Honda CB72 250 4-stroke twin.    Road, very good.                           
Impressive, the first 250 model Honda imported into the country.

37. Bultaco Sherpa 325cc 1974 2-stroke single.    Trials, very good.   

38. Bultaco Sherpa 325cc 1976 2-stroke single.    Trials, very good.   

39. Suzuki TS125M 2-stroke single.    Trail, average.        

40. Suzuki TS185M 2-stroke single.    Trail, average.   

41. Montesa 185 2-stroke single.    Trail, good.   

42. Honda CD175 MK5 4-stroke single.    Road, very good.   

43. Yamaha RD350 2-stroke twin.    Road, very good.                          

44. BSA Gold Star 500cc single.    Trials sidecar outfit.   
Fun, but for me it was virtually un-rideable.

45. Suzuki TS185 2-stroke twin.    Road, very good.   

46. Bultaco Alpina 2-stroke single.    Enduro, very good.   

47. Norton Commando 850cc twin 4-stroke twin.    Road, disappointing. 
I rode the Commando to the Thruxton race circuit from Park Road Motorcycles in Southampton for their customer track day. Disappointing. Compared to my earlier Norton 650ss it seemed slow and lacking in urge.

48. Triumph Trident 750cc 4-stroke triple.    Road, disappointing.   
I rode the Trident from Park Road Motorcycles in Southampton to the Thruxton race circuit for their customer track day. As above, disappointing. Compared to my earlier Norton 650ss it seemed slow and lacking in urge.

49. Yamaha XT550 4-stroke single.    Trail, very good.                           

50. Suzuki 250cc 2-stroke single.    Trials, good.                                

51. Honda XL250 4-stroke single.    Trail, very good.                                            
23” front wheel.         

52. Yamaha XT500 4-stroke single.    Trail, poor.                                       
Overrated, overweight bad starting lump.

53. CZ 175 2-stroke single.    Trail, awful.                                    
An unpleasant crude agricultural motorcycle. 

54. Suzuki GT380 2-stroke triple.    Road, good.   

55. Yamaha DT175 Mono 2-stroke single.    Trail, very good.                                 

56. Yamaha DT250 Mono 2-stroke single.    Trail, disappointing.   

57. Kawasaki KE175 2-stroke single.    Trail, good.                            

58. Montesa 348 Cota 2-stroke single.    Trials, good.                               

21. Honda XL185SA new. my first 185 4-stroke.    Trail, very good.  
In 1980 I got this new Honda XL185, in fact over a period of time I have had 5 of these models. They were acquired to make into specials or to sell on for profit. At the same time that the last 185’s were being sold here in the UK, Honda were manufacturing the perfect replacement for the 185, the XL200R Prolink. In Honda UK’s wisdom it was never sold here, it was sold in Europe and other parts of the world. It would have sold in droves here, so I made my own, see later.

59. Honda Hawk 400 Automatic 4-stroke twin.    Road, very good.     

60. Honda XL250S 4-stroke single.    Trail, excellent.                                         
23” front wheel.                   

61. Honda CRM250S 2-stroke single.    Trail, excellent.                                      

62. Honda XL350  American import 4-stroke single.    Trail, very good.             
Memorable very lusty engine, beautiful power delivery, extremely pleasurable.

63. BSA 250 Pre65 4-stroke single.    Trials, awful.                                       

64. Honda H100 2-stroke single.    Road, excellent.                                       

22. Yamaha 1979 XT250 mono-shock 4-stroke single.    Trail, very good.   
At time this was lightest 250 four stroke available, it was a nice little lusty bike but not a revver like the Honda equivalent. Some models had very noisy engines which was said to have been because of an inadequate top end oil supply, I modified an oilway to get more oil to suspect area. Eric Cheney modified the monoshock rear frame to give slightly more travel, the top of the shock had a pin and clip instead of a proper fixture. I fitted a silent block bush to make a proper job. The top yoke steering head area adjustment was poorly designed. This is where the Yamaha was let down, it’s lack of quality.   

