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Thursday, 4 August 2011

The Skorpy story first 'proper' ride.

Its been 3 years since Skorpy was on the road - last time I rode it I was terrified because the rear end seemed to wiggle 'n' jiggle and hop about all over the place. It was 'orrible in the wet and scared the daylights out of me when crossing white lines and overbanding. So I put it away in the shed and decided I ought to replace the worn bush in the linkage that sits at the bottom of the shock absorber, before I junked the new tyres (not my usual BT92s that I knew and was used to, but some slightly cheaper Continentals that I thought might be responsible for the handling) I'd just fitted. So after three years, I finally managed to make time and space to do that job (see - pictures now added) and other than a short run down and up the bumpy track that leads to Cubbie Towers just to check that all the brakes and gears worked after having their linkages disassembled, my first 'proper' ride was a couple of miles to the MoT station. I was majorly disappointed to find that it was just as scary as I remember - but that was probably something to do with having the wrong pressure in the back tyre! I'm a girl, so I can confess to that, and this; I didn't get into top gear or over 40mph all the way. The Skorpion doesn't have that great a top speed, but it is blessed with low down grunt, and going from Cubbie, who has neither, to a 660cc beast that can exit corners like a rocket (well, by comparison) is a bit of a shock to the system. Good job there's a grab handle at the back of the seat tp stop me sliding off the back!

Proprietor of Cameron Autotech, Roy, kindly adds some air to Skorpy's rear tyre.

Roy handles MoTs and repairs on any kind of bike from sports to 'middle aged MZs' to classics.

And even Velos...

My next 'proper' ride was from the MoT garage, where they presented me with a PASS and topped the back tyre up to the right PSI, to get the tax. I could have done without the gale force winds trying to push and pull me around but apart from that, I think it rides much better than before, although it still took a few miles before I got up to 60mph, and getting smooth gear changes is, er, interesting. I remember now, why I chose this bike in the first place. The balance is spot on for slow speeds and you can dribble along on the back brake in town without having to stop. The crazy rev counter is cute and the zorst - both looks and noise, is bootiful, and in the short space of time that I stopped to get and fit the new tax disc, two chaps stopped for a chat about bikes - admittedly not Skorpions, but one was a Triumph man and the other a Jap bike lad who remembers the days when he and his mates got their first 2 stroke Jap bikes and messed around racing their Brit bike riding buddies.

So, onto my first 'proper' proper ride. Oh yes. In at the deep end, and why not. With my timing being to perfection for once, the bike was MoTd on the Friday, then I picked it up on Saturday morning, which just so happened to be the day of the Grampian Classic club BBQ and Mr P's ride out. Setting off from Turriff, I was still feeling a bit wobbly, but on roads that I know quite well, I soon settled into Skorpy style again. It's rather strange having to use the throttle and brakes to adjust my speed for corners - on Cubbie it's usually fairly full on, unless the corner is very tight. Stopped at Huntly for cheap(er) petrol and a sarny, then cut over the hill to Gartley, Rhynie and then Lumsden. I didn't like that road. I never have liked it. I can't seem to get into a rhythm. I know a lot of local bikers who love it because of the combination of sweeping bends and tight corners. Anyway, met up with the Grumpies and after hanging around for a bit to see who would turn up, we set off in the wake of Mr P. I don't really know where we went, other than the Glenbuchat road which was a single track tarred road with gravel down the middle, and some stunning views. The sounds of our selection of bikes startled the sheep, horses and cattle who could be seen beating a hasty retreat up on the hills. We passed through the Cairngorm National Park, not all of it, just a smidgen of it, and ended up in Ballater for lunch. Again, some breath taking views along the way, which thanks to Slick Vic, we all had more of a chance to appreciate, as his bike decided to run on just one cylinder. After a hot chocolate and a slab of cake large enough to feed a whole fleet of Skorpion riders, Mr P set off again to take us back to Lumsden. The weather had been a little damp and chilly when we'd set off on the outward leg, but by now it was just about right. Again, no idea where we went, I was too busy re-learning how to ride my bike, but the roads were good and the pace at the back of the pack was spot on.

Up on yonder hill, don't know which one, but the views were nice.

Lunch time in Ballater.

The BBQ put on by club member and newsletter editor, Mr Jolly (yes, I'm sure he's heard them all before) was spot-on, with plenty of tasty burgers, sausages, salad and accompaniments, followed by a selection of puddingy cakes. By the time we all left to go home, the weather had chilled down again, but at least it was still dry. All in all, I must have clocked up 160ish miles and I'm pleased to see the squared off section of Skorpy's rear tyre has been replaced with a nice smooth rounded off bit instead. That'll soon be gone though, I've got a bit of a dual carriageway stint coming up next weekend when I go to the National Assembly of Vintage Motorcycles at Blairgowrie.


M@TD said...

Next thing you know you & Skorpy will be traversing whole countries, nay continents!

Anonymous said...

Food, views, Skorps - getting there!

Keep going, y'know you'll fall in love again!


Bodger said...

Sounds like a good days run there...

Hairy Larry said...

Hey! Is that a blue metalflake dunebuggy I see behind that beautiful Velocette? Cracks me up when I see something that started in Southern Calif., that has spread around the world. My father and I built one of those when I was a teenager. Ours was bright Orange, and had a flat-bed deck. It was a dune-truck I suppose.
Looks like a good ride was run.

Darrell said...

Gorgeous, gorgeous. The countryside makes me want to overinflate the tires on my bike and ride across the Atlantic.

Gorgeous Biker Chick said...

A dune-truck sounds handy! Snow / dunes, whats the difference!

I've got some better pics of the views guys but they're on my camera and I haven't got around to downloading them yet.

Mike, won't be long, Skorpy'll be following in your tyre tracks!

Anonymous said...

Great news that Skorpy's back where it belongs on the road :o)

Graham B


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