Monday, 5 December 2011

Choosing to get cold

There's a reason I park my motorbike in the garage for the winter, and I reminded myself what it was today!

For about 6 months, Jenny and I have mulled over the idea of buying a rather weird looking contraption with two front wheels and one hind one, but we've not quite got around to it.  Yesterday, however, I spotted that a local dealer had a secondhand one for what looked like a reasonable price, so resolved to go and have a test ride.  And this is what I rode.
It's a Gilera Fuoco 500, and it is weird.  The front wheels are independently sprung, so when you corner, you just lean it over as you would a conventional bike, but there's a locking button which allows you to lock it in whatever position it's in, which is useful at traffic lights, for instance.  No need to put your feet down.

Earlier in the year we were looking at Piaggio equivalents, unaware that the same manufacturer also makes Gileras.  The Piaggios come in 300 and 400cc variants, with better underseat storage, but the Gileras are the sportier flavours, hence the larger engine.

I didn't really give it that thorough a work-out, but rode it for 6 or 7 miles, enough to start to get the feel of it, and I quite like it.  It didn't immediately leap out and say "Buy me!" but then, it's very different from what I'm used to riding, so that's no big surprise.

It has a 500cc single cylinder 4-stroke engine, with fully automatic transmission, and I confess I was unaware of any of the gear changes.  It just goes, and the performance is actually not bad.   Having the rear brake on the left handlebar like a bicycle is very strange to start with, since that's the clutch lever, normally.

This one is only a couple of years old, but already has nearly 20,000 miles on the clock, which is a lot for a bike.  On the other hand, it's relatively cheap, which suits my mindset right now.  I'll sell the BMW in the spring, when I should get a better price for it.

Oh yes, putting the bike in the garage.  The BMW has rather poor weather protection, so by the time I'd ridden the 20-odd miles to the dealer, I was somewhat chilled, despite having togged up appropriately, I thought.  He gave me tea and we nattered for a bit before I took the Gilera out, then I rode the BMW home again, arriving pretty cold.  I put the central heating on and had some hot lunch, but stayed cold until eventually I had a shower, but actually, I'm still not exactly toasty.

So I've still not decided what to do about the Gilera, but the BMW is staying in the garage for the rest of the winter!

2 comments:

Nora said...

My ex is a very weathered motorcycle rider dna rides all year round. He claims not to get cold, although I hardly believe him. I think he freezes his buns off regularly, but it's his mode of transportation. He's also very stubborn. He refuses to drive a car. It's a matter of prinicple for him.

Rob Clack said...

We managed without a car for quite a few years, but the rot started when I was given a company car. Downhill ever since!