65. Triumph Tiger Cub 200 4-stroke single.    Trials, average.   

66. Kawasaki KL250 4-stroke single.    Trail, good.                                   

67. Triumph 350cc 4-stroke twin.    Trials, good.                        

23. Honda XL500S new. 4-stroke single.    Trail, very good.  
23” front wheel. Fabulous engine and handling but bad brakes and transmission snatch.     

68. Honda CL250s 4-stroke single.    Trail/Road, good.                               
Interesting dual purpose motorcycle with unique high and low ratio gearbox.   

69. Honda CBX550 4-stroke four.    Road, excellent.                        
Powerful and extremely flexible.

24. Honda XL185SA.    Trail, very good.  
My 2nd 185 4-stroke single.                                                                       

70. Kawasaki Z100 4-stroke four.    Road, memorable.                        

71. Cagiva 125 2-stroke single.    Trail, average.  

72. Honda CB750F 4-stroke four.    Road, poor.                          
Lump, it just wouldn’t drop into corners.                                   

73. Honda VT250F 4-stroke v-twin.    Road, good.  

74. Suzuki GSX750 4-stroke four.    Road, excellent.                          
Awesome power, 100 mph in 3rd gear.

75. Montesa 250 2-stroke single.    Trail, very good.  

76. Fantic 156 2-stroke single.    Trials, very good.              

77. Fantic 300 2-stroke single.    Trials, very good.                                             
Russ Kerridge's works bike, very powerful.                   

25. Honda MTX200 2-stroke single.    Trail, very good.  

78. Yamaha TY175 2-stroke single.    Trials, very good.   

79. Honda XR250RE 4-stroke single.    Enduro, poor.   

80. Honda TL250 4-stroke single.    Trials, excellent.   

26. Honda XL250RE new. 4-stroke single.    Trail, poor.                                   
 No low down torque, tingly fussy motor. Atrociously jetted twin carbs, and this was from new!

81. Honda TL200 Seeley 4-stroke single.    Trials, very good.   

82. Yamaha Fizzy 50cc 2-stroke single.    Road, good.   

27. Suzuki SP370 new, 4-stroke single.    Trail, good.   
A very good trail motorcycle for the time, good lusty reliable engine but the kick-start pivot
area would wear out dramatically. The SP’s main failing was it’s handling and floppy steering.

83. Suzuki TS185B 2-stroke single.    Trail, very good.   

84. Honda XL250 RC 4-stroke single.    Trail, very good.   

28. Yamaha XT350 new. 4-stroke single.    Trail, very good.   
Solid no nonsense, faultless trail bike.         

85. Honda XR350 4-stroke single.    Enduro, excellent.                               
Memorable American import.                                                         

86. Honda TL200 4-stroke single.    Trials, very good.    

87. Husaberg 510 4 stroke single.    Enduro, very good.                                
Memorable steering, very noisy engine.

29. Honda XL185 my third 185 4-stroke single.    Trail, very good.   

30. Honda XL185 my fourth 185 4-stroke single.    Trail, very good.                 

31. Honda XL125R 4-stroke single.    Trail, average.                                   
Purchased to make my XL200R home special below.

32. Honda XL200R home special 4-stroke.    Trail, excellent.   
This was a special that I made, because as mentioned earlier Honda would not import their XL200R Prolink. I purchased a used XL125R, a model that was imported into this country. I put a 185 engine into XL125R frame, the 125 engine was swapped into the 185 frame. All I had to do was make a new set of shorter head steady brackets, slightly shorter brackets because of the slightly taller 185 engine. The differences between the 125 and the 185 engines is a longer stroke, the 125 engine has a smaller carb, lighter flywheel and six speeds, I installed the six speed gears and the lighter flywheel into the 185 engine of my special. I later fitted a XR200 modified piston. I wrote an article for the national TRF magazine on how to do the above, and from this many other XL185R,s were spurned.

