From little acorns...
Chances are you have owned more than one motorcycle in your time. You might have started with a Suzuki AP 50 but what have you ended up with and which bikes have you been through on the way? Which have you loved and which have you hated, or just not got on with. Asking some of our staff it seems quite personal and sometimes there's just one motorcycle which you know you can't bear to part with.

Here are some of the motorcycles owned by one of our staff members and this is only a few of them – he's had too many to remember them all!

Passola 50
He started off in the 1980s on his Dad's borrowed Yamaha Passola 50 and used it to start his despatching career! In the early 80s in London, he says you could despatch anything – someone was using a mobility scooter! He got on well with the Passola and says what it lost in speed (long distance jobs like Putney to Ruislip took about a century) it made up for in convenience – you could just pick it up and carry it across the road if you found yourself on the wrong side of a one way system! It was cheap to run too with its blinding 50ccs of power.

Eventually he earned enough to upgrade and the next despatch bike he had was a Yamaha RS125 2 stroke. It felt pretty nippy after the Passola, but had a perennial problem with the ignition coil burning out. Easily remedied with a bit of copper wire used to rewind the coil – or not so easily under pressure to take a job! Despatch riders were very resourceful back in the day, and not averse to a constructive and timely bodge!

250 Super Dream
Moving swiftly on – this time to a Honda 250 Super Dream. This was a big bike for its time, but slow and heavy and not the best handling bike on the planet. Its best feature was that it was really easy to work on and eminently fixable. So he bought three, commandeered a friend's shed and kept two out of the three there for a ready supply of bits to keep the runner on the road. He sprayed it a tasteful red and when the seat split repaired it with a patch cut from an old dumped red vinyl sofa - how resourceful you might think - yes indeed but a slight design flaw meant that, because the sofa had been a button backed sofa, when he sat on the seat the day after it had rained all yesterday, rain came back up through the button indents! Hmmm!

NC30 Before
VMAX 1200
Next when he woke up from that super dream he found himself buying a Yamaha VMAX 1200. This bike was an unrestricted Canadian import with a Vboost turbo charger for extra poke. It had slash cut straight-through silencers and the super power of setting 10-15 car alarms off (which were admittedly pretty hair-trigger in those days) as he passed by when he came home! Although he says the handling was not good and it drank fuel he remembers this bike fondly as it “really had character”.

Bros 400/650
Of course who could travel through those times without that much loved workhorse the Honda Bros, (nothing to do with Matt and Luke Goss). He had a 400 and then a 650 and says the 400 was the smoother nicer handling bike. It had its idiosyncrasies and little quirks which you learn with all bikes, like putting your weight backwards when braking to stop the bike from slipping.

Goldwing GL1500SE
The next acquisition was a crash damaged Honda Goldwing GL1500SE. He repaired the front fairing (probably with copper wire and a sofa) but when he put the key in and turned it on, loads of laser LED lights lit up like a Christmas tree all over it. Not so cool when turning up at the pub on it looking like Saturday night on Brighton Pier.

Daytona 595
A Strontium Gold Triumph Daytona 595 came next. He bought it for its handsome good looks, but it never quite suited him and he didn't find it comfortable under 80mph so off it went.

...To be replaced by a Ducati 900SS. He went for the 1994 version before the design changed and really enjoyed it. It did have an issue with the tuning belt going, but it was easy to work on and change when it was troublesome. It was a great fun rider's bike which was happy to go to its limits.

NC30 After... great oak trees grow!
NC30 – The Keeper!
Then came the one which will never be sold... the VFR 400 NC30 (type 3), turned into a Joey Dunlop RC30 replica. It's his favourite, it's been a labour of love and it will never be sold, this is just a little bit of what he says about it: “The best handling bike I've ever had. 50 sounds like 100, it has a soundtrack from the TT on it.”

So What's Your Motorcycle Story?
These are just a few of the bikes owned by one person over the years, some loved some hated, some just practical, some not practical at all! What's your motorcycle story? Do you recognise, or have you owned any of the aforementioned bikes? Which bike was your all-time favourite, which one did you wish you hadn't sold and which one was your worst ever? Drop us a line at or tell us on facebook – got some photos – even better!


21/08/20 - My first legal bike was a Passola and I have a very embarrassing photo of me with it I will post on your page 👍

21/08/20 - Used to rent a bros 650 from worlds end, rental/workshops when they were in Hammersmith, in my despatch days, Tony, always used to lease me a red and white one, with battleaxe logo on the bodywork, it was slightly more trick than the usual broses, pgm something or other, but a stonking quick bike through the traffic

21/08/20 - I’ve only had one of the list, a T595 Daytona (red). Didn’t wear the front tyre out while I had it, funny that.

21/08/20 - AR125, RD350 YPVS, ZZR600, CBR600 F-T (still got it), ZZR1100 (had to go before my licence did!!), VFR800 (still got it). I sort of regret not having the RD350, because it was great, but I couldn’t have afforded the CBR without the part-ex money. And I love the CBR.

21/08/20 -  i started the same as you after my dt50. AR125, 350ypvs F1, part exed for a cbr600 fk, then fzr600, zx6r, yzf750 (1040 exup engine) then loads of race bikes

21/08/20 - I started on a DT50 as well, forgot to list it (it was really my brother’s bike). 😁

21/08/20 - I had a pasola exactly the has this one it was fast for its time did 40 I had a qt50 aswell good times they were

21/08/20 - CG125, 250N Superdream, Guzzi V65 police bike, Revere, NTV 650, Revere, Kawasaki Tengai, BSA B25, Bros, 400/4 550/4. Currently still have the first Revere, B25, Bros, 400/4 and 550/4. The Wemoto workshops worked on my Bros, Revere and Guzzi while I was at Uni. 👍🏻

21/08/20 - I haven't owned any of those particular bikes, but my mate's younger brother owned an immaculate low mileage Yamaha RS125, which he spent more time polishing than riding. One day I saw a scruffy looking young lad pushing this bike along the pavement, about half a mile away from where my mate's brother lived. I immediately stopped and challenged him, he kept telling me he'd just bought it, but didn't have any paperwork on him. So I did what any decent person would do, and made him take it back (this was in the days before mobile phones). You've already guessed the rest of this story...

Posted by Lucy England
for Wemoto News on 20 August 2020 in Motorcycles



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