My eldest son, Charles (or Charlie as he likes to be called) used to ride small motorbikes, but as he never took his motorcycle test, these were limited in size to under 125cc. He stopped riding them a few years ago and has recently shown a revived new interest in bikes.
I recently told him that it would be good if he could come on some rides with me, but this would mean having to take his bike test in order to get a decent sized bike. I made him the rather rash promise that if he took and passed his test, he could ride to Portugal with a few of us next year. He said he would and so far has completed two of the four required parts of the test....
Part 1 – CBT or Compulsory Basic Training. This comprises the basic elements you need to master riding a motorbike. He took this course last week.
Part 2 – The Theory Test. A multiple choice question and answer paper covering the law, safety, road signs, plus a hazard perception test. Charlie took and passed this earlier this week.
Part 3 – Practical Riding Test (module 1) – Off Road. This tests your bike handling skills.
Part 4 – Practical Riding Test (module 2) – On Road. The road riding element of the test.
He is hoping to take both of the practical riding tests by the end of next week. That will then see him getting a full bike licence and he will then be able to ride any bike.
However, the imminent passing of his motorcycle test presented me with a problem. If Charlie was to ride to Portugal next year, what bike would he ride? Was I prepared to let him take one of my bikes? Hmmn. Maybe. Maybe not. We are of course talking either of my precious Leading Ladies, or gulp, my red custom bike, Tradewinds.
We could rent a bike, but most rental companies require you to be at least 25 years old and have been riding for at least 12 months. Hmmmn. He would meet neither of these requirements.
The third and most likely option was to buy him a bike. That would also prevent him from needing to ask to borrow one of mine. So, I started looking and found a perfect bike for him. A neat looking, customised bobber with a fair degree of style at a reasonable price. A saw it on the Facebook page of a Michael Noble, who runs the customisation side of Guildford Harley-Davidson. He wasn’t selling it himself, but a friend of his was, but when I called the next day, the bike had been sold just 30 minutes earlier.
Disappointed in missing such a perfect bike for Charlie, two days later I looked on e-Bay and found the very same bike for sale. A dealer had bought it and was re-selling it. I went to see them straight away and after test-riding it, I bought the bike. So, my son is now the proud owner of a very nice Bobber.... As you can see from the first picture, he looks great sitting on the bike and it suits him very well.....
It is a Harley-Davidson Sportster XLH1200 BOBBER 1200cc, from 1988 (the same year Charlie was born) that has done just 24000 miles. It is green and white and is tastefully Bobbed in traditional 60/70's style, with new whitewalls, new rear shocks, a new battery, new paintwork, keystone bars, a white solo seat and grips, wrapped pipes and is very clean in great condition for a 24 years old bike. I could only spot a couple of small, easiy fixed problems.
All he has to do now is pass his bike test! If he doesn’t pass, I will keep the bike for myself !!
Good luck, Charlie!