33. Honda XL125 home special 4-stroke.    Trials, good.    
So from the above I put the 125 engine into the old 185 motorcycle, the engine now had the left over 5 speeds and the heavier flywheel from the 185, these were installed into the 125 engine. This motorcycle was used by my then 14 year old son Lee to compete in Trail bike trials alongside me. This little bike could chug around everywhere becauseof it’s heavier than standard flywheel, we nicknamed it the Slug.

88. Yamaha DT175 twin shock 2-stroke single.    Trail, average.   

89. Yamaha DT250 twin shock 2-stroke single.    Trail, poor.   

90. Armstrong 320 2-stroke single.   Trials, good.   

91. Suzuki PE175 2-stroke single.    Enduro, very good.                                                

92. Honda XR200 4-stroke single.    Enduro, very good.                                    

93. Honda XR200R 4-stroke single.   Enduro, very good.                                        

94. Honda XR280 4-stroke single.    Enduro, very good.   
Fabulous engine.                           

95. Honda TL200 Golner special 4-stroke single.    Trials, good.   

96. Honda TLR250 ’87 Twin shock 4-stroke single.    Trials, disappointing.            
Fierce pick up.  

34. Honda TLR200 Twin shock 4-stroke single.    Trials, very good.    

97. Fantic 200 2-stroke single.    Trials, good.          

98. Kawasaki KMX200 2-stroke single.    Trail, excellent.   

99. Kawasaki KMX125 2-stroke single.    Trail, very good.   

100. Laverda Jota 1000 4-stroke triple.    Road, disappointing.                   

101. Fantic 243 Mono 2-stroke single.    Trials, powerful.                                

102. Ariel HT500 4-stroke single.    Trials, good.   

103. Yamaha TY250 2-stroke single.    Trials, very good.            
Motocrosser, awesome acceleration.                                     

104. Maico 500cc MX home special, 2-stroke single.    Trail, fabulous.                        

105. Honda XR250RJ 4-stroke single.    Enduro, good.   

35. Honda XL125R 4-stroke single.    Trail, good.   

106. Bultaco Sherpa 325 2-stroke single.    Trials, very good.   

36. Honda MTX125 2-stroke single.    Trail, good.   
Purchased to make my XM200W home special below.

37. Honda XM200W home special 200cc 4-stroke single.    Trail, excellent.   
Based on MTX 125, original 125cc 2-stroke engine removed and replaced with 200cc 4-stroke lump in a heavily modified frame. The engine is a mixture of XL185, XL125, XR200, TLR200 and CB125.

38. Honda XL100 4-stroke single.     Trail, average.                        

39. Honda XL600R 4-stroke single.    Trail, very good.                          

40. Honda XR280R 4-stroke single.    Enduro, good.                      

107. Honda XR600R Son Lee’s 4-stroke single.    Enduro, good.  

108. Honda CRF250 4-stroke single.    Enduro, good.   

109. GasGas 300 2-stroke single.    Enduro, fearsome power.               

110. Silk Sabre 600cc water-cooled 2-stroke twin.    Road, disappointing.   
Good road holding but very hard ride. Under powered.

111. GasGas 125cc 2-stroke single.    Trials, excellent.                                       

112. GasGas 200cc 2-stroke single.    Trials, very good.                                           

113. GasGas 250cc 2-stroke single.    Trials, very  good.                                                  

114. Scorpa 200 4-stroke single.    Trials, poor.                                   
Should have been better.

115. Velocette Thruxton 500cc 4-stroke single.    Road, very good.   
Real thumper.                                  

116. Suzuki Burgman 400cc 4-stroke single.     Scooter, excellent.                       

117. Honda RTL250 mono 4-stroke single.   Trials, excellent.                    

41. Suzuki DR350S new. 4-stroke single.     Trail, excellent.   

118. Suzuki DR350SE 4-stroke single.     Trail, excellent.   

119. Suzuki DRZ400SE 4-stroke single.    Trail, excellent.    

Total. 160