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22nd April 2003

Some people like to live dangerously. Steve The Toast is plainly a man on the edge (of insanity? Of a Harley? Is that the same thing?). His bike buying guide should inspire ire and indignation and several other things beginning with 'I'...

Top Ten Tips On Not Buying Britbikes

After reading Steve's anti-classic Britbike scribble, the crowd could not be prevented from wreaking their revenge on some foreign modern muck that happened to be laying around

1. Stand next to a classic and pretend to own it. See how long it takes you to get hacked off with every old twit who waxes lyrical over the marque 'that I used to ride.' I've got it down to 50 seconds now.

2. Join the local owners' club. See how long it takes for you to get hacked off with some grey-bearded old codger telling you how so-and-so has a Japanese made bulb in his headlight. Now I'm down to 45 seconds.

3. Go on a run with said old codgers. See how long it tales you to get hacked off every time they stop for the same inane conversation with a peddie at a crossing who 'used to have one of them'. 40 seconds.

4. The price of old bikes from dealers. See how long it takes you to get hacked off dealing with sharks where the sawdust isn't only on the floors. It's also in the gearboxes, big-ends, you name it. I've even found it under the rubber boots in fork legs (keeps the legs dry till you get home). 35 seconds.

5. Borrow a classic Britbike from a friend. See how long it takes you to get hacked off having every other motorist cut you up and risk financial ruin and certain death. 30 seconds.

6. Psychiatry - visit a decent shrink. See how long it takes you to get hacked-off with his tales of his big Beemer RT1100 tourer that he and the missus took to the Algarve, and bought some really cheap wine on the ferry on the way home... 25 seconds. (Erm, is that one really only applicable to old British Bikes, Steve? Hello? Steve? TP).

7. Check out the price and more importantly availability of spares for proposed purchase. See how long it takes you to get hacked off with the shark, just how many times can you put up with that inane whistling through the teeth with a; 'Ooh, dunnow, mate, don't think they even exist anymore' thrown in for good measure. 20 seconds.

8. Find out how long it will last between rebuilds. See how long it takes you to get hacked off with the line; 'Oh, you mean if you RIDE it to shows.' 15 seconds.

9. Check out the spouses of other vintage bike owners. See how long it takes to get their hacks off - a clear indication that the vintage bike owners are spending far too much time in the garage refurbishing their pride and joy, and not enough time accommodating their wives. I know which I'd rather be doing. 10 seconds to suss, mostly.

10. Get a test ride on a NEW 1450 Harley with loud pipes and a stage 3 kit. See how long it takes you to get totally BLOWN AWAY on the heady mix of speed and noise. Enough speed for today's big bro approach to speeding, and enough noise to take me aaaaallllllll the way back to my yoof. Brill.

Chances are that these young men are now doctors, solicitors or captains of industry. Maybe.

Where are they now? We need to know.